Skip to main content

Opiates...are they a good choice for #Fibromyalgia?

There has been a study published in the Journal of Pain from Australian that might suggest opiates may cause increased sensitivity in some types of pain. The study had patients with chronic pain and hyperalgesia. They were taking methadone and morphine for the study.

Hyperalgesia is an increased pain response such that more pain is felt than dictated by the stimulus or injury would suggest. It can be specific to an area of the body or widespread. It can be seen with some inflammatory conditions, with some nerve damage situations and it is also a main feature of fibromyalgia. It is quite commonly associated with long term use of opiate medications so it is not surprising this study likewise had similar results.

"A second finding showed that similar nociceptive profiles are found in chronic pain patients treated with methadone. Third, the study showed that pain sensitivity associated with methadone administration also is found in morphine-treated patients. According to the authors, the study demonstrated that hyperalgesia but not allydonia is associated with the long-term administration of opioids." -Newswise.com
In many cases opiate based medications, such as Percocet (oxycodone) are ineffective for people with fibromyalgia and a more effective treatment are the medications acting on the brain neurotransmitters themselves. Lyrica and Gabapentin are anticonvulsants which by affecting certain neurotransmitters try to dampen the pain signals and decrease pain where it is in fact starting. Fibromyalgia is brain pain and medications that focus on the brain have a better chance of treating that pain. Other medications that aim specifically at FM are Cymbalta and Savella which are antidepressants used to affect the serotonin neurotransmitter, often found to be lower in FM patients. However, some people do take opiates for pain management so this will be a concern if it in fact increases there sensitivity to pain over time. In the cases where pain medications are used it might be something to be used in moderation and careful consideration.

The question becomes how often does hyperalgesia occur with chronic pain patients, in particular with Fibromyalgia patients. And what is the normal response of doctors when it does? Do they generally switch to a different opiate? If it is a rare occurs that is resolved by switching to another medication it does not seem to be much of an issue at all.

That being said there are more than a few articles I have read that suggest in the case of FM opiates can increase the sensitivity of pain. So we do have to be careful of our treatments.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Signs the pain is getting the best of you

100 Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

There was a site that had this and I had linked to it on Tumblr but it is gone. So I had to hunt down someone who found my post and posted the whole thing in a forum. Anyway it is around but I'm posting it here so I will not have to hunt it down to reference it. Now we all know the major symptoms are the wide-spread pain, but our pain isn't just muscle pain... it can be nerve types of pain as well, and the fatigue and the insomnia. And even among symptoms there are some far more frequent than others, but it should be said we have categories... like the cognitive dysfunction, which is a broad one that has more than one symptom and we often just say fibrofog. The insomnia... more than one sleeping disorder. So the list is interesting.




GENERAL
__ Fatigue, made worse by physical exertion or stress
__ Activity level decreased to less than 50% of pre-illness activity level
__ Recurrent flu-like illness
__ Sore throat
__ Hoarseness
__ Tender or swollen lymph nodes (glands), especiall…

Getting through the high intensity pain flares #Blogboost

The crowded me out of the brain. Making no room for anything else. Distraction was impossible. You feel almost frantic with the pain but must be still.

What do you do? To get through it when you have no distraction?

I ask me this as I am really in the depths of a 9 level frantic level of pain right now. Hoping maybe some writing will be a distraction, but it isn't. As I said, the pain crowds the brain. I have to focus real hard to write and my head isn't clear. Too much pain to focus well. Things become quite difficult to do. 

I will say this: We cannot function. We have to just cope with the pain.

But we are Immersed in the pain, we what do we do?
We can and should rest and get through it the best we can. Here are some of the things I do to get through it.

Relaxation breathing: I can't meditate when in high levels of pain. It just makes me think about how much pain I am in. Just not a good idea. But I do do relaxation breathing. I close my eyes. I focus on my breathing. I even…