Fibromyalgia Medical Treatment: Guaifenesin Therapy
Guaifenesin therapy is one fibromyalgia medical treatment option that has received much attention as of late. This form of treatment for fibromyalgia is reputed to help to alleviate some of the most common symptoms of FMS. But what exactly is guaifenesin treatment and can it really help individuals with fibromyalgia?
What is Guaifenesin?
Guaifenesin is an ingredient that is found in many cough syrups. It is used to alleviate the congestion that is associated with the common cold.
Approved by the FDA in 1952, guaifenesin has been in use for twenty years and is also known under the brand names of Humidid, Fenesin and Robitussin, among others.
Does Guaifenesin Treatment for Fibromyalgia Really Work?
Some physicians believe that guaifenesin therapy can help to minimize fibromyalgia symptoms. Researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles believe that this medication is effective because it helps to reduce the level of calcium phosphate deposits that have a negative effect on an individual’s health.
In fact, assistant clinical professor at the University of California, Dr. R. Paul St. Amand, was one of the first researchers to put forth the theory that excess phosphate is the cause of fibromyalgia. Therefore, according to this theory, low doses of guaifenesin can help to alleviate fibromyalgia pain as well as muscle tension.
However, a lack of scientific evidence has been found to support these claims. A double-blinded, placebo controlled study conducted in 1996 found that fibromyalgia symptoms and phosphate levels were the same between individuals who were given guaifenesin and those who were administered placebo.
You should speak to your doctor about whether guaifenesin therapy is right for you.
If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, speak to your doctor about your treatment options, as guaifenesin can have a harmful effect on a developing baby.
Your dosage will be determined on your individual case. Dosage can range from 300 mg twice daily to 2600 mg daily.
Side Effects and Risks
Some common side effects associated with guaifenesin treatment include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, stomachache and rash. You should report these symptoms to your doctors promptly.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately: headache, hives, difficulty breathing and/or closing of the throat and swelling of the lips, tongue and face.
In addition, you should not use topical products while on guaifenesin therapy, including products containing aloe and herbal ingredients.
For more information on treatment options, visit our Fibromyalgia Medical Treatment section.