A single drug or multiple drugs?
There is no magic pill for fibromyalgia that will cure all of your symptoms or flares, and will effectively work on every patient. However, a set of carefully chosen drugs in regards to one’s triggers might aid the patients in better managing their fibromyalgia. A few drugs are more focused on alleviating the aches or discomforts, the other ones however are more concerned with providing energy to the body, and some deal with maintaining the sleep cycle. The patients might take more than one medication to help with their fibromyalgia management and treatment.
Strictly speaking, there is only a trio of drugs approved by the FDA for the cure of fibromyalgia, which are:
- The anti-depressants, Duloxetine formulated drug, Cymbalta and Milnacipran formulation drug, Savella
- The Anti-seizure medicine, made by pregabalin formulation, Lyrica.
Nonetheless, the doctors might prescribe some other medications which are not specifically formulated to treat fibromyalgia to the patients to treat or alleviate other symptoms, and these medications are often given the name of “off-label drugs”.
Drug combinations normally used and FDA approvals:
Fibromyalgia sufferers are normally treated with anti-depression medication, pain relievers, sleeping pills, and muscle relaxing medicines. Lyrica (pregabalin) was the first-ever drug that had the FDA approval particularly for the treatment of fibromyalgia in the June of 2007, and duloxetine hydrochloride based drug Cymbalta was the second medication to seek FDA approval in 2008, and Milnacipran HCI formed drug, Savella added itself to the list in 2009 and became the third FDA approved drug for the cure of fibromyalgia.
Speculated mechanism of action
Cymbalta, Savella, and Lyrica are known for alleviating discomfort, and improving the overall body activity and performance in various fibromyalgia patients. As the pain sensitization and intensity are quite pronounced in fibromyalgia sufferers compared to normal individuals, the exact mechanism through which these drugs relieve this pain remains unknown. The records indicate these medications influence the discharge of neurotransmitters within the brain. Neurotransmitters are specific chemical messengers that are used for transferring information from one brain cell to the other. It is generally known that a regimen involving the use of Cymbalta, Savella, and Lyrica, does alleviate the discomfort and aggravation experienced by fibromyalgia patients.
Every single one of the fibromyalgia medications has its side effect which varies from mild to serious ones. The doctors and the patients will have to figure out the perfect medication for the fibromyalgia sufferers based on their symptoms and side-effects severity.
These drugs aid in appeasing the discomfort and other aggravating fibromyalgia symptoms, even if you are not depressed. These drugs work by increasing the amounts of molecules like serotonin and norepinephrine which assists in pain management.
Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
These drugs help with pain-relieving, sleep regulation, and mood swings. This group of drugs includes duloxetine-based drugs, Cymbalta and milnacipran formulation, Savella.
Elli Lilly and Co., marketed the drug Cymbalta had been approved earlier for the sake of the treatment of anxiety, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and depression. The most marked side effects of this medicine include excessive sweating, loss of appetite, clumsiness, digestive problems, dryness of mouth, constipation, and nausea. Cymbalta is also known to augment the chances of suicidal thoughts and habits in patients, like many other antidepressant drugs. Depression is also one of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
Savella, the medication retailed by Forest Pharmaceuticals Inc., is the first-ever drug to be formally and officially approved for the treatment of fibromyalgia. In the United States of America, Savella is not employed for the treatment of depression, but instead, it works as an antidepressant medication and other mental disorders. The side effects comprise digestive problems, vomiting, clumsiness, laziness, increased sweating, nausea, constipation, dryness in the mouth, palpitations or increased rate of heartbeat, and increased blood pressure.
Efficacy and usage
Research carried out on both the drugs indicates that a significant proportion of individuals with fibromyalgia have experienced better pain-relieving, the others however didn’t benefit from this. Savella and Cymbalta have been approved for usage in adults 18 years and older. The manufacturers of this drug have been permitted to study the effects of these drugs in children with fibromyalgia and breastfeeding women.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
These drugs are extremely effective to alleviate the pain, discomfort, and anxiety accompanied by Fibromyalgia. This group of drugs comprises of the following ones:
- Celexa formulated drug, Citalopram
- Prozac formulation drug, Fluoxetine
- Lexapro, the Escitalopram drug.
- Paroxetine or Paxil or Pexeva
- Sertraline or Zoloft
This drug group is an earlier kind of antidepressant drug. Amitriptyline (Elavil) is a famously used tricyclic drug. When consumed in low dosages, these drugs improve with the pain, and tiredness as well as the sleep cycle. The most common disadvantages include a gain of weight and sleepiness.
These drugs are employed in the treatment of epileptic seizures and may aid in the pain and discomfort caused by Fibromyalgia. These drugs help to relieve the pain by prevention of the pain signal transition from sensitive nerves to the brain.
Lyrica or Pregabalin:
Branded by Pfizer Inc., the drug Lyrica was formerly accepted for the treatment of seizures and discomfort from the injured nerves, which often happens in Diabetes patients, and is called Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy, and for the individuals who experience pain after getting affected by the shingles rash. The side effects of this medication involve drowsiness, blurred vision, dryness of mouth, lack of concentration, gain in weight, dizziness, and swelling of feet and hands. In rare conditions, allergic reactions might also occur.
This drug has been shown to lessen the pain and aid in the regularity of the sleep cycle. It is similar to Pregabalin and works similarly. The possible side effects that may arise are:
- Blurred Vision
- Gain in weight
- Swelling in the Feet and Hands
This set of drugs can aid in relieving the aches and pain caused by fibromyalgia.
These medications include Acetaminophen and NSAIDs like ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin.