About the antidepressants and anticonvulsants - If an antidepressant is proposed to treat your pain, it does not mean that your pain is psychological or "in the head" or that you are depressed.
Antidepressants or anticonvulsants are known to treat depression or neurological disorders caused by a malfunction of the brain (such as epilepsy).
But some of these drugs are also effective in treating neuropathic pain origin (that is to say if it is related to a nervous system injury), who are poorly relieved by conventional painkillers.
This painkiller action is not always specified in the medication use notices. Do not hesitate to ask for more information to your doctor if necessary.
Several types of antidepressants and antiepileptic drugs are available and it is difficult to predict which one will be most effective.
Doctors sometimes have to propose several before finding the best treatment.
About the antidepressants and anticonvulsants
HOW TO USE?
Antidepressants and antiepileptic drugs act slowly.
The effect against pain often starts a few days or weeks after starting treatment. Because of this slow exposure time, these drugs can not be used in a timely manner to quickly relieve pain.
The dose is gradually increased to achieve effective pain relief action while limiting adverse effects (especially drowsiness).
For the treatment of pain, the dosage of antidepressants and antiepileptic drugs does not necessarily correspond to the one used for depression or epilepsy. An antidepressant prescribed for the treatment of neuropathic pain may be used at a low dose, which has no antidepressant effect.
If the treatment given at the highest dose, is not effective after 1 month of use, it is considered that it is not effective. Another drug must be tried.
WHAT ARE THEIR SIDE EFFECTS?
The side effects of antidepressants and antiepileptic drugs are usually not serious. They are quite close to those of opioids (drowsiness, dry mouth, nausea and vomiting). In case of difficulties, talk to your doctor.
These side effects disappear when we decrease the dose of medicament.
"With the antiepileptic treatment for my pain, I was not able to read a book. I could not concentrate. Some of my relatives advised me to stop treatment, but they did not understand that at least, I was relieved. For me, at that time, that's what mattered. I knew the treatment would be temporary (18 months). Everything is back to normal as soon as have not had need of treatment. "
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