Antidepressant Drugs are commonly used to treat Fibromyalgia however the dosages used are normally (But not always) lower than the dosages needed to treat depression. The reasons why these drugs work in Fibromyalgia are not commonly known however there are a few theories that make sense.

Antidepressants help people to sleep and can increase the time they spend in stage 4 sleep in general. This helps in patients with Fibromyalgia as it is a commonly held belief that Fibromyalgia stems from or is greatly linked to a poor quality of sleep. It is one of the main stages in the cycle of Fibromyalgia and it is often found that if a patients quality of sleep improves it will lead to a decrease in pain and fatigue and an increase in energy. It also can help patients feel a bit more positive about their condition and they may be more likely to attempt to try new things or have more determination to continue with treatments and be less likely to give in to Fibromyalgia as a condition that dictates everything you do in life.

Another thing Antidepressants do in help the body increase the levels of Serotonin in the Central Nervous System by various means. Serotonin is often citied as the bodies own pain killer and lower levels of Serotonin have been found in Fibromyalgia patients in research studies.

There are various antidepressant medications and over time some newer medications have been more successful in the reduction of side effects. The aim is of course to find a medication or combination of medications that provide a benefit while keeping side effects to a minimum. By there very nature some Antidepressants may not work straight away and may take time to work and also some side effects may settle down the longer the medication is taken. You are unlikely to find Antidepressants are an overnight success but with careful monitoring and adjustment you may find them very useful as a form of treatment.

Drug classification

There are three main types of Antidepressants. Tricyclics and related Antidepressants, Selective Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs). SSRIs are more the more common especially as a treatment for Fibromyalgia Patients. There are two well known medications Amitriptyline and Duloxetine that you may be familiar with.

A list of Antidepressants

Amitriptyline Hydrochloride

US Brand Names