Back Pain Medication

Treating Back Pain With Anticonvulsants

Anticonvulsants -- drugs primarily used to treat seizures -- may be useful in treating certain types of nerve pain and may also be prescribed with analgesics.

Can Antidepressants Relieve Back Pain?

Some antidepressants, particularly tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline and desipramine, have been shown to relieve pain (independent of their effect on depression) and assist with sleep when used as a back pain medication. Antidepressants alter levels of brain chemicals to elevate mood and dull pain signals. Many of the new antidepressants, such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are also being studied for their effectiveness in pain relief.

Opioids as a Medication for Back Pain

Opioids such as codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine are often prescribed to manage severe acute and chronic back pain, but should only be used for a short period of time and under a physician's supervision. Side effects of opioids can include:
  • Drowsiness
  • Decreased reaction time
  • Impaired judgment
  • Potential for addiction.
Many specialists are convinced that chronic use of these drugs is detrimental to a person with back pain, adding to feelings of depression and even increasing pain.
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Back Pain Treatments

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