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Adrienne Dellwo

OTC Drugs for Managing Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms

By January 24, 2009

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What's in your medicine cabinet? In addition to all of your prescription drugs and supplements, you might want to keep certain over-the-counter (OTC) meds on hand to help you manage symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome . They probably won't do much (if anything) for pain and fatigue, but as you know we get dozens of other symptoms to deal with, and they can pop up unexpectedly. It pays to be prepared by keeping certain things available.

Like many lessons fibromyalgia has taught me, I've learned this one the hard way - and once something hits hard, it's not terribly likely that I can go get what I need for myself. I've been taken out of commission by things like dizziness and extreme congestion, and the longer it goes the worse everything gets! That's why I put together 5 OTC Drugs for Managing Fibromyalgia & ME/CFS Symptoms.

Remember that just because it's OTC doesn't mean it's safe! The best resource when it comes to whether drugs are safe to take together is your pharmacist, but that's not a lot of help at 2 a.m. Before you add something to your handful of pills, check with these online drug resources:

What OTC meds do you rely on for managing your symptoms? Leave a comment below or in About.com's Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome community forum (under Newsletter & Blog Topics.)

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January 24, 2009 at 4:37 pm
(1) Mary Elizabeth Nichols says:

With both fibro & ME having sleep disturbances in common & REM sleep rarely attainable, try Excedrin PM.

Without medical insurance & an enlightened clinician, I’ve found that Excedrin PM does allow some relief without a “drugged” morning the following day.

My life is continual pain to the point that the fatigue overcomes the pain; and, I can perhaps rest for a short time. Then, the cycle begins again.

Following my encephalitis, if I were dog or horse I would have been painlessly euthanized. Instead I suffer.

January 25, 2009 at 12:51 am
(2) typingterror says:

I cannot use any OTC drugs (ibuprofin causes swelling/bloating and aspirin increases changes of bleeding and bruising) but resort to 024 fibromyalgia spray, really hot bath, heating pad.

January 30, 2009 at 7:19 pm
(3) Daniel Beegan says:

I use Immodium AD for IBS and then if the nausea is bad, as it is now, get a script for generic phenergan from my DO.

February 2, 2009 at 11:20 am
(4) Kathy says:

I have increased my vitamin D3 to 1200-1600 i.u. daily, and my “stress b” vitamins to the same amount, along with my daily multi. I also open the MSM capsule, mix the powder with a body lotion or cream and apply it topically. MSM works great for me, but taking it internally plays havoc with IBS. Meditation and yoga (daily, even if its only 3 poses) is also beneficial. I have also done acupuncture and massage therapy. I’m considering hypnotherapy, but I just can’t afford it right now. Positive outlook…is really hard on bad days, but it helps. God bless.

June 6, 2011 at 11:47 pm
(5) Lita says:

What is MSM that you are talking about. I use amytripaline/Ketamine cream but it is really expensive and looking at other alternatives. We spend over 700 dollars on meds and treatments and I am still in pain. Not to mention all the money that the insurance is paying every medical place around me. :) God I wish they would find a cure. I wonder is even anyone researching a cure. I am only 34. and I was hoping to live to be at least 90 but not with this pain. All we can do is keep faith and hope.

February 2, 2009 at 4:00 pm
(6) Heather says:

I have had fibro for 20 years. The last 12 have been the worse. Last summer I decided I wanted my life back. I went on Lyrica. It has really helped. I can go back to work and feel the pain is at a point I can manage. I still have sleep problems and feel tired but not like I was hit by a bus. Nothing else worked.
So I will continue use.It’s worth it.

June 7, 2013 at 8:39 pm
(7) Laura says:

Amazing. I have all 5 of these items in my cupboard for just those reasons. I also keep a Tylenor or Ibuprofen PM handy. When I don’t sleep well my symptoms get worse. In those instances I take the PM med for 2-3 nights in a row to get some rest and it seems to help.

September 13, 2013 at 6:43 pm
(8) Mary H says:

I’ve recently discovered an alarm app for my iphone that I use to help me get to sleep. They figure it will only be used once per night, but I generally use it 2-3 times. It has numerous choices of sounds to be used, including white, green, blue & perhaps other colors of noise, various rains and other sounds that are very pleasant and put me to sleep quickly, even when in moderate pain. The sounds include a choice of 3 brainwave patterns and you can have it last as long as you like (I use an hour), have it fade in and out, etc.. I got it free off of apps gone free, but I don’t think it is expensive. Until I began using it, I rarely get into REM sleep as I wake up every 30 to 45 minutes all night. Now I find myself much more rested when I wake up in the morning as I think I get into a deeper sleep more often. The app is called Alarm Clock Sleep Sounds Pro and may still be free as it said for a limited time.

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