Chapter

Antidepressants and antiepileptics for neuropathic pain

Henry J. McQuay and Philip Wiffen

in Neuropathic Pain

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199563678
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199607426 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199563678.003.0011

Series: Oxford Pain Management Library

Antidepressants and antiepileptics for neuropathic pain

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• Antidepressants and antiepileptics are well-established treatments for neuropathic pain • Clinical trial evidence can be limited in both scope of neuropathic pain conditions studied and duration of treatment. This leaves prescribers to extrapolate evidence to other conditions, and without information on longer-term effects • Lack of head-to-head comparisons results in the use of indirect evidence such as NNTs, but the sample size used to derive NNT values is equally important • Although tricyclics appear more effective than other classes of antidepressants, this needs to be balanced against higher incidence of adverse effects • League tables suggest that the character of the neuropathic pain, whether it be burning or shooting, does not determine its responsiveness to either of the drug classes.

Chapter.  3068 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anaesthetics ; Pain Medicine

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