Fibromyalgia Treatment: Medications
Traditionally, the most effective medications in the treatment of fibromyalgia have been the tricyclic antidepressants, medications often used in treating depression. Tricyclic antidepressants appear to reduce fatigue, relieve muscle pain and spasm, and promote deep, restorative sleep in patients with fibromyalgia. Examples of tricyclic antidepressants commonly used in treating fibromyalgia include amitriptyline (Elavil) and doxepin (Sinequan). Studies have shown that adding fluoxetine (Prozac), or related medications, to low-dose amitriptyline further reduces muscle pain, anxiety, and depression in patients with fibromyalgia. The combination is also more effective in promoting restful sleep and improving an overall sense of well-being. In 2007, pregabalin (Lyrica) became the first medication approved specifically for treating fibromyalgia. Lyrica may work by blocking nerve pain in patients with fibromyalgia. More recently, duloxetine (Cymbalta) and milnacipran (Savella), drugs that simultaneously increase the amount of two brain nerve transmitters, serotonin and norepinephrine, have been approved to treat fibromyalgia in adults.