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If you are a family member, friend or patient. This is very important!
This is a very tough subject for a lot of us. I thought this really needed to be addressed and found this wonderful resource from the American Pain Foundation. Please take the time to read this very short document. 

Pain Medications


Pain medication is taken in order to reduce the amount, duration, or awareness of pain.

What is the information for this topic?

Over-the-counter pain medicine Many pain medicines are available over the counter without a prescription. Common over-the-counter pain medicines include:
 nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are all NSAIDs.

Prescription pain medicine These are available only with a prescription from a healthcare professional. Examples include:
 anticonvulsants, which can relieve chronic nerve pain. Examples include phenytoin (i.e. Dilantin), carbamazepine (i.e. Tegretol), and gabapentin (i.e. Neurontin).
 antidepressants, which may relieve certain kinds of chronic pain. Common antidepressants include amitriptyline (i.e. Elavil), trazodone (i.e. Desyrel), and imipramine (i.e. Tofranil).
 capsaicin, a cream that can relieve skin pain caused by shingles, nerve problems, and other causes
 corticosteroids, such as prednisone, which can relieve pain from inflammation
 Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) inhibitors such as celecoxib (i.e. Celebrex) and meloxicam (i.e. Mobic) are helpful for inflammatory pain such as from arthritis.
 narcotics, which are the most effective for moderate to severe pain. Common narcotics include morphine (i.e. Avinza, MS Contin), codeine, meperidine (i.e. Demerol), oxycodone (i.e. OxyContin), hydromorphone (i.e. Dilaudid) and methadone.
 sumatriptan (i.e. Imitrex) and naratriptan (i.e. Amerge), which can relieve the pain of a migraine headache
 tramadol (i.e. Ultram), which is used mainly for chronic pain

Side effects All medicines have potential side effects, including allergic reactions. Other common side effects of pain medicines include:
 stomach upset, gastrointestinal bleeding and kidney failure are potential side effects of NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors
 liver damage with high doses of acetaminophen, especially when it is used for long periods of time
 diabetes, osteoporosis, and increased risk of infection with long-term use of corticosteroids
 dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea with tramadol
 drowsiness and confusion with anticonvulsants, especially within the first 2 weeks of starting the medicine
 drowsiness, nausea, constipation, itchiness, urinary hesitancy and potential addiction with narcotics. Patients taking narcotics for more than 2 weeks may experience withdrawal if the narcotic dose is not gradually tapered.
 dry mouth, drowsiness, and constipation with antidepressants
 rarely, increased blood pressure with sumatriptan and naratriptan

Some people have severe pain that will not respond to over-the-counter pain medicines. These people should talk to a healthcare professional. First, the cause of the pain can be investigated, and possibly treated. If no cause can be found, or if the cause is not treatable, the healthcare professional can prescribe a medication or combination of medications to provide relief. In some persons, physical therapy or other non-medication forms of treatment may work better than medication. Pain specialists are available to help with the care of persons whose pain problems are especially difficult to manage.

Fibromyalgia Treatments - An Overview

 Common, Alternative & Experimental Fibromyalgia Treatments

By , Guide
Updated January 16, 2010

A lot of different fibromyalgia treatments are available, and each of us needs a customized treatment regimen. It's important to work with your doctor(s) to find what works for you. It can take a lot of experimentation to find your ideal combination of fibromyalgia treatments.

Fibromyalgia Treatments – A Multidisciplinary Approach

Some experts say the best fibromyalgia treatment is a multidisciplinary approach. That means a team of professionals with different skill and specialties finding what works best for each patient. The suggested team includes:
  • Rheumatologist
  • Medical psychologist
  • Physical therapist
  • Massage therapist
  • Exercise physiologist

Drugs as Fibromyalgia Treatments

Prescription drugs are often the first fibromyalgia treatment people try. Along with fibromyalgia, however, frequently comes a sensitivity to medications and a high likelihood of having side effects, so experts recommend using the lowest possible dose.
The only medications officially approved as fibromyalgia treatments areLyrica (pregabalin), Cymbalta (duloxetine) and Savella (milnacipran). Doctors frequently prescribe a variety of other drugs as fibromyalgia treatments as well.

