Myalgias

Myalgias are another word for muscle aches and soreness. This is a symptom, not a disease. Myalgias can have many causes. A cold, the flu, fever, or any infection can cause them. They may happen after heavy exercise or injury, such as an accident or fall. Some medicines such as statins, some antidepressants, and cancer treatments can cause myalgias. They can also be a symptom of long-term (chronic) health problems such as cancer, lupus, chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis, or hypothyroidism. With these illnesses, other serious symptoms often occur with muscle pain and soreness.

Myalgias most often go away on their own. If they don't go away, or they come back or are severe, you may need tests to help find the cause.

Home care

  • Rest until you feel better.

  • Follow instructions that you were given for how to care for yourself. This may depend on the cause of your myalgias.

  • If myalgia is thought to be caused by a medicine, talk with the healthcare provider who prescribed the medicine about what to do.

  • To control pain, take prescription or over-the-counter medicines as directed. Unless told not to, you can try acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider or as advised. If your symptoms don't go away in a few days or if they come back, follow up with your provider for an exam and testing.

When to get medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38ºC) or higher, or as advised by your provider

  • Pain that gets worse, or pain that goes away and comes back

  • New joint pain

  • New rash

  • Severe headache, neck pain, drowsiness, or confusion

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