Fibromyalgia Medications: Gabapentin (Neurotonin)
Gabapentin is a drug that is potentially the latest treatment for fibromyalgia. While not officