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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.
Call your doctor or pain specialist if:
- You are depressed and feel you cannot cope with your condition.
- Your pain increases, even after you take your pain medicine.
- You have difficulty sleeping.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Antidepressants help decrease depression, pain, and fatigue.
- Antiseizure medicine is used to reduce fibromyalgia pain.
- Muscle relaxers help decrease pain and muscle spasms.
- Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Read the labels of all other medicines you are using to see if they also contain acetaminophen, or ask your doctor or pharmacist. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly. Do not use more than 4 grams (4,000 milligrams) total of acetaminophen in one day.
- NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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.
Manage your symptoms:
Fibromyalgia can be managed but not cured. The following can help you manage your symptoms:
- Keep a pain diary. Include your symptoms and what activity caused them. This may also help you track pain cycles and show a pattern to your symptoms.
- Exercise as directed. Ask your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you. Aerobic exercise, such as walking, and strength-training activities may decrease pain and sleep problems. Exercise such as yoga or tai chi can also help with sleep problems.
- Set a sleep schedule. 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 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.
- Reach or maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can make fibromyalgia symptoms worse. Your healthcare provider can help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight.
- Ask about massage or acupuncture. Myofascial release massage may help relax and stretch tight muscles, and improve blood flow. Acupuncture may also help relieve pain.
Follow up with your doctor or pain specialist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
For support and more information:
- National Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Association
PO Box 18426
Kansas City , MO 64133
Phone: 1- 816 - 313-2000
Web Address: http://www.ncfsfa.org
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