Role of antidepressants in the treatment of chronic pain
Antidepressants are among the most commonly prescribed medications for chronic symptoms. More than 30 placebo-controlled, double-blind studies suggest the effectiveness of antidepressants in the treatment of various types of chronic pain. Antidepressants may be clinically effective in treating for chronic pain through a direct analgesic effect, through their effect on treating a comorbid psychiatric condition, through the treatment of pain related symptoms such as insomnia, or through its enhancement of opioid or non-opioid analgesics. Certain antidepressants may modulate pain perception through their action on descending noradrenergic and serotonergic pathways, and in addition, certain antidepressants have demonstrated inhibition of sodium channel activity, another possible analgesic effect.