Can Paxil Treat Fibromyalgia Pain?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

I have had costochondritis for 18 years. I have tried numerous drugs for this condition, and it seems to come and go. Two weeks ago, when I last saw my doctor I mentioned that it seems that I have many trigger points all over my body that hurt and have hurt for several years now. He mentioned that it could be fibromyalgia, and he put me on Paxil (20mg) at bedtime. Is this a new use for this drug? I know it is mostly used for depression and anxiety disorders? What do you think of this drug for pain control?

Doctor's response

Paxil (paroxetine) has been used for some time now for the treatment of pain conditions. It is not specific in addressing pain, but can relieve pain caused by such conditions as nerve diseases, fibromyalgia, and other pain problems.

You are correct that the first and primary uses of Paxil include depression, panic disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder. However, the dose used in the treatment of pain conditions is often much lower than that used for the treatment of these emotional states. The drug is relatively safe under the guidance of a doctor and may be greatly helpful for the conditions you have described.

Thank you for your question

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018