Amazingly, drugs whosenames have nothing to do with pain anticonvulsants, antispasm medications, and antidepressants can produce marvelous results for people in chronic pain.
Anticonvulasant, for example, which were originally developed to cure epilepsy, can diminish some types of shooting pain. Antispasm medications, also called muscle relaxers, control muscle spasm and thereby cut back on pain that stems from this source.
But the drugs that can cure chronic pain are, surprisingly the antidepressants.
Why is this so?
Endorphins, the natural painkillers produced by the brain and the spinal cord, are not effective unless the brain also produces adequate levels of the natural antidepresaant serotonin, just as people with depression do. Antidepressant medications, by raising the amount of seretonin available to the nervous system, increase the effectiveness of endorphins and thus relieve pain.
So these drugs could just as well be called “endorphin enhancers” or the like. The point is that they are multipurpose drugs, so you don’t have to be concerned about the psychological connotation of their name.
The most commonly prescribed antidepressants painkillers that are particularly good to cure chronic pain are Sinequan, Elacil, Pamelor, Norpramin and Tofranil.
It is a good idea to talk with your doctor about antidepressants and the other drugs discussed above. Not all doctors are aware of what pain specialists have discovered about the pain uses of these drugs. Most likely he or she will want to follow up on this information, but if not, you might want to review the matter with a pain medicine specialist.
My conviction is that antidepressant painkillers drugs,, in particular, can be a highly valuable part of a pain management program. One of their greatest advantages is that they can help you sleep. Quite often, when i put patients on antidepressants, they report sleeping better almost immediately and many, within a fairly short time, are sleeping well for the first time in years.
So good sleep can be encouraged by the use of appropriate medications, but just as critical are the attitude you develop and the ations you take in order to sleep better.