Antidepressants are most helpful in treating pain caused by damage to nerves or by an overactive nervous system (aka neuropathic pain). Specifically, antidepressant medications can help treat the following painful conditions:
Acute injury and surgical pain may be helped, but is still being studied.
Types of Antidepressants
There are two types of antidepressant medications that are used to control neuropathic pain:
- Tri-cyclic antidepressants (TCAs), such as amitriptyline, Nortriptyline, and desipramine
- Serotonin/noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as Cymbalta and Savella
Antidepressants such as Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, and Effexor have no affect on pain. These medications decrease nerve transmission and nerve sensitivity. The TCAs have many side affects including dry mouth, low blood pressure, sedation, and urinary…
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