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Mika, Joanna; Zychowska, Magdalena; Makuch, Wioletta; Rojewska, Ewelina; Przewlocka, Barbara
The current knowledge of the pharmacological actions of the tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) has slowly evolved through their over 40-year history. Chronic pain represents one of the most important public health problems, and antidepressants are an essential part of the therapeutic strategy in addition to classical analgesics. This article reviews the available evidence on the efficacy and safety of antidepressants in chronic pain conditions; namely, headaches, low back pain, fibromyalgia, cancer pain and especially neuropathic pain. TCAs are traditionally the main type of depression medication used to treat chronic pain. Recently, new antidepressants were introduced into clinical use, with a significant reduction in side effects and equivalent efficacy on mood disorders. These new drugs that are effective for chronic pain belong to the tetracyclic antidepressants (TeCAs) group (amoxapine, maprotiline), the serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) group (duloxetine, venlafaxine, milnacipran) and the atypical antidepressants group (bupropion, trazodone, mirtazapine, nefazodone). In this review, we present the available publications on TCAs (amitriptyline, doxepin, imipramine, desipramine, nortriptyline), TeCAs (amoxapine, maprotiline), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine), SNRIs (duloxetine, venlafaxine, milnacipran) and atypical antidepressants (bupropion) for the treatment of neuropathic pain. We also review analgesics acting as both opioid receptor agonists and also acting as aminergic reuptake inhibitors. Existing data are insufficient to conclude which of these new classes of antidepressants has the best clinical profile and will be the most effective in the treatment of neuropathic pain; in addition, a lower incidence of side effects should be considered. Increased experimental and translational research is a key for further improvement of the treatment of chronic pain with antidepressants. However
Yazed Sulaiman Al-Ruthia
Full Text Available Background: Patients with mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety, who seek medical care in private psychiatric clinics in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, have recently expressed concerns to doctors about difficulty in filling psychotropic medications, such as Amitriptyline and Aripiprazole, at retail community pharmacies. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate whether there is a shortage of some commonly prescribed psychotropic medications in retail community pharmacies in Saudi Arabia, and if so, to explore the possible reasons behind the shortage of these medications. Methods: The availability of 28 commonly prescribed psychotropic medications was checked in multiple retail community pharmacies in 4 different regions of Saudi Arabia. Further, potential reasons behind the shortage of some psychotropic medications in retail community pharmacies were also explored. Results: Amitriptyline, Amoxapine, Aripiprazole, Bupropion, Buspirone, Duloxetine, Haloperidol, Hydroxyzine, Lithium, Prochlorperazine, Procyclidine, Promethazine, Thioridazine, Trazodone, and Trifluoperazine were unavailable in over half of the 248 community pharmacies surveyed. Four possible reasons behind the shortage of these medications were reported by 31 pharmacists working in different retail community pharmacies’ purchasing departments, with a majority (58.06% reporting the primary reason for a shortage of these medications that they are slow-moving items with low profit margins. Conclusions: The findings of this study should expedite the reform process in both the Ministry of Health and the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA to publish and enforce an essential list of medications for retail community pharmacies, which should include the most commonly prescribed psychotropic medications.
Full Text Available Various antidepressants are commonly used for the treatment of depression and several other neuropsychiatric disorders. In addition to their primary effects on serotonergic or noradrenergic neurotransmitter systems, antidepressants have been shown to interact with several receptors and ion channels. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie the effects of antidepressants have not yet been sufficiently clarified. G protein-activated inwardly rectifying K(+ (GIRK, Kir3 channels play an important role in regulating neuronal excitability and heart rate, and GIRK channel modulation has been suggested to have therapeutic potential for several neuropsychiatric disorders and cardiac arrhythmias. In the present study, we investigated the effects of various classes of antidepressants on GIRK channels using the Xenopus oocyte expression assay. In oocytes injected with mRNA for GIRK1/GIRK2 or GIRK1/GIRK4 subunits, extracellular application of sertraline, duloxetine, and amoxapine effectively reduced GIRK currents, whereas nefazodone, venlafaxine, mianserin, and mirtazapine weakly inhibited GIRK currents even at toxic levels. The inhibitory effects were concentration-dependent, with various degrees of potency and effectiveness. Furthermore, the effects of sertraline were voltage-independent and time-independent during each voltage pulse, whereas the effects of duloxetine were voltage-dependent with weaker inhibition with negative membrane potentials and time-dependent with a gradual decrease in each voltage pulse. However, Kir2.1 channels were insensitive to all of the drugs. Moreover, the GIRK currents induced by ethanol were inhibited by sertraline but not by intracellularly applied sertraline. The present results suggest that GIRK channel inhibition may reveal a novel characteristic of the commonly used antidepressants, particularly sertraline, and contributes to some of the therapeutic effects and adverse effects.
Tedeschini, Enrico; Levkovitz, Yeciel; Iovieno, Nadia; Ameral, Victoria E; Nelson, J Craig; Papakostas, George I
Late-life depression is an important public health issue, given the growing proportion of the elderly relative to the general population in the developed world. The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of antidepressants for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in elderly patients. PubMed/MEDLINE was searched for randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of antidepressants for treatment of both adult (nonelderly) MDD (patients aged articles published between January 1, 1980, and March 3, 2010 (inclusive). The year 1980 was used as a cutoff in our search to decrease diagnostic variability, since the DSM-III was introduced in 1980. Our search cross-referenced the term placebo with each of the following antidepressants: amitriptyline, nortriptyline, imipramine, desipramine, clomipramine, trimipramine, protriptyline, dothiepin, doxepin, lofepramine, amoxapine, maprotiline, amineptine, nomifensine, bupropion, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid, moclobemide, brofaromine, fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine, citalopram, escitalopram, fluvoxamine, zimelidine, tianeptine, trazodone, nefazodone, agomelatine, venlafaxine, desvenlafaxine, duloxetine, milnacipran, reboxetine, mirtazapine, and mianserin. We also reviewed the reference lists of all studies identified through the PubMed/MEDLINE search. Articles were selected that reported on randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of antidepressants used as monotherapy for treatment of MDD and that met numerous a priori criteria pertaining to MDD diagnosis criteria, study duration, study design, drug formulation, original data, age thresholds, primary and secondary outcome measures, and exclusions of other disorders. Final inclusion of articles was determined by consensus between the authors. Seventy-four articles were found eligible for inclusion in our analysis (15 late-life MDD trials and 59 adult MDD trials). Antidepressants were found to be efficacious for late-life MDD