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Cranio. 1997 Jan;15(1):53-6.

The use of tricyclic antidepressants for the control of chronic orofacial pain.

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Department of Restorative Dentistry, Center for TMD and Orofacial Pain, University of California, San Francisco, USA.


Tricyclic antidepressants, or "tricyclics" as they are commonly called, are effective in reducing pain in chronic neurological and musculoskeletal disorders. Tricyclics appear to be effective in the control of chronic orofacial pain of non-inflammatory origin, and include amitriptyline, doxepin, nortriptyline and desipramine. Daily doses of the medications are smaller for the management of pain than doses typically used in the treatment of depression. Certain medical conditions may contraindicate tricyclic trials, while others may warrant starting at a lower dose with more conservative dose adjustments. Common side effects include dry mouth, sedation, constipation and orthostasis. Tricyclics are just one therapeutic modality which can be considered in the management and treatment of chronic refractory orofacial pain that is suspected to arise from neurogenic or myofascial etiologies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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