Why Your Comp Claimant Might Need Antidepressants or Anticonvulsants
Does it strike you as odd that a workers’ compensation claimant might utilize antidepressants or anticonvulsants in treating a “routine” work-related injury? Don’t those sound awfully “non-comp” – particularly an anticonvulsant? In reality, both categories of drugs can be appropriately used to treat pain in particular situations.
Anticonvulsants such as Lyrica and Neurontin (gabapentin) have been shown to be effective in the frontline treatment of neuropathic pain. This is where pain is a result of damage to a nerve. In this situation, both drugs are more appropriate and have fewer side effects than an opioid regimen.
Certain antidepressants have also found a use in the early stages of pain treatment. Elavil seems to be particularly useful in treating pain (this is not as a result of depression – rather it is organic pain like we most frequently encounter). Not all antidepressants fall into this mix. For instance, Zoloft and Prozac do not seem to produce the same result.
So if you happen to see these, it could very well be an appropriate use. But as in so many things, the facts of that particular situation can make all the difference. Our nurses and doctors can help you with this.
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