Analgesic Effect of Antidepressants

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Letter to the Editor

Sir: Detke et al. recently demonstrated that a new dual action antidepressant, duloxetine, can improve depression and associated painful physical symptoms. To date, 6 meta-analyses have been consistent in demonstrating that antidepressants have an analgesic effect in all forms of chronic pain separate from their antidepressant effect. There is also significant evidence that the dual action antidepressants have a more consistent analgesic effect versus that of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Thus, the analgesic effect of duloxetine1 is expected. As such, duloxetine may hold promise as an antidepressant that may help chronic pain patients who are usually depressed.

J Clin Psychiatry 2003;64(1):96 [letter]