Previous reviews have shown that certain antidepressants may be effective for certain chronic pain conditions. This review paper investigated 25 different antidepressants and found that the only antidepressant they were certain about for the treatment of chronic pain was duloxetine (aka Cymbalta).

Duloxetine has been used for many years to treat depression, anxiety, neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia. The most common reported side-effects of duloxetine are relatively minor such as nausea, dry mouth, constipation, loss of appetite, fatigue and drowsiness. It is also generally considered to be non-addictive.

Although antidepressants may sometimes be beneficial, there is currently no reliable evidence for the long-term efficacy of any of them, and no reliable evidence for their safety for chronic pain at any time point.

So the jury is still out on whether to use or not to use antidepressants for chronic pain; though they may temporarily reduce symptoms, there’s no evidence that they help in the long run. Because pain is complex!

To date, we know of no pharmaceutical intervention that actually resolves chronic pain. There is no one easy solution since many factors may need to be addressed.

Please view my video (2 minutes) on the contributing factors to pain using an iceberg analogy.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.