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Musculoskeletal Disorders: Pharmacotherapy Essay

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Updated: Jul 1st, 2021

Some endocrine and musculoskeletal disorders require prolonged care and regular check-ups because they cannot be healed completely. Patients seek symptom management options that will provide comfort to their daily lives. Fibromyalgia is one of these conditions, being a recently classified issue that is still affected by the lack of research (Macfarlane et al., 2017). The diagnostic process for this disorder can last for years because of the evidence-based studies scarcity. Female gender is one of the risk factors for developing fibromyalgia, and this aspect also affects the way women respond to medications used for the condition’s treatment. Currently, to treat symptoms of fibromyalgia, medical professionals prescribe pain relievers, antidepressants, and anti-seizure medications.

Disorder and Treatment

Patients with fibromyalgia have one main symptom, persistent widespread musculoskeletal pain, that leads to the development of all further issues. Other symptoms may include fatigue, problems with sleep, mood changes, and memory problems (Arcangelo, Peterson, Wilbur, & Reinhold, 2017). Other issues can develop along with fibromyalgia, including headaches and joint disorders. Healthcare providers establish the development of fibromyalgia if the pain is persistent for more than three months (Macfarlane et al., 2017). Existing treatment plans focus on symptom management because the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. This disorder can occur as a result of an accident or trauma, but it can also appear without underlying or detectable reasons (Arcangelo et al., 2017).

Thus, the main goals of pharmacotherapy are pain relief and mood stabilization. It should be remarked that drug therapy is not the only solution for fibromyalgia and should be complemented with physical therapy, exercise, and other non-pharmacological treatments (Macfarlane et al., 2017). Nonetheless, such types of medications as selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs) can be utilized to help patients deal with pain (Macfarlane et al., 2017). One of the SSNRIs researched and recommended by scientists is duloxetine, an antidepressant often prescribed to treat major depressive disorders (Lunn, Hughes, & Wiffen, 2014). Other treatments for severe pain may include opioids, but their use is controversial due to their ability to cause addiction and overdose (Macfarlane et al., 2017). Such drugs as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), muscle relaxants, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help patients to reduce pain and sleeping problems (Arcangelo et al., 2017; Macfarlane et al., 2017).

Patient Factor

One of the most recognized patient factors in diagnosing fibromyalgia is gender. According to Jones et al. (2015), the prevalence of females with fibromyalgia is substantial, ranging from 13:1 to 2:1 ratios. Thus, it is clear that one’s gender affects the way one body may respond to pain and trauma. Therapy planning for women should recognize that some drugs may be dangerous to female patients. People who want to have children should not be prescribed teratogenic medications because these drugs can disturb one’s child-bearing abilities (Arcangelo et al., 2017). Such TCAs as amitriptyline and muscle relaxants as cyclobenzaprine are D category drugs and should not be taken by pregnant patients (Arcangelo et al., 2017). To avoid adverse side effects, patients should be prescribed safe medications, and, if possible, medical professionals should consider non-pharmacological treatments for symptom relief.

Conclusion

Patients with fibromyalgia experience widespread pain that often leads to them developing depression as well as mood and sleeping issues. Women, in particular, suffer from this condition more often than men. Healthcare providers should develop a treatment plan that considers patients’ long-term needs and goals and reduces any dangers to women who want to have children. Such medications as SSNRIs, TCAs, muscle relaxants, and NSAIDs can be taken by patients to relieve pain.

References

Arcangelo, V. P., Peterson, A. M., Wilbur, V., & Reinhold, J. A. (Eds.). (2017). Pharmacotherapeutics for advanced practice: A practical approach (4th ed.). Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Jones, G. T., Atzeni, F., Beasley, M., Flüß, E., Sarzi‐Puttini, P., & Macfarlane, G. J. (2015). The prevalence of fibromyalgia in the general population: A comparison of the American College of Rheumatology 1990, 2010, and modified 2010 classification criteria. Arthritis & Rheumatology, 67(2), 568-575.

Lunn, M. P., Hughes, R. A., & Wiffen, P. J. (2014). Duloxetine for treating painful neuropathy, chronic pain or fibromyalgia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (1), 1-121.

Macfarlane, G. J., Kronisch, C., Dean, L. E., Atzeni, F., Häuser, W., Fluß, E.,… Jones, G. T. (2017). EULAR revised recommendations for the management of fibromyalgia. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 76, 318-328.

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