Anti-Depressants

Antidepressant drugs can be used in low doses for pain.  They are even used for cancer pain. Low doses of antidepressants don’t depression, they treat chronic pain. Certain anti-depressants have mild sedative effects which help patients in overwhelming pain to sleep. Improved sleep helps you cope with the stress of chronic pain. 

There are various medications that can be used, and I include drugs like Nortriptaline, Venlafaxine, Amitryptaline and Trazodone. 

Chronic pain causes stress which can lead to anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression affect the Limbic system which lights up the alarm system and makes areas of your body report pain when they shouldn’t.

How Antidepressants Help Pain

Sometimes anxiety is so over-powering that depression is not noticed. If you would like to try anti-depressants but are very anxious, ask your doctor to consider a two week course of benzodiazepines to help you through the worst. After two weeks the side-effect of increased anxiety goes down and in six weeks the effect is usually noticeable.

Some people feel numb or “dead” on anti-depressants. I wonder if that is not because chronic pain or chronic stress has led to PTSD. Our brains then only feel alive in a state of chaos. On anti-depressants, the calm feelings make you feel uncomfortable as your brain seeks the energy and excitement of chaos. Check out Stress Anxiety and PTSD

Antidepressants do not cause a physical addiction.  They do have side effects. Speak to your health care provider.

Serotonin can be found in medications other than antidepressants. If you take too much, you may develop toxicity

Speak to your health care provider if you have: tremors, increased reflexes, muscle spasms, dilated pupils, sweating, fast heart rate, increased breathing rate, agitation, over-excitement, restlessness, or confusion.