Studies of patients suffering from Fibromyalgia used brain scans to demonstrate that these individuals’ brains process pain differently than most brains. As a result, these patients do not respond to conventional painkillers like aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, or prescription opiates such as Vicodin. In June of 2007, the FDA approved a drug called Lyrica for analgesic use for these patients. Many patients have responded very well to this medication, but it does frequently cause several troubling side effects, including weight gain, dizziness, edema, and sleepiness. I have also received reports from patients complaining that it caused them to become confused and disoriented, and that they suffered withdrawal symptoms including nausea and severe perspiration when the attempted to discontinue its use.
If your physician recommends that you try this drug, you may consider receiving acupuncture treatments also, in order to control the illness and limit the amount of the drug you require. For a patient unable to take this medication, a combination of oriental medicine, gentle physical therapy, and appropriate nutritional support may be the preferred means to combat your pain, faitgue, and associated symptoms.