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2/8/2014

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia Treatment: Opioids

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Fibromy algia Medication Opioids Controv ersy

Fibromyalgia

Controversy Around Opioids


If you are struggling with fibromyalgia pain, you may be interested in trying a variety of fibromyalgia medications" in order to
achieve pain relief. Many fibromyalgia sufferers ask their health care providers about trying an opioid for their fibromyalgia
symptoms. The use of opioids in treating chronic pain however, is a subject of great debate. Many physicians are reluctant to
prescribe opioid pain relievers to fibromyalgia patients for fear of triggering tolerance or addictive behaviors. As a result, those with
fibromyalgia syndrome are sometimes left without appropriate pain relief. If you are interested in trying opioids for fibromyalgia
relief, you will want to learn more about the controversy surrounding opioid use.
What are Opioids?
Opioids are a class of drug used to relieve symptoms of severe pain. More commonly known as narcotics, opioids are named after
opium, a product found inside of the opium poppy plant. Natural opium has been used for hundreds of years to treat symptoms of
severe pain and illness. Some opioids are made from this natural opium, while others are made synthetically from different
chemicals.

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Most of us associate opioids with the treatment of acute pain, like when you get your wisdom teeth pulled at your dentists
office. However, opioids can also be used on a regular basis to treat chronic pain. Some types of opioids used to treat fibromyalgia
include:
oxycodone
morphine
fentanyl
What is the Controversy?
There is much debate about both the usefulness and safety of opioids as a medication for fibromyalgia sufferers. Many health care
professionals and researchers feel that there is little evidence that opioids actually provide significant pain relief for fibromyalgia
patients. Others are concerned about the potential for tolerance and addiction associated with long-term opioid use. Yet, many
fibromyalgia patients find that opioids are highly-effective pain relievers, and work to relieve persistent symptoms of widespread
pain and muscle stiffness. Due to the controversy, many fibromyalgia sufferers find it difficult to get a prescription for opioid
painkillers.
Do Opioids Help to Relieve Fibromyalgia Pain?
The effectiveness of opioids in fibromyalgia pain relief is one of the key components to the controversy surrounding opioid use.
Though patients claim that opioids provide them with significant symptom relief, some health care providers disagree. However,
research shows that opioids are indeed helpful for relieving fibromyalgia pain. A recent study performed on long-acting opioids,
including oxycodone, showed that fibromyalgia sufferers gained great relief from long-term use of opioids. Users reported a 38%
average reduction in pain symptoms and also experienced:

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less anxiety and depression
increased mobility and enjoyment of life
Do Opioids Cause Addiction?
Despite their effectiveness, many patients and health care providers are concerned about the possibilities that opioids may cause
tolerance and addiction in patients.
Tolerance: Tolerance is actually a typical response to any type of medical intervention. After about two weeks on a medication
your body becomes "used to it," and side effects caused by the medication begin to disappear. Opioid tolerance typically manifests
as the disappearance of nausea and other side effects. However, some patients do notice that they begin to develop a tolerance
to the pain relief provided by opioids. This does not always indicate that your body is becoming addicted to the medication. Other
factors, such as muscle injury and central nervous system activity must also be taken into consideration. Also, tolerance is not the
same thing as addiction it simply means that you may require a slight increase in the dosage of the opioid you are taking in
order to gain the maximum benefits.
Addiction: Addiction is a more worrying side effect of opioid usage. Some people who take opioids will develop an unhealthy
dependence on them, and begin taking them for non-therapeutic reasons. This can result in a multitude of side effects, both
physical and psychological. However, less than 0.5% of chronic pain patients develop a real opioid addiction. With careful
management and support, your chances of becoming addicted to opioids is actually very slim.
Talking with Your Doctor
Talking with your doctor about an opioid prescription can be a nerve-wracking experience. This is because, in the past, health care
providers were strongly advised to avoid prescribing opioids at all costs.
During the 1800s, opioid use was rampant, and many doctors were unable to recognize the signs and symptoms of addiction.
After 1919, the Supreme Court ruled that prescriptions of opioids had to be more tightly controlled, and, as a result, there has
been a practical moratorium on opioid prescriptions ever since. Recently though, studies recording the benefits of the safe use of
opioids have encouraged many patients to begin using opioids once again. Many health care providers still remain nervous to
provide these prescriptions, though.
Despite the potential for addiction, there are still numerous occasions in which someone truly needs to take medication. Opiates
can greatly assist with painful complications such as Fibromyalgia. This is a serious complication, and opiates, when they are not
abused, can make it much more bearable. You should also try to order your prescription online. Not only will this save you money,
but it will also save you time driving to the drug store, as all online orders are delivered straight to your home. Dealing with
constant pain can be debilitating, and it is important to let your doctor know if you need any help.
It is important to provide your doctor with as much information as possible about your symptoms and their severity. Health care
providers are not always aware of how much pain their patients really feel and are thus reluctant to prescribe narcotics.
If you are in a lot of pain, record your symptoms and rank their severity on a scale of one to ten. This will help your doctor to
understand how much pain you are actually experiencing. Also, explain to your health care provider how your symptoms are
affecting your daily life. If your doctor can see how your symptoms are impacting upon your daily routine, she may be better able
to provide you with the right type of prescription for your symptoms.

SAMe

Alternative Therapies
Self Care

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hellopainagain
I liken it to someone diagnosed with dyslexia. Imagine taking away all the tools you give that person to deal with dyslexia after years of
having them. That is what it is like for someone whom has FM and has the one thing that helps them live a some what normal life. Just
because that one thing is a narcotic. I can honestly say that I have never been addicted to nor abused my oxycodone. I have had it
stolen. I have lost half full bottles. I have had people I don't know or like show up at my home and ask to buy it. I have never sold one
single pill to anyone. I have moved twice just to get away from these people. Thanks to my ex-wife they keep finding me.......NEVER
AGAIN
didims
I just wanted to thank Randal for his comment, I have severe fibro, I can't even get out of bed most days but with oxycodone my level
10 pain drops to a 2 or a 3 . I can take care of my family , play with my son, run my business and be productive in my life. Now my Doctor
want to take me off them because "recent studies say opiods don't work for fibro" I am beside myself , essentially he wants to take my life
away! It makes me feel better to know there are people out there who understand! Thank you!
PhilAnderson
Norco is what my doctors and I found works for my pain. After 10 years of being misdiagnosed with simple depression we've discovered i
have bipolar 2. The antidepressants aggravated my bipolar symptoms, so narcotics are my only choices. I've tried just about every
antidepressant and "fybromyalgia" medication on the market to only end up with worsening suicidal thoughts and then finally acting on
them. I do Not condone suicide in anyway shape or form, but if I had not made that horrible decission I would have never ended up in the
hospital for over a week where it was finally discovered I suffer from both, bipolar amd fibromyalgia. By the grace of God I'm alive, my
marriage is stronger than ever, I'm alive and enjoy life with tolerable pain and I look forward to my tomorrow's. I agree that not all fibro
patients need narcotics, but there are many cases that becoming addicted isn't something I really concern mysel with due to taking the
amount prescribed or even less than prescribed on a daily basis. Don't judge people for what works for them. Every patient is different
and until there is a cure take what works. If you have a doctor that doesn't believe in treating your pain then that doctor has no
compassion. FIRE THAT DOCTOR! Call every fibro specialist in the country until u find one that is familiar with someone in your area.
There are pain clinics that are cash only that require you to come in every 28 days, they do a pill count and drug test to make sure you
are over taking and abusing other drugs. I wish the best for all of you and pray one day there will be a cure.
JAJ1964
Opiates may be effective for fibromyalgia in some patients but I do not think a doctor prescribing 250 oxycodone and 300 morphines a
month to a 110 pound person is reasonable. It makes me angry to see drug addicts use this excuse to get their drugs. Opiates are highly
addictive and the over use is negligent. I have seen it first hand (not myself) and I have seen the abuse and the withdrawal when the
person runs out before they get their new script. The person always tells me it is the fibromyalgia pain that is making her sick.
January
I agree with Randal. For those who cannot tolerate antidepressants or who find no relief from them, responsible use of opiates is a valid
option, and has been for centuries. They relieve pain better than antidepressants in research studies available on line. Use or abuse of
any substance is up to the patient. If addiction is the issue with opiates, let's also talk about the addiction potential with antidepressants.
There is also an increased risk of suicide and violence in some people. I'd advise anyone to research the forums about any drug they are
prescribed before taking it. Antidepressants, in my opinion, are very addictive. Read about the many stories posted online about side
effects and difficult and lengthy withdrawal periods. Some people are miserable on antidepressants, but are unable to stop taking them
because the withdrawals are so bad. Also be aware that while you are taking an antidepressant, you may start to go into withdrawal if
you don't take your meds at the proper time. In fact, I wonder if, as your brain becomes accustomed to the drug, you need more, and
perhaps go into withdrawal even though you are taking your normal dose. Withdrawal symptoms are strange and varied. Most doctors will
not realize that you are in withdrawal, but will instead blame your "illness." Research your drug online by googling the name of your drug
and the word withdrawal.
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