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Dual Action Antidepressants Effective in Chronic Pain with and Without Depression

Common biochemical factors between pain and depression suggests that compounds inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin and/or noradrenaline are likely to produce relief from chronic pain. Tricyclic antidepressants have been a standard treatment of chronic pain for many years. In spite of their improved tolerance, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors do not appear to be particularly effective in the treatment of pain. Recently, a number of trials with the new selective serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor class of antidepressants, such as venlafaxine, milnacipran and duloxetine, suggest that these compounds may be more effective in relieving pain than selective inhibitors of serotonin reuptake. Wherever valid comparisons have been made, the newer dual action drugs appear to be as effective as the tricyclics and considerably better tolerated. Dual action antidepressants are thus likely to become a widely used treatment of chronic pain both associated with and independent of depression. Briley M. “Clinical experience with dual action antidepressants in different chronic pain syndromes.” Human Psychopharmacology. 19 Suppl 1:S21-5, 2004 Oct.



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