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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes pain and tender points throughout your body. Fibromyalgia can start at any age and is more common in women than in men.
- Acetaminophen and ibuprofen: These medicines decrease pain. They are available without a doctor's order. Ask your primary healthcare provider which medicine is right for you. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. These medicines can cause stomach bleeding if not taken correctly. Ibuprofen can cause kidney damage. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage.
- Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
- Muscle relaxers help decrease pain and muscle spasms.
- Antidepressants: These help decrease depression, pain, and fatigue.
- Antiseizure medicine: This is used to reduce fibromyalgia pain.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or pain specialist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Manage your symptoms:
- Keep a pain diary: Record your symptoms and what activity caused them. This may also help you track pain cycles and show a pattern to your symptoms.
- Exercise: Ask your primary healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you. Exercise and other strength-training activities may decrease pain and sleep problems.
- Set good sleep habits: Do not nap during the day. Go to bed at the same time each night. Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and comfortable. Do not stay in bed if you cannot sleep. Get up and do something relaxing until you are sleepy. Do not drink caffeine or alcohol right before you go to bed. These can make it difficult for you to sleep. Limit other liquids to help decrease your need to urinate in the night.
Contact your primary healthcare provider or pain specialist if:
- Your pain increases, even after you take pain medicine.
- You have difficulty sleeping.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You are depressed and feel you cannot cope with your condition.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.