Antidepressant and Anticonvulsant Drugs as Adjuvant Analgesics in Chronic Pain

  • Manuel Sebastián-Aldeanueva
  • Francisco López-Muñoz
  • José Antonio Guerra
  • Cecilio Álamo


Adjuvant analgesics are defined as drugs with a primary indication ther than pain that have analgesic properties in some painful conditions. The group includes numerous drugs in diverse classes. Although the widespread use of these drugs as first-line agents in chronic nonmalignant pain syndromes suggests that the term “adjuvant” is a misnomer, they usually are combined with a less-than-satisfactory opioid regimen when administered for cancer pain. Some adjuvant analgesics are useful in several painful conditions and are described as multipurpose adjuvant analgesics (antidepressants, corticosteroids, α2-adrenergic agonists, neuroleptics), whereas others are specific for neuropathic pain (anticonvulsants, local anesthetics, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists), bone pain (calcitonin, bisphosphonates, radiopharmaceuticals), musculoskeletal pain (muscle relaxants), or pain from bowel obstruction (octreotide, anticholinergics). This article reviews the evidence supporting the use of two class of adjuvant analgesic for the treatment of chronic pain, antidepressant ans anticonvulsivants, and provides a comprehensive outline of dosing recommendations, side effects, and drug interactions.


Neuropathic Pain Antiepileptic Drug Analgesic Effect Cancer Pain Trigeminal Neuralgia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuel Sebastián-Aldeanueva
    • 1
  • Francisco López-Muñoz
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • José Antonio Guerra
    • 5
  • Cecilio Álamo
    • 6
  1. 1.Primary Care Administration of SoriaSoriaSpain
  2. 2.Faculty of Health SciencesCamilo José Cela UniversityMadridSpain
  3. 3.Neuropsychopharmacology UnitHospital 12 de Octubre Research Institute (i+12)MadridSpain
  4. 4.Portucalense Institute of Neuropsychology and Cognitive and Behavioural NeurosciencesPortucalense UniversityPortoPortugal
  5. 5.Department of Pharmacology, Pharmacy FacultyComplutense UniversityMadridSpain
  6. 6.Department of Biomedical Sciences (Pharmacology Area), Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesUniversity of AlcaláAlcalá de Henares, MadridSpain

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