Talking To A Doctor | LYRICA® (pregabalin) CV Safety Info | Fibromyalgia
Talking to Your Doctor
Talking to a doctor about fibromyalgia diagnosis and treatmentFor many people with fibromyalgia, getting the right diagnosis can take years and multiple doctors. Finding the right treatment can take even longer. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Following this 3-step plan can help make the path to finding fibromyalgia pain relief a little shorter.
Remember, getting a diagnosis can be the first step toward finding a treatment for your fibromyalgia pain. Once you know you have fibromyalgia, you and your doctor can discuss appropriate treatment options.
The first step to getting an accurate diagnosis is finding the right doctor. It’s important to find someone you trust and communicate well with. It is also important that he or she has experience diagnosing and treating fibromyalgia.
There are number of ways to find a doctor with fibromyalgia experience. Here are some suggestions that can help:
Ask the doctor about his or her experience with fibromyalgia
Many doctors have experience diagnosing and treating fibromyalgia. But some have more experience than others. It’s okay to ask questions. Remember, your doctor is there to help you.
Find out if you need to see a specialist
Work with your regular doctor. Together, you can decide whether you should see a specialist such as a rheumatologist, pain management specialist, or neurologist. Specialists often have more experience with pain conditions, including fibromyalgia.
Ask your healthcare insurance provider for doctors in your plan
Your healthcare insurance provider can help you find a doctor near you. They can also tell you what steps to take before seeing a specialist.
Keep a list of the questions you want to ask
During the visit, it can be difficult to remember all your questions. So write them down beforehand. Then take the list with you.
Keep track of your symptoms
Write down your symptoms as they happen. This can help you remember all the details.This is especially helpful with a condition as complicated and unpredictable as fibromyalgia. Share your notes with your doctor. This will give him or her an accurate picture of your pain and how you have been feeling.
Make a list of what medications and alternative treatment approaches you are using. Write down your medications, including the dosage and how often you take them. It can also be useful to have a list of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, supplements, and other medicines you take. It's also helpful to let your doctor know about everything you're doing to try and alleviate your symptoms. This information could help your doctor as he or she develops your treatment plan.
Collect your recent test results and records
If you are seeing a new doctor or specialist, make sure you have copies of your recent lab tests and medical records.
Taking an active role in your treatment
There are a number of steps that you can take to successfully partner with your doctor. If you haven’t already read the section above about preparing for your appointment,it’s a great place to start.
Here are a few tips to remember for your next appointment:
Open communication is essential
It’s important to be completely open and honest. Your doctor needs all the information available to make the right diagnosis and treatment recommendation.
Don’t leave out details
Don’t be embarrassed to share details—your doctor will want to hear all about your symptoms, experiences, and how you feel.
Take it one step at a time
Getting diagnosed with fibromyalgia may not happen in just one visit. So it is important to ask how you can help move things along. This will help you and your doctor build a strong partnership.
Ask what additional treatment approaches may be right for you
Bring up any treatments that you want to learn more about. Then work with your doctor to decide if they could be right for you.
Remember, you and your doctor are a team. Be sure to ask your doctor questions and keep him or her informed of your progress. This will enable your doctor to decide the best course of action to help you get the most from your treatment plan.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION & INDICATIONS
LYRICA is not for everyone. LYRICA may cause serious, even life threatening, allergic reactions. Stop taking LYRICA and call your doctor right away if you have any signs of a serious allergic reaction. Some signs are swelling of your face, mouth, lips, gums, tongue, throat or neck or if you have any trouble breathing, or have a rash, hives or blisters.
Drugs used to treat seizures increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior. LYRICA may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in a very small number of people, about 1 in 500. Patients, family members or caregivers should call the doctor right away if they notice suicidal thoughts or actions, thoughts of self harm, or any unusual changes in mood or behavior. These changes may include new or worsening depression, anxiety, restlessness, trouble sleeping, panic attacks, anger, irritability, agitation, aggression, dangerous impulses or violence, or extreme increases in activity or talking. If you have suicidal thoughts or actions, do not stop LYRICA without first talking to your doctor.
LYRICA may cause swelling of your hands, legs and feet, which can be serious for people with heart problems. LYRICA may cause dizziness and sleepiness. You should not drive or work with machines until you know how LYRICA affects you. Also, tell your doctor right away about muscle pain or problems along with feeling sick and feverish, or any changes in your eyesight including blurry vision, or if you have any kidney problems or get dialysis.
Some of the most common side effects of LYRICA are dizziness, blurry vision, weight gain, sleepiness, trouble concentrating, swelling of your hands and feet, dry mouth, and feeling “high.” If you have diabetes, tell your doctor about any skin sores.
You may have a higher chance for swelling and hives if you are also taking angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors so tell your doctor if you are taking these medications. You may have a higher chance of swelling of your hands or feet or gaining weight if you are also taking certain diabetes medicines. Do not drink alcohol while on LYRICA. You may have a higher chance for dizziness and sleepiness if you take LYRICA with alcohol, narcotic pain medicines, or medicines for anxiety.
Before you start LYRICA, tell your doctor if you are planning to father a child, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you have had a drug or alcohol problem, you may be more likely to misuse LYRICA. In studies, a specific type of blood vessel tumor was seen in mice, but not in rats. The meaning of these findings in humans is not known.
Do not stop taking LYRICA without talking to your doctor. If you stop suddenly you may have headaches, nausea, diarrhea, trouble sleeping, increased sweating, or you may feel anxious. If you have epilepsy, you may have seizures more often.
LYRICA is indicated to treat fibromyalgia, diabetic nerve pain, spinal cord injury nerve pain, and pain after shingles. LYRICA is also indicated to treat partial onset seizures in adults with epilepsy who take 1 or more drugs for seizures.