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Fibromyalgia Medications

Pain Relievers Used as Fibromyalgia Medication

Analgesics are pain relievers. They range from over-the-counter acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or aspirin to prescription medicines, such as tramadol (Ultram®).
For some people with fibromyalgia, narcotic medications are prescribed for severe muscle pain. However, there is no solid evidence showing that narcotics actually work to treat the chronic pain of fibromyalgia, and most healthcare providers hesitate to prescribe them for long-term use because of the potential for physical or psychological addiction.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs represent another class of fibromyalgia medications that are sometimes useful against pain. However, NSAIDs tend to work better when combined with other medications.
Many NSAIDs may be recommended. Some are available over-the-counter (for example, Advil®, Motrin®, Aleve®, and ketoprofen). Others require a prescription. They may be used to help ease the muscle aches and headaches associated with fibromyalgia.
Examples of NSAIDs that can be used to treat fibromyalgia include:
Some of the most common side effects of NSAIDs include:
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
  • Heartburn
  • Dizziness
  • An unexplained rash.
There are also less common, but serious, side effects of NSAIDs, such as a heart attack or stroke, congestive heart failure, or an allergic reaction.
(Click NSAIDs Side Effects for more information, including other serious side effects to look out for.)
Certain groups of people may be at a higher risk of side effects while taking NSAIDs, such as those with heart disease or stomach ulcers. These people should take NSAIDs with caution or not at all.
(Click NSAIDs Warnings and Precautions for more information on specific safety concerns, including a list of people who should not take these drugs.)
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