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Antidepressant medication for fibromyalgia: Part 1

Many of us who suffer with fibromyalgia know that we take a rollercoaster ride on pain and pain medication. Sometimes it is tough finding just the right kind of medication. Then of course there are the physicians who do not believe in medication for fibromyalgia. Ditch them; they probably still hang on to the old belief that fibromyalgia does not exist.

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First medications prescribed for fibromyalgia

When first diagnosed with fibromyalgia you may find that the doctor has prescribed an antidepressant. Now it is not because he thinks your pain is all in your head. Antidepressants do work on fibromyalgia pain. Of course if you are going through a depression because of all the pain you are experiencing on a daily basis the antidepressant will help with these symptoms. The antidepressants will also help with pain and your sleeping habits so that you can get a better night’s sleep. Tricyclics which are antidepressants, have been used to treat fibromyalgia.

Tricyclics and fibromyalgia

How these antidepressants work is that they raise the amount of the chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. Elavil (amitriptyline) and Pamelor (nortriptyline) are two such antidepressants used for treating fibromyalgia. They provide a calming affect on the pain. People with fibromyalgia often do not have enough of these chemicals readily available in the brain.

Tricyclics also power up endorphins and can relax muscles. Like just about every medication, tricyclics can cause side effects such as dry mouth, drowsiness, constipation, dizziness and dry eyes.

There are newer antidepressants which have helped with the pain of fibromyalgia. These medications include: Cymbalta (duloxetine), Savella (milnacipran), and Effexor (venlafaxine). They help control pain and relieve sleep problems and fatigue. Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), and Celexa (citalopram) are sometimes used as well.

Like many medications, antidepressants work differently on different people so it might take awhile before the right medication or combinations of medication is found to be just right for you.


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