Posted in: Health Studies

Fibromyalgia Drugs Only Effective For 22 Percent

Common Medication Not Effective Treating Fibromyalgia

Research has revealed that fibromyalgia drugs are only effective for 22 percent of patients. Twenty-one percent of patients taking medication for the debilitating syndrome have to stop due to unwanted side effects.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome, most common in women, that is thought to cause long-term symptoms of pain and tenderness in soft tissues. Patients regularly report experiencing chronic muscle pain and fatigue which can lead to depression and insomnia.

As discussed by PubMed Health, the actual cause of Fibromyalgia is unknown, but it is thought to be triggered by trauma, illness, or emotional stress. Symptoms of pain can range from mild tenderness to severe debilitating pain.

Fibromyalgia is typically diagnosed by exploring a series of points including the chest, knees, and lower back for tenderness or pain. Three months or more of tenderness of pain in 11 of the 18 points is considered to indicate fibromyalgia. Blood tests can be performed to rule out other illness that may display similar symptoms.

Treatment for fibromyalgia focuses on symptom management. Stress relief, physical therapy, and a weight loss program can be combined with pain medication and mental health treatment to ease symptoms.

Unfortunately, according to research, fibromyalgia drugs are only effective in 22 percent of patients. Medications commonly used to treat the pain of fibromyalgia have been shown to cause unpleasant side effects. These side effects, as revealed in the review, have caused 21 percent of patients to quit taking the medication.

The study involved over 6,000 adults taking duloxetine and milnacipran, commonly sold as Cymbalta and Savella, or a placebo. The review, as reported by Science News, revealed that the medications commonly used to treat fibromyalgia are not helpful for many patients. Brian Walitt, M.D., M.P.H., who co-authored the review discusses the findings:

“The medical field does poorly with the treatment of fibromyalgia in general, chasing [a cure] with medicine doesn’t seem to work. The people who seem to me to do best sort of figure it out on their own by thinking about things, getting to know themselves, and making changes in their lives to accommodate who they’ve become.”

Patients suffering from fibromyalgia are encouraged to make lifestyle changes instead of, or in addition to, taking medication. As fibromyalgia drugs are only effective in 22 percent of patients, new methods of treatment for symptoms must be explored.

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18 Responses to “Fibromyalgia Drugs Only Effective For 22 Percent”

  1. Melissa Wood

    There are SO many people suffering needlessly from this illness and there is a LOT of natural health care remedies that can help. It's a shame that the only option given to most women is prescription medication that causes side effects and really only helps 22% of the time! Why doesn't modern medicine address the underlying CAUSE of this illness? In working with many women who have had this illness, I have found that there are 3 common issues: diet, hormones and stress! This is a very treatable illness, especially using natural remedies that can help to restore the body's balance AND do it without harmful side effects. If you suffer from an illness like this and you're not getting help from modern medicine, please consider searching out other health care providers like Naturopaths, Chiropractors or Acupuncturists…all of which can offer a perspective that modern medicine often misses.

  2. Tina L Bittner

    So sick of trying to fight it sometimes. It's exausting enough to deal with the constant pain, which has gotten unbearable…much less try to figure it all out on our own. I'm just tired right now, tired of hurting, and tired of being tired. Just ready to cry and say fckit, and take a break from it……..Oh yeah…we don't get a break do we? :'(

  3. Barb Sonnemann

    I know just what you mean. And to know that all it will do is get worse makes it terrifying. What happens when I can't work anymore… when it hurts today, how much more will it hurt in 5 years, 10 years…

  4. Julie Baker Morse

    Sleep is also a major issue. Fibromyalgia should be a team effort. The team should include a primary/internist, a sleep specialist, a neurologist, an endocrinologist, a physical/occupational therapist, an orthopedist, and any other specialties warranted by the patient's particular symptoms. In addition, a chiropractor, accupuncturist and naturopath can be helpful. Healthcare systems should consider starting fibro clinics, with all of the above under one roof.

    Additionally, every symptom a fibro patient has is often chalked up to the fibro. Proper evaluation of the symptoms just doesn't happen very often. As a result, many patients are left to suffer, when they have symptoms causes by a separate condition that can be treated.

    If the medical community returned to a thorough and proper evaluation and diagnostic procedure, EVERY patient would be much better off.

  5. Tranquillity Jo

    and Massage therapy! LOl I could REALLY go for a massage right now… :(

  6. Tranquillity Jo

    Barb Sonnemann
    I cant work already… i call in when i have a flair up because i cant move and i get fired :(

  7. Tranquillity Jo

    I wish i had children, it would give me a reason to live, a purpose in life.. :(((

  8. Retha Miller

    Having had FM for 10 years now I can safely say massage is not good it causes flare ups. Then you are in much worse shape!

  9. Retha Miller

    Everyone one has a purpose,and there are thousands of children out there looking to have someone to brighten up their day,have a go at them and buck up attitude is important to this ailment =)

  10. Vicky Moore

    I have a dear friend who has fibromyalgia AND restless leg syndrome. She was so bad that she could not get out of bed and had to quit her job and take a medical retirement. Then she found a new company that just came to the US with an awesome body clense product that removed all the toxins in her body that was making her so sick! Within 3 days she was moving again and by 7 days she was walking as if nothing was wrong! She feels awesome and is also taking their nutritionals and hardly feels her myalgia any longer! They also have an awesome weightloss product that I have been using (homeopathic) and have lost 40 lbs just since September….this same friend has lost almot 75 lbs since July! Don't give up people….there is help out there! If you want more info go to if you want info sent to you! All natural homeopathic products, no GMO's, Hormones, Soy or Dairy in any of their products…GLUTEN FREE too.

  11. Linda Jones Womack

    I was diagnosed with fibrocytis in 1983. At that time hardly any dr. Would treat it. I started with amitritoline which caused me to gain a lot of weight. After that I took ibuprofen by th handful. I am now 66 years old, and I fight this damn stuff daily. I am on lyrica and it has helped quite a bit but when this crap decides to flair up, it is mighty painful with really nothing to slow it down. So to sum it up you can't give in to it, you have to try to stay ahead of it. No way to kick its butt. Just hang in and hope for some kind if break through….

  12. Theresa Wirth

    I have fibro and lupus. I take savella and gabapentin. I also exercise a lot and my flare ups are not as often nor bad. Before I started this I was stuck in bed. Having a positive attitude and outlook helps the most.

  13. Theresa Wirth

    I have fibro and lupus. I take savella and gabapentin. I also exercise a lot and my flare ups are not as often nor bad. Before I started this I was stuck in bed. Having a positive attitude and outlook helps the most.

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