I’m worried about medications. I hate taking them but I’m starting to accept I’m going to have to. I’m starting over though and I’m worried about side effects specifically increased fatigue weight gain appetite increase decreased sex drive or just that sick feeling. I take medium and low dose of a blood pressure medication and I have been taking ambien very frequently for sleep. I had stopped both savella and neurotin 2 months ago because of side effects. Talked with my doctor yesterday and he thinks my side effects were from the neurotin and not savella. So I restarted Savella today. I hope to be able to keep the dose low. But I have read alot here about people taking lyrica and cymbalta. I was specifically NOT given lyrica because I was told it can increase appetite and I have gained way too much weight in the past year. I have taken celebrex which does seem to help the pain. Anyone have good luck with just savella?

I take nexium not medium. Auto correct is driving me nuts lol

Well, they're right about the Lyrica and weight gain. :-/

Hi Dawn, I could not get through the day with out the Savella, I was prescribed 50 mg 2x a day, but I cut them in half, I take 1/2 with breakfast, 1/2 with lunch & 1/2 with dinner, so I only take 75 mg a day. If I take it after 6 it messes with my sleep. It gives me energy, and has helped me emotionally overcome that feeling of " how can I live like this " I noticed an improvement after 3 weeks, even more so after months…
It doesn’t help that much with pain, or maybe my pain would be worse without it, hard to believe. I have had no issues with weight gain, actually lost weight since on it. I also take an extra strength Tylenol with the first 2 , 1/2 doses. I was allergic to Lyrica, but I do remember when I started it my appetite was like I was preg. I was always starving… Yikes
I hope you see improvement … Everyone is different , listen to your body, many can’t take it, it seems more can’t take it , than can, but for me … It helps, with no bad side effects
Hugs& blessings

With Savella and Cymbalta both being SNRI's, the side effects you mentioned are the most common. Lyrica and Neurontin are both anti-convulsants, which come with their own set of woes, but still share those side effects too. It seems that with any drug they use to treat Fibromyalgia, we're going to end up with the same thing.

Some people do really great on these - see dee's message - and some do really bad. I had horrible reactions - Cymbalta made me feel like I had the worst flu ever, and Savella made me feel like I was dying. Lyrica did nothing for me, good or bad. So far Neurontin seems to be the lesser of all evils, although I have still gained a significant amount of weight and have very bad fluid retention.

Everyone seems to have a such wide range of responses to these drugs, good and bad, so unfortunately I don't think there is any way to tell until you try it.

Good luck and keep us posted!


Lyrica just about made me look like a toad! I have never taken Savella. My pain dr gives me Nucynta. It is made specifically for muscle pain. I take Neuronton with no problems.

Good luck Dawn. Miss your posts.

I take Lyrica and am afraid to try cymbalta or savella, not because of anything I've heard, in fact either of them would be less expensive, but because it made such a difference in me. I had severe depression that was not helped by any of the psych drugs, when they started the Lyrica, after a month or so there was a dramatic difference, I wasn't constantly complaining of pain and my depression lifted. So I put up with all the side effects.I had gained weight on all the other psych drugs and at least with the lyrica I feel like doing stretches and some swimming. I know it is hard accepting that you have to take meds now but you have to weigh whether the good outweighs the bad.

I hope this helps.

Hi Dawn , Could you tell me what kind of side effects you had while on the Neurontin.. I am taking it along with arthrotec and I have just not been myself. Almost depressed and hard to get out of this funk. Even tho I am not eating too much ... I seem to be gaining weight daily?? Just curious.. Thanks

Hi Dawn

I tried all the meds you mention and had side effects with all. I recently read an article that admited that Lyrica and savella did no better in clinical trials than sugar pills - yet big Pharma continues to push these on Fibro patients. Just be careful of anything that can change your brain chemistry to such a degree. I never had such a depressed feeling until I was given ANTI DEPRESSENTS !

Hi Dawn, I go along with Dee as to the 'listen to your body'. I have a horrible reverse reaction to anything that even 'acts like an antidepressant', which is what all of the fibro approved medications say they do. Cymbalta put a gun under my chin in June of '09. I had told the (unfit) dr. that it was bothering me so she doubled the dose. Even tho I told her that I could not afford to take it, she refused to allow me to continue with what I had been taking until I could get the pharm. co. to send me it free (low income through PPA). So to make matters worse the samples I was given would run out before she could get me more ... sort of a double bad whammy.

In 1 of the other discussion groups we laughed over the whole thing of 'We are depressed because we are in pain. We are not in pain because we are depressed!'. I'm scared to death of being over medicated like my 2 friends are and so many of our fellow sufferers. I'd rather fight through with my 2 - 750mg. hydrocodone and 3 - 10mg. flexeril a day. Once in a while when the osteoarth. get REALLY bad I'll break down and take a 200mg. celebrex. On good days, warm, low humidity and barometer has stayed steady, I can get by with 1 hydro.,1 or 2 flex. Love Yuma, Az. 116 degrees, 25% humidity, motel swimming pool - at about 85 - sling raft, cold drink AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Sorry, great daydream in winter you have to admit, lol

Remember, if the medication is not helping, if it is doing nothing or possibly making you feel worse somehow just because a persons name has an MD after it doesn't mean you can't refuse to take or quit taking something you don't agree with. 'It will get better' when something makes you feel worse isn't always true. Which is worse - the fibro or the bad side effects from the medication. YOUR choice.

(((((((((((Soft Hugs))))))))))) Jenni

I have never taken Savella, but I think I will ask my Dr about it next time I see him ( 2 weeks, thank god) I currently am taking wellbutrin, gabapentin and naproxan, as well I have lorazapam to help me sleep at night. I also take endocet for pain. I tried lyrcia and cymbalta, but I have terrible reactions to them, it feels like I have the worst flu EVER, like I am always on the verge of throwing up, horrible. I have been recently diagnosed with carpal tunnel and as well my spinal stenosis has gotten progressively worse, as the neurologist said, and he thinks I will need back surgery as well as for the carpal tunnel...yayyy! NOT! But what can we do other than soldier on?

gentle hugs


Hey guys. I just want to add something here that I’ve learned from seeing my Psychiatrist. I was told a lot of the problem with negative side effects can be caused by starting at too high of a dose (or being upped too quickly). I personally am very sensitive to medications. I know GPs mean well but you should always be slowly upped in your medication. I’ve taken antidepressants off and on for years. I’ve had some pretty bad side effects to certain meds but since I’ve been seeing my psychiatrist I haven’t had any problem other than weight gain, which I am now being tapered off Prozac and being put on Cymbalta fingers crossed.

It takes a while and can be slow but it’s definitely worth it to go the slow route as there’s nothing worse than terrible side effects. Another reason I would suggest seeing a psychiatrist is if you have any other mental health conditions certain medications could make it worse. I recently (about a year ago) found this out the hard way. I was put on Wellbutrin and I was having serious anger problems (I’m usually never an angry person). When I started seeing my psychiatrist she told me that is one of the worst antidepressants I could be on because I have severe GAD (anxiety) and all it does is wire up my brain even more. Of course, not all doctors are created equal so if you don’t feel comfortable with one, don’t feel bad to try and see another one. I am not trying to preach or tell you what to do, I just wish someone would have suggested I go see a psychiatrist earlier 'cause it would have saved me a lot of trouble with medications. No one knows how you feel better than you do and doctors should always be willing to do this WITH not TO you. I wish you all luck.

I'm amazed that all of your insurance companies will cover these meds. Lol. Mine won't pay for Lyrica, Cymbalta or Savella until I've done "step therapy". I have to try and fail on Gabapentin plus 3 different anti-depressants before they'll even consider covering any of those. So we are doing step therapy, hoping one of the things we must try will help, but trying to make the insurance company happy in case they don't help.

Right now, I'm on Wellbutrin (not helping the pain, but it gives me a really nice energy boost), and Gabapentin, but I can't get above 200 mg without having side effects (edema, mostly). I see my doctor in mid-February and we'll make changes then.

I agree with starting low and increasing slowly - it can help avoid big reactions and allow your body to adjust gradually. I also agree that if a medicine isn't doing anything for you, it's time to try something else. I take so many pills I should rattle when I walk, but they all serve a purpose and do what they're supposed to. I hate taking meds, but I want a life and I will take what I have to in order to be functional.

Good luck.


Excellent suggestion Michelle about the being careful about stuff that changes your brain chemistry. I know what you mean. It's hard enough to deal with things especially during a flare up. and feeling weird out of sorts and or depressed due to chemical reactions just makes it worse! I'm very leery about meds because of this.

i read same last night. Also in 2010, I was reading a prestigious magazine that stated that the FDA was NOT GOING TO APPROVE CYMBALTA FOR PAIN REDUCTION ANYMORE. I'm sure the Pharmaceutical companies with their big pockets greased the FDA's palm and are continuing to make this claim. I call bulls*** on this drug. I used to take it but could not tell any pain reduction. what a joke. Neurontin made me feel floaty and speedy and I totaled my Xterra on it. Lyrica is a cousin of Neurtontin by the way. I fell like going back to seeing a chiropractor and seek Physical Therapy. And just saying forget these meds that mess with our brain chemistry and by the way Cymbalta can make you suicidal and cause muscle sitfness. Isn't that a contradiction. Also, when I used to take neurontin, I read that a side effect was back pain. What the f***?

Hi Lisa I wanted to u that the side effects were greatly increased appetite. I just wanted to eat constantly. Also horrible anxiety and worse ans worse depression. And acid reflux so bad the medium didn’t work at all. This may have been from the anxiety. The neurotin helped a lot with the burning pain in my feet though. I’m trying savella now. Starting slow. I hope neurotin works ok for you!!!

HI dawn,

The fear of meds, then the gradual acceptance is all part of this for all of us. I applaud the people who can go on strict diets and cleanses and find relief, but some just cannot tolerate the meds.

I take Lyrica, have for years, but I have Sciatica, which is killer nerve pain from a spinal disc hitting a major nerve. The Neurontin made me 'reel', I mean I could not stand up and walk without holding onto something, but it helps others. We are all different. There are SE to everything. The major SE I have from Lyrica is fluid retention. Every once in a while I have to stop it for a day or two and the fluid leaves on it's own, after I run to the bathroom constantly.

Lack of motion alone is a weight problem with us. WE hurt so are not active like we had been, so the weight hits us. Stress releases Cortisol which packs it on us too.

Hope you can work with your Dr and reach a happy medium with meds, unfortunately it's all trial and error. WE have to try different meds to see which ones work best for our body.

Wishing you well,

Love and hugs,


I will be going on an opiate detox next week. I am nervous. I understand your fears. I have been on Cymbalta for three weeks now and I like it a lot. My Dr is hopeful that the Cymbals Lyrical combo will be enough. I am sensitive to many different meds as well. I understand. I wish you the best of luck.


What is step therapy?

I hope it all goes well. Think good thoughts.