Pharmacological treatment options for fibromyalgia

Melissa J. Northcott, Emma K. Guymer, Geoffrey O. Littlejohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Fibromyalgia is a high-impact and prevalent condition. Its clinical features include widespread pain and tenderness - often associated with high levels of poor-quality sleep - fatigue and cognitive dysfunction. The mechanism leading to fibromyalgia development is associated with a change in the sensitivity of the pain-related nervous system, as well as other sensory systems. In turn, emotional distress plays a facilitatory role in this process. Non-pharmacological management focuses on education, exercise, and psychological strategies. This article describes the evidence-based therapies that have been evaluated for the pharmacological management of fibromyalgia. Information on the drugs that modulate the sensitisation process, including serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors and gabapentinoids, and several drugs with other relevant targets, is detailed; and the lack of benefit of pure opioids is also highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Pharmacist
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Drugs
  • Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gabapentinoids
  • Medications
  • Pain
  • SNRIs
  • Stress

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