Fibromyalgia and Prescription Drugs

by Dr. Steven Yen

Everyone needs to pave his or her own road to wellness. While some people choose a natural path, others’ path may include the use of prescription drugs. Everyone has a different journey, but Fibromyalgia sufferers need to be aware of possible issues with prescription drugs. That way, they can make the best possible choices for their personal treatment.

Narcotics:  Sometimes Oxycodone or morphine sulfate may be prescribed for severe pain.  Doctors are hesitant to prescribe these prescription_drugsdrugs because of issues of addiction. Now, not everyone who takes narcotics will end up addicted; however, it is estimated that 1 .7 million people over the age of 12 are abusing narcotics.  While narcotics, no doubt, provide pain relief, they also have some alarming side effects. Narcotics can cause drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, weakness, and dry mouth. Also, narcotics mask the pain, they do not help solve the root of the problem and they are only recommended for short-term use.

Muscle Relaxers:  Muscle relaxers are often prescribed to help Fibromyalgia patients sleep and deal with pain. Muscle relaxers are habit forming as well, and their side effects could interfere with the functions of every day life.  Side effects may include drowsiness, mood changes, rapid heartbeat, nervousness, muscle weakness, and speech disorders.  Most muscle relaxers are not recommended for long-term use.

Sleeping Pills:  The problem with medication that induces sleep is that it “knocks you out.”  While that may sound like a dream come true to the very fatigued, it is not the optimal way to get the rest you need long-term.  In order to get the deep, restorative sleep your body needs to repair itself, your brain needs to go through the natural sleep cycle. Sleeping medication interrupts this natural cycle.

Lyrica:  Lyrica is actually an exciting development, it was the first FDA approved Fibromyalgia medication.  This approval has brought Fibromyalgia into the public consciousness as a REAL condition.  Lyrica may cause swelling, weight gain, dizziness, sleepiness, and decreased concentration, and while many people find some relieif, Lyrica may not work for every patient.

Short-term use of prescription drugs is a very personal decision. What may work for one person, may cause another person intolerable side effects. Yet, you do need to do what is right for YOU.

Whether you decide to use prescription drugs or not, it is IMPORTANT to have a TREATMENT PLAN that solves the chemical, structural, and emotional components that are at the ROOT cause of Fibromyalgia.  You need to break the cycle of pain, not just mask it.

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About Steven Yen

As a former member of the teaching faculty of the prestigious Trigenics Institute, Steven Yen has been treating Fibromyalgia naturally, without the use of drugs or surgery for patients in his private practice since 2002. He is also founder of the world's most popular Facebook page for managing Fibro naturally.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen B April 30, 2013

What are your opinions on the use of medical marijuana for fibromyalgia or CMP


LeonaS April 30, 2013

I have used Lyrica for two years and also a couple different pain medications, I had some relief, enough to get by on until quite by accident and sheer frustration I embarked on 365 degree turn around in my dietary intake and cut out all processed foods which is a lot of “food”! I started juicing and only eating “real food” you know the stuff tucked away on the side aisle of the grocery store called – fruits and vegetables and in the back aisle its called – meats. Within 2 months I was pain free and drug free. If I want to stay pain free and I really do all I need to do is eat real food, one bite of processed anything and boom I’m racked with pain and bloating, who wants that? I just wonder if anyone else has had success with this?


Tracy May 20, 2013

LeonaS -

The same thing happened to me! I never tried Lyrica because I didn’t like the long list of side-effects and because my husband took it and felt like CRAP, so I didn’t want to chance it.
I tried lots of pills, but the thing that helped the most was changing my diet. But, it’s tough and I do fall back on bad eating habits when I get overwhelmed, tired and/or depressed (which is the worst time to eat crappy).
The things that work best for me are:
1. Removing nearly all sugar from my diet
2. NEVER consuming artificial sweeteners of ANY kind
3. Having an undenatured whey protein shake for breakfast (I use Isagenix IsaLean and I LOVE it because it’s totally natural/organic, easy and tastes amazing)
4. Including several servings of “good” fats in my diet (2 Tbsp of coconut oil per day, a few nuts (I love almonds), a bit of olive oil, fish, ghee) each day
5. Drinking 1/2 my body weight in ounces of water each day (if you weigh 150lbs, drink at least 75oz of water)
6. Avoiding processed foods, junk foods, food additives (food dyes and other nasty things that are added to processed foods)
7. Eating lots of fruit, veggies and lean protein
8. Avoiding dairy products and gluten 75 – 80% of the time.
9. No MILK
10. Some physical activity every single day. Not necessarily working out, but being active.
Basically a modified paleo diet. I’m not super-strict paleo, but I feel best when I follow the paleo diet about 80% of the time.
I’ve also heard that avoiding foods in the nightshade family (eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, etc.) can help those of us with Fibromyalgia and/or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but I love my potatoes and tomatoes.
If you’d like to connect and maybe exchange info about what works for one another, please comment here and maybe we can connect via Facebook or e-mail.
Oh, I almost forgot – I also use Trace Minerals Ionic Magnesium.


Dee May 2, 2013

Cymbalta and Magnesium Malate work a great deal for me.


Monica May 2, 2013

I feel as though synthetic drugs created in a laboratory are not natural for the human body.We are made from the earth and should use what we can that also comes from the Earth. I am either allergic or sensitive to most meds. Which I actually don’t mind. But after nose surgery my face really started bothering me, my doctor put me on Nuycinta. Which does not make me sick, just a little loopy. It does actually help my pain, finally. I still take it during flare ups or on really bad days, but never for more than 2 days at a time. I do not take pain pills on a schedule, all of mine are PRN, as needed. I think that if we take these kinds of medications on a regular schedule, we get dependent upon them instead of trying different options. I have been eating almost all fresh foods and drinking vitamin D milk, plus a multivitamin for 3 weeks now and have already noticed that I am getting some relief. I also drink Aloe Vera Juice everyday about 10oz. helps my digestion and arthritis. My opinion is that we will most probably have this condition our whole lives and we need to consider the side affects of these medications in the long run. Especially on our liver and kidney functions. I hope everyone who is using multiple prescription drugs is having a liver/kidney function test at least every 2 years, I do and I don’t even take every med every day.


Jo-Anne Wizz May 12, 2013

Cannot take any of them Lyrica was like hell did nothing for my pain at all , all it gave me was really horrible side effects & put on heaps of weight.
Tramadol i couldn’t even get off of the couch found it hard to function, passed out, continually nearly passing out heaps of times even went out several times everything went black had to force myself to wake up washed my face, told my then told Doctor that i wasn’t going to take them anymore.
Loads more medications & not responding to non narcotics.

I am taking Authorised medication through my Rheumatologist – Norspan Patches have just reached it’s peak in the amount can only go up to, still constant pain & agony with daily headaches. Just recently started taken another medication for Parkinson’s disease .. see what happens.

All the best to All FMS & CFS sufferers wishing you success in your fight & survival with Fibro Sleepness & meds. Especially finding something that works for you.

Everyone have a great fab day … Cheers!


Roberta Maynard May 20, 2013

How do you find the root components?