A symptom-based approach to pharmacologic management of fibromyalgia

Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2009 Apr;5(4):191-9. doi: 10.1038/nrrheum.2009.25.


Fibromyalgia is a prevalent disorder that is characterized by widespread pain along with numerous other symptoms, including fatigue, poor sleep, mood disorders, and stiffness. Previous guidelines for the management of fibromyalgia recommended an approach that integrates pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic therapies selected according to the symptoms experienced by individual patients. However, they offered no recommendations for a system of patient assessment that would provide a basis for individualized treatment selection. We present a simple, rapid and easily remembered system for symptom quantitation and pharmacologic management of fibromyalgia that combines visual analogue scale symptom scores from a modified form of the disease-neutral Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, with a review of medications that can be used to treat the individual symptoms. This symptom-based approach is amenable to caring for patients with fibromyalgia in a busy clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Management
  • Fibromyalgia / drug therapy*
  • Fibromyalgia / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Severity of Illness Index*