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Chronic pain and antidepressants

May 19, 2004

Hello Dr. Horwath, thanks a great deal for taking the time and consideration to answering my question!

My question is, I have had chronic pain, musculoskeletal, everywhere in my body for the past 3 years. I tried smoking marijuana, and this rid me of all my pain, and was long lived as well, (no relapse of pain in body) I then began taking an SSRI (Paxil) and the pain returned. I don't know what this could be, but perhaps you have a better explanation.

One other thing, I have more pain on Paxil during the summer heat than in the winter!

Thank you so very much, praises for you!


Response from Dr. Horwath

I don't know why you are taking Paxil, but it certainly appears to aggravate your pain symptoms. Based on that alone, it would probably be best to stop it. I don't know why an SSRI might worsen your symptoms, but I guess it's an academic question since stopping the SSRI will solve the problem.

As for marijuana, it is known to relieve various symptoms, such as nausea and anorexia, associated with AIDS, cancer and chemotherapy. It also causes a euphoric effect and helps people to relax and feel more calm and tranquil, so it's not surprising that it might help you with your symptoms.

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