Fibromyalgia treatment includes medication as well as non-medication therapies. Most people with fibromyalgia benefit from a combination of treatments.
Three drugs, all taken as pills, have been approved to treat fibromyalgia. Talk to your doctor about possible side effects. The drugs are:
- Duloxetine, which changes brain chemicals that control pain signals
- Milnacipran, which works similarly to duloxetine
- Pregabalin, which blocks the activity of pain nerve cells
Strong pain medications known as opioids are not useful for fibromyalgia pain and actually may make the condition worse. Some people benefit from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Non-medication therapies for fibromyalgia may include:
Exercise: Research shows that exercise may be the best treatment. It also may be combined with mental relaxation therapies like yoga or tai chi.
Cognitive behavioral therapy: Through this talk therapy, you learn how to deal with fibromyalgia symptoms in a positive way. It may include stress-reduction techniques like meditation.
Complementary and alternative therapies: Massage, acupuncture and chiropractic care also may benefit some people.
Lifestyle changes: To help you manage your symptoms, try to:
- Avoid stress when possible and use relaxation techniques to reduce stress.
- Get regular hours of sleep.
- Avoid daytime naps and caffeine or alcohol later in the day.
- Get some exercise every day.
- Not smoke.
NIH, Questions and Answers about Fibromyalgia, https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/fibromyalgia/
American College of Rheumatology, Fibromyalgia, http://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Fibromyalgia
CDC, Fibromyalgia, https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/fibromyalgia.htm