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Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2012 Dec;41(12):1532-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2012.09.001. Epub 2012 Oct 5.

Efficacy of antidepressants on orofacial pain: a systematic review.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Oral Pathology, VU University Medical Center/Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Orofacial pain is a common complaint with multiple diagnoses. There is controversy about the effectiveness of antidepressants for the management of orofacial pain disorders. In order to be able to make a best evidence choice between available antidepressants for the treatment of orofacial pain, a systematic review was conducted of existing randomized controlled trials of antidepressants. Trials were identified from the Pubmed database up to March 2012, from references in retrieved reports and from references in review articles. Six articles were found and included in this review. Four studies were randomized placebo-controlled trials and two studies were randomized active-controlled trials. Two independent investigators reviewed these articles using a 15-item checklist. All six trials were of high quality according to the 15-item criteria. Nevertheless there was limited evidence to support the effectiveness of antidepressants in orofacial pain disorders, because of the heterogeneity of treatment modalities and the low number of randomized controlled trials per diagnose. More randomized controlled trials are needed to come to a firm conclusion for the use of antidepressants for orofacial pain disorders.

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