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Desvenlafaxine and neuropathic pain: additional clinical benefits of a second generation serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor
INTRODUCTION. Desvenlafaxine is the third antidepressant within the group of serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. The latest clinical practice guidelines consulted agree that tricyclic antidepressants, dual (venlafaxine/duloxetine) and gabapentin/pregabalin antiepileptics, are the first-line drugs in the treatment of neuropathic pain, being tramadol, lidocaine 5% patches and capsaicin 8% patches of second-line drugs, while strong opioids constitute a third line treatment. The interaction between the binomial pain and depression is very frequent, being the psychological complication more frequent in patients with chronic pain. DEVELOPMENT. Following a literature search, this article summarizes the most relevant pharmacological data of desvenlafaxine and its usefulness in clinical practice, as well as the specific literature of this drug in neuropathic pain and chronic pain.
CONCLUSIONS. Although evidence of desvenlafaxine in neuropathic pain is scarce, it presents some interesting pharmacokinetic properties, as it is not substrate or have activity on P-glycoprotein, and have a metabolism which practically does not depend on cytochrome P450 system, which limits the risk of pharmacokinetic interactions and potential problems associated tolerability when administered with drugs that are CYP2D6 moderate or potent inhibitors or other substrates of this isoenzyme. These characteristics make desvenlafaxine a different antidepressant especially useful in some subgroups of patients with chronic pain (as polypharmacy and patients with liver failure), where comorbid depression is frequent.AntidepressantsChronic painCytochrome P450DesvenlafaxineDiabetic polyneuropathyNeuropathic painDolor