Fibromyalgia Medications

FDA-approved medications and more

Written by Edward J. Kowlowitz, MD

A variety of medications may treat your fibromyalgia symptoms, but understand that fibromyalgia has no known cure. Most medications help treat a portion of the disorder's symptoms. For instance, your doctor may recommend sleeping pills to relieve your insomnia or antidepressants to improve your mood. Based on your specific symptoms, your doctor will develop the right medication regimen for you.

Medications may make up only a part of your fibromyalgia treatment plan. To learn about other ways to reduce your chronic fibromyalgia pain, read our article about all fibromyalgia treatments.

The FDA has approved three drugs to treat fibromyalgia—pregabalin (marketed as Lyrica), duloxetine (Cymbalta), and milnacipran (Savella). Lyrica is an anti-epileptic, while Cymbalta and Savella are antidepressants. But these medications are not your only options. In fact, there are a variety of drugs and medications that treat the gamut of fibromyalgia symptoms.

Antidepressants for Fibromyalgia

In many cases, antidepressants are used as a first line of defense in fibromyalgia treatment. Doctors usually prescribe one or a combination of antidepressants from three classes—tricyclic anti-depressants, serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Anti-Epileptics:  Another Fibromyalgia Medication Option

Lyrica is an anti-epileptic (or anti-convulsant) that also happens to be the first FDA-approved drug to specifically treat fibromyalgia. 

Other anti-convulsants, such as gabapentin (Neurotontin), have also been used to treat symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, including TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) and myofascial pain.

Muscle Relaxants

The muscle relaxant cyclobenzaprine (Cycloflex and Flexeril) is often used early on in fibromyalgia treatment to relax tense muscles and promote quality sleep. Muscle relaxants may also successfully reduce TMJ and other aches and pains associated with fibromyalgia.

Other Fibromyalgia Medications

Medication Warning

Medications typically have side effects and other considerations that you should consider. Discuss all medications—even if they're over-the-counter and pose no apparent risk—with your doctor first.  That way, he or she will be better able to treat your fibromyalgia.

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Fibromyalgia Treatments