Getting a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia can be relieving, yet terrifying, all at the same time. For those dealing with unexplained symptoms, just to know it has a name can be reassuring. However that relief can replaced by overwhelm as we enter into the world of fibromyalgia treatment. There are currently only 3 FDA approved medications for fibromyalgia, all of which focus on the nervous system. For many, these types of medications are new and can come with scary sounding side effects. Why are these the medications approved and what do they do? What do they not do?
What is Fibromyalgia?
When talking about a treatment approach for fibromyalgia it is important to first understand what we currently know about why Fibromyalgia occurs and how it impacts the body. Fibromyalgia is a systemic pain syndrome, characterized by chronic muscle & joint pain, fatigue, mood changes and mental fog. Much of the research has been focused on the nervous system (as opposed to inflammation) as the pain experienced seems to be due to an alteration in how we perceive pain (which is all controlled by our nervous system). This explains why the 3 approved medications act on the nervous system, but can also help guide you when discussing “off-label” treatment options. (Options that may be beneficial but are currently not FDA approved).
In the video above we talk about what the Fibromyalgia research has shown us and we then get into some details regarding those 3 FDA approved medications (spoiler – they are Duloxetine, Pregabalin & Milnacipran). And finally I speak a bit about 3 non-medicinal therapies that have over and over again shown to be beneficial for fibromyalgia.
There is NO way a 10 min video can explain everything there is to know about fibromyalgia and fibromyalgia treatments. There is so much information out there, some valid, some more shaky. Understanding the research, the approved medications and commonly prescribed non-medicinal therapies are a necessary first step when starting this journey.
In good health,