Friday, December 18, 2009

Why not just tack on an antidepressant?

Something sinister is afoot with the proliferation of add-on psychiatric drugs to treat non-psychiatric conditions. This one below is particularly strange and scary as it combines an anti-depressant with an anti-convulsant. Don't want to go there.

Caveat emptor.

W W W . A L U M N I R E V I E W . Q U E E N S U . C A 17

When two drugs are better than one

People who suffer from debilitating neuropathic pain may get more relief and sleep better by combining two commonly prescribed drugs, a new Queen’s-led study shows.

When given both an anti-seizure drug (gabapentin) and an antidepressant (nortriptyline), patients experiencing neuropathic pain caused by nerve damage or disease reported less pain than when they took one or the other individually. They also slept better, reports Dr. Ian Gilron, director of Clinical Pain Research for two departments – Anesthesiology and Pharmacology & Toxicology. “That’s a very important issue for this group of patients, whose debilitating, unrelenting pain often interferes with normal sleep,” says Gilron. Since 45 per cent of Canadians being treated for neuropathic pain take two or more pain drugs, there may also be safety issues, he adds. Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, this study focuses on two specific types of neuropathic pain: diabetic neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia. However, researchers believe the methodology could also be used to study chronic conditions such as cancer-related pain, degenerative spinal disc disease, and the pain experienced after chemotherapy and mastectomies.

1 comment:

  1. Rossa:

    The drug combination you described scares me more than a little bit.

    And GABA works directly on the pain receptors in the brain.

    A few friends and family members might be affected by this, certainly the combination. It's really important that the pain be closely watched and reported, so you get a baseline.

    A sleep by drug is not necessarily a sleep at all. By this I mean a refreshing sleep.


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