Use of anticonvulsants and antidepressants for treatment of complex regional pain syndrome: a literature review.
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is characterized by pain accompanied by symptoms including skin changes, sensory, motor, trophic changes and autonomic dysfunction. Anticonvulsants and antidepressants are commonly prescribed for neuropathic pain conditions; however, evidence is sparse whether these drugs are effective in reducing CRPS-related pain. As such, Pubmed was searched for studies published from January 1990 through March 2020; 13 studies were included in this review. Overall, evidence is considered insufficient for use of gabapentinoids for CRPS-related pain. However, three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) did find gabapentin to result in significant improvement in pain whereas one RCT reported use of amitriptyline to be equally as effective as gabapentin. Multiple case reports discussing the efficacy of pregabalin in pediatric CRPS patients, with relatively short duration of disease and underlying psychiatric illness, have been reported, but these findings need to be validated with RCTs.