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Ann Vincent, M.D.close window
Ann Vincent, M.D.
- Is fibromyalgia hereditary?
- Fibromyalgia: Can acupuncture relieve symptoms?
Treatments and drugs (3)
- Milnacipran (Savella) for fibromyalgia: What makes it different?
- Fibromyalgia treatment: Is Neurontin effective?
- TENS therapy: An option for fibromyalgia treatment?
Alternative medicine (2)
- Cupping therapy: Can it relieve fibromyalgia pain?
- What is hot yoga?
Fibromyalgia treatment: Is Neurontin effective?
Is gabapentin (Neurontin, others) an effective fibromyalgia treatment?
from Ann Vincent, M.D.
Only one high-quality clinical trial has looked at gabapentin (Neurontin, others) as a fibromyalgia treatment. In that study, the drug reduced participants' reported pain, fatigue and sleep disruption more effectively than did a placebo.
Gabapentin has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of fibromyalgia, although some doctors may prescribe it off-label for such use. The FDA has, however, approved a similar drug — pregabalin (Lyrica) — for fibromyalgia treatment.
Gabapentin and pregabalin were originally approved to treat certain types of epilepsy and nerve pain. Both drugs work by limiting the release of pain-communicating chemicals by nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Because gabapentin is available in generic form, it may be less expensive than pregabalin. But you have to take gabapentin three or four times a day, which makes it less convenient than pregabalin, taken in two daily doses. The most common side effects of both drugs are dizziness and drowsiness.Next question
TENS therapy: An option for fibromyalgia treatment?
- Mease PJ, et al. Pharmacotherapy of fibromyalgia. Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America. 2009;35:359.
- Arnold LM. The pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia. Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 2010;33:375.
- Comeau D, et al. Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Problems. In: Rakel RE. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191205553-4/0/1481/0.html#.
- Goldenberg DL. Treatment of fibromyalgia in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 29, 2011.