Lifestyle

Can antidepressant medication alleviate pain in patients with osteoarthritis?

A clinical trial published in Arthritis & Rheumatology recently examined whether duloxetine, a medication that is prescribed to treat depression and may also reduce chronic pain, can benefit patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis.

In the trial of patients experiencing chronic osteoarthritis-related pain in the hip or knee that did not go away with over-the-counter medications, 66 were randomized to duloxetine added to usual care and 66 were randomized to usual care alone.

The trial’s investigators found that duloxetine did not lessen pain at 3 months or 12 months.

“There was no clinically relevant effect of duloxetine added to usual care compared to usual care alone for chronic osteoarthritis pain, and it should not be implemented,” the authors wrote.