Supplements are often used to treat fibromyalgia-related symptoms that have not been relieved by medications. A supplement may ease one especially challenging aspect of the condition—such as disrupted sleep—or have a more wide-ranging impact.
Blood tests can be used to determine deficiencies that may be addressed with supplements.
Information on the effectiveness of supplements is typically limited, in part because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements as it does medication. Variability in supplement ingredients can also make it difficult for researchers to compare results for people taking a certain supplement.
Treating Pain and Other Symptoms
Individual experiences vary, but magnesium, melatonin, and probiotics are among supplements that have shown promise in the medical literature:
- Magnesium. People with fibromyalgia are more likely than others to have low magnesium, and many doctors advise fibromyalgia patients to take this supplement.1
Magnesium is usually sold by itself, combined with calcium, or with both calcium and zinc.
- Melatonin. This hormone is produced by your body and is important in regulating each individual's sleep/wake system. Melatonin is widely used by people who have fibromyalgia as well as those who don't. Some people with insomnia or sleep problems related to jet lag or irregular work schedules also take melatonin. 4
- Probiotics. These live cultures, sometimes called "good bacteria," can help digestive health as well as overall health. Like the bacteria that already exists in the gut, probiotics can be helpful in counteracting harmful bacteria. Probiotic supplements may address several health problems that often occur in fibromyalgia, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), vaginal yeast infections, depression, and anxiety. 5