Fibromyalgia is a complex disorder characterized by widespread pain in the bones and muscles (musculoskeletal pain). Pain caused by fibromyalgia may be accompanied by insomnia, memory loss, fatigue, and mood swings. People with this condition may also experience anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, and tension headaches.
People with fibromyalgia are more sensitive to pain than people without the condition. Fibromyalgia affects how the brain and spinal cord process pain – in effect, abnormal pain perception processing.
The National Fibromyalgia Association states that an estimated 10 million people in the United States suffer from fibromyalgia. Healthcare professionals and scientists still struggle to understand the condition in its entirety.
Common Fibromyalgia misdiagnoses are arthritis or some other rheumatoid conditions. However, unlike rheumatoid disorders, fibromyalgia affects soft tissues in the body but not the joints. There is no specific diagnostic test for fibromyalgia, so doctors have to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms.
The condition affects men, women, and children, though women are twice as likely to have fibromyalgia as men. There is no known cure for fibromyalgia, and treatment consists of medications, lifestyle changes, and complementary therapy.
Tylex is a prescription drug that contains Paracetamol and codeine as active constituents. The medication is prescribed for acute to moderate pain that is not relieved by other analgesics like Paracetamol or Ibuprofen alone. Tylex has been used to treat fibromyalgia, with patients reporting varying effectiveness levels.
Causes of Fibromyalgia
It is often difficult to point to a cause for the disease. Available research shows that nerve stimulation related to varying levels of some brain chemicals may be responsible for the pain associated with fibromyalgia.
These abnormal disruptions cause pain receptors to become overly sensitized, bringing a heightened reaction to painful and non-painful stimuli. Certain factors make an individual susceptible to fibromyalgia, including:
Fibromyalgia can run in families, and specific genetic expressions might make some individuals more susceptible to the disease than others.
Traumatic situations like the death of a loved one or a vehicle accident can trigger fibromyalgia.
Infections and Diseases
Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and lupus may increase an individual’s risk of developing fibromyalgia.
Women are at greater risk of developing fibromyalgia than men. Previously, doctors diagnosed fibromyalgia using a tender point exam – firmly pressing 18 specific points on the individual’s body to determine how many were painful.
Current diagnostic guidelines consider widespread pain throughout the body for three months as the primary diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia. The individual should have pain in at least four of the following five regions:
- Right upper region (jaw, shoulder, arm)
- Left upper area (jaw, shoulder, arm)
- Right lower region (hip, leg, buttock)
- Left lower area (hip, leg buttock)
- Axial region (abdomen, chest, back, neck)
Other symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- Stiff joints and muscles after waking up
- Numbness and tingling in the hands or feet.
- Painful menstrual periods.
- Issues with memory and concentration (fibro fog)
- Vision problems
- Weight gain
- Anxiety and depression
- Respiratory problems
Tylex as a Treatment for Fibromyalgia
Treating fibromyalgia requires a multi-pronged approach. Physicians often prescribe prescription and over-the-counter medicines as part of a holistic treatment for the disease.
Tylex tablets and capsules are suitable for acute pain unrelieved by common analgesics. However, the prescription drug must only be taken for fibromyalgia on a doctor’s recommendation. Why? The makeup of these drugs (acetaminophen & codeine phosphate hemihydrate) might come off as addictive and harmful when used by some individuals.
Effectiveness reports vary among fibromyalgia patients using Tylex. StuffThatWorks used AI-crowdsourced data to analyze the responses of fibromyalgia patients who tried the drug.
The analysis found that Tylex was rarely used in the fibromyalgia community. Those who had used it were not enough to give a verdict on its efficacy in reducing symptoms. Also, patients who had favorable outcomes frequently used the drug in combination with other treatment strategies.
Other Treatment Options for Fibromyalgia
In addition to Tylex, other drugs may also provide relief for fibromyalgia symptoms. Over-the-counter painkillers such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen may help relieve the pain. However, not every patient responds positively to these drugs, so patients need to read the instructions that accompany such medications before using them.
If a patient doesn’t find sufficient relief from these drugs, a physician may prescribe more potent painkillers like Tylex or other opioid-containing drugs. These drugs have a high addiction and dependence potential, so they must be used with caution.
Furthermore, painkillers also have a high tolerance risk, i.e., their effects weaken with time, and the patient will have to take higher doses to get the same effect they once had. Withdrawal is also another undesirable consequence of indiscriminate use of strong painkillers.
Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, and other antidepressant medications help stabilize neurotransmitter levels thought to play a role in fibromyalgia symptoms. Doctors usually prescribe antidepressants based on the symptoms’ severity.
Benzodiazepines and other classes of muscle relaxants may be prescribed for patients experiencing muscle spasms or stiffness. They may also help patients suffering from insomnia and other sleep problems as a result of their fibromyalgia.
Anticonvulsants and antiepileptic medication may also be prescribed to some patients after a thorough evaluation.
Alternative Treatment Approaches
In addition to medical treatment, fibromyalgia patients may also find complementary or alternative therapies helpful in managing their symptoms. These alternative treatments include:
Acupuncture has its origins in ancient China and is based on restoring the imbalance in a person’s life forces by inserting fine needles into specific parts of the skin. However, the efficacy of this method in treating fibromyalgia is not supported by sufficient research.
Skilled hand manipulation of the muscles and soft tissue provides pain relief to patients. Massage helps the body produce endorphins (natural painkillers) that help alleviate pain, stress, and anxiety associated with fibromyalgia.
Meditation and Yoga
Meditative practices like yoga and breathing exercises can also help relax the body and control symptoms.
Lifestyle Changes and Fibromyalgia Management
Fibromyalgia patients may help their symptoms by adopting healthy dietary habits, avoiding stressful situations as much as possible and cutting down on tobacco and alcohol use. Moderation should also apply to daily activities. Consequently, patients are advised to engage in less strenuous activities when the symptoms are severe.
Exercise triggers the release of natural painkillers that help reduce pain. Individuals may experience a worsening of symptoms at first, but continuity and consistency will reduce pain and other symptoms.
Maintain a Regular Sleep Routine
It is essential to create and maintain regular sleep habits when treating fibromyalgia. Sleeping and waking up at fixed times and avoiding daytime napping can help with the fatigue resulting from fibromyalgia. Avoiding overexertion and situations that may cause emotional stress may also help an individual avoid fatigue.
Fibromyalgia is a painful condition that can severely affect an individual’s daily routine. The pain and fatigue associated with the disease are debilitating and can negatively impact a person’s quality of life. There is no cure for fibromyalgia, and treatments only aim to ease symptoms and improve quality of life.
The numerous symptoms associated with fibromyalgia mean that patients often require more than one treatment approach to get sufficient relief. A combination of medications, therapy, and lifestyle changes will more often than not be necessary to get patients to reach a desirable state of wellness and functionality.