Sleep Problems & Fibromyalgia Treatment

Better sleep is proven to alleviate symptoms, so solving sleep problems is a common part of fibromyalgia treatment.
It's hard enough to sleep when you're in pain, but the sleep problems that can go along with fibromyalgia are more complicated that that. Many fibromyalgia suffers also have chronic fatigue syndrome and sleep disorders such as insomnia. A lot of people with fibromyalgia are on prescription sleep medications.
Getting treatment for sleep disorders can help alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms. If you suspect you may have a sleep disorder, you should talk to your doctor about getting a sleep study.
Researchers aren't sure whether people with fibromyalgia also are often clinically depressed because of their symptoms or because the two conditions have a common physiological cause (or both.) It's important to watch for signs of depression and to talk to a doctor if you think you are depressed. You may benefit from antidepressant drugs, counseling, or both.
Antidepressant drugs are common fibromyalgia treatments, in people with or without depression.
Treating other symptoms:
Drugs that typically aren't effective fibromyalgia treatments:
With the possible exception of steroids, these drugs aren't considered detrimental, they're just generally not effective for fibromyalgia. It is OK to take them for other conditions. Some people with fibromyalgia have bad reactions to steroids, while others do not.

Trigger-Point Injections as Fibromyalgia Treatment

A trigger point differs from the tender points used to diagnose fibromyalgia. Trigger points are tight, ropy bands of muscle that form when a muscle does not relax properly. They're often formed as a result of physical trauma, but doctors don't yet understand why some people develop them while others do not. The trigger point can irritate or trap nerves and cause what's called referred pain, which is pain felt elsewhere along the nerve. Frequently, you can feel a trigger point just below the skin, and if you push on it you could cause an involuntary twitch.
As a fibromyalgia treatment, trigger-point injections (TPIs) are sometimes used to treat these extremely painful areas. The doctor inserts a small needle directly into the trigger point and injects a local anesthetic such as lidocaine or procaine. (Doctors frequently use corticosteroids as well, but these drugs are not recommended for fibromyalgia patients.) The injection can cause a twitch or pain that last for up to a few minutes. Patients typically report lasting relief after just a few treatments.

Acupuncture; Bodywork as Fibromyalgia Treatment

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese technique that has become more popular in the U.S. over the past 20 years. According to the Mayo Clinic, scientists don't fully understand how acupuncture works, but some studies have shown it to be medically beneficial in many ways, including pain reduction. The specific acupuncture technique used to treat pain is sometimes called dry needling and is performed by certified acupuncturists and some physicians.
When performed correctly, acupuncture is considered a low-risk procedure with few side effects, and it can be used either alone or in combination with other fibromyalgia treatment methods. Possible side effects include soreness, bleeding or bruising at the needle sites, and feeling tired after a session. In rare cases, an internal organ could be injured.
Several other alternative/complementary treatments are used as fibromyalgia treatments as well, including massage, reiki and other types of bodywork; and mind-body treatments such as biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnosis. Some of these fibromyalgia treatments are supported by scientific evidence, while others are not. Still, even where there's not scientific evidence, many people report success from these kinds of fibromyalgia treatments.

Experimental Protocols as Fibromyalgia Treatments

Several doctors and researchers have developed fibromyalgia treatment protocols that are backed by little or no scientific evidence. These doctors/researchers and many of their patients claim the protocols work.
Other patients, however, say the protocols weren't successful for them, and some experts say the protocols are little more than placebos and could even harm your health. It's important to involve your doctor in any decisions you make on untested treatments.
Sources:, Inc., Aug. 8, 2007. All rights reserved. "Trigger Point Injections"
Regina P. Gilliland, MD, Department of Internal Medicine; Division of Rehab Medicine, Mobile Infirmary Medical Center"Fibromyalgia"
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, June 16, 2006. All rights reserved. "Acupuncture: sharp answers to pointed questions"

Treating Fibromyalgia Pain with Medications:

MediGuard - For those of us on too many medications to keep straight

For those of us with too many medications to keep straight, please don't leave it up to one or multiple doctor's to keep them straight. You need to take care of this yourself as well. I recommend It's secure and very easy, only took me about 10 minutes to enter about 14 medications. Also, they have a lot of tweets on Twitter of interactions and info about the kind of medications we all take. Enjoy!

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