Posted by Deborah Pujoue on November 28, 2011
With all of the dangers linked to popular SNRI antidepressants like Effexor and Prozac going around, it seems ridonkulous that anyone would even consider taking one for just a small ill, but that is getting more popular every day. Doctors are prescribing the dangerous medications for pain as well as depression and other mental health symptoms.
The thought of it is just stunning, but many different antidepressants have been prescribed as a treatment for chronic pain. And research is showing that tricyclic antidepressants like Tofranil or Anafranil work better than Effexor or Prozac. Then there are the SSRI medications like Paxil and Zoloft which don’t do anything at all for pain relief, but information from The Mayo Clinic shows that SNRIs can help with various chronic pain conditions including arthritis, diabetic nerve damage, nerve damage from shingles, tension headache, migraine, fibromyalgia, low back pain and pelvic pain.
No one really knows why these antidepressants work for pain yet, but for some reason they are still prescribing them anyway. That just seems insane with all of the dangers linked to antidepressant meds. Some professionals believe that the drugs work by helping to increase neurotransmitters in the spinal cord that reduce pain signals. Still, doctors admit that they don’t work immediately but rather need at least a week to have any effect.
That hardly seems worth it at all, especially when there are medications like Advil and Tylenol that can help with pain. If that doesn’t work, stronger medications can work wonders for many patients, so I ask myself, why would anyone risk it? Knowing that Prozac, Effexor and other antidepressants can cause birth defects in babies whose mothers take the drugs while pregnant, I would think that none would try it. Some of the birth defects linked to antidepressants include cleft palate, neural tube defects and PPHN.
If you are thinking of becoming pregnant and your doctor offers you antidepressants as a part of your treatment plan for chronic pain, please think twice about it, as your baby’s health may depend on it.