Flares while on medication

Hi folks.

My doctor is currently treating my symptoms as fibro. I don’t have a formal diagnosis yet. We’re trying to get the pain under control before we do more testing.

A couple of weeks ago, my doctor doubled my dose of Cymbalta from 60 mg to 120 mg. The original dose wasn’t doing much if anything to help my pain symptoms. (It was helping with my mood, focus, and fatigue, but that was it.) I immediately noticed a change in pain when the dose was doubled. I felt like Wonder Woman for half of the first day. For most of that first week, my pain was massively reduced.

Toward the end of the last week, the pain came back and it lingered. It was like the meds had just stopped working. My mood hit rock bottom along with it. Going from being nearly pain free for several days to having that massive increase of pain was dreadful. Today, the pain seems to be easing off again. I’m hoping that I’ll make it through the day without any additional meds.

Is this how other people react while on medication? Do you have flares that last a few days and then you feel better? I’m trying to figure out if the medicine is really working. I honestly thought that it was going to give me my life back during that first week. Then, all that stupid pain came back and I just wanted to sit around the house and mope.

Hi Crafty. I’m in the same place as you are, except with Lyrica. My rheumatologist just doubled my dosage a week ago because it did seem to me that the initial dosing had given me some relief. He has made it sound like he can give me total relief; however, I’m not really buying it at this point. I still have burning and pain regularly all over my upper body and sometimes in my shins, knees, and ankles. I don’t really notice any change since the increase in dosage and it’s frustrating. I’m giving it another week or so, but just not convinced that I’m ever going to really feel better.
Also, do your doctor’s tell you to “keep moving”? I’ve decided they don’t know what they’re talking about. If I move too much (excercises and daily activity) I feel worse than when I just relax and do some light household chores and maybe some light stretching. Those docs can tell me to go for a walk when they experience Fibromyalgia for themselves!!!

Hi mward723.

My primary doctor for this right now is a pain doctor. I’ve been encouraged to exercise, but my doctor isn’t pushing it hard yet. He’s really been focusing on trying to get the pain under control first. He’s kind of a quirky pain doctor, but the medicines that he’s suggested and the advice that he’s given me have made sense… I’m still paranoid that I may have rheumatoid arthritis. My grandmother had it. I’m going to press to get my inflammation tested frequently just to be sure. Unfortunately, it takes 6-9 months to get an appointment with a Rheumatologist where I live.

I do a ridiculous amount of yoga and stretching. I have to do it in the morning before I go to work or I’ll pay for it all day long. Of course, there are those days when I can’t stand to do that either. I want to get back into walking, but Sometimes, the walking makes me feel worse. It’s a catch 22.

Two things I recently figured out and they reduced my pain levels tremendously. One was quitting sugar. Sugar creates pain. When I’m craving something sweet, I think to myself, “Do you want the pain this will produce?” and that usually gets me past it. I’ve been sugar-free for 5 months. The second was tart cherry juice, which is absolutely horrible tasting, so I take it in capsules.

Sugar causes inflammation. Tart Cherry reduces it. Cut out sugar completely and the pain reduction is almost shocking. I walked around with a silly grin for two weeks. Less pain is awesome!

Hiya everyone I am new to the forum but just wanted to say yes I agree that the medication and your mood can improve things and make us much better to cope. I think for myself I try to think I will become pain free permanently but now I have accepted that this won’t happen it has helped if that makes sense? I am encouraged and write down my good days and hopefully you will see a pattern where you get more and more good days with the increase in meds.

I’ve started paying more attention to my sugar intake. It does seem to increase my pain. I’m trying to figure out whether I can tolerate smaller amounts of it - like whether I can have a slice of cake at Christmas or a couple of pieces of fudge.

This week, I’ve also noticed that caffeine is a major pain inducer for me. It’s bizarre. If I limit my black tea consumption to one cup per day, I feel like a different person.

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