How effective are pain medications in reducing fibromyalgia pain?

Dr. Jennifer N. Caudle, DO
Family Practitioner
There are great treatment options for fibromyalgia, especially if there is a comprehensive plan for using different treatments at the same time. In this video, family medicine specialist Jennifer Caudle, DO, discusses some options that can help.
Dr. Dawn Marcus
Pain medications are notoriously ineffective for reducing fibromyalgia pain. A review published in the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology found that treatment with analgesic medications provided no better pain reduction than treatment with a placebo (or sugar pill). Analgesics, such as acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as well as strong opioid (narcotic) pain medications, are generally ineffective for reducing fibromyalgia pain. One analgesic medication that has been shown to help reduce fibromyalgia pain is a combination of tramadol (Ultram) 37.5 mg and acetaminophen 325 mg.
The Woman's Fibromyalgia Toolkit: Manage Your Symptoms and Take Control of Your Life

More About this Book

The Woman's Fibromyalgia Toolkit: Manage Your Symptoms and Take Control of Your Life

The Woman's Fibromyalgia Toolkit tells readers what they need to know to take control of fibromyalgia symptoms. It includes step-by-step instructions for using effective non-drug treatments,...
Pain medicines can help some people who have fibromyalgia pain. For example, drugs for fibromyalgia treatment, such as Cymbalta, Lyrica or Savella, can reduce pain symptoms by 20% to 25%. This means that if you have fibromyalgia and record your pain at a level 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, you can expect your pain level might drop to an 8 with medication.
Studies show that medicines for fibromyalgia can help improve symptoms of:
  • fatigue
  • trigger point pain
  • general pain
  • sleep problems
Medicine affects each person differently, however, so you may experience more or less relief.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.