Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Do antidepressants really work?

Morning all,

This is the first time I've posted on the site and could really benefit from some guidance from other fibro sufferers.

I'm 32 and recently diagnosed with Fibro after 8 months, of being wrongly diagnosed with various ailments.

I have a 9 month old son and the Fibro happened two weeks after having him. Some days I cant pick him up and have to take him to a carer for the day, most days I can't even play with him because I don't have the energy, or in too much pain to get on the floor and play around.

Prior to my diagnosis, my GP told me o was suffering with depression because whenever I spoke of my pain I would become emotional (what did she expect when I'm in agony 24 hours of the day and have a baby to look after?), I refused this diagnosis and went on to research my symptoms which are all the fibromyalgia symptoms. When I went back to the Gp and told her I think I have fibromyalgia she agreed and only prescribed me anti-depressants.

I felt at the time that this was a round about way of giving me anti depressants given that she felt I was depressed, but my question is are fibro patients always prescribed anti-depressants and do they work? I've had my prescription sitting on a shelf for weeks and don't know what to do. I'm scared I will become totally bed bound by (mixing fibro tiredness and anti-depressant lethargic side effects.

Have anti depressants help others and what else should the GP be doing for me? She simply sent me away with anti-depressants and that was it. I buy 4 boxes of paracentamol and ibuprophen a week for my pain.

Help please!!

Thanks all


8 Replies


I do know antidepressant are sometimes prescribe to help relax which sometimes can help with pain and sleep problems

We are all different and what works for one may not work for another bur living with a long term illness is very hard.

For me they did not work I was so hung over the next day I could not function, others will be along to give you more help and advice.

Well come to the site


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A secondary diagnosis of depression is quite common in most long term chronic illnesses. Ok where to start, usually the treatment for Fibro will start with your GP prescribing an anti depressant called amitripaline. This does not always mean that you have depression, rather it is an anti depressant that works to reduce pain.

Check out the site below to understand how they work.

Coenzyme Q10 and magnesium supplements are good to support energy production in your body. Check with the pharmacist or your GP that it's okay to take them. It should be. Most people with Fibro test magnesium and Q10 deficiant. Ask your GP to check your iron, b14 and vitamin D levels also. Any one of these can cause fatigue. These are good things to rule out.

Hope that helps a little.


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Thank you Rose and Aisha, any suggestions are very helpful.

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Just pm me if you'd like some more info. 🙂

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I've always suffered with depression, but only mildly and have been on Fluroxene for a number of years ( about 20). To help combat the pain of Fibro I now also take Amatriptalene, amongst other meds. I am no doctor, but if the GP prescribes something for me I always try it, if it doesn't suit I go back and say so. This way both my Doctor and myself know what works and what doesn't.

I also am aware that depression has a lot of bad press, but it is an illness, just like any other and anti depressions can work the same as tablets that are given for other illness eg my husband takes various tablets to help with his heart problem.

I do hope that this will help you, but if you are worried please go back to your Doctor who might be able to reassure you.

This forum is brilliant and you will make loads of friends, who are their for you through rough times and fun times 🌺🌺🌺

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Amitriptylene is prescribed for Fibro. It is an antidepressant but trials have found that a side effect of taking it is that it helps with nerve pain, which is a Fibro symptom 🐸

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Hi Ltals

Welcome to the forum and it is wonderful to make your acquaintance. From what I have read from your other respondents I presume that you have been prescribed either Amitriptyline or Nortriptyline (both drugs are from the same family). Nortriptyline does not contain a sedative component and so you may find this is more to your liking if you wanted to discuss this with your GP?

As the others have said, Amitriptyline has multiple uses and not just as an antidepressant, as it can be used for neuropathic pain, as a migraine suppressant and it regularly prescribed for other medical conditions such as MS and eating disorders. So I am not surprised that your GP has prescribed you this medication.

I want to genuinely and sincerely wish you all the best of luck, and please take care of yourself.

All my hopes and dreams for you


PS. I have pasted you a link to our mother site, FMA UK which hosts lots of useful Fibro information:


i've been taking an antidepressant for as long as was diagnosed with fibro. it's been over 12 years now with other illnesses added to the fibro which is typical. have found that folic acid is a big help with the antidepressant. something about mixing them together? anyway suggest discussing this with your gp.


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