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What is a dual-action antidepressant?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
A dual-action antidepressant, such as Effexor, is a depression medication that also treats physical pain. Such a drug can work on both health problems because the chemical messengers in the brain (neurotransmitters) that are affected by depression are also responsible for pain messages that the brain sends to the body. When antidepressant use is combined with psychotherapy ("talk therapy"), it can also help relieve symptoms of depression and pain.

If you are depressed and suffer from physical pain, ask your doctor or mental health provider if a dual-action antidepressant may be right for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.