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Adrienne Dellwo

Why Antidepressants for Fibromyalgia?

By January 14, 2012

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The most common type of drug doctors prescribe for fibromyalgia is antidepressants, and that confuses a lot of patients. Why would their doctor give them antidepressants for a pain condition? Does the doctor think the symptoms are all in their heads? Does he/she think they're "just depressed"? Or is there some scientific reason behind it?

The short answer? It depends. For the long answer, see:

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January 14, 2012 at 1:10 pm
(1) Alison says:

Because antidepressants are so widely prescribed and advertised for treatment for FMS, I have found that doctors do think its the patients fault if they are one of many who antidepressants just make everything worse. I’m one of those patients and I’m grateful for the two doctors I’ve had who believed me and were willing to try pain meds instead.

All antidepressants did for me was make me depressed and suicidal. They did nothing to help me sleep or relieve the pain.

January 14, 2012 at 1:46 pm
(2) Rachael says:

Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline and doxepin are thought to help many FM patients because of antihistaminic and neuropathic properties. Amitriptyline for example is actually made of five different medications, including an antihistamine and an analgesic, which when given in low dose help many FM sufferers with allergies and pain relief.

January 14, 2012 at 8:40 pm
(3) Marilyn says:

It that ever interesting to me. I have suffered allergies all my life and took antihistamine for years and also had desensitization injections for five years. After 10 years of relief from my hay fever, I started to get symptoms again, however, not nearly as severely as before. However, I have been taking amitriptyline for 15 years for fibromyalgia. The antihistamine properties of amitriptyline might explain why my allergies are not as bad as they once were. I am doing a trial of Cymbalta right now, and after three nights have slept through the night much better than I have for years.

January 20, 2012 at 3:32 pm
(4) Donna says:

Not to downplay the role of antidepressants in the treatment of fibro; but, my insurance cancelled my life insurance policy many years ago; because I went on antidepressants. I’ve tried several and one thing is clear, they are a waste of time and money. At least for me they are. Depression has often been equated with suicidal tendencies. I think that is why my insurance company cancelled my policy. Perhaps another word should be coined to get rid of the stigma associated with antidepressants.

January 20, 2012 at 5:48 pm
(5) Denise says:

I am bipolar – so I do take an antidepressant – it galls me though that there are antideppresant commercials that make it seem like all I need is a different one – have tried Lyrica to no avail.

My kids laugh when they see those Lyrica commercials about aching everywhere – they know that I take baths sometimes since showers can hurt. The lady rubbing a muscle doesn’t begin to show what we feel.

But there is a med called Deplin – it boosts nueratonin in a huge way – don’t know that helps me much for the fibro – but it does help boost my cognitive abilities.

January 20, 2012 at 8:57 pm
(6) Granny says:

I am one of the FM sufferers who have found antidepressants to be a lifesaver. My pain is so reduced that I now count the the pain-free [well you know, almost pain free] day as the majority. I have been on Endep [amitriptyline] and for 3 years and have relief from the three symptoms that were having the major impact on my quality of life: pain, insomnia and irritable bladder. It know its not for everyone and I still get full-blown flareups but I can now sometimes go two weeks without a symptom! I have had the FM symptoms for over 40 years and diagnosed 10 years ago.

January 23, 2012 at 9:25 am
(7) Tess says:

I always did wonder why doctors prescribe antidepressants for FM, it never did make much sense to me, anyways since I knew for sure I wasn’t depressed although now, I know through Adrienne’s blog that lot do suffer from it on top of other symtoms. I have tried about 15 different ones, they just seem to make me feel worse or would work for only a couple of weeks and then I would end up feeling more in pain and fatigued. In fact, I felt so exhausted I had to stop taking it.

January 29, 2012 at 4:31 pm
(8) Becky Miller says:

You should read Woodrow C. Monte’s new book, “While Science Sleeps, a Sweetener Kills,” which is now in print and available on Amazon.com.

The book presents his lifetime of research into the nutritional causes of the major diseases of civilization. His own peer-reviewed research and that of hundreds of other scientists is presented in language the average reader can understand and apply to very easily avoid many of the worst diseases that currently kill the majority of people in the civilized world. Dr. Monte shows convincingly that the single culprit is methanol – a molecule found primarily in canned fruits and vegetables, tomatoes, cigarette smoke, smoked foods, and the artificial sweetener aspartame. Methanol is converted by the enzyme known as Alcohol Dehydrogenase Class 1 (ADH1) into formaldehyde inside the body’s most sensitive tissues. Dr. Monte makes a compelling case that it is this process, and the disease that results, that is responsible for the epidemics of a variety of cancers, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases like Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease that have exploded over the past thirty years since the introduction of aspartame in the summer of 1981.

The issue is of great personal interest to me, as I had routinely downed several diet sodas a day for years and had subsequently been diagnosed with both sarcoidosis (an autoimmune disease) and fibromyalgia. Since eliminating diet sodas, canned fruits and vegetables, and chewing gum from my diet after seeing the evidence presented by Dr. Monte, all my symptoms have disappeared.

More information about Dr. Monte and his work can be found on his website: http://www.WhileScienceSleeps.com.

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