Cyclobenzaprine for Fibromyalgia
Currently, cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) is not FDA-approved for fibromyalgia, but it is frequently used off-label for people with this condition. It has been studied as a potential fibromyalgia treatment since the 1980s.
Cyclobenzaprine lessens muscle pain, tenderness, and fatigue in people with fibromyalgia. It can also lessen the number of tender points 2. Cyclobenzaprine, taken at bedtime, noticeably improves sleep quality and brings more nights of restorative sleep 1.
Cyclobenzaprine dosage for fibromyalgia is between 5-10 mg, taken up to three times a day 3.
Cyclobenzaprine plus Fluoxetine
Cyclobenzaprine combined with fluoxetine improves pain intensity, the number of painful tender points, and morning stiffness better than cyclobenzaprine alone4.
Cyclobenzaprine vs Amitriptyline
Although not approved by the FDA for fibromyalgia syndrome, cyclobenzaprine and amitriptyline have been used to treat fibromyalgia for years. Both have undergone extensive clinical testing for safety and effectiveness.
Cyclobenzaprine is related to the tricyclic antidepressants. Its chemical structure is quite similar to that of amitriptyline and differs by only one double bond.
A long-term study5, which followed 208 patients treated with amitriptyline, cyclobenzaprine, or placebo for 6 months reported significant improvement for both drugs, although initial improvement was lost at 6 months.
After 1 month, 21%, 12%, and 0% of the amitriptyline, cyclobenzaprine, and placebo patients, respectively, had significant improvement. These percentages increased to 36%, 33%, and 19%, respectively, at the 6-month. The nature and frequency of side effects reported by patients treated with amitriptyline and those reported by patients treated with cyclobenzaprine were similar5.
Author: OriginalDrugs Team