Goat Friends (frolicnaked) wrote in vaginapagina,
Goat Friends

Antidepressants for Endo Pain?

Reposted from endometriosis. Apologies if you've read this already.

Just curious as to whether anyone's tried antidepressants for endo-related pain and/or has discussed this with their health care providers. (I've discussed it with my general practice nurse practitioner, who has an open mind about it but is not terribly familiar, and my gynecologist, who's unfamiliar enough to not feel comfortable prescribing them. Which brings the additional complication of finding a knowledgeable-in-this-area provider and getting a referral.) According to this and other sources, there's some evidence that tricyclic antidepressants are moderately effective for managing nerve pain.

Per discussion with my own providers, there is endo in my sciatic nerve, though it's diffuse enough as to make me not a good candidate for a nerve block. (Plus, I'd have to travel ~125 miles to get a consult with anyone who would do them.) There is also, however, plenty of endo in the pelvic-area muscle and connective tissue outside of the nerve. It's not really possible to say which endo-gunk spots are causing which pain, so we can't predict the probable level of relief beforehand.

On one hand, I'd welcome anything that was reasonably effective at staving off the really fucking intense pain with side effects more manageable than those of my little opiate friends. And given that antidepressants are generally prescribed in lower doses for pain than they are for depression, side effects would likely be less prominent than if I were taking higher doses. I'll admit, the idea of never being incapacitated by pain or drug side effects -- even if there are still some drug side effects -- is damn tempting.

On the other, in terms of endo pain (minus bleeding), my life is more tolerable now than it's been since my university days of marijuana joy. (Meaning: the time I lived on largely self-contained rural campus and rarely had to drive anyplace.) I like having a medication regimen that works more than it doesn't and whose side effects are more deal-with-able than not. I know antidepressants come with their own side effects and often involve trial and error to find the right formulation for an individual. I've been through that for years and years with hormonal birth control: I like being done, and I'm not sure I want to go back to Medication Guess and Check v.2.0.

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