Does Sertraline treat Fibromyalgia? (+5 options)

In this article, we will discuss whether Sertraline is used for treating Fibromyalgia or not. We will look at the research studies and the usefulness of Sertraline for Fibromyalgia. We will further discover some other medications and treatment approaches to treat this condition. 

Does Sertraline treat Fibromyalgia?

Sertraline may treat Fibromyalgia. Sertraline and its effectiveness for Fibromyalgia is not clear but it is considered effective to treat depression associated with Fibromyalgia. 

Sertraline is an SSRI antidepressant that works by reuptaking serotonin in the brain. It is a preferred choice for major depressive disorder, and some other depressive conditions but is not a drug of choice for Fibromyalgia.  

What is the link between Sertraline and Fibromyalgia?

The link between Sertraline and Fibromyalgia is not clear. Sertraline does not directly affect Fibromyalgia but indirectly affects the associated conditions linked to Fibromyalgia. 

Sertraline, Trazodone, and other antidepressants were given to a population for the treatment of Fibromyalgia pain, and the results varied significantly (1).

Fibromyalgia is linked with a decrease in brain chemicals such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. The decrease in these neurotransmitters is not only associated with pain but also leads to anxiety and depression. Improvement in these conditions may indirectly impact Fibromyalgia-associated pain perception (1). 

Therefore, some studies have explored the use of SSRI antidepressants including sertraline as a broader approach for Fibromyalgia. Dysfunction in serotonin transmission may play a role in the pathophysiologic mechanism of Fibromyalgia (1).

What does research suggest? 

An imbalance or deficiency in serotonin is associated with other conditions linked with Fibromyalgia such as fatigue and cognitive deficits. Hence, SSRIs may increase serotonin levels and improve pain, fatigue, sleep, and quality of life (2). 

A 6-month comparative random study was conducted on 70 female patients with Fibromyalgia pain. The efficacy of Sertraline was compared to the physical treatment and ultrasonography in those patients (3). 

The results showed an improvement in Sertraline-treated patients in terms of pain, morning stiffness, and sleep disorders as compared to those who were given ultrasonography and physical therapy (3). 

What are the treatment options for Fibromyalgia?

The USFDA-approved medications for Fibromyalgia include (4): 

  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • Milnacipran (Savella)
  • Pregabalin (Lyrica)

Duloxetine and Milnacipran have shown affinity in improving pain and other fibromyalgia-associated symptoms by inhibiting both serotonin and norepinephrine transporters (5). 

However, Duloxetine has more selectivity for serotonin transporter while Milnacipran is more selective for norepinephrine inhibition rather than serotonin transporter (5). 

Other drugs which are also used off-labelled for treating fibromyalgia and associated conditions include (4):

  • Tricyclic antidepressant (Amitriptyline)
  • Anticonvulsants (Gabapentin)
  • SSRIs (Fluoxetine and Paroxetine)
  • Opioids (Tramadol)

However, the prescriber should consider the patient’s clinical features, side effects, and response, and then prescribe the most suitable medication for their treatment. 

What are the common symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

Some common symptoms of Fibromyalgia are (6):

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • Headaches usually migraines
  • Tingling in hands and feet
  • Gastrointestinal problems

Every person suffering from Fibromyalgia may not have all these symptoms. Fibromyalgia signs and symptoms may vary from person to person. Consult your doctor if you have similar symptoms and seek proper medical attention. 

What are the non-pharmacological treatments for fibromyalgia?

Some non-pharmacological therapies for treating Fibromyalgia include: 

  • Physical therapy
  • Lifestyle modifications
  • Exercise
  • Ultrasonography
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Sleep management
  • Diet and nutrition

Your healthcare provider should provide a tailored treatment plan based on your health condition. The symptoms and treatment of Fibromyalgia may vary from person to person. Therefore, an effective treatment plan with both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment is necessary. 


We have discussed the effectiveness of Sertraline for Fibromyalgia. We have disclosed FDA-approved medication and other treatment options for the treatment of Fibromyalgia pain and associated symptoms. 

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!



Walitt B, Urrútia G, Nishishinya MB, Cantrell SE, Häuser W. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for fibromyalgia syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Jun 5;2015(6): CD011735. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD011735. PMID: 26046493; PMCID: PMC4755337.


Üçeyler, N., Häuser, W. and Sommer, C. (2008), A systematic review on the effectiveness of treatment with antidepressants in fibromyalgia syndrome. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 59: 1279-1298.


González-Viejo MA, Avellanet M, Hernández-Morcuende MI. Etude comparative dans traitement de la fibromyalgie: ultrasons et kinésithérapie versus sertraline [A comparative study of fibromyalgia treatment: ultrasonography and physiotherapy versus sertraline treatment]. Ann Readapt Med Phys. 2005 Nov;48(8):610-5. French. doi: 10.1016/j.annrmp.2005.03.012. Epub 2005 May 31. PMID: 15979192.


Kia S, Choy E. Update on Treatment Guideline in Fibromyalgia Syndrome with Focus on Pharmacology. Biomedicines [Internet]. 2017 May 8;5(4):20. Available from:


Mease, P. J. (2009). Further Strategies for Treating Fibromyalgia: The Role of Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors. The American Journal of Medicine, 122(12), S44–S55.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health. Last reviewed: January 6, 2020.

Find a supportive therapist who can help with Depression.

Discover the convenience of BetterHelp, an online therapy platform connecting you with licensed and accredited therapists specialized in addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, relationships, and more. Complete the assessment and find your ideal therapist within just 48 hours.


AskYourPharm is user-supported. We may earn a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp’s services after clicking through from this site