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Analgesic effects of antipsychotics in acute and chronic painful states

Seidel S, Aigner M, Ossege M, Pernicka E, Wildner B, Sycha T
Published Online: 
29 August 2013

Medicines called ‘antipsychotics’, which are used to treat some mental health conditions, are sometimes used to treat chronic pain. A new type of these medicines called 'atypical antipsychotics' is available, with fewer side effects and some additional benefits. The review authors assessed the effect of these medicines on pain and their side effects. Based on 5 out of 11 included trials there were some beneficial effects of antipsychotics in the treatment of acute and chronic pain. Analysis of these studies showed a significant reduction in pain after administration of the antipsychotic compared to placebo or another medicine, however these results were based on small studies and therefore they may be unreliable. It is also important to consider the unwanted effects that these medicines might cause.