OTC Drugs for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers are pain medications that are available without prescription at your local drugstore. When you visit your pharmacy or drugstore, you will see dozens of different kinds of over-the-counter drugs, so it is important to do your research and find out exactly what you need.

OTC medicine typically falls into two categories: analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Fibromyalgia sufferers commonly use both of these types of medications.

OTC Drugs and Fibromyalgia

Managing chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia symptoms is about more than treating pain and fatigue. Learn some OTC drugs to keep on hand for managing a range of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia symptoms. You probably gave up on over the counter (OTC) drugs long ago, at least when it comes to managing the major symptoms of fibromyalgia (FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME/CFS).

When it comes to some of our other symptoms, though, OTC meds might actually be able to help. Currently, up to 6 million American men and women are suffering from the effects of fibromyalgia. Many of these patients are unable to work, travel, or even socialize as a result of their disease. If you too are suffering from the symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome, consult with your health care provider and find out if over the counter pain relievers are right for you. Below are mentioned some over the counter drugs with their purposes.

Anti-Diarrhea Medication

Anti-diarrhea drugs, such as Imodium (loperamide), can help you control this symptom with few side effects. If you still have diarrhea after taking Imodium, or if you’re taking Imodium regularly, you should talk to your doctor. You might need to look at what dietary and lifestyle changes you can make in order to manage IBS symptoms.

NSAIDS

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are a type of medication designed to relieve both pain and inflammation caused by a number of illnesses. Available both by prescription and over-the-counter, these anti-inflammatory pain killers are used to treat pain caused by strains, sprains, dysmenorrhea, and arthritis. Recently, NSAIDs have also been used to treat fibromyalgia pain. Over-the-counter NSAIDs are very commonly used and generally safe and effective. Some of the most popular over-the-counter NSAID pain killers include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and ketoprofen. Read More details here NSAIDs for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Bonine or Dramamine for Dizziness         

Dizziness (vertigo) is another common symptom of FMS and ME/CFS, and it’s one that can be really debilitating. Motion sickness drugs such as Bonine (meclizine) and Dramamine (dimenhydrinate) can help control dizzy spells and keep you functional. (If you frequently get light headed upon standing, it may be due to temporary low blood flow to the brain. You may want to ask your doctor about orthostatic intolerance, which is common in us.) These drugs also are antihistamines, so check with your doctor of pharmacist before combining them with other allergy medications.

Analgesics

Analgesics are also known as pain killers. They aim to reduce pain in the muscles and joints and are also commonly used to reduce fever and cold symptoms. There are two types of analgesics: narcotic analgesics and non-narcotic analgesics. Analgesics work to reduce pain by interfering with signals going to and coming from your brain. When part of your body senses pain, signals are sent from that body part to your brain.

Your brain interprets these signals and answers them with a response – a feeling of pain. Analgesics block pain signals from getting to the brain in the first place, causing your pain symptoms to disappear. Many fibromyalgia sufferers use over-the-counter analgesics. Unfortunately, these pain relievers often do not provide good, long-term pain relief. Tylenol and other analgesics can provide temporary pain relief, and are especially helpful for reducing the pain of chronic headaches and migraines.

Antidepressants

These can help ease pain and fatigue. Discuss the possible side effects of using antidepressants for FM with your doctor. For some people, antidepressants can cause a variety of unpleasant side effects such as nausea, weight gain, and loss of sexual desire.

Anti-Itch Creams to Prevent Scratching

Itching can be an especially annoying symptom of FMS and ME/CFS. Sometimes, your skin might itch for no obvious reason, and when your skin that is dry or irritated you’ll likely feel a stronger itch than someone else would. Anti-itch creams or sprays that contain diphenhydramine (the drug in Benadryl) can stop itches caused by bug bites, allergies, or other skin irritants. For the itch caused by dry skin, try a fragrance-free lotion. For an unexplained itch, you may find relief from a cold compress or gentle rubbing.

Muscle Relaxants

Although experts aren’t sure why, muscle relaxants can treat a variety of fibromyalgia symptoms. Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril). Very low doses of this medication may help you sleep more soundly. It can also ease your fatigue and pain. Some side effects you may get are dry mouth, dizziness, and blurry vision.

Fibromyalgia can be a lifelong condition that causes pain, fatigue, and tenderness. While there’s no single cause, there are many treatment options available to provide relief from FM pain. Talk with your doctor about options. From medication to physical therapy, there are plenty of treatments to try if one doesn’t work for you. You can still live a healthy, active life with FM. Read More here: Brief list of Muscle Relaxants that Helps to Treat Fibromyalgia Pain

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Reference:

What to Keep in Your Medicine Cabinet With Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS By Adrienne Dellwo Medically reviewed by Grant Hughes, MD via Verywell Health

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