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VIDEO: Opioids should not be used to treat patients with fibromyalgia

ORLANDO, Fla. — At the Rheumatology Nurses Society Annual Conference, Susan K. Chrostowski, DNP, APRN, ANP-C, spoke about diagnostic measures for fibromyalgia. She said practitioners should avoid the use of opioids in patients with fibromyalgia. Chrostowski said practitioners need to validate patients’ symptoms, set goals and help them achieve their best quality of life.

ORLANDO, Fla. — At the Rheumatology Nurses Society Annual Conference, Susan K. Chrostowski, DNP, APRN, ANP-C, spoke about diagnostic measures for fibromyalgia. She said practitioners should avoid the use of opioids in patients with fibromyalgia. Chrostowski said practitioners need to validate patients’ symptoms, set goals and help them achieve their best quality of life.

    Perspective
    Vickie L. Sayles

    Vickie L. Sayles

    Fibromyalgia syndrome is a complex disease that affects many body systems. During her discussion at the Rheumatology Nurses Society Annual Conference, Susan K. Chrostovski, DNP, APRN, ANP-C, spoke of the complexity of this disease and various treatment modalities.

    While treating this disease with different pharmacotherapy options may be desirable to patients to relieve their unrelenting pain, caution must be taken when prescribing opioids to patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). As FMS is a chronic disorder, prescribing opioids for an extended period may produce severe adverse events which could prove detrimental to the patient’s health.

    Research has shown that implementation of non-pharmacological interventions can be more efficient than relying on medications to treat this condition. Treatments such as regular aerobic exercise and physical therapy, have proven to alleviate the symptoms related to FMS. If a pharmacological intervention is indicated, then non-opioid drugs, such as antidepressants, anticonvulsant medications and herbal supplements, have been shown to decrease the symptoms associated with FMS.

    Fibromyalgia has proven to be a challenging condition for the rheumatology provider. Choosing the right path for treatment for this multi-system distress syndrome includes setting specific goals for treatment and helping individuals achieve their best quality of life while living with this debilitating disease.

    • Vickie L. Sayles, BSN, CRNI, RN-BC
    • Clinical nurse manager, department of rheumatic and immunologic diseases Cleveland Clinic Foundation Cleveland

    Disclosures: Sayles reports no relevant financial disclosures

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