More information about FDA approved medications

Since my husband and I started trying to have children 6 years ago, I have not been able to be on any medicine to treat my Fibromyalgia.  I have read about the medications available and am not sure if I would want to try any of them due to side effects and how they would make me feel.

There are numerous medications that can be useful in treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia, but these are the 3 approved medications by the FDA:

Lyrica – first medication to be approved for the treatment of fibromyalgia. The name for Lyrica is Pregabalin, and it is useful in treating several different conditions. Lyrica has the advantage of working quickly and can reduce pain, improve sleep, and help some people with fibromyalgia function better than before.

  • What it is – used to manage neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia, adjunctive therapy for adult patients with parital onset seizures & Fibromyalgia.
  • How it is taken – can be taken either with or without food.  Recommended dose for fibromyalgia is 300 to 450 mg/day.  Begining dose is at 75 mg two times a day (150 mg/day).
  • Side Effects – Angioedema – reports of angioedema in patients during initial chronic treament.  Symtoms include swelling of the face, mout (tongue, lips and gums) and neck (throat and larynx).  There have been reports of life-threatening angioedema with respiratory conditions requiring emergency treatment.  Hypersensitivity – reported shortly after starting treatment.  Reactions included skin redness, blisters, hives, rash, dyspnea, and wheezing.  Suicidal Behavior and Ideas – increase the risk of suicidl thoughts or behavior.  Watch for worsening depression, suicial thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in modd or behavior.  Peripheral Edema – may cause peripheral edema (the swelling of tissues, usually in the lower limbs, due to the accumulation of fluids.  The condition is commonly associated with aging, but can be caused by many other conditions, including congestive heart failure, trauma, alcoholism, altitude sickness, pregnancy, hypertension, or merely long periods of time sitting or standing without moving. Some medicines (e.g. amlodipine, pregabalin) may also cause or worsen the condition).  Dizziness – may impare your ability to perform tasks such as driving or operating machinery.  Weight Gain – related to dose and duration exposure.  Abrupt or rapid discontinuation – symptoms can include insomnia, nausea, heachace and diarrhea.  You should not stop taking Lyrica without talking to your healthcare provider.
  • Precautions – There are not adequate studies of Lyrica with pregnant woman, and it is not known whether or not it is excreted in breast milk. If a patient takes the medication for more than several months, and the patient wants to stop taking it, the medication should be gradually weaned.
  • To learn more about Lyrica, click here.

Cymbalta - been demonstrated to help reduce pain and improve function.  When Cymbalta was studied in patients with fibromyalgia, many people felt significant pain reduction, compared with patients taking placebo. Individual results may vary.

  • How it is taken – Cymbalta comes in a capsule and can be taken once a day to help lessen pain associated with fibromyalgia. Cymbalta can be taken with or without food. You should not break, open, or chew the capsule. It should be swallowed whole. Make sure you take only the dose your doctor prescribes.
  • Side Effects - In clinical studies of fibromyalgia, the most commonly reported side effect of Cymbalta was nausea, dry mouth, sleepiness, fatigue, constipation, dizziness, decreased appetite & increased sweating.  This is not a complete list of side effects, and it is recommend you discuss any side effects with your doctor. Cymbalta may cause sleepiness and dizziness. Until you know how Cymbalta affects you, you should not drive a car or operate hazardous machinery.People age 65 and older who took Cymbalta reported more falls, some resulting in serious injuries.  You should not stop taking Cymbalta without talking to your healthcare provider.
  • To see when you should talk with your healthcare provider, click here.

Savella - used for the management of fibromyalgia in adults. In clinical studies that compared Savella to placebo, patients who took Savella said they felt less pain, their fibromyalgia overall was improved andtheir physical function was improved. Some patients who experienced overall improvement with Savella also experienced pain reduction as early as week one of taking a stable dose (the same dose every day). It may take several weeks for patients to feel the effect of Savella. Savella’s efficacy was tested in four studies. Nearly 4,000 adult patients participated in the studies and all of them met the American College of Rheumatology criteria for fibromyalgia. These criteria include having a history of widespread pain for at least 3 months and having pain present at 11 or more of 18 specific tender points.

  • Side Effects - The most common side effect associated with Savella treatment is nausea. In clinical trials, patients experiencing nausea described it as mild to moderate.  Other common side effects are headache, constipation, dizziness, insomnia, hot flush, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), vomiting, palpitations, increased heart rate, dry mouth, and hypertension.  This is not a complete list of side effects, and it is recommend you discuss any side effects with your doctor.  You should not stop taking Savella without talking to your healthcare provider.
  • To learn more about important risks, click here.

Leave comments below about what you have found that works – medication, supplements, etc.

About Michelle Arbore

I am 36 years old, married for 8 years and have an almost 3 year old, Michael Richard. We also have two cats (Anibel & Mama). I own my own social media management and coaching business that allows me to work from home. I like to read, listen to music, take photos, learn new things, shop, watch TV and spend time with family and friends. I also suffer from Fibromyalgia. I have suffered from this disease for over 15 years now. I started my blog so I could have a place to vent about what I am feeling. It has turned into a place where I post information about this disease, talk about books that I am reading about Fibro, and getting to meet other people who suffer from this.
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