If you or someone you know is diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, their doctor will likely prescribe one or more of the established drugs for the treatment of Fibromyalgia. Lyrica®, Cymbalta® and Savella are some of the most common ones.
Lyrica® and Cymbalta® have been proven to decrease pain and some of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. This type of treatment, to ease the pain, may certainly be needed. However, before you consider one or more of these medications as your sole treatment plan, there is more you really should know about it.
FIRST: The Side Effects
While these medications do relieve some of the symptoms, it does come at a cost in other side effects. These side effects vary from person to person, but pretty much everyone has some.
There is a much longer list of all side effects, including those that are “rare”, “very rare” or “occasional”. But just those listed as the “more common” side-effects include: “accidental injury, bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet, blurred vision, burning, tingling, numbness or pain in the hands, arms, feet, or legs, change in walking and balance, clumsiness, confusion, delusions, dementia, difficulty having a bowel movement, difficulty with speaking, double vision, dry mouth, fever, headache, hoarseness, increased appetite, lack of coordination, loss of memory, lower back or side pain, painful or difficult urination, problems with memory, rapid weight gain, seeing double, sensation of pins and needles, shakiness and unsteady walk, sleepiness or unusual drowsiness, stabbing pain, swelling, tingling of the hands or feet, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination, unusual weight gain”.
On top of that fairly hefty list of side effects, a study was recently published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, which stated that the majority of drug trials, specifically for the treatment of Fibromyalgia, were funded by those who stood to benefit financially from their sales. This means that these drugs aren’t being tested by an independent, unbiased, 3rd party that would provide honest test results. Instead, they are being tested by those with conflicts of interest who stand to profit financially. So the safety of these drugs may very well be compromised.
SECOND: Length Of Time You’ll Take These Medications
Short answer: For the rest of your life, with likely increasing dosages as efficacy wanes over time, common for many drugs.
Several years ago a study conducted by the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research found that there was a definite need to limit the use of prescription medications for treating Fibromyalgia and that these medications, as a sole form of “treatment”, were not making people well.
In this study, thirty-nine patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) were interviewed about their symptoms at the very beginning of the study. Twenty-nine of those same patients were interviewed again 10 years later. Of these 29 (median age of 55 at second interview), all had persistence of the same FMS symptoms. The percentages of patients with pain or stiffness, sleep difficulty and/or moderate to severe fatigue were pretty much the same as on the initial testing 10 years prior. And 79% of these patients were still taking medications to control their symptoms 10 years later. You can read more about this study here: https://thefibrodoctor.com/traditional-medicine-offers-little-for-fibromyalgia/
However we can conclude that these drugs don’t fix anything, they only mask. And masking the symptoms may be needed for a while, but masking as the only treatment simply means that you are sentenced to a lifetime of pain and trauma with the added side effects of long-term use of these drugs.
THIRD: How Many People Does This Affect?
Current estimates of those suffering from Fibromyalgia range from over 5 million to upwards of 15 million people in the U.S. alone.
Fibromyalgia is big business with revenue from Fibromyalgia drugs now ranking in the billions.
According to a new market research report released by Global Data, “Driven by sales of Lyrica, Cymbalta/Xeristar and Savella, the Fibromyalgia drug market will experience 4.2 percent annual growth through 2018.” Currently a 1.4 billion dollar per year market, it is estimated to increase to 1.8 billion dollars by 2018.
That’s a LOT of people who are suffering that are following a “treatment” that is riddled with serious side effects and which will have to be taken for their entire lifetime in ever increasing quantities.
FOURTH: Is It True That Fibromyalgia Comes From Overactive Nerves?
The ads for Lyrica® now say, “Fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves.”
First of all, just look at how this is carefully worded – “thought to be the result of”. Well, “thought to be” means exactly what it says – thought, not fact, not scientifically proven. It actually means that someone or several someones think that this is so.
It also begs the question what causes these “overactive nerves”? No one knows that either.
The truth is that Fibromyalgia is still referred to as a syndrome because there is no known cause and this is still the case. (An illness is referred to as a syndrome [rather than a disease] if there is no known cause).
FIFTH: What About Further Research To Find A Cure?
Within a few years cheaper generic versions of Lyrica and Cymbalta will become available. So the current focus of research is to introduce more “new and improved” drugs. As stated in this same market report, “These new products will help to drive market growth and offset some of the patent expiries of the leading brands during the forecast period.”
But what about investing some of those profits into real research to discover what is actually causing these illnesses and syndromes? And how about a cure rather than drugs that solely mask the symptoms?
If even a fraction of the marketing budgets for these drugs was diverted to research into the cause and cure for this debilitating syndrome, we might make some progress in actually making people well again.
But then again, if people got well, the market for the drugs might decrease rather than rank in the billions. So instead, the research work that is done is directed at formulating more cocktails of pain meds with antidepressants and other “goodies” so that those suffering from Fibromyalgia have to keep buying their temporary fix in ever increasing quantities.
