ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
Off-Label Applications for SSRIs - Article
ABSTRACT: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely used because of their safety, tolerability, and demonstrated efficacy across a broad range of clinical conditions. Medical literature supports the use of SSRIs for the treatment of many conditions outside of the indications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. SSRIs offer a reasonable alternative to traditional therapy for generalized anxiety disorder. A side effect of SSRIs coincidentally provides therapy for premature ejaculation. SSRIs may reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches and are possibly effective in reducing the pain of diabetic neuropathy. When taken in combination with tricyclic antidepressants, SSRis offer more potent therapy for fibromyalgia than either agent alone. SSRIs appear to be effective in some patients with neurocardiogenic syncope that is refractory to standard therapies. Clinical experience supported by ongoing research continues to expand on the broad array of therapeutic applications for this class of medication.
ABSTRACT: Identifying the cause of polyarticular joint pain can be difficult because of the extensive differential diagnosis. A thorough history and a complete physical examination are essential. Six clinical factors are helpful in narrowing the possible causes: disease chronology, inflammation, distribution, extra-articular manifestations, disease course, and patient demographics. Patients with an inflammatory arthritis are more likely to have palpable synovitis and morning stiffness; if the condition is severe, they may have fever, weight loss, and fatigue. Viral infections, crystal-induced arthritis, and serum sickness reactions are common causes of acute, self-limited polyarthritis. Because chronic arthritides may present abruptly, they need to be considered in patients who present with acute polyarticular joint pain. Joint palpation can help to distinguish inflammatory synovitis from the bony hypertrophy and crepitus that typically occur with osteoarthritis. Extra-articular manifestations of rheumatologic disease may be helpful in arriving at a more specific diagnosis. Many classic rheumatologic laboratory tests are nonspecific. A complete blood count, urinalysis, and a metabolic panel may provide more useful diagnostic clues. Plain-film radiographs may demonstrate classic findings of specific rheumatologic diseases; however, radiographs can be normal or only show nonspecific changes early in the disease process.
Choosing a Skeletal Muscle Relaxant - Article
ABSTRACT: Skeletal muscle relaxants are widely used in treating musculoskeletal conditions. However, evidence of their effectiveness consists mainly of studies with poor methodologic design. In addition, these drugs have not been proven to be superior to acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for low back pain. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses support using skeletal muscle relaxants for short-term relief of acute low back pain when nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or acetaminophen are not effective or tolerated. Comparison studies have not shown one skeletal muscle relaxant to be superior to another. Cyclobenzaprine is the most heavily studied and has been shown to be effective for various musculoskeletal conditions. The sedative properties of tizanidine and cyclobenzaprine may benefit patients with insomnia caused by severe muscle spasms. Methocarbamol and metaxalone are less sedating, although effectiveness evidence is limited. Adverse effects, particularly dizziness and drowsiness, are consistently reported with all skeletal muscle relaxants. The potential adverse effects should be communicated clearly to the patient. Because of limited comparable effectiveness data, choice of agent should be based on side-effect profile, patient preference, abuse potential, and possible drug interactions.
ABSTRACT: The development of newer classes of antidepressants and second-generation antiepileptic drugs has created unprecedented opportunities for the treatment of chronic pain. These drugs modulate pain transmission by interacting with specific neurotransmitters and ion channels. The actions of antidepressants and antiepileptic drugs differ in neuropathic and non-neuropathic pain, and agents within each medication class have varying degrees of efficacy. Tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, nortriptyline, desipramine) and certain novel antidepressants (i.e., bupropion, venlafaxine, duloxetine) are effective in the treatment of neuropathic pain. The analgesic effect of these drugs is independent of their antidepressant effect and appears strongest in agents with mixed-receptor or predominantly noradrenergic activity, rather than serotoninergic activity. First-generation antiepileptic drugs (i.e., carbamazepine, phenytoin) and second-generation antiepileptic drugs (e.g., gabapentin, pregabalin) are effective in the treatment of neuropathic pain. The efficacy of antidepressants and antiepileptic drugs in the treatment of neuropathic pain is comparable; tolerability also is comparable, but safety and side effect profiles differ. Tricyclic antidepressants are the most cost-effective agents, but second-generation antiepileptic drugs are associated with fewer safety concerns in elderly patients. Tricyclic antidepressants have documented (although limited) efficacy in the treatment of fibromyalgia and chronic low back pain. Recent evidence suggests that duloxetine and pregabalin have modest efficacy in patients with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia - Article
ABSTRACT: Fibromyalgia is an idiopathic, chronic, nonarticular pain syndrome with generalized tender points. It is a multisystem disease characterized by sleep disturbance, fatigue, headache, morning stiffness, paresthesias, and anxiety. Nearly 2 percent of the general population in the United States suffers from fibromyalgia, with females of middle age being at increased risk. The diagnosis is primarily based on the presence of widespread pain for a period of at least three months and the presence of 11 tender points among 18 specific anatomic sites. There are certain comorbid conditions that overlap with, and also may be confused with, fibromyalgia. Recently there has been improved recognition and understanding of fibromyalgia. Although there are no guidelines for treatment, there is evidence that a multidimensional approach with patient education, cognitive behavior therapy, exercise, physical therapy, and pharmacologic therapy can be effective.
Treating Fibromyalgia - Article
ABSTRACT: Fibromyalgia is an extremely common chronic condition that can be challenging to manage. Although the etiology remains unclear, characteristic alterations in the pattern of sleep and changes in neuroendocrine transmitters such as serotonin, substance P, growth hormone and cortisol suggest that dysregulation of the autonomic and neuroendocrine system appears to be the basis of the syndrome. The diagnosis is clinical and is characterized by widespread pain, tender points and, commonly, comorbid conditions such as chronic fatigue, insomnia and depression. Treatment is largely empiric, although experience and small clinical studies have proved the efficacy of low-dose antidepressant therapy and exercise. Other less well-studied measures, such as acupuncture, also appear to be helpful. Management relies heavily on the physician's supportive counseling skills and willingness to try novel strategies in refractory cases.
Treating Fibromyalgia: Science vs. Art - Editorials