You are currently viewing Role of Antidepressant Medications In Chronic Pain : Mnemonics

To help remember important information concerning antidepressant medications for chronic pain treatment, the mnemonic “TCAPONERS” can be useful for medical and nursing students. The mnemonic simplifies difficult-to-recall information by reducing it to a string of letters.

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) in particular are helpful for controlling chronic pain. Analgesia is just one of their many dose-related biological actions that show up in a wide range of chronic clinical disorders.

TCAs’ analgesic effects might be seen sooner, and they often only need to be taken in half the usual dosage to be helpful in treating depression. Antidepressants can help patients with chronic pain even if they are not depressed.

The analgesic effects of opioids can be enhanced by TCAs, making them a valuable complement for the management of severe, chronic pain.

 Students can use this mnemonic to help them remember information such as the different classes of antidepressants, their analgesic effects, and any possible adverse effects. This can help with both studying for tests and treating patients with persistent pain.

Role Of Antidepressant Medications  Like TCAs In Chronic Pain :

  • T – Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) like nortriptyline and desipramine are useful for chronic pain management.
  • C – TCAs have a spectrum of dose-related biological activities that include analgesia in various chronic clinical conditions.
  • A – Analgesic effect of TCAs has a more rapid onset and occurs at a lower dose than is typically required for depression treatment.
  • P – Patients with chronic pain who are not depressed obtain pain relief with antidepressants.
  • O – TCAs potentiate opioid analgesia, making them useful adjuncts for severe persistent pain.
  • N – Neuropathic pain, such as that in diabetic neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia, responds well to TCAs.
  • E – TCAs that relieve pain have significant side effects, particularly in elderly patients, and some are additive to the side effects of opioid analgesics.
  • R – Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have fewer and less serious side effects than TCAs, but they are much less effective for relieving pain.
  • S – Nontricyclic antidepressants like venlafaxine and duloxetine appear to retain most of the pain-relieving effect of TCAs with a side effect profile more like that of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, making them useful in patients who cannot tolerate TCAs’ side effects.

Mnemonic: TCA PONERS


Dr. Arin Nandi

Passionate About Medical Science & Helping Future Doctors Achieve Top Ranks In Medical Exams. He is professionally a dentist as well as a public health expert from JIPMER (1), (2)working in health department