Can an antidepressant relieve my chronic pain and depression?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
In addition to relieving depression, some antidepressant drugs can help treat chronic pain. Physical pain and depression often go hand in hand. Depending on the severity of each problem, they may need to be treated separately. But sometimes, an antidepressant can help with both conditions. This is because the chemical messengers in the brain (called neurotransmitters) that are affected by depression are also responsible for pain signals that the brain sends to the body.

Combining antidepressant use with psychotherapy ("talk therapy") can also help treat depression symptoms and persistent pain. If you have depression and chronic pain, ask your doctor or mental health provider if an antidepressant is 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.