Formication and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia includes many symptoms and issues that make this rare and undiagnosed diseases the most annoying one in nature. The constant pain in the complete body, fatigue and muscle stiffness which makes the basic tasks worse to do. Fibro-fog makes you forgot even a simple detail about a thing you did in the morning. The little endless knock-on signs of fibromyalgia compete for the worst thing of any disease title. But avoiding everything else, formication is a strong candidate for the title.

What is Formication?

The feeling of crawling of an insect beneath your skin is called the formication. “Formica” is a Latin word means “ant”. It is a type of Paresthesia.

Paresthesia: the sensation of crawling on the skin which no physical cause is known as paresthesia. It has many types and forms including tingling, burning or numbness.

Formication also has a description of crawling sensations which feels like needles and pins. It is also known as tactile hallucinations, which means the sensation or feeling on the skin without any physical reasons or cause.

The symptoms of formication are caused due to both, prescribed and recreational medication use. By stopping to use such medications, we can alleviate this sensation. Some of the prescriptions are as follows:

  • Wellbutrin or bupropion
  • Lunesta or eszopiclone
  • Cocaine
  • Crystal meth
  • Ritalin or methylphenidate
  • Ecstasy or molly or MDMA

Causes of Formication

While suffering from formication, you might feel the crawling of a bug beneath your skin. But a little good news for you that it is not an actual bug there. It feels exactly like that there is something.

Now the question is if it is no bug then what is it? The major sufferers of formication are the ones who are methamphetamine users or are having an issue with mental health. The extra activity of the brain causes something, and the brain starts to process that sensation. As we also called formication the tactile hallucination, it is not important to take any medication to feel that. It can affect anyone.

Brain Processing and Hallucinations in Fibromyalgia

The reason behind the hallucinations produced by the brain is still not obvious. Typically, the brain receives the sensation from the nervous system that something is crawling on or under the skin which in actual is nothing. The signal from the nervous system to the brain is sending a false sensation to the brain which acts upon it and gives you the feeling of something crawling without any external interference of touching or crawling on you. But the reason why the nervous system is doing so is still unknown.

The formication can be a serious problem for the sufferers. They usually pick at the skin and scratch the skin frequently to get relief from such sensations which could to extreme maddening situation of crawling bugs beneath the skin. This led to scary scars and infections in the wounds formed due to scratching. Sleep is also disturbed due to formication. As a result, other health problems arise like sleep deprivation which led from diabetes to high blood pressure due to frustration.

Formication in Fibromyalgia

The fibromyalgia sufferers mostly have nervous disorders such as chronic itching or irritable bowel syndrome. As discussed earlier, the formication is the communication problem of the nervous system and brain. So, this clears the linkage between the fibromyalgia and formication as the pain is mainly rooted in nerves. The basic system works like the signals sent by the nervous system to the brain which then interpret those signals to do the action. For example, if you touch a hot pan with your finger, your nervous system readily sent the signal that the hot pan can burn your finger which the brain interprets the signal and cause you a burning sensation in your finger, and you will back off your finger from pan. The burning sensation and pain in your finger are registered by the brain because of the signal from the nervous system.

This is the mechanism through which our body protects us from injuring ourselves. The act of pulling back the finger after feeling the burning sensation at the point is an example. So, if we talk about the fibromyalgia sufferer, these signals are sent to the brain with no such obvious cause or reason for the pain. The brain registers the sensation and causes the pain which physically not present there. Such cases of sufferers of formication also having fibromyalgia suffers from the same false neural signals which are registered by the brain and sensation of crawling of bugs under the skin without any bug there is felt.


So, it can be said that the people having fibromyalgia also deal with the sympathetic nervous system disorder as well the same as formication because of the malfunctioning of the nervous system. But we cannot give any obvious reasoning behind it until the real cause of fibromyalgia is discovered and understood by the researchers. The same goes with formication as well. but for now, it is the only logical explanation we have so far.

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4 thoughts on “Formication and Fibromyalgia

    1. This is rubbish! I, like many others I know, have Chronic Restless Leg Syndrome (diagnosed by a specialist) and have never used any of the prescribed or illegal substances you state! I’d go back to your research and start again! SORRY

  1. I don’t take any of those said medications and illegal substances and I have it. The itching under the skin is the worst!

    1. Same! I don’t take any of the mentioned meds or do drugs but, I experience the crawling sensation with the fibromyalgia. This article didn’t help me at all.

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