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J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2001 Jan;26(1):30-6.

Antidepressants as analgesics: a review of randomized controlled trials.

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  • 1Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre and Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS.


This review provides an overview of 59 randomized placebo-controlled trials that examined the analgesic effect of antidepressants. To summarize, there is significant evidence that the tricyclic group of antidepressants is analgesic and that trazodone is not; the data regarding selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are conflicting. To date, there are no randomized controlled trials examining the potential analgesic action of nefazodone or venlafaxine, but on the basis of initial clinical reports and its structural similarity to other analgesics, venlafaxine shows promise as an analgesic.

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