Taking ineffective drugs might not be a big deal if they didn’t cause side effects, but statins cause debilitating muscle pain in 40 percent of those who take them. They also raise older women’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes by a remarkable 50 percent. Moreover, patients falsely believe that taking them is enough to solve their problem and fail to make the necessary lifestyle changes that could truly help them. Researchers say that heart attack survivors over 65 who take statins are more likely to die than those who made changes to their diet instead.
“Certain antidepressants , like Cymbalta [ duloxetine ], and anti-seizure medications, like Lyrica [ pregabalin ] or Neurontin [ gabapentin ] have been shown to be beneficial for nerve symptoms,” explains Jung. Another class of antidepressants , known as tricyclics -- including amitriptyline ( Elavil ) and nortriptyline ( Pamelor ) -- also may be prescribed to manage chronic back pain. “So if you have a pinched nerve in the back, with pain that radiates down your leg, one of these medications can be very effective to quiet the nerve irritation and relieve the burning pain, numbness and tingling that are often involved.”