Narcotic Pain Meds & Depression
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Q:  Narcotic Pain Meds & Depression

I am 58WM DX bipolr 22 years ago. Apparnentl I have been fighting this all my life. Nothing has helped. I wasRx morphine sulphate 15mg tid for spinal probem. I noticed it positivly affected my depression, which is going on it's third yesr. The Dr at Pain Clinic said he had similar comments from some of his pain Pts who were clinically depressed. How many were confirmed BP I don't know. Do you have any data on the use of mrphine sulphate for BP/depression?

Dear Hugh -- 
I've seen morphine-related medications ("narcotic pain medications") improve depression in the short run numerous times.  I haven't seen that benefit stick, though, and by that time people have become addicted to the medication in the sense that when they try to stop they get their old symptoms back, plus opiate withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, insomnia, some other nasty things).  To my knowledge there is no evidence that opiates are a workable strategy for treatment of bipolar symptoms. 

Dr. Phelps

Published February, 2004


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