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Article |

A Guide to the Understanding and Use of Tricyclic Antidepressants in the Overall Management of Fibromyalgia and Other Chronic Pain Syndromes

Robert G. Godfrey
Arch Intern Med. 1996;156(10):1047-1052. doi:10.1001/archinte.1996.00040041047001.
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The purpose of this review is to present relatively detailed information on the characteristics of tricyclic antidepressants, mainly amitriptyline hydrochloride and doxepin hydrochloride, for use as an integral part of the safe and effective management of fibromyalgia and, to a lesser extent, other chronic pain syndromes. Data sources include MEDLINE searches in English, relevant reference books and textbooks, my personal database and library, as well as personal clinical experience. I discuss these data with regard to the pharmacologic characteristics, mechanisms of action, adverse effects, and precautions involved with the use of tricyclic antidepressants. Additional information is given on drug selection and dosage titration. Much emphasis is placed on the fact that while tricyclic antidepressants play a major role in the management of fibromyalgia and other chronic pain syndromes, lifestyle alterations (eg, physical reconditioning and exercise), as well as behavior modification, are also vital to a successful outcome in management.

(Arch Intern Med. 1996; 156:1047-1052)


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