Back pain affects eight out of ten adults over the course of their lifetime. For some people the pain becomes chronic and can be accompanied by depression. Doctors commonly prescribe antidepressants for patients with low back pain to provide pain relief, aid in sleep and treat co-existing depression but a review of studies into the effectiveness of antidepressants at relieving back pain has found that they are of little use. The review found no convincing evidence that antidepressants relieved back pain or depression more effectively than a placebo or that they were any more effective in improving patients' ability to function. Both tricyclic (older) antidepressants and newer SSRIs were no more effective than a placebo in reducing pain.
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