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    To Medicate or Not to Medicate
    Caprice_WebMD_Staff posted:
    That is the question.

    Do you medicate? What medications have you tried? Have you tried opiates and if so, did you feel they helped? Do you feel they don't help at all?
    We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. ~Joseph Campbell
    An_199303 responded:
    I was just about on every type of pill for fibor, including anti depressants. For me, the pills hendered me more than helped me. I got so fed up one day looking @ all of the pill bottles I just literally threw them out (all of them), except my thyroid medication & B12.

    My thighs do hurt something awful, but I take Tylenol or Advil for that (doesn't help much, but it something). The only issue I have from my alleged fibro are my thighs (front part), the pain is like a deep tooth ache. For me the pain has not kept me from working or doing my normal routines. I do suffer from insomnia, but take Ambien for that, sometimes it helps, sometimes not. Mentally I just try to survive one day at a time.
    karenrugs responded:
    Hi Caprice,

    Yes I do. And that's why all the docs say I'm holding my own now. It's been an uphill battle as you know but it's okay.

    My drugs:
    * Neurotin now Gabapentin 2400mgs. a day
    * Topamax 100 mgs. daily
    * Effexor 300 mgs. daily
    * Nuvigil 20 mgs. daily
    * Xanaflex 20 mgs.
    * Hydrocort 30 mg. daily
    * Hydrocodone .05 every 6 hrs. but I take one a day.

    There's more, but I don't feel the need to take a sleeping aid or an extra anti-depressant.

    For a while I didn't think they helped, but it's been a trial and error sort of thing. I guess they work.

    Thanks Caprice,

    A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.
    1wareaglefan responded:
    Yes, Caprice, I do take medication for fibro. I've tried cymbalta, savella, and topamax, but couldn't tolerate the side effects. I didn't want to take lyrica due to the weight gain issue. I used to take mobic, until I started having stomach issues.

    Currently I take prozac for depression (and pain), plus it helps me sleep pretty well. I also take .25 or .5 xanax at night before I go to sleep. Then I take darvocet (usually twice a day) for pain. The darvocet takes the edge off the pain. If I'm having a bad flare, I'll take lortab.

    Thanks for checking.....Elizabeth
    Socialwrkr responded:
    I've run the gamut of medications, the only thing I didn't try was Savella and that's due to a previous heart attack, I just didn't want to go there since I had heard some heart related issues with it.

    For me, meds work for a while then stop working. I can usually take a break of a few months-year and then go back to that med and it works again, sometimes!

    I have used various opiates, including percocet, vicodin, darvocet and I'm currently on tramadol which is an opiate according to some and not according to others. Vicodin makes me mean, so I do try to avoid that one. Percocet works, but makes me loopy and I can't function. I have 5 of those handy for the very worst of days, but rarely do I go there. Darvocet works very well for me and I'm able to function. But, having been on it for the past 3 years, I was at the point of dosing up again and realized it was time for a break.

    I just started extended release tramadol and I'm very happy with the results. I've tried tramadol in the past and I might as well have been popping tic tacs, but this time around it's working well.

    I'm also on an anti-depressant (pamelor), anti-seizure (gabapentin), muscle relaxant (flexiril), anti-anxiety (ativan) as well as atenolol for heart issues, aspirin for blood clotting disorders, pantaprozole for a hernia and gastritis, nasal spray for allergies and eye drops for glaucoma. Also a good multi vitamin, a B combination, 2500 mgs of D3.

    I routinely "check" my meds with my doctor, going off a med (only one at a time) to ensure it's still doing what it's suppose too. I also won't take another medication to deal with a side effect of the first med. Right now everything I'm on is addressing the issues they are supposed too and not causing me any rough side effects.

    I'm a firm believer that we all have to find whatever combination of things that works for us. For some, opiates work, for some they don't. We all should have the ability to see if they help us. I feel the same about medical marijuana, I feel it should be an option we can explore with our doctors.
    Be Gentle on Yourself!!! ~~Aimee Fibromyalgia forum writer, Aimee
    Anjl26 responded:
    I tried trazadone when first diagnosed. It helped but scary side effects made me stop it quickly. I'm afraid to try any others.

    I don't want to take Lyrica or Savella due to their common side effects too. I really do not want to take something that just gives me more problems and maybe doesn't help that much.

    I take tramadol and flexeril as needed and ambien for sleep. Toss in some advil for headaches too. Otherwise, I take vitamins, use heat etc.

    I haven't tried opiates for FM. I don't feel that I've reached the level of needing them at this point.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything's perfect. It means you decide to see beyond the imperfections. hugs Sharon
    fibroinsd responded:
    I was on Cymbalta for about a year and a half. I am glad I was...I think it got me through some bad times...but then it just started making me more sleepy all the time....I stopped...and now just do vitamins...and that has it's ups and downs too..

    Let's put the fun back in dysfunctional !- Mary Englebright
    MiniSS responded:
    Hi Caprice, I do medicate, Prozac (fluoxetine) 2/ 20mg once a day for the depression, Ibuprofen 600mg at least once a day sometimes more depending on the amount of pain, temazepam 15mg at night if I want to, to help me sleep. I was taking amitriptyline for a couple yrs and it seemed to stop working. I take on my own a Multi Vit., Magnesium 250mg, and 2 /D-3 vitamin 1000iu everyday. I have been on many through out the years and the pain med's when things get bad usually make me sick. I have been walking a couple miles a couple times a wk with a friend and that helps. I do end up taking a nap on the day's I walk so not sure if I't helping or hurting. I need to lose about 20 lbs, my colesterol is high the bad is high and the good is high, Heart disease run's in the family and so does Diabeties, that's on mothers side, mom has MS along with some other ailments. Dad's side has the reumatoid arthritis. I do what I can with as little medication as possible. Accupunture really helped me in the past but have moved and so far have not found one in this area, haven't looked either, and of course have no insurance to cover any of this. I'm 49 and moved in with my parents to help them as my mom's MS is slowing her down a lot and for moral support for my dad. It's also easier on me sharing the house hold expenses and not having to hold down a stressful job, which caused me to be in soo much more pain.
    MagPrincess replied to MiniSS's response:
    Okay well

    I have taken

    Paxil-worked well for two years. withdrawls from it suck big time though
    Nucynta-mu opiod. helped but caused alot of other issues...begining of seratonin syndrome

    I do take daily
    Cymbalta 60mg
    Ativan .50mg
    Lortab 5/500

    Mobic alternated with Arthrotec every two weeks. at night
    Soma 350mg
    Ambien 10mg

    This combo is currently working for me but i have found that I have to play around with these and sometimes skip a night to keep them working.
    Erin Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain. William Faulkner
    jroseland responded:
    I did not medicate for years, mostly because I grew up with poor sleep and regular pain so I didn't think to get "relief" from it. When people reminisce about the vitality and energy that had when they were young, I have no idea what they're talking about.

    Fastforward a few years and now I'm in my late 20's. I realized that my pain and energy levels are not normal. I finally started taking medication a couple of years ago. It was not so much that the pain had become worse, it's that after years and years of pain, my ability to cope had come to almost nothing. The reason I had not before was mostly due to the fact that my husband and I did not have insurance and could not afford it.

    I started with Effexor and gabapentin. I did have some relief but the benefits did not justify the 30 pound in 8 weeks weight gain. I now regularly take wellbutrin, tramadol, and an over the counter sleep aid/melatonin. I also take vicodin and/or flexeril as needed.

    I don't think wellbutrin is commonly prescribed for FM but I think I have received a lot of benefit. It doesn't do much for the pain, but it does help me have more focus and less fog. I have been learning a language for a few years now, and I noticed a huge jump in my ability to learn and remember new words/grammer. Plus, it helped me lose some of the weight I gained from the Effexor.

    I pretty much only take the tramadol right now because my body is dependent and I haven't had the mental energy to go off of it. But I will do so soon since I don't think the tramadol does much anymore.

    I do get relief from the opiate I take. I exercise pretty rigorously and even when it's low impact, it can cause substantial pain (usually a couple hours after). But I try to keep it at an "as needed" medication.

    I will never take a SSRI or and SNRI antidepressent because of my experience with Effexor. I'm pretty happy with my "cocktail" right now. I still have quite a bit of pain but I feel like I can live a more normal life. I don't think I could live with much quality of life without meds right now. I don't necessarily like that conclusion, but I know I'm doing better now with meds than I did without them.
    angelldakota responded:
    .HI Caprice... I have tried opiates and have thought they worked... my pain wasn't down to my Dr's liking,,, and she cut me off of them ... after a few weeks and asking for tamadol she started me on 100 mg 4 times a day... she just started me on a muscle relaxer...methocarbamol 500 mg twice A day... I am also on garbapentin... 300 in the morning, noon and at 5... and 600 at bedtime... I only feel a difference when I take my night meds... and it isn't much but being I just started them I will keep trying... Dr. said I am on high doses and she won't be altering them...

    I was on prozac but they thought it was messing with my heart... so they took me off it and the depression and pain increased... didn't know it was working so well lol...

    I am also on alot of meds for ibs and stomach and digestion problems...

    I keep having them check my vit d and my Dr says it is fine... so I am not on vit d...

    thanks ... have a good day...

    luv... jan/angelldakota
    pnaturegirl responded:
    When I really need something I reach for Vicodin 500 mg. It does trick but makes me tired more than normal.

    Was also given Darvocet 100 mg but have not tryed it yet and family doc cautioned me because number one side effect is dizzyness and with Pots, That can be a issue.

    I belive when I reach a level of over 10, I feel okay reaching for Vicodin but do not want to use it daily and still need to function.

    To get by day to day, I rely on my evening bath and soak!!

    Use icy hot cream and also patches on areas where needed and Tyenol as others upsets GI tract.
    Check out my facebook page called, This Crazy Thing Called Pots My new Exchange on WebMd called, Pots and Dysautonomia Exchange and you can always find me here on FM Exchange or through my email!
    mrahoe responded:
    hi caprice

    im taking 2x30 mgs of morphine everyday. . the only help it provides is with the headaches. i realy dont notice any dif in the fibro or arthritis pain or for that mater the pain from the torn labrum in my left shoulder

    i thought i was big and bad. . . then i met fibro. . :(
    dlharing responded:
    Hi, Caprice. Thanks for asking.

    In the past, have tried mobic, celebrex, soma, skelaxin, tramadol, voltaren (diclofenac sodium) both pills and gel, prescription compounded cream with about 12 ingredients, lyrica, and cymbalta.

    I take history of peptic ulcer, high cholesterol, hypertension, sinus tachycardia therefore the mobic, celebrex, cymbalta (not good for tachycardia and neither is Savella, I am told) were discontinued. The creams didn't seem to help much at all and I couldn't get the lidocaine patches to stick at all. I'm allergic to all opiates and tramadol too (they cause hallucinations). Running out of options!

    Currently, I'm taking Neurontin (gabapentin) 2400mgs, Amrix (extended-release flexeril) 15mg 1-2/day, Celadrin Advanced Joint Health Extra Strength (OTC, proprietary blend of natural and esterified oils), Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin C Timed Release 500mg, Vitamin E 400IU, Chelated Magnesium Oxide 250mg which I think helps, Resveratrol (antioxidant) 37.5mcg, Selenium 200mcg, Zinc 50mg. All my doctors and dietitian manage these. I bring my list everywhere.

    I take more prescriptions as well for other medical conditions. Weaned my list down the best we could. The latest addition has been Fioricet (Butacet) 1 every 6 hours PRN. It's used for tension headaches and since I'm running out of safe alternatives, it is supposed to help with the muscle spasms. Had taken low dose of klonopin (clonazepam) for muscle relaxant properties but was told by sleep medicine doctor that it could add to the drowsiness (.5mg) though I really think it helped with the spasms.

    In severe pain, one of the only things that helps is time though I can hardly bear it. Tried heat, ice, use TENS unit, anything safe and recommended at my disposal. I was also told to exercise two or more hours per day for natural endorphins. Usually exercise moderately to vigorously at least one hour per day. Was doing two to three but this triggered relapse into eating disorder. Not so sure how sound advice this was and I did question it at the time but thought benefits outweighed the cost.

    Never know if the fatigue is fibro related or from the narcolepsy (on meds for that too!) Try to eat well and get quality sleep. Anything that might work! Best to all and to each his/her own!
    CLKWC1964 responded:
    I have tried numerous different medications over the years. I find the side effects to be worse than the cure. I choose not to take anything except guaifenesin, B- complex, osteo- biflex, and a multivitamin. I take ibuprofen, aleve, or acetaminophen when I need to .

    Honestly not sure that I really ever got any real relief from any of the meds I tried either. It is so frustrating. There has to be something that works that does not have a ton of side effects.

    I have daily pain to varying degrees. I am seriously considering going back to my doctor and going back to the drawing board. The fatigue has been pretty bad lately. I would like to be able to do a few things without being completely exhausted. Still if the side effects are too much I will just tolerate my symptoms as I have been doing. Great question Caprice. Cat :0)

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