~ Current Drug Therapies for
FM/CMP by Devin Starlanyl
Q: I'm experience wide-spread pain and I am unable to sleep, but I am not clinically depressed. Why does my doctor insist on putting me on an antidepressant drug?
A: First off, Fm is not a mental illness, nor is it depression. The depression comes after months, even years of sleep loss and chronic pain. Anti-depressant drugs work by alterning seratonin and other chemicals your brain and central nervous system need to properly process thoughts, emotions and pain stimulus, lending credence to the theory that Fibromyalgia is a central nervous system condition. At this time, the reason anti-depressants work for those with FM is unknown. If your doctor suggests this line of treatment it does not mean they believe the pain is all in your head. Anti-depressants are not happy pills that will simply make you forget, or ignore your pain. A reputable doctor will prescribe this medication to restore stage four sleep and help with pain levels.
There are many old school and new anti-depressants on the market, work with your doctor to find the best medication with the fewest side-effects that will fit your life. Many of these drugs need to be taken for a few weeks before you will feel any beneficial effects, be prepared to devout a few weeks to each drug before deeming it unfit. Some may cause side effects at the beginning of treatment but these unpleasant symptoms eventually fade away. These can include drowsiness, decreased appetite, loss of co-ordination, loss of libido, extreme thirst and sleeplessness. (These medications may only help with pain levels in those who have only Fibromyalgia or those with mild Fibro. If you have Fibromyalgia coupled with Chronic Myofascial Pain, Arthritis, Lymes, GWS or other overlapping conditions you may need additional therapy)
Q: My doctor will not prescribe pain medication, what can I do?
A: You will be hard pressed to find a care provider who will provide pain medication if your only condition is Fibromyalgia. Often times small changes and a regimin of antidepressants and mild muscle relaxers, coupled with diet, water therapy, biofeedback, Behavioural Change Therapy and ergonomic work areas will alieve Fibro symptoms.
For many, Fibro is accompanied by Chronic Myofascial Pain or other pain causing conditions without cures. If this is the case and you experience constant pain that affects your ability to work, sleep, socialize etc. you should talk to your doctor about pain relief. If they are unwilling to listen, or help you should consider seeking out a pain clinic or another care provider if your insurance or finances allow.
Q: My Doctor is willing to give me pain medication but I can not afford it and have no insurance.
A: There are many agencies that will assist you. In many cases you can get your medications for free or at a low cost. For more information on how to apply for these benefits, go to Free or Low Cost Medication
Q: My doctor wants to put me on a drug for seizure disorders, why?
A: Again, anti seizure drugs like Neurontin work through the central nervous system, thought to be responsible for Fibromyalgia. While there is no scientifc reason to explain why neurontin or other seizure drugs help Fibromyalgia, there are numerous success stories. People on these drugs report improved sleep patterns, lower pain levels, less fatigue and much less fibro brain fog. These drugs are being prescribed off label, meaning the FDA has not approved them for use on the Fibromyalgia patient. Neurontin is being used in doses as high as 3,600 mgs a day and many new drugs are being announced.
Q: Does Guaifanisen really work for FM?
A: If you read the main stream, scientific evidence, than no, it does not work. If you talk to the multitudes of people using it for FM, then yes, it does work. Research this treatment for yourself before you try it. People who have commited to the Guai protocol report success while admitting that it is not an easy therapy to maintain. You have monitor your diet, your shampoo, soap, toothpaste and any product you use to make sure it does not contain Salicyliates. For more information on this protocol, subscribe to this online Guai support group.
Guaifenisen Support list.
Subject: (leave blank)
In the message put:
SUB GUAI-SUPPORT first-name last-name
Make sure you use this link or if you type it in make sure you have it in all capitol letters.
Q: I am currently taking Elavil to restore my sleep patterns and help with my depression. I am gaining weight even though I have not changed my lifestyle. Could the Elavil be a problem in this area?
A: Yes, Elavil, or as it is known under its generic name amitriptyline, is known for causing weight gain in those who use it. There are many new medications in this category of drugs that will give you the same benefit without the weight gain.
Q: I use over the counter medications or herbal supplements for depression or to help me sleep. Is this safe?
A: Make sure your care provider is aware of any over the counter medication you are taking as well as any herbal supplements. Many people take over the counter medication to help them sleep, your doctor needs know so that they do not prescribe a medication that will have a bad interaction. ST. Johns Wort is another popular over the counter supplement many people use for depression or mood elevation, make sure your doctor is aware of the fact that you are using this. St. Johns wort thins the blood and it can have deadly consequences if you undergo a surgical procedure or if you are given blood thinners. Research all medications, minerals, vitamins or other supplements you are taking to avoid deadly combinations at Medication Checker.
Q: I have a stash of pain medication given to me by friends and family who have had surgery or dental procedures. I use this pain medication when breakthrough pain is unbearable. Can I die or be arrested?
A: Legally speaking, this is wrong, a controlled substance can only be ingested by the person named on the prescription. Morally speaking, many of us do it, we have to find relief to keep from walking in front of a fast moving bus. Pain is under treated in this country and those with multiple conditions that affect their ability to earn a living for their family or live any type of normal life are hung out to dry. If our care providers and researchers in this country cant find a reason for our pain, and they refuse to treat it, we do what we can to stay alive. If you stash pain medication from a relatives root canal, PLEASE do some research to make sure the drug will not have an adverse effect on any other medication you are taking, THINK before you swallow and always make sure a friend or family member knows what you have taken so that they may notify EMS workers in the case of accident or illness.
Go to any medication checker online to find drug interactions. USE THEM WISELY and consider finding a new doctor to help you maintain your pain levels.
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Page Updated: January 15, 2009