TO SUM THINGS UP:
- There are millions of people in the U.S. alone suffering from Fibromyalgia (est. between 5 and 15 million).
- These sufferers are currently paying 1.4 billion dollars a year for drugs to “treat” their condition.
- These drugs do not treat the underlying causes of FMS but rather simply mask some of the symptoms.
- These drugs list a wide array of side effects, some quite serious.
- Those who are on such a drug regimen as their only form of treatment will have to be taking these medications for the rest of their lives in increasing dosages.
Because of the pain and other debilitating symptoms of Fibromyalgia, one may need medications to ease the symptoms to be able to function at all. The only warning here is to not be fooled into thinking you are doing something that will cure or even improve your condition. It is a temporary fix and will only last as long as you keep taking these meds.
If while you are taking these medications you also followed other protocols that addressed underlying causes of Fibromyalgia symptoms, you could gradually phase-out the use of the drugs as you healed your body. There are valid Fibromyalgia treatments that will improve your condition.
BEWARE OF OTHER PROMOTED TREATMENTS THAT ARE JUST VERSIONS OF SNAKE OILS
There are also many other promoted “treatments”, alternative or otherwise, that are out there that are not going to cure you either. Many people suffering from Fibromyalgia have tried numerous alternative treatment options – all with great hope – and more often than not these did little or nothing to improve their Fibromyalgia symptoms.
Such treatments include everything from special chiropractic techniques to hyperbaric oxygen therapy and many in between, not to mention all manner of vitamins, herbs, other supplements and combinations of such.
The truth is that people who are suffering are highly likely to dole out money for these supposed “solutions” that are going to “fix the problem”, usually because they are desperate, which makes them more vulnerable to marketing gimmicks and scams.
SO WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?
One of the smartest things you can do is to have an advocate who has battled Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue or other applicable chronic illnesses and has been through it all already. This will likely be someone who has suffered their own pain and fatigue and who has done extensive research and their own trials.
They would have traveled thousands of miles to seek out top-of-the-line clinics to see highly reviewed top doctors and specialists that have worked with these chronic illnesses for years. They would have followed numerous treatment protocols, read pretty much every book on the subject and tried every imaginable supplement as well as many different drugs that were purported to help.
Well, there is a such an advocate who has done exactly that. ME. However, that the vast majority of all of my work accomplished little or no improvement and only served to suck available time and funds dry. But on the positive side, I can now help you to navigate through all of the false promotions, misconceptions, deceptions and lies to find those things that are going to truly aid in your own recovery.
Among the vast amounts of over-hyped treatments and protocols, I have been able to find little gems and pearls of wisdom that actually were incredibly helpful. As a result, I have been able to regain my health and get my life back.
Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia over 15 years ago at the Mayo Clinic, I have been been carefully documenting everything I’ve found to be most helpful in actually recovering my health throughout vast tomes of research and multitudes of trials.
It just shouldn’t have taken such a monumental effort to find a truly workable treatment for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. Hopefully, if I can make this information known, it won’t be as hard for others. To that end I have put all of this information into a simple and straightforward book that has just now been made available on Amazon as a Kindle e-book.
The book is entitled: Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Chronic Illness; Navigating through the confusion and deception, isolating the truly effective, science-based treatments to get the real solutions to recover your health and take back your life!, by Debbie Baumgarten. Here’s a link to it: https://www.amazon.com/Fibromyalgia-Navigating-confusion-science-based-treatments-ebook/dp/B012Z79IIU/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
There is also information available on the Fibro-Free website along with a blog to continue to warn, alert and advise on new information as it becomes available. The website is: www.FibromyalgiaFree.org
For those suffering from Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue or other chronic illnesses, when you’re sick and you feel horrible, your time and money become even more precious to you. You can’t afford to be wasting your valuable resources on those who are simply trying to profit from your pain.
If someone is experiencing unexplained pain and/or fatigue, by all means they should see their doctor. But before spending thousands of dollars on specialists, more and more tests, costly treatment plans and lots of drugs, at least now there is a comprehensive guide available that can be consulted by those who are suffering, to help direct them toward the most beneficial treatments and protocols.
Although well disguised, we have seen far too many circumstances of others capitalizing and profiting on the fact that millions of people with Fibromyalgia, ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other Chronic Illnesses are in pain or experiencing other debilitating symptoms. Often, out of sheer desperation, they will do almost anything to feel well again! They have jobs, families to support and responsibilities and have to do something to keep going.
There are solutions out there. While there might not be one magic pill or a one-shot cure yet, there are a lot of simple and inexpensive things that can help and treatments that can make things better. With enough “things making it better”, these can add up to feeling a LOT better.
This new book, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Chronic Illness; Navigating through the confusion and deception, isolating the truly effective, science-based treatments to get the real solutions to recover your health and take back your life, may hold the keys to a treatment plan that doesn’t just mask, but actually heals.