While there is not as yet a fibromyalgia cure, the key to finding relief from the pain and fatigue is usually a combination of existing fibromyalgia treatments and therapies. It may take some trial and error to find an effective combination of treatments. Here are several options worth trying:

Medications

Currently, there are three FDA-approved drugs for use as fibromyalgia treatments.

Pregabalin (Lyrica) was originally developed as an anti-seizure medication, but has since shown benefits in relieving anxiety, some sleep problems and pain in people with fibromyalgia. Another anti-seizure medication, gabapentin (Neurontin) is sometimes used off-label (meaning it is used for but not FDA-approved for a condition) as a fibromyalgia treatment.

Duloxetine (Cymbalta) and milnacipran (Savella) are dual-acting norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake inhibitors (anti-depressants), which raise concentrations of neurotransmitters known to inhibit pain transmission. Other antidepressants show to provide relief include amitryptiline hydrochloride (Elavil, Endep), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil) and sertraline (Zoloft).

Other types of medications have also been shown to provide symptom relief. Doctors can and do prescribe these medications to fibromyalgia patients, sometimes at doses specific for treating fibromyalgia symptoms. They include: 

•     Analgesics, including tramadol (Ultracet, Ultram)

•     Muscle relaxants, such as cylobenzaprine (Cycloflex, Flexeril)

•     Fatigue medications, such as modafinil (Provigil)

 Other medications are being investigated for their usefulness in people with fibromyalgia, as well.

Exercise

Physical activity is has been shown to be a valuable fibromyalgia treatment, but activities must be chosen carefully and started at a low level.

“Deconditioned muscles are a potent pain generator in fibromyalgia,” says Kim Jones, PhD, a fibromyalgia researcher at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. “It’s not fair to tell people with fibromyalgia, ‘just exercise and you’ll feel better,’ because many people have tried that and they end up in bed for two weeks recovering,” she says.

“The trick is to exercise slowly enough that you can condition muscle without generating pain, and we’re finding perhaps this can be done more efficiently if people with fibromyalgia are given the drug pyridostigmine (Mestinon) prior to exercise,” she says.