No more meds?!

Has anyone ever gone off all they’re meds and just relied on over-the-counter pain relievers? I’m tired of my doctors thinking that I am going to them just for the drugs. I hate taking medications anyways but my pain is so severe most days especially now that it’s getting colder. I just don’t know what to do anymore.


Hi Stacrj - exactly what I’m managing… However not with OTC/supps/herbs (last try CBD oil), they don’t help me either (CBD made me tired at day, not night). You could try the things that are helping me, starting with the breath-hold-exercise… O.o

I am so sorry that your pain is so severe and I wish I could suggest sosmething to help to make it better. I know what you mean about the cold weather as I am having the same problem. The colder it gets, the higher my pain level goes up.

I have tried taking over the counter medication but I find they just do not touch my pain.

Sometimes I feel if doctors have fibro they might be a little more understanding of what it means to live with constant pain and fatigue and not just say “you must learn to live with it”


Aren’t the change of seasons, weather temperature changes, etc., so difficult?! I’m having that very issue right now with the temps changing day to day, here in Okla. Yes - cold weather is the worst! Especially if you are dealing with arthritis, along with the FMS.

For over a year now I’ve relied on medical marijuana. I get gummies and vape pens that are CBD heavy with some thc. CBD only products never worked for me. Turns out CBD needs some amount of thc to have pain relieving effects. You just have to play with different cbd to thc ratios to find what works for you.


I also do acupuncture. I’ve been doing it for several years now and it’s the only thing I’ve tried that gives lasting relief. I highly recommend it.

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But would the THC prevent the CBD-tiredness I got? Don’t want that again.
I haven’t ruled MMJ out yet, but want to get each single symptom down first and see how far I get, before fogging them over… Altho I realize fibro is “artificially” exacerbating symptoms, the THC would be neutralizing that…

A rehab-doc did it on me 9x Dec to Feb and that was hell.
Then a pain doc recommended trying again with a Chinese-trained practitioner.
Would you also?
I’m still on a waiting list for one who might be good.
How often / long should I try her before stopping again?
(The rehab-doc had said: “We should’ve stopped after 5x if it didn’t help.” Very attentive. I changed her after quite a few more painful blunders.)

So far as the marijuana, honestly I have no idea how it will effect your tiredness. I had to try several different doses and cbd to thc ratios before I found what worked for me. Right now I have a vape pen that is a 1 to 1 ratio, equal parts cbd and thc. If I take a small puff it will start relieving my pain in minutes. It won’t get a high sensation and I can go about my day. If I take a larger puff I may actually feel high, which isn’t a bad thing for me at night, but during the day it will keep me from getting work done. In either case I don’t feel like it makes me tired. But we’re all different. I know it’s helped me tremendously. I wish I could tell you an exact product and exact dosage but you’ll have to experiment some to find out what works for you. Just remember that cbd needs some amount of thc. You can always start with the most conservative ratios and work your way up from there.


My very first time was very uncomfortable during the session but still yielded results afterwards. The best acupuncturist I had was from China. Idk if that makes a difference, an education in China as apposed to US. What definitely did make a difference is this… he used an electric machine with the needles. It sends a small current through the needles. I know it may sound crazy but it makes each session way more effective. The needles by themselves can help to loosen trigger points but with the machine it works faster and over a broader area. FYI for those who may be reading this and have never tried it. The needles are thinner than one of my facial hairs. There’s a slight pinch when they go in but I definitely wouldn’t call it painful. And the electric machine delivers a very small voltage. It will feel like a strange tingle in your muscles.

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There are options through Physio that could help too, especially if you are not finding an ideal acupuncturist. My physio uses a combination of ultrasound therapy and micro electric current therapy (tens machine). In between visits I have exercises to do 2x day and a tens machine of my own.
I have had very little luck with meds and pain, and CBD is not an option (illegal in my country).
The best pain support I get on a daily basis is by applying heat (heat packs, hot baths/showers, heat rubs). I’ve tried many of these options and finally settled on Metsal Pain Relief Cream, which has no menthol and doesn’t leave me feeling like my skin is burning as my best heat cream option (though Deep Heat worked for quite a while before I had problems with it).
Change of season is always a terrible time. Best of luck and I hope you find an effective option for you!

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Ah, electroacupuncture (cf. wikipedia). I can’t find one near here, but I’ll keep my eyes open.
But you say it made a difference - does that mean normal acupuncture didn’t help?
My needles weren’t painful, but I could often hardly walk for hour(s) afterwards and had no benefit.

Same here with physio, with menthol (having dry and very sensitive skin & mucous membranes) and heat. But the shock of cold showers & whole body cryotherapy more.
I can’t use TENS because I have focal seizures. Tried something similar in the rheum. clinic, got 4 seizures. Oh - that probably means I shouldn’t try electroacupuncture either, just realized…
Some people with seizures apparently get them from cryotherapy, I don’t.

