I was browsing through my recent Better Homes & Gardens magazine when I came across another ad for a drug for fibromyalgia. At first, I thought it would be another Lyrica ad and I was primed for a new rant.
But it wasn’t Lyrica, the drug that can do as much bad as good, what with the side effects. And it wasn’t trumpeting itself as the end all and be all for fibro folks.
As I read in more detail, I realized this was a drug I was actually taking already for my fibromyalgia. This was an ad touting Cymbalta for fibromyalgia pain. Apparently the FDA had finally approved Cymbalta for the management of fibromyalgia pain!
I liked the very first sentence in the ad: “Cymbalta can help lessen your fibromyalgia pain.” No excessive claims, no promises of a cure. Nicely done. You would think the drug and ad companies have been listening to those of us who have hated the way they’ve portrayed us in the past, eh?
For me, Cymbalta has been a godsend. I had been on Prozac for years, after a year refusing it because of stories I’d seen in the news. Besides, I was not depressed, so why would I take an antidepressant? My doctor explained the mechanism of Prozac and explained it worked on serotonin levels. I knew serotonin was somehow related to fibromyalgia (hence the carb cravings and added weight), so I finally agreed to try it.
It cut my pain level by 50% with the first dose! I was astounded but wary. I doubted it would stay that way, but it did. However, fibromyalgia is a wily condition. It isn’t just pain. So after years of being helped by Prozac, my body went off in a couple of different directions as well as increasing the pain. After 44+ years with this condition, that didn’t surprise me – annoyed and peeved me, yes; surprised, no.
On a visit to my doctor last year, he suggested changing from Prozac to Cymbalta. This time I did not put it off a year. I figured his track record with drug suggestions had been pretty good, so I went with it. He told me he’d suggested the change because it works on another brain chemical in addition to serotonin.
Well praise be to God! It worked. The pain level was better, the fibro fog improved, the energy improved. I will not tell you (nor, amazingly, did the ad) that Cymbalta cures fibromyalgia or that you won’t have any bad days. But for me, the bad days have been fewer and more manageable.
There are definitely possible side effects with Cymbalta, as there are with any other drug. My blood pressure, which has run borderline high since I added the weight many moons ago, seems to be up a little bit lately. But I’m working on weight loss to try to help with that as well as my health in general.
I will not tell you that you should take Cymbalta. I will tell you it has helped me.
I will not tell you that you should take Cymbalta. I will tell you I like the ad for it a LOT more than I like the Lyrica ads.
When it comes to medications, the one who has the final say for what is good for you is YOU. Talk to your doctor and trust your instincts about your own body.