Doctors would sometimes prescribe fibromyalgia patients with anticonvulsants, a class of drugs used in treating epileptic seizures. Although these drugs can help in managing the fibromyalgia symptoms, they also lead to a wide range of side effects which includes dyskinesia.
What Is Dyskinesia?
Dyskinesia, also known as tardive dyskinesia, or TD, is one of the most common side effects of the drugs for treating seizures. One of the most common anti-seizure drug used for treating fibromyalgia is Gabapentin. This medication calms the interaction between the nerves in the brain and is effective for treating seizures that are normally caused by a rapid firing interaction in the nerves. Gabapentin is also used in treating fibromyalgia pain which is believed to be caused by overactive nerves.
However, a side effect of the Gabapentin is dyskinesia, which is an involuntary movement of your arms or legs. However, this can also include some less obvious symptoms such as a tendency to smack or purse your lips together. The condition can become worse if you are at rest. It can also lead to sleep issues hence making fibromyalgia management worse.
What Causes Dyskinesia In Fibromyalgia?
It is said that low levels of neurotransmitter, known as dopamine, often trigger dyskinesia. Low levels of dopamine are usually common for fibro patients, although it is not known why. However, dyskinesia appears to be more of a side effect of medications used to treat fibromyalgia than a complication or symptom of fibromyalgia itself.
How to Treat and Prevent Dyskinesia?
The best way to treat dyskinesia is to simply stop taking the drug that causes the condition. Unfortunately, this may not be an option for all. Many fibro patients depend on these medications to manage their fibromyalgia symptoms. It is best to consult your doctor before you stop taking any kind of medication used for your treatment.
Currently, no FDA approved medication is available for treating dyskinesia, however, some psychiatric drugs may be able to help. There are also some reports of success in treating the condition with the help of dietary supplements.
If your dyskinesia becomes debilitating, check with your doctor if the benefits of the medication outweighs its side effect. Your doctor may be able to recommend some other medications as an alternative.