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Fibromyalgia Action UK
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If we get sleep through the medication - does that mean that all the symptoms of Fibromyalgia go away?

It seems to me that the lack of sleep contributes very much towards the myriad of symptoms of Fibromyalgia - but also there are so many triggers for flare ups and relapses - over-activity, under-activity, extreme cold and heat - food, chemicals, lack of sleep, to name but a few - so I'm trying to get my head around medications - in a nutshell - if we have level 4 sleep by taking medication, then this should reduce the fatigue and pain - but are the triggers still in place? also the other symptoms - I hope I've explained myself ok. Thank you for your thoughts and experience are of help towards my understanding.

17 Replies

i cant answer this one as i dont sleep xxxxxxxx


I usually take very low dose of Surmontil (a brand name for amytriptylin) which usually ensures I get a good night's sleep. I feel so much better when I sleep, who doesn't, but I still have to pace myself all the time to keep symptoms at bay.


Hello, I've just started on a low dose of the same. I 'm still getting to grips as to how being able to sleep will affect my symptoms. Has the pain subsided substantially due to the good sleep or the pacing also. I am yet to learn how to pace and am only receiving advice through what I read at present. Will be going to an ME/CFS Clinic months away for pacing. Thanks. Still getting my head around it.


I have insomnia, and have to take amitriplyn which works very well with me. I wake up abit better but i think its just because the amis are still in my system. I definatly feel a difference since getting better sleep, but a ME ot has said that i still wake up through the night so i am still not getting the stage 4 sleep that repairs muscles etc..

I fi dont get enough sleep then i am absolute nightmare to live with.

hugs, kel xxxx


I know the feeling. Thank you.


Reflections, I personally don't think it's as simple as taking medication, symptoms go, so sleep ensues. After a good night's sleep the next day might be less painful or less fatigued, but taking our medication doesn't mean we don't feel the effects of Fibro any more. For example I can take my meds at 2pm and hopefully I stand a good chance of being able to at least get some rest at night. However if I take my meds at 9pm or 10pm then I am sunk. No rest, no sleep, result being horrendous next day, more pain etc and exhaustion. Every case is different. Some people respond better to their meds than others. Some meds work for some people and not others. Some of us don't get to the stage 4 sleep because we are restless, pain not controlled etc., and yet have taken our meds. It's not really a question of triggers, the condition is just there, factors like pain levels and fatigue affect our condition, as do other factors. Basically there are no sure fire guarantees because we are all different, taking lots of different meds and we respond differently too. :) :)


Hello LibbyDe. Thank you for this reply. I think I am probably asking a question where there is no answer for. I understand it is different for everybody, if I can explain yes, the condition is always there, however, I often experience flare ups - worsening of symptoms, due to certain triggers, can I give an example...... If I take Amitryptiline and get solid nights sleep - and one of my triggers for a flare-up would be a cold windy day, which would take me days to recover from - I am wondering whether a trigger for a flare-up would still occur, after having a good night's sleep, because the pain cycle has been broken. I hope this makes sense. I realize only time will tell.


Reflections, sometimes we can have a flare-up for no apparent reason and there doesn't appear to be a trigger. It's not the sort of condition where you can go to bed early and be assured of no symptoms the following day. There are so many other factors that can affect us. I have never personally experienced my pain cycle being broken, it's always there in varying degrees. We are all different and are affected differently. It's not really a question like for a one-off headache going to bed after taking paracetamol and then being assured of a better day, do you see what I mean, hopefully you do :) :) It is a frustrating and confusing condition and can be very unpredictable too. :)


Hello LibbyDe - this is true not knowing what any given day will bring, for no apparent reason or due to triggering factors. It's a good comparison you have made with the paracetamol and headache.

I have been on the 10mg amitryptiline for about five days now and it is such a releif to be able to sleep and I have been feeling so much better - my terrible pain has virtually gone, this is part of the reason I am asking this question. Thank you. Time will tell I guess.


I took amitriplyn at a very low dosage ( I am off it now and sleeping on my own) which allowed me to rest and finally not fall asleep during the day and anywhere I sat. For me diet was and is crucial.. no food deriving from animals..so purely vegan for the majority of the time, but I do allow myself a steak and meat every 15 days.. a lot of wholemeal rice... when I am in pain, I eat brown rice and vegetable broth for an entire week and pain/bloating vanish. I have severe constipation when I have my fibro attacks and I have been taken straight to the ER 4 times due to me being totally clogged!! I even fainted on the toilet due to the mass of stuff I had inside me!! how embarassing and how painful..I think giving birth would probably less painful! I also exercise a little every single day..could be simply walking and getting outside..and I bought myself a lymphatic drainage machine for my legs...takes out the ritention which actually causes you pain..it works incredibly well. This is all I do..and my life is MUCH better and I lead a "nearly normal" life again.


Diet is so important - the lymphatic drainage machine sounds a relief for your legs. This is good advice, you're managing well. Thank you for your response this is hopeful.


The short answer is no. Fibromyalgia does NOT go away. nor does arthritis or many of the other auto immune conditions. If you've been diagnosed, it's for life. There is no cure.

All we can do is try to find how to manage the symptoms. It's not a death sentence, it's just having to adjust to your new reality with chronic fatigue and pain. Don't let it rule you, find out what works for managing pain and change your life however you need to to make sure you don't suffer more than you need to.

YOU are the only person who can decide how Fibro will affect you. Or how you will be treated for it. If you want to tough it out and go all natural with homeopathic remedies, acupuncture, massage therapy and chiropractic care. Or use medications and/or shots for pain relief.

The fatigue is something I have not been able to get a hand on. I am so very fatigued that most of my days I'm in bed, asleep. Yet I can have days and days of insomnia as well. i tend to just do what my body wants to do. If I don't listen to my body it all goes so much worse for me.

You'll need to face the fact that Fibromyalgia is for life. BUT you do have some control of how much pain and suffering you go through. Talk to your doctors and befriend your pharmacist. If you are proactive with your treatment and communicate well with your doctors, it can get better.


Thank you for this reply -


Well said Larke! I couldn't have put it better myself! Thinking positively, which isn't always easy I know, but our state of mind can also affect how we deal with and manage our symptoms. Stress levels also affect us and can exacerbate our pain levels and fatigue levels too. Managing our symptoms as best we can is the best way to live our everyday lives with Fibro. Once I'd accepted that my Fibro wasn't going to disappear and go away, I accepted it and tried to manage it as best I could. Acceptance is a big step with starting to understand and manage. :) :)


Thank you - it's the acceptance I am lacking in.


I am lucky as my doctor gives me sleeping tablets

but even so I am sat here typing this at 4 in the morning

as they dont always work.

I get a bit afraid of some of the things that we are

given I am cymbalta and amitriplyn is one of the

drugs that is not advised to take with cymbalta.

although my doctor still prescribs them together

so I just dont take amitriply I am sure that he knows

what he is doing and it is OK.

I think if you can get a good nights sleep then

you do feel better and more able to cope with

the pain


Hi Reflections,

I'm sorry to say that the answer is no. However, good sleep plays an important part in decreasing the symptoms. How much seems to vary and medication isn't the whole answer. You can try other things as well, like:-

Establishing a good sleep pattern by going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning. if you only get a few hours at the moment, gradually lengthen the time at either end.

Doing something relaxing for about half an hour before you go to bed, like reading a book or listening to music.

If you have an MP3 player you can even put your headphones on and listen to a book or music to get you off once you are in bed.

Putting a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow or in a small glass of water above the radiator will help sooth and relax you.

If you can take dairy products, then a warm milky drink (not coffee) and a banana both stimulate the right hormones to help with sleep.

I'm sure there are loads more ideas out there and one day I shall try my own advice, because I don't sleep either!

Hope that helps answer you question

happy hugs, kate :)


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