There are so many medications used to treat the symptoms of illnesses such as CFIDS and FM. Of course, they mask the symptoms so that we can function better, but are they really doing us more harm than good? I believe our conditions will continue to spiral downwards due to a lot of these medications, yet we deserve to have the right to live a life free of pain and sickness. It is just sad to think of the cost we are paying to feel better for a little while and to have some relief from pain and suffering.
Another Catch 22 for most of us with CFIDS and FM is that our bodies are over sensitive to meds, so we have to be extra careful.
Here are some of the most common medications prescribed for CFIDS and FM patients:
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs – NSAID – Used to relieve pain in some patients, and some can be purchased as over-the-counter meds: Naproxen (Aleve), Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin), Celebrex, & Vioxx.
Side effects that can occur from using these drugs can be kidney damage, gastrointestional bleeding, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, but generally they are safe to use if you follow the usage directions.
I know for the pain that I have, the over-the-counter meds listed above did nothing for me.
Low-Dose Tricyclic Antidepressants – TCAs can be prescribed for CFIDS/FM patients to improve sleep and to relieve mild pain.
Some examples are amitriptyline (Elavil), imipramine (Tofranil), trazodone (Desyrel).
Dosages used to treat CFIDS/FM patients are usually a lot lower than prescriptions prescribed to treat depression.
Some side effects may include dry mouth, drowsiness, weight gain, elevated heart rate.
Other Antidepressants – SSRIs such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Wellbutrin, and Effexor can be effective in correcting the different brain-chemical imbalances that are a problem for many CFIDS patients.
Anxiolytic Agents – These are used to treat symptoms of anxiety in CFIDS/FM patients. Some examples include Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin.
Use of these drugs, though, may be habit forming. Some reactions to these meds may include sedation & amnesia.
Before taking any meds, please have your doctor review with you the pros and cons. I myself have reduced my prescription medication intake to just a sleeping pill and I still have to take pain pills, and one med for my bladder (Elmiron). Do some research on more natural alternatives of meds that can relieve the same symptoms as some of the prescription meds.