Antidepressants are widely believed to be somewhat useful in treating chronic pain. A new BMJ meta-analysis of 33 RCTs reports that antidepressants are linked to only trivial improvements in back pain, and barely-there benefits for knee arthritis.
As Journal Watch put it, antidepressants “don’t show major effects” on pain. But seriously, when’s the last time you heard about research confirming a “major” effect on any kind of chronic pain? That barely exists! Because reasons! (Roughly: pain is aggressively multifactorial and weird, a primal feature of biology that is crazy hard to reliably suppress.)