Doctors' Choice Physical Medicine

Fibromyalgia Medication Effectiveness

Three fibromyalgia medications have been approved by the FDA.  They are Neurontin, Cymbalta, and Lyrica.  But how effective do the patients say they are?

Real word Results of Fibromyalgia Medication

Fibromyalgia Medication

According to there is lots be desired from these fibromyalgia medications. is a website that reports a real-world approach to drugs.  Many drug interactions, side effects, or effectiveness cannot be detected when the drugs are approved.  They may be found only after drugs have been used by millions of people and for a long time.

The site reports that  initially, 18% of fibromyalgia sufferers found Neurontin high or very highly effective.  This dropped-off to 13% when long-term effectiveness was reported.

Cymbalta was prescribed more often than Neurontin.  Nearly 30% found Cymbalta to be high or very highly effective initially.  This was reduced to 15% when long-term effectiveness was reported.

The most highly prescribed drug, Lyrica, was reported to be nearly 32% high or very highly effective initially.  The long-term effectiveness was reported at nearly 18%.

A 2013 article from reported that patients reported that the fibromyalgia medications, Cymbalta and Lyrica, made their symptoms worse.

A Better Treatment Than Fibromyalgia Medications

In a study of transcranial electrical stimulation for fibromyalgia, it was found subjects that received transcranial electrical stimulation treatment had a 28% improvement in tender-point scores and a 27% improvement in the amount of general pain they felt.  There were no side effects reported.

But most surprising was that only 5% of the treated patients reported having sleep disturbances after treatment, compared with 60% who had sleep problems before beginning electrotherapy treatments.

In addition, 90% of the treated patients reported that their quality of life had improved as a result of treatment, while 20% of the patients who were in the fake treatment group said their quality of life had declined.

I could not find a study that compared the effectiveness of any of the drugs against the effectiveness of transcranial electrical stimulation.

This past week we had a fibromyalgia patient with low back pain so bad she could not lay on her back.  Within the first 15 minutes of only transcranial electrical stimulation she was able to lay on her back with very little pain!

Transcranial electrical stimulation appears to “normalize” the central pain sensitization abnormality that is believed to be the core problem of fibromyalgia.

We are committed to help you or a loved one that is suffering with chronic  pain, and sharing this information may be one of most evident acts of kindness you can give.

This information is solely advisory, and should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice.  Any and all health care concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a health care professional who is familiar with your medical history.