1. Luz Grant Luz Grant United States says:

    No, opiods are not the panacea we might like -- but those who say opiates "don't work" must weigh the benefits next to the other medications approved for fibromyalgia - Lyrica, gabapentins, etc. all of which provide a very limited amount of relief in a limited number of patients (I don't have the studies in front of me so check the literature, but 40% of 40% is not far from the mark here).
    As for the fact that patients will always build up a tolerance with long-term opioid use - the answer is to take time off from the drugs, even a couple of days makes a difference - which I do regularly with my doctor's support. (If I lived in a state where medical marijuana were available, I think that is a good alternative and/or something to help through the days of no opiates--the actor/producer Morgan Freeman, who has fibromyalgia & lives in California, has recently said it is the only thing that gives him relief.)

    There is a strong movement against pain medications because of abuse -- however, is it less abuse than alcohol or other substances in our society? That is not a reason to restrict pain medications to people who legitimately need them -- when even people who are in hospice and dying, or cancer patitents are afraid of becoming "addicted" you know that we do not have a realistic relationship, as a society, to one of the best pain relief medications ever discovered -- and which has far fewer side effects than drugs such as Lyrica.

    I am excited by the recent research, and articles like these, about fibromyalgia being a central nervous system disorder, give hope. I have hope that there may be a cure - &/or effective palliative treatments - in the next 25 years. In the meanwhile, those of us living with the disease must find the right combination of treatments that allow us quality of life, & be proactive participants in our health care. The value of an article like this is it recognizes fibromyalgia as a legitimate diagnosis, so we can get past the ridiculous phase where sufferers were told it was all in our heads.

    Because I have fibromyalgia, I still experience days where nothing touches the pain. Like anyone living with a chronic disease/disorder, I have had to learn to adjust, and to accept that I am not the same and cannot do all the same things I did before becoming ill. For now, I am grateful for the relief that opioids, in conjunction with yoga, walking, meditation, and a good diet allow me to "manage" living with fibromyalgia on most days -- prior to the doctor who put me on this regimen, I spent 75% of my time in bed, barely able to move due to the pain, stiffness, and sleep deprivation caused by fibromyalgia. For someone who lives with pain at a 10 most of the time, opiates give me windows at a 5 and, occasionally, a wonderful 4. Until there is something else that can do that, I will continue to support opiate use for those fibro patients for whom it makes a difference.

    • Randi MacDonald Randi MacDonald United States says:

      You mentioned using marijuana for a couple days as a sub for opiates (to improve the issue of tolerance) just wanted to mention the possible issue of tramadol withrawl combined with weed-not a good combo...can cause seizures

    • Deb S Deb S Canada says:

      I use medicinal marijuana and it works wonders for me. I can't take any pharmaceuticals due to chemical sensitivities. I don't get looped from it and my hubby even says to him I'm normal except for my eyes showing it.  I can do anything around the house even work on things with numbers etc.  No pain, it takes it away totally and I'm back to working 2 jobs and before I couldn't work.

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