I had the ultrasound machine in physical therapy. That helped a lot. Tens unit always aggravated my trigger points. Electro acupuncture is the opposite. I can’t explain why but it works for me. It’s a different sensation than the tens unit. Maybe ultrasound is the safest treatment for you.

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Thanks! An ex-physio of mine does that, I just found!
And if the acupuncturist offers electroacupuncture I’ll try it, if she thinks it’s OK.
My (ear-)acupressurist apart from her pressing vital points around my ear with small metal rods and rolling me around my spine etc. uses a machine with a vibrating metal roller which hurts a bit on the skin when the muscles aren’t supple: all this helps a lot. It harmed for 2 days twice, but both times it was brilliant after that, all the other times it doesn’t harm, but is what helps me most in combination with the whole body cryotherapy.

I know exactly what you mean.First of all I don’t get a high or euphoric effect because when you are in pain it goes to your pain.Every month gotta go for visit and question s.I am not a drinker or smoker practically live like a nun.Also dr constantly pushing antidepressants and I am not having clinical depression.I do constantly worry that I will not be able to get pain meds because of all the abuser.I have been on the same dose for 3years so that should say something about me​:roll_eyes::smirk:Thanks just had to ramble

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My first psychiatrist said he couldn’t see depression, but he’d trying anti-depr it all the same.
Then he wrote depression in his report, so all following non-psychiatrists did that too.
But it may have contributed getting severely disabled status, my seizures alone did most of it, altho they don’t disable me much., and fibro which disables me completely is hardly recognized…
And my third psychiatrist, very helpful, has affirmed that I have no depression or any clinical mental problems, and would write it in a report if I ever needed it…

I also take CBD. My pharmacy sells it in a capsule form. It has some THC but not enough to give a high sensation. There are zero side effects. I’m not sure that it does a whole lot for pain but it has cut my migraines down tremendously.

If it cuts yr migraines down, then praps also my focal seizures… But not for the price of being tired all day every day (cf. above @ Chucky), the seizures don’t bother/hurt me much.

Hi…I was on max doses of lyrica, cymbalta and took sleeping pills also at the same time for over 15 years. Like yourself, I was at my wits end with how the fibro took its toll on my body and life, plus the brutal side effects of the meds.

Three years this February, I will be off all precription meds including sleep pills.
I weened myself off all meds over a 3 month period. Coming off cymbalta was the worse challenge. My doctor actually told me that she would leave my perscripton on file because she was convinced I’d be back on them because the fibro would no be manageable without them. I proved her wrong so far.

Let me inform you that life is still quite a challenge daily for me. I tried the cbd oils and thc without any success. Started small and finished using large amounts before I gave up following advice from a pain management doctor.

I needed to take control of my life and started a daily log sheet to record things in my life that were triggers affecting my condition…including food, stressors and daily routines. I was successful reducing about 25% of my pain and started to experience a bit more energy to carry out more activities at a manageable rate.

I decided to try some exercise and like past attempts, it only worsened.
I then researched Tai Chi exercises on Youtube and began 10 minute routines first thing in the morning and early evening. It was tolerable and provided me with more flexability. My energy improved and tolerance to pain seemed slightly better.

After about a month I added another 10 minutes of different Tai Chi exercises and it helped even more. In the 3rd month I was still off all meds and I started learning Chi Gong exercise routines that eventually included 30 minutes (started with 10 min routines and increased to 30 min. in about 5 weeks).

I alternated the Tai Chi and Chi Gong exercises. One day Tai Chi…next day Chi Gong. I had piece- mealed on line versions of the routines to fit my preference and comfort, and used the Tai Chi music from Youtube as my exercise timing for my routines to keep the exercise moves consistant.

I seldom use any over-counter meds. I returned to limited golfing after a 20 year absence and the pain was quite intense following my round, so I used some advil directly after the round and before bedtime. It helps a lot but doesn’t eliminate the pain totally.

I do my exercises faithfully EVERY day and many days it is quite a challenge but really gets me through my day.
I also adjusted foods that were high in carbs etc but I am not on a specific diet.

To wrap it up…my pain level is about 7 of 10 most days but my life has improved by at least 40% compared to when I was on the drugs. My fatigue level is much more tolerable and my acivities include much more than before. Also my brain fog has almost disappeared since not taking the meds and my cognitive skills are much sharper. Overall my quality of life has changed drastically…especially my moods, attitude and acceptance of my condition.

I need to add that I am a senior that probably had fibromyalgia since about 1985-86 (diagnosed in 2002) It affected my way of life, employment and social behaviour like many others and I thought I’d never be able to live a somewhat normal life again. I still have all the chronic pain etc but able to mentally tolerate it much better since I got off all meds.

Sorry my story took so long to explain and I do wish you can find a reasonable balance in managing your lifetime pain…cheers!

P.S. just concentrating to outline what I have gone through in this post, tired me out…But when I was on meds, I would not even make the effort, knowing it would fatigue me to no end…stay strong!

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