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Re: jumping in Elizabeth

Posted by Lorraine on August 6, 2001, at 12:10:22

In reply to Re: jumping in Lorraine, posted by Elizabeth on August 3, 2001, at 17:10:52

Elizabeth:

Here's a study on the effectiveness of SSRIs on headaches. Thought you'd be interested given your Prozac experience:

SSRIs Nearly as Effective as Tricyclics for Chronic Headache
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WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Aug 01 - Although more studies show the effectiveness of tricyclic antidepressants in treating chronic headache, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be as effective while offering a safer side-effect profile, according to results of a meta-analysis.

In a search of literature going back to 1966, Dr. Jeffrey L. Jackson from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland and his associates identified 38 randomized, placebo-controlled trials of antidepressants used as prophylaxis for chronic headache. Nineteen study arms investigated tricyclic antidepressants, 18 studied serotonin-blocking agents, and seven studied SSRIs.

Treated patients were twice as likely to improve compared with those given placebo, the investigators report in the July issue of the American Journal of Medicine. Those treated with antidepressants also used less analgesic medication. Results were unaffected by class of antidepressant or whether headaches were migraine or tension type.

"What was interesting [was] that SSRIs seemed about as effective as tricyclics, although they are not effective for other neuropathies," Dr. Jackson told Reuters Health.

Because there are fewer studies involving SSRIs, the data are not as robust as those for tricyclics, he said. His inclination remains to prescribe tricyclics for patients with chronic headaches, he said, "because I know how effective they are."

However, for patients where the anticholinergic effects of tricyclics would be a concern, Dr. Jackson would definitely recommend an SSRI.


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