Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Chronic pain and antidepressants

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 6 Replies
  • Posted By: froggyface66
  • May 29, 2009
  • 07:29 AM

I had a doctor recently wanting to prescribe anti depressants for polyarthritis associated with ross river virus, though she admitted I wasn't depressed. Why are doctors keen on prescribing anti depressants to someone in chronic pain? Has anyone been prescribed anti depressants for chronic pain and were they effective?

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  • For the same reason the guy at Best Buy always tries to sell you a big screen when you're only stopping in to use the bathroom.
    npcomplete 20 Replies Flag this Response
  • That was a serious question I was looking to hear people's experience's with anti depressants in the situation where they are prescribed anti depressions without necessarily suffering depression. Does anyone have any thoughts at all on this?
    froggyface66 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • I believe that they may use antidepressants to "up" your pain threshold.My mother has hereditary pancreatitis, and she was put on antidepressants, when she asked why, she was told they can help with pain endurance.Personally, I don't really know if this is the case, but you could always do a search online of usues for the specific antidepressant that you were given.maybe that could help with an answer.good luck.
    riskyd 35 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have lots of experience with this, as someone who has horrrible neuro-pain from full body RSD, I have been given many times antidepressants even though I wasnt depressed. I too thought why in the world would they give me these drugs when its obvious I dont need it, but believe it or not there is a method to all there madness. Antidepressants increase the levels of certain brain chemicals that improve mood and regulate pain signals. Low doses of antidepressants also relieve pain, although it is not known exactly how.These medicines are often used in lower doses when they are used to treat chronic pain than when they are used to treat depression. In low doses, these medicines relieve pain. In higher doses, they have antidepressant effects.These medicines are reserved for long-term (chronic) pain syndromes. They may be more effective if you also have depression or chronic pain caused by nerve problems such as shingles or diabetic neuropathy. They may help relieve sleeping problems and fatigue caused by chronic pain. Your doctor may prescribe antidepressants for use at bedtime because they can cause drowsiness. So the doctors arent saying you are depressed but are just seeing if it could help the pain. The drugs of course affect every one differently, like me I stoped taking them after awhile as it wasnt helping the pain and was creating a fog but I have friends with RSD that cant imagine not taking them as it helps their pain that much. I have many other friends who I met through pain program, and they all had different pains from arthiritis to back problems and most were on antidepressants to help pain some it was helping and some not. When your doctor prescribes drugs like this and you dont really know why its best to just ask and get their reasoning behide giving you the meds. I hope some of this help. Niki
    nikiski1 35 Replies Flag this Response
  • I had a doctor recently wanting to prescribe anti depressants for polyarthritis associated with ross river virus, though she admitted I wasn't depressed. Why are doctors keen on prescribing anti depressants to someone in chronic pain? Has anyone been prescribed anti depressants for chronic pain and were they effective? Well, first off, physicians are under close scrutiny from the DEA about prescribing narcotics (addiction and selling on the streets - I believe I heard that OxyContin goes for $1 a mg, so if you want an 80 mg tablet, you pay 80 bucks. For that kind of money, it had better keep you high for days (it doesn't). Therefore, docs are trying seizure meds, neuro meds, anti-depressants, etc. Also, they don't want you becoming hooked on narcotics My opinion of this is that it's a bunch of crap. I had chronic back pain (I have a long post about it elsewhere) that was terrible. After physical therapy, injections, nerve ablations, etc., it turned out I had a massive fibroid on the back of my uterus that was pressing on my spine. I had been told that since I was only 40 at the time, they couldn't prescribe narcotics no matter how bad my pain was because I was too young. I understand where they were coming from but my younger age doesn't mean my pain is less. I had been tried on Cymbalta without results. They're prescribing antidepressants such as Elavil for chronic pain also. I was given gabapentin which caused me severe dizziness. I was switched to Lyrica which maybe took the pain from a 10 to a 9 or 8 and still made me dizzy but not as bad. Frankly, all of this experimentation with neuroleptics and other drugs for chronic pain scares me. A lot of new drugs coming out (supposedly non-narcotic pain killers) end up having serious consequences down the road. (I miss Toradol p.o. and Bextra). I recently filed a complaint about Ultram with the FDA after typing yet another report of someone having a seizure due to Ultram. It happened to me after taking only 2 doses. It was a grand mal seizure, I hit my head and bit my tongue something awful. I had another seizure 3 months later without taking the Ultram. I don't have epilepsy, per se, but they did review my old medical records and found I have a lower seizure theshold though nothing ever developed until taking Ultram. I cannot take Wellbutrin or quinolones (Levaquin) plus several other meds because of this. Also, it's supposed to be non-addictive but they're finding people are becoming addicted to it. We have a ***k of an orthopedist in our area who will pretty much prescribe OxyContin for anything. That is how a few bad apples put all of the doctors under the watchful eye of the DEA. And what happens? People with severe pain end up getting undertreated because doctors are really fearful of losing their license over writing narcotic prescriptions. I'm a big advocate for pain control, even with my animals. My one pug had a hip operation and despite getting something similar to Celebrex, he was still crying for 2 days (it was the weekend). I got into an argument with the vet about this (poor guy had a plane crash while drunk several years ago and is a paraplegic) and was tempted to tell him I was willing to make him a quadriplegic if he did not help my animals pain. I refrained but I went ahead on my own and gave my baby an extra half dose of the pain medication and held him like a baby until he calmed down. How would you like a hip options with Tylenol as your postop med? Getting back to the anti-depressants, I think they're going with the fact that depression can lead to chronic pain, which leads to more depression, more chronic pain, etc. It's like of like an anxiety disorder wtih depression - you're anxious and become depressed because of it. You get more depressed because of the anxiety and so on. My advise is to ask the success rate for the meds your doctor wants to prescribe for you. And don't totally trust you doctors to know all of your drug interactions, allergies, even though they should. I had a GP try to call me in: Levaquin (causes sesizures), Ultram (causes same) and something else. I left his practice. When the girls asked me why, I told them I was afraid he wasn't going to kill me. I have the benefit of having worked either in a hospital or medical office for the last 20+ years, so though I'm not a doctor, I'm pretty well educated in a lot of diseases and medications. I hope whatever your doctor tries works for you. If he does give you Elavil (amitriptyline), it will help you sleep better but does give vivid dreams. Good luck to you! :D
    Vikefantam 30 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi there=)There may several be several reason for a doctor to prescribe 1 med that might often be used for something else, because some medications work systemically and affect your body differently at different doses.For example- Amitriptyline (Generic Elavil) is used for several reasons. The main reason for use is as an antidepressant and anxiety, but depending on the dose it can treat nerve pain, inflammation and even can work as a sleeping pill.I'm almost positive this is the drug your doctor prescribed you for pain. I was on it for pain and it works.......doctors often prescribe it to treat Fibromyalgia which is very effective for the illness's pain.Hope this info helped=)Stephanie
    Northern Angel 2 Replies Flag this Response
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