Duloxetine, venlafaxine and desvenlafaxine are drugs with lots of potential to help people with pelvic pain.
These drugs are special because they have 2 different effects. They have SSRI and SNRI effects:
- the SNRI (serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) effect treats pain. This increases the amount of norepinephrine effect in the brain.
- the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) effect treats anxiety. This increases the amount of serotonin effect in the brain.
You may already be taking an SSRI medication for anxiety or low mood, but unless your medication is also an SNRI medication, it won’t be as effective for your pain.
Duloxetine, venlafaxine and desvenlafaxine have both SNRI and SSRI effects, so they help pain AND anxiety. If you aren’t anxious, that’s fine, they can still help pain.