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Comparison Between the Effects of Amitriptyline and Bupropione on the Quality of Life and the Reduction in the Severity of Pain in Patients With Chronic Low-Back Pain

Farajirad, Sanaz MD*; Behdani, Fatemeh MD*; Hebrani, Paria MD*; Farajirad, Mohammad MD

doi: 10.1097/WNQ.0b013e3182817d55
Original Articles

Introduction: Chronic pain is one of the most debilitating complaints, which can often cause functional impairment, disability, and psychological distress to the patient. The costs of treatment and days off from work are expensive. Although some studies have resulted in significant progress in both pain management and the quality of life, for patients with persistent pain the evaluation and treatment of back pain remain suboptimal.

Methods: This study was conducted as a prospective clinical trial. Sixty patients with chronic low-back pain were recruited from the outpatient department of neurosurgery in 1 center. The patients were randomly allocated into 2 groups. The first group received amitriptyline and the second group was instructed to take bupropione slow-release tablets for 8 weeks. All patients were asked to fill up the questioners of basic demographic data, pain rating scale, and the quality of life. Patients were also assessed for possible adverse effects and the change in the quality of life at the end of 4, 6, and 8 weeks.

Results: There was a statistically significant reduction in the intensity of pain and a subsequent improvement in the quality of life in both groups (P<0.001). Pain relief started in 4 weeks and continued until the end of the study. Forty-three percent of patients in the amitriptyline group reported side effects compared with 30% of patients receiving bupropione SR.

Conclusions: For patients with chronic low-back pain, bupropione is as effective as amitriptyline with regard to the reduction in the intensity of pain and the improvement in the quality of life and can be tolerated well.

Departments of *Psychiatry

Neurosurgery, Mashad University of Medical Sciences, Mashad, Iran

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Sanaz Farajirad, MD, No. 226, 3rd floor, 20th Southern Bozorgmehr Ave. Sajad Blvd. PO Box 91775-1111, Mashhad, Iran (e-mail:

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins