Anti Depressants

Anti depressants have been found to provide pain relief for individuals experiencing pelvic pain even if depression is not a factor. The antidepressants may take a week or so to provide pain relief, however after several weeks the antidepressants should induce maximal pain relief.

The most commonly used antidepressants for pelvic pain are Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs). Some examples of TCAs include:

  • Amitriptyline
  • Doxepin (Silenor)
  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Trazodone

It is unknown how TCAs improve chronic pain such as pelvic pain, however it is believed that they act as a pain relief as well as reduce any symptoms related to depression.

They are used in order to increase the pain tolerance in women who are experiencing pelvic pain. Lower doses of TCAs alleviate pelvic pain while higher doses are used to have antidepressant effects.

Some women have reported that TCAs decrease the pain intensity as well as the amount of time they experience pain; other women report no improvement in pain or decide to cease use of the medication due to the side effects.

If you experience any of the following while taking antidepressant medication for pelvic pain please call emergency services (000) or contact your doctor:

  • Swelling of the face, throat, lips or tongue
  • Trouble breathing
  • Hives
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heart palpitations
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Seizures
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Weight gain
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation

Never suddenly cease taking TCAs, you must slowly reduce your dosage in order to avoid severe side effects.

Regular blood tests and checkups are recommended to make sure that a high dose of medication is not in your blood and to make sure your treatment is going well. It is important to attend all of your appointments and to contact your doctor if you face any complications related to your treatment or pelvic pain.

TCAs may potentially worsen the symptoms of individuals who experience:

  • Epilepsy (experience seizures)
  • Urinary retention (difficulty urinating)
  • Glaucoma (eye disease)
  • Heart conditions

Inform your doctor on what other medications you are taking as they may not be able to work in conjunction with TCAs, for example cardiac medications such as Lanoxin.

Make sure to inform your doctor if you are planning to get pregnant, are pregnant or breast-feeding as some medications may be harmful to your baby such as:

  • Prescribed medicine
  • Over-the-counter medication
  • Herbs
  • Supplements
  • Vitamins

Therefore do not take any medication unless your doctor instructs you to.