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Re: Codeine for Depression Treatment

Posted by Elizabeth on May 27, 2001, at 0:22:52

In reply to Re: Codeine for Depressione Treatment, posted by kernel on May 26, 2001, at 20:19:53

> I also heard that buprenorphine may act in the same manner. Offering immediate results. My only concern would be a tolerance and addiction to these two narcotic type medications.

For political reasons, there has been little research in this area. However, recent case reports suggest that it is possible to use opioids as antidepressants without developing tolerance. "Addiction" is no more a threat in the use of opioids for depression than it is in their use for pain. Buprenorphine is particularly safe in this regard because it apparently doesn't produce a high at any dose (it is also nonlethal in overdose, another favourable trait for an antidepressant).

There exist published reports using morphine, methadone, oxycodone, oxymorphone, and other opioid drugs as well as buprenorphine. I don't know of any that used codeine, but I would expect it to be less effective than the ones that have been studied since it is a very weak mu opioid agonist. (This may be the reason that such a large dose was required in your case, Thomas.)

I disagree with the claim (which has been made on this board before) that opioids do not address the "cause" of depression but merely "mask" or "cover it up." The fact is that there is no known cure for depression, nor has a specific cause for depression been identified. I am therefore baffled by these assertions that a particular drug does or does not address the "root cause" of depression.





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