Though there is no cure for fibromyalgia, there is more and more hope for people living with the condition. Two medications have been authorized by Health Canada to help manage the pain.
Although doctors may use different types of medication to treat pain, there are currently only two medications officially authorized in Canada to relieve pain associated with fibromyalgia: pregabalin (Lyrica) and duloxetine (Cymbalta).
- pregabalin (Lyrica): can help relieve the pain of fibromyalgia. Common side effects with pregabalin include dizziness, sleepiness (somnolence), weight gain, dry mouth, blurred vision, swollen extremities (peripheral edema), constipation, trouble concentrating, lack of energy, muscle weakness, and forgetfulness.
- duloxetine (Cymbalta): can help relieve the pain of fibromyalgia. Common side effects with duloxetine include nausea, headache, dry mouth, insomnia, fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, somnolence, excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) and decreased appetite.
You and your doctor can work together to choose the medication and dosage that is most effective for you. Your treatment is more likely to be successful if you learn all you can about fibromyalgia, ask questions and participate in decisions related to your condition.
Like all your medications, it is important to take your medication exactly as prescribed. Your doctor will tell you how much to take and when, and may adjust your prescription according to your individual needs. Remember – you shouldn't stop taking your medication unless you have serious side effects and have discussed stopping with your doctor.
With the right medication to help alleviate your pain and smart lifestyle changes, you can look forward to embracing life. Plus, as fibromyalgia becomes more recognized as a very real medical condition – by the medical profession, in the workplace and in society – more research is being conducted into finding answers and treatments, offering more hope to you and the other Canadians living with fibromyalgia.