fibro-pills-pain

Expecting too much from medication

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved three drugs for fibromyalgia: Lyrica (pregabalin), Cymbalta (duloxetine), and Savella (milnacipran).

These drugs may or may not work for you, or be only partially effective. They can also be expensive or may have side effects, including psychiatric problems, Dr. Baethge says.

Be flexible about your options and be willing to switch if necessary. “Treatment for fibromyalgia is not just one medicine. It’s a lifestyle,” he says.

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Refusing to consider off-label drugs

Off-label drugs are those that are approved for use with one condition but frequently given to people with another condition.

For instance, fibromyalgia patients are often treated with antidepressants, even though not all antidepressants are specifically approved for this condition.

Some people get dramatic relief with both older and newer generations of antidepressants.

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Not exploring alternatives

What’s considered an alternative treatment in conventional medicine may not be for fibromyalgia.

For instance, Dr. Baethge says, “Yoga is not considered an alternative treatment for fibromyalgia. We use stretching exercises as a mainstay of therapy.”

Learning how to relieve stress through meditation, biofeedback techniques, or Tai chi, a Chinese martial art, can also be helpful. Check out the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine for more on Tai chi.

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