Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Treatment – What Works and What doesn’t? (Part 1)

Treatment – Antidepressants

Part 1 – This is the first in a short series of articles listing the medications I’ve been given for fibromyalgia and CFS, and the effectiveness (or not) of each one.  Many of us who have been diagnosed for a while have tried a few different drugs before finding the one that works best for us.  These articles share my experience with each Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Treatment.  I’ve kept them short, purely so they don’t end up leaving you bored and all ‘ho-hum’.  But if you have any questions, or would like to share your own experiences, please list them in the comments section below.

NB: I’m not a doctor or a medical professional. Below are descriptions of my own experiences with Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Treatments. Just because some things haven’t worked for me it doesn’t mean they won’t work for you.

Amitriptyline and Duloxetine

〉 Amitriptyline

This was the first drug I was given after the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and ME. I didn’t know much about it at the time but was told it was an antidepressant that is given for chronic pain and sleep problems.  I took amitriptyline for 8 weeks, it did help with the pain and I was able to sleep… a lot! Unfortunately, I had to stop taking it because I put on the best part of a stone in weight and felt zombified. I also experienced a lot of hair loss. I barely remember anything about that period of time but I know I didn’t do much, I couldn’t I was so zoned out. So amitriptyline didn’t work for me.  In fact, overall description… Fat Zombie!

Medical description of Amitriptyline

Known side-effects of Amitriptyline

〉 Duloxetine (Cymbalta)

antidepressantsDuloxetine was the next obvious drug for my doctor to prescribe for me, as it has been lauded for its positive effects in patients with ME and/or Fibromyalgia. I really wanted this to work, particularly after not taking well to Amitriptyline. I have to say, my pain lessened somewhat, but not so much success with the exhaustion and sleep issues. The reason I eventually stopped taking Duloxetine (after about 9 months) was that I had bad stomach cramps, every day, and bouts of dizziness and nausea that would make me sick. I decided Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Treatments (well certainly antidepressants) were maybe not for me and stopped taking them under the care of my doctor.

Let me tell you, coming off antidepressants is not easy, as I was soon to find out. I had a horrendous experience.  For months it was as though my brain was screaming ‘Danger! System overload! Bunker down in a corner with a quilt over your head until the danger passes!’

For further reading on my experience of coming off antidepressants, and, other Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Treatments I’ve tried, see  Part 2 of this article…

Medical description of Duloxetine

Known side-effects of Duloxetine

As always, if you have experience of anything I’ve mentioned above, or have other suggestions, please let me know in the comments below.  Or email me on mojo (@)


Wonder woman (...well I thought so!) to blunder woman after diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and ME

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