If you’re suffering with Fibromyalgia, you’re probably very familiar with the three fibro drugs on the market today: Cymbalta, Lyrica, and Savella.  Of course there are “other drugs” on the market, but they  may be used off-label, meaning they aren’t specifically approved to treat fibromyalgia. It’s no secret that these fibromyalgia drugs (like all drugs) carry certain risks (side-effects).

Eduardo Fraifeld, MD, president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, once said,  “The drug with no side effects is only in our imagination.” What I want to do right now is bring you up to speed on some of the common medical treatment your medical doctor may offer and the common side effects associated with those treatments.

As a matter of fact, I have so much information to go over on this topic that I’m going to break this blog post up into a 3 part series surrounding these common treatments. So I would like to encourage you to Subscribe to our blog so that we can update you on the next two posts in this series. The first treatment we’re going to talk about is a commonly prescribed drug called “Lyrica”. Lyrica was the very first drug approved by the FDA specifically for the treatment of fibromyalgia.

While it’s true that Lyrica has been shown to cut pain levels in half, but it only did that for 30% of the people who took the drug.  That means 70% of the people who had Lyrica prescribed to them by their medical doctor saw no change at all, yet a number of people experienced side effects.  Those side effects are described below.

  • One of the most common side effects of fibro drugs, reported by both doctors
    and patients, is dizziness. In the clinical trials for Lyrica, the first drug approved specifically for fibromyalgia by the FDA.  A whopping 31% of the patients who took the drug experienced dizziness.
  • Weight gain was a another side effect experienced by patients taking Lyrica. Now here’s the deal, weight gain is already a common problem in fibromyalgia patients to begin with, so taking a medication that has the side effect of weight gain, just makes the issue even worse. “The average weight gain in fibromyalgia patients is 32.5 pounds,” says Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, a medical doctor and fibromyalgia researcher. “Adding more weight gain in a disease that most often affects women really lowers their self-images.”
  • Now get this, about 22% of people who took Lyrica in a clinical trial experienced sleepiness (…and it’s not uncommon for other fibro drugs to make you drowsy as well).
  • Dr. Teitelbaum also noted that “Lyrica is chemically related to medications that stimulate your body’s natural Valium, a brain chemical called GABA.” Because of that, it contributes to a little lack of mental clarity.”Another side effect I want you to be aware of is often referred to as “fibro fog”.What exactly is fibro fog?Well, it’s a common thing that fibromyalgia patients experience who aren’t taking medication, where they feel confused and in a daze at times. So if you feel that you are growing increasingly confused after you start taking a drug that is likely why.
  • Lyrica  can also produce some swelling in the legs, hands, and feet.

It’s really sad that so many people are prescribed this drug.  Especially when we scientifically know for a fact that this drug is only effective at helping 30% of the people it’s prescribed to. …and I use the word “help” loosely.

Why?  …because are you really being helped if you trade your fibromyalgia pain in for “weight gain, sleeplessness, dizziness, drowsiness and confusion?” Look, I know you’re in pain and at this point, anything sounds better than the current situation your in, but I’m here to tell you, you have other options.  The “medical route” is not necessarily the “best route”.

In my next blog post I’m going to talk about Cymbalta and Savella, which are two other commonly prescribed drugs for fibromyalgia. So, if you’re taking these drugs or considering taking these drugs, you won’t want to miss my next post. If you have an comments or questions, please leave them in the comments below. I want to hear from you. In the mean time,

Love and Wisdom,

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