What is the long-term outlook for people with fibromyalgia?

Often, if the situations that cause stress are resolved, fibromyalgia may spontaneously improve and medications may not be necessary.

Many people with fibromyalgia will continue to have symptoms despite treatment, especially when life is stressful. However, medications that may alter the balance of pain-producing chemicals (such as antidepressant drugs) should improve symptoms by 30%.

When other forms of therapy such as acetaminophen and aerobic exercise are combined to treat fibromyalgia, even more improvement can be expected. Those who are able to continue working and fulfilling their social obligations – despite their pain – do best.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/07/2017.

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