meds for fibromyalgia??
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michmorn posted:
Hi everyone, I am new to this site. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia a year ago by a Rheumatologist, but have been in pain off and on for years. The other things I suffer from are depression and anxiety. Anxiety since I was a child, depression started in my 20's. I just spent 3 years of my life painfully weaning off high doses of medications so that the dr could figure out what was going on exactly. I was on 600 mg effexor xr, 2 mg risperidone, 2-4 mg seroquel, 2800 mg gabapentin, 3 mg clonazapam every day until a pharmacist told me it was all too much. I was starting to fall asleep sitting up during the day. The withdrawal from all that medication was slow and very painful. In the end came the fibro diagnosis after running numerous tests first. After over a year medication free, I've slowly had to go back on some meds as I can't stand the pain I'm in most days. I'm currently on 1200 mg gabapentin, 1.5 mg clonazapam, and 2mg seroquel at bedtime. It's not working. I'm wondering if it's the absence of the antidepressants. I was on a variety of them for 12 years. I'm currently in so much pain I have not been able to eat for 3 days, and getting extremely depressed. I once had good results with Zoloft. I have a sensitivity to meds..and if there's side effects I'll get them. I'm afraid to go back on antidepressants as the discontination syndrome was horrendous. Even going very slowly. Any thoughts, comments or advice would be much appreciated. I'm going to make a drs appointment, but I'd love to hear from those who suffer the same first. Thanks.
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1wareaglefan responded:
Hello...I wanted to respond to your post, b/c I have been taking antidepressants for about 15 years. About 4 years ago I was dx with fibro. I also retired from teaching at that time. I was taking zoloft, and since I was newly retired, I thought I didn't need the zoloft anymore. So I slowly weaned myself off of it.

Well, I started having horrible pain, whereas before I thought my fibro must not be too bad. I also couldn't sleep, but the pain was the worst. So I got back on a different antidepressant...I can't remember, but it was an SSRI. I started feeling so much better.

So I've since then come to realize that even the SSRI antidepressants help with fibro pain....at least for me. I've heard from others that effexor and cymbalta are extremely hard to stop taking. They are both in the SNRI family.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that maybe if you tried the zoloft again, you'd get some relief from your pain.

Good luck!

Elizabeth
 
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dollbug responded:
Hello and welcome.....MiMi in NC....sorry that you are dealing with so much right now....I am sure it was hard to come off of your meds....but I am also concerned that it wasw the pharmacist who warned you that it was all too much...I guess I am just assuming that only one doctor prescribed all of the meds you were on....

OK...I also wanted to say that IF you had good results with the Zoloft then you might want to try it again...my doctor took it for a while and said she felt the best that she has in years....she also had to get off of it for a while...but I think she has since gone back on it...and I will also tell you this...not all meds are the same at drug stores...she was taking something and it was not helping her...one time the drug store that she used was out of what she needed and she ended up going elsewhere...she could NOT believe the difference...and it was the same thing, only by a different company...so we also have to watch this too...

I do know that I have taken vitamins and supplements and some were good and others were not...and they were also different companies who were making them...it is odd but it can make a difference...

I hope you will be sure and ask your doctor to check your Vitamin D level also...if you have not had this done...as low Vitamin D can cause additional pain for some of us and it can also affect other illnesses as well..

I do hope you will check out the info here on this website...as there are a lot of good tools and tips here....

Learning to manage this illness takes a trial and error process to figure out just what it takes to cope better...learning how to pace, pace and pace even more is also important for me...keeping on a schedule of sorts is also important and drinking plenty of water...(yes...I drink mostly only water)...this does make a different in the way I feel...watching what you eat and doing gentle stretches and exercises is also good for me....(gentle being the important word)...

We, FMers, do experience a vicious cycle with dealing with the wrath of the dragon....and it is hard not knowing from hour to hour what exactly might happen...so we do have to continue to try to step ahead of it....but we must also keep on keeping on....until we figure it all out....

Take care and good luck...


MiMi
IN GOD WE TRUST....MAY GOD BLESS AND GUIDE AMERICA....

My personal exchanges are Vitamin D and Pain and Wrath of the Dragon....if you care to visit..
 
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michmorn replied to 1wareaglefan's response:
Thank you Elizabeth. I think I will give it a try (Zoloft). I've got nothing to lose at this point. Glad to hear you are feeling better too!

Michelle
 
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michmorn replied to dollbug's response:
Hi Mimi, thank you for your reply. To clarify....once the pharmacist made me aware of what was really going on..I fired my doctor. Until that point I always had such respect for drs and never questioned what they would say. I mean falling asleep sitting up! I was just in such a fog and so trusting I allowed it to happen. Now I have an excellent new family doctor I found after my diagnosis with a Rheumatologist. The doctor I fired could have killed me. I was taken to hospital by ambulance as I became so ill. The ambulance drivers also said it was too much medication. It ended up being on 7 meds, 22 pills a day!! He increased the gabapentin from 1200 mg to 2800 mg and told me to do it that day...not even slowly work up to it! Anyway, I feel I'm in good hands now and will try the Zoloft I think. Thanks for all the other advice too. Will get some Vitamin D. I wish you all the best.

Michelle
 
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booch007 responded:
I think it is wonderful that your pharmacist stepped up to counsel you on your meds. Poly pharmacy is an art that can be so dangerous....

I would ask who is running your show? Is psychiatry giving you all those meds or the Internist? Go see a specialist for FM and get a plan put in place. They will work with the other docs to not give too much in one class of med, and tune you for the others.

This is an art of brain chemistry and psych is great for this..but so many times when you go in with continued compalint they just increase and increase and add....and don't look at the whole.

Please look in our toolbox for the mixes and non medical ideas that have helped all the fmily here.....it is to the right under resources.

Remember that we are NEVER PAINFREE....we just turn it down to the point that we can have a life. "you get used to draggin the dragon" with you all day!

Please be careful, read up on the meds you will put in your mouth and be sure you are not double dosing one certain class.....Putting you in some control too gives you power...

I wish you so much luck, as this is the hardest time, the right doc, the right combination of tools to be better. A trial and error time. YOU CAN DO IT! Don't get SAD get MAD, use that emotion to move forward in this and be better.

Be positive that you will get this figured out. Journal the days so you can see how things are doing. I wish you a positive outcome! Nancy B
 
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michmorn replied to booch007's response:
Hi Nancy, Thank you so much for replying. It was one horrible family doctor who did this to me. Luckily for him, this is Canada where nobody seems to be able to hold Doctors accountable for what they do. I ended up in the psych ward because so many of the meds were "mental health medications"...I didn't even list all of them. Fibro fog last night I'm assuming. But there were 7 meds...22 pills. I had to beg, scream my head off...and basically demand help getting of all those drugs. I ended up doing it all at home in my bed...long and excruciating. Thought I was going to die! Now? I research EVERYTHING before I take it. I ask plenty of questions. My new family doctor is excellent, and never has a problem with referrals to specialists. Whether it's a Psychiatrist, or the Rheumatologist. The Rheumatologist told me to take Gabapentin. I refuse to take any more than 4 per day. I'm just convinced that after going off antidepressants...I've not been the same since. A low dose one may be in order I think. Sometimes though...pain is so bad I can not move or get out of bed....I just lay there and cry. Sometimes I have had to resort to a cane. I used to be very active and full of energy (especially on Zoloft)...now life seems dark, horrible and painful. Do not want to get into a depression so bad again that I'm thinking I don't want to be here. I was browsing through the toolbox last night. Some great suggestions! Some that I already do. Trying to remain positive. Can't work right now and just have to accept that. Thanks again for all your help and suggestions!
Michelle
 
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michmorn replied to michmorn's response:
p.s. And yes. Thank god for that pharmacist speaking up! Once I was able to string together a logical sentence I called him and thanked him for saving my life. And my Rheumatologist would be the one in charge on my current meds...working closely with my family doc. That will never happen to me again as I have found such a great family doc and Rheumatologist. We will see if the Zoloft helps take the edge off...and it may enable me to cut down or even take away one or two others. I have tried so many meds at this point I know which ones not to ever take..and which ones may be helpful. I live on a very small disability income. I feel fortunate that my medications are free. Foamy on my bed, extra pillows help a lot (always one between my knees)..and warm baths and heating pad too.