Background: Escitalopram has never been demonstrated to be useful in the treatment of chronic low back pain (CLBP), while duloxetine has demonstrated analgesic effect in chronic pain states. The aim of this trial was to examine the efficacy of escitalopram for the treatment of CLBP compared with duloxetine. Methods: A total of 85 adult patients with nonradicular CLBP entered a 13-week randomized study comparing escitalopram 20 mg with duloxetine 60 mg once daily. The primary measure was comparison of the two drugs on reduction in weekly mean 24-h average pain. Secondary measures included Clinical Global Impressions of Severity (CGI-S) and the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). Results: Eighty patients (n = 39 escitalopram, n = 41 duloxetine) completed the study. No significant differences existed between escitalopram and duloxetine on reduction in weekly mean 24-h average pain at end point. Both escitalopram and duloxetine demonstrated significant improvement on CGI-S and SF-36. Conclusions: Escitalopram and duloxetine demonstrated efficacy and safety in the management of CLBP, with no significant differences. Results of this study should be replicated in a larger sample of patients.
- Chronic Low Back Pain