Controversy Around Opioids

If you are struggling with fibromyalgia pain, you may be interested in trying a variety of fibromyalgia medications in order to achieve pain relief. Many fibromyalgia sufferers ask their health care providers about trying an opioid for their fibromyalgia symptoms.

The use of opioids in treating chronic pain however, is a subject of great debate. Many physicians are reluctant to prescribe opioid pain relievers to fibromyalgia patients for fear of triggering tolerance or addictive behaviors.

As a result, those with fibromyalgia syndrome are sometimes left without appropriate pain relief. If you are interested in trying opioids for fibromyalgia relief, you will want to learn more about the controversy surrounding opioid use.

What are Opioids?

Opioids are a class of drug used to relieve symptoms of severe pain. More commonly known as narcotics, opioids are named after opium, a product found inside of the opium poppy plant. Natural opium has been used for hundreds of years to treat symptoms of severe pain and illness. Some opioids are made from this natural opium, while others are made synthetically from different chemicals.

Most of us associate opioids with the treatment of acute pain, like when you get your wisdom teeth pulled at your dentist's office. However, opioids can also be used on a regular basis to treat chronic pain. Some types of opioids used to treat fibromyalgia include:

  • oxycodone
  • morphine
  • fentanyl

What is the Controversy?

There is much debate about both the usefulness and safety of opioids as a medication for fibromyalgia sufferers. Many health care professionals and researchers feel that there is little evidence that opioids actually provide significant pain relief for fibromyalgia patients.

Others are concerned about the potential for tolerance and addiction associated with long-term opioid use. Yet, many fibromyalgia patients find that opioids are highly-effective pain relievers, and work to relieve persistent symptoms of widespread pain and muscle stiffness.

Due to the controversy, many fibromyalgia sufferers find it difficult to get a prescription for opioid painkillers.

Do Opioids Help to Relieve Fibromyalgia Pain?

The effectiveness of opioids in fibromyalgia pain relief is one of the key components to the controversy surrounding opioid use. Though patients claim that opioids provide them with significant symptom relief, some health care providers disagree.

However, research shows that opioids are indeed helpful for relieving fibromyalgia pain. A recent study performed on long-acting opioids, including oxycodone, showed that fibromyalgia sufferers gained great relief from long-term use of opioids including:

  • fewer sleep disturbances
  • less anxiety and depression
  • increased mobility and enjoyment of life



Table of Contents
1. Opioids Controversy
2. Addicted?
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I agree with Randal. For those who cannot tolerate antidepressants or who find no relief from them, responsible use of opiates is a valid option, and has been for centuries. They relieve pain better than antidepressants in research studies available on line. Use or abuse of any substance is up to the patient. If addiction is the issue with opiates, let's also talk about the addiction potential with antidepressants. There is also an increased risk of suicide and violence in some people. I'd advise anyone to research the forums about any drug they are prescribed before taking it. Antidepressants, in my opinion, are very addictive. Read about the many stories posted online about side effects and difficult and lengthy withdrawal periods. Some people are miserable on antidepressants, but are unable to stop taking them because the withdrawals are so bad. Also be aware that while you are taking an antidepressant, you may start to go into withdrawal if you don't take your meds at the proper time. In fact, I wonder if, as your brain becomes accustomed to the drug, you need more, and perhaps go into withdrawal even though you are taking your normal dose. Withdrawal symptoms are strange and varied. Most doctors will not realize that you are in withdrawal, but will instead blame your "illness." Research your drug online by googling the name of your drug and the word withdrawal.
Your article states, "Though patients claim that opioids provide them with significant symptom relief, some health care providers disagree." Why the heck do you people think you know if opiates are effective in the patient? The only person that can evaluate effectiveness at pain relief IS THE PATIENT! I am a fibromyalgia patient and opiates are very effective! Take fibromyalgia patients off of opiates and you will invite depression and even suicide.