How Do Fibromyalgia Agents Work?

Reviewed on 1/19/2022

How do fibromyalgia agents work?

Fibromyalgia agents are medications prescribed to treat fibromyalgia, a condition that causes chronic widespread pain, with associated symptoms such as fatigue, sleep and memory problems, anxiety, and depression. Fibromyalgia agents are also used to treat other painful conditions such as diabetic neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia.

Fibromyalgia is thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and dysfunctional neurotransmission resulting in low pain threshold and abnormal pain perception. Fibromyalgia agents reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia by restoring the brain's chemical balance and preventing abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

Primarily, two classes of medications are used as fibromyalgia agents:

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

SNRIs are antidepressant medications used to treat depression. SNRIs raise the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine by preventing their reabsorption (reuptake), a natural process in the brain. Serotonin and norepinephrine are chemicals (neurotransmitters) released by nerve cells (neurons) in the brain to transmit nerve signals.

Serotonin and norepinephrine play important roles in mood regulation and pain modulation. An increase in serotonin and norepinephrine levels improves mood and increases energy, and regulation of their activity alters pain perception and pain threshold.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) analogs

GABA analogs are synthetic derivatives of GABA, a natural inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. GABA analogs do not affect the levels of GABA but block the inflow of calcium ions into nerve cells (neurons), which prevents the conduction of abnormal electrical impulses that transmit pain signals and/or cause seizure activity.


Fibromyalgia Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment See Slideshow

How are fibromyalgia agents used?

Fibromyalgia agents are oral tablets, capsules, or solutions approved by the FDA for the treatment of the following conditions:

What are side effects of fibromyalgia agents?

Side effects of fibromyalgia agents may include the following:

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

What are names of some fibromyalgia agents?

Generic and brand names of fibromyalgia agents include:


What characterizes fibromyalgia? See Answer

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