Antidepressants in Pain Management

  • Kris Ferguson
  • Nicole Wolfgram


Patients with chronic pain often have several pain generators, and therefore, the treatment of their pain requires a multifaceted approach. One resource used by providers is the use of antidepressant medications. There are three classes of antidepressants which include tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Multiple studies have shown the TCAs to be multipurpose, nonspecific analgesic adjuncts. SSRIs are typically less effective in pain than TCAs but their use can be beneficial, particularly when the use of TCAs is contraindicated or not well tolerated due to side effects. The SNRI duloxetine is the first antidepressant in the USA to have a specific indication for use in pain management.


Antidepressants Tricyclic antidepressants (TCA) Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) Neuropathy Fibromyalgia 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kris Ferguson
    • 1
  • Nicole Wolfgram
    • 1
  1. 1.Aspirus HospitalWausauUSA

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