Slamming the “Carnival” Lyrica Commercial

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Blogging Challenges, Emilys Thoughts, Fibro Pics | 10 comments

Slamming the “Carnival” Lyrica Commercial

As a person who has dealt with Fibromyalgia for over a decade, I have found the most recent Lyrica commercials to be disturbing and setting unrealistic expectations. The “Carnival” Lyrica ad showcases a mother with Fibromyalgia taking her daughter to a carnival where they play carnival games, ride the ferris wheel, and eat cotton candy.

The commercial itself is sweet and heartwarming, but it is also extremely unrealistic for many people with Fibromyalgia. Lyrica is one of only three pain medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat Fibromyalgia. Many people have had good results with Lyrica in that it can calm the nerves and reduce pain. A few people have outstanding results with Lyrica and probably could go to the carnival and then pay for it for a week after.

My experience with Lyrica was initially that it was a miracle drug that enabled me to do so much more, including spending more time with my children. But then the side effects started and I got worse, much worse. Years later, I no longer take Lyrica and am able to live life again without it, but at the time Lyrica really did help me for a while. In fact, there were days that I actually could have gone to the carnival and did; I just was not able to move for days afterwards.

So what is my beef with the Lyrica commercials? Well, I simply want them to be a little more realistic for Fibromyalgia patients. It is not a cure, nor does it alleviate all symptoms, but it does help many people mitigate the nerve pain with side effects that seem to affect everyone differently.

Commercials literally reach millions of people every day and this commercial is spreading a consciousness about Fibromyalgia that is overdramatized to the good side. If everyone with Fibromyalgia really got that much better from taking the pill, don’t you think we would all take it? Unfortunately, what I have seen as the result of the commercial is the mentality of “If you want to get better just take the Lyrica pill on tv, it fixes everything” and “why aren’t you doing as well as the people on tv? You take that pill don’t you?”

That said, because Fibromyalgia affects everyone so differently and because if I had not experienced such strong side effects, I personally would still be taking Lyrica, I cannot completely slam the commercials or the medication. I just want to see a different portrayal.

A woman named Amanda Matos has a petition requesting Pfizer (the manufacturer of Lyrica) to do the following:

1.) Make Lyrica advertisements realistic, if you have any advertisements at all
2.) Modify Lyrica so that the side effects are not worse than the disease
3.) Invest more money and time into research, to find better treatments for fibromyalgia.

I personally agree with these three requests. If you do too, please consider signing the petition at

Do you think the Lyrica “Carnival” commercial is unrealistic?

Hello Fibro Friends. My name is Emily. I have Fibromyalgia, but it doesn’t have me, at least not anymore! After coping with the chronic pain and other difficult symptoms of Fibromyalgia for more than a decade, I have learned wonderful ways to improve my quality of life and find inspiration in the world around me. My purpose in life is to increase Fibromyalgia awareness and understanding, while helping others reach an Inspired Life! I love teaching others how to not only cope with Fibromyalgia, but to actually excel at living an abundant, healthy, and inspired lifestyle.

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  1. Hi Emily,
    I can’t imagine how challenging it must be living with fibromyalgia.
    Thank you for sharing your journey.:)
    William recently posted…How to Find Customers for Your New BusinessMy Profile

    • Thanks William, I appreciate you stopping by and visiting!

  2. I have often watched Lyrica and Cymbalta commercials and thought to myself if it only worked for me. I agree they can be misleading but I AM happy for those it works for. Just wish it did for me. In 2011 I tried and got no results at all. I did gain 20 pounds in 3 months. Back in November I asked my rheumatologist to let me try it again. Stared on lowest does at bedtime and for the first month I thought it was a miracle drug. Then the down fall came. Weight gain again and less and less relief. My doctor left it up to me as to increase strength or stop taking to see just how much it helped or not. I knew if I chose increasing dose at first it would be great but I felt confidant same thing would occur.

    I stopped 2 weeks ago and the pain this past week has brought me back to where I was. I’m really so confused to as to what to do now. I discussed with my psychologist today. You mentioned 3 medications? I’ve tired Savella. What is the other one?

    So glad I stumbled across your blog.
    Gentle Hugs…Theresa

    • The third one approved by the FDA is Cymbalta. I hope that helps. Sounds like Lyrica isn’t working for you the way it’s meant to.

  3. This yes! Seriously, a carnival is a Fibromyalgia sufferers worst nightmare. After I began feeling better thanks to a lot of lifestyle changes, meds, supplements, etc. we tried to go to the local fair. While it was something there’s no way I could have managed a couple of years earlier, even at my “better” state it was still over-whelming with all the noise, people, sounds, smells, lights, etc.

    This brings to mind a video that I saw recently and wrote about my blog.

    One of the comments was that we need the world to say invisible illness as it is, not just those who “triumph” but the reality. The reality is not carnival rides (even for those of us who find ways to feel better). The reality is an almost normal life where we aren’t running scared of noisy, crowded, environments, but we certainly aren’t running towards them either.
    Julie recently posted…Customer Service and Communication: Part 2My Profile

    • Thank you so much. You expressed my feeling regarding the commercial perfectly!

  4. I truly agree. I found out I have fibromyalgia in 2000 but pretty much had it all my life just didn’t know what it was. I also took Lyrica and the side affects I experience were extreme. I was instantly taken off the medication. I became lethargic, racing heart, and nausea. So no I do not like the commercial as well. And on top of that did not feel any better from taking it. I am currently on Melexicam, and Tramadol. So far that works for me but have some extreme days that still overwhelming. But thur it all I still lead a Mechanical Engineering Technology Program and teach all of the classes even during speech problems on some days. But I trust in God and keep going.

    • You are truly an inspiration! It is always great to hear from people with Fibromyalgia who are functioning despite the overwhelming days and who have found combinations of medicine or therapies that help them live life as much as possible! I had very bad side effects from Lyrica too.

  5. I have been on Lyrica in the past, I’m pregnant now and unable to take it, it did help me a lot and I had minimal side effects with it. However, I have never felt as well as all the Lyrica commercials promise you feel. They act like if you take the medication you will be cured. That is absolutely not the case. And these commercials could make people unfamiliar with Fibro think we can all just take some pills and be fine. This also doesn’t take into account that many people aren’t able to get any relief from Lyrica, or have extreme side effects from it.

    • Thank you so much for sharing! This is so true and so few people without Fibromyalgia truly understand that the magical Lyrica pill only does so mucha nd truly doesn’t help everyone!

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