Nearly one in four primary care doctors prescribes antidepressants as a treatment for low back pain. But a new report shows there’s no evidence the drugs offer any relief.
The finding comes from a review by the Cochrane Collaboration, a not-for-profit group that evaluates medical research. The use of depression pills to treat back pain has been controversial.
Here are comments and advise by professionals and patients:
“Back pain sufferers please read Dr. John Sarno- his books are my bibles. After suffering excruciating pain I able to heal myself- no drugs or medial procedures.”
“I was on amitrypteline intermittently for chronic back pain (between 10 and 50 mg), then switched to nortrypteline in an effort to minimize the side effects of weight gain and constipation. Both of these drugs were originally intended to treat depression. Both gave me some initial weeks of relief and then faded to have no effect whatsoever. Being in pain constantly can lead to depression, as it did with me. The side effects of these drugs were a challenge and my pain-related depression was not alleviated.
After weaning off the pharmaceuticals I discovered the magic of fish oil – 3000 mg a day has drastically reduced my pain, evened out mood in a very subtle way, improved my good cholesterol and as an unintended, but welcome consequence, improved my skin. FISH OIL!! This is all part of my effort to adhere to an “anti-inflammatory” diet. Healing through nutrition is the best solution I’ve found in nearly three years of roller-coaster pain management, and dozens of modalities of intervention.”
“As a mental health professional I find it distressing and ethically questionable that family practice/primary care physicians are prescribing antidepressants inappropriately. Many patients do not receive adequate monitoring of their use, and oft times when one antidepressant proves to be ineffective, the patient is switched to another without close monitoring…”
“I was prescribed at least five different antidepressants for herniated discs, which did not work…But nothing, so far, has been as helpful as a physical therapist.”
“I’m officially diagnosed with chronic pain due to lumbar failure; 4 surgeries, fusion, spinal cord stimulator over a 14-year period. I’ve been on a slew of antidepressants and I can attest they did not do anything for the pain.”
“There is alot of public awareness these days on the dangers of antidepressants. It may be the side effects (some irreversible)the addicitions, the fact that they may cause angry and crazy behaviors and suicide and many are not even FDA approved. Could the suggestion that they could have helped with pain relief is maybe another way of keeping them prescribed since I am hoping most people are taking a second look at these dangerous drugs and learning how to “JUST SAY NO!” as we were taught to do with the illegal ones , you know the drugs from the streets, not your Dr’s office (the legal ones). Drugs are drugs.”
“An appropriate emotional response to a back problem indicates a healthy mind, not a pathological one. So why would they want to attempt to treat a healthy response? Are the physicians confusing an emotional response to feeling bad with feeling bad?”
“Unbelievable!!!!Prescribing anti-depressants for back pain is but one more glaring example of the rampant epidemic of inappropriate ‘legalized’ drug abuse in this country.”
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