Monday, 10 February 2014

What treatments are there for fibromyalgia?

There’s no cure as yet for fibromyalgia, but there are ways of managing your symptoms. Your doctor will be able to suggest treatments to tackle specific aspects of the condition.

Drugs for fibromyalgia

Your doctor can prescribe medication to help with your symptoms.
Painkillers like paracetamol can help to relieve pain.
Drugs such as low-dose amitriptyline and dosulepin can reduce muscle pain and improve your sleep pattern. These drugs need to be taken 2–3 hours before you settle at night. You may not feel the benefit straight away so try them for a few months to see whether they help. Your doctor will gradually increase the dose to an effective level.
Antidepressants, such as fluoxetine or paroxetine, can help with both pain and low mood.
Drugs such as pregabalin and gabapentin have been used to treat pain. You’ll need to take them for a period of 6 weeks to assess whether they’re helpful.
Duloxetine can help with pain and sleep disturbance.

Physical therapies for fibromyalgia

Your doctor may refer you to a physiotherapist or occupational therapist for further treatment and advice.


Physiotherapy can help you to improve your posture, stretch and relax your muscles, and gradually become more active. Physiotherapists can also advise you about relaxation techniques.

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy can help you to manage your everyday jobs without increasing your pain or wearing yourself out. Your occupational therapist may suggest pacing yourself, changing the way you work or using labour-saving gadgets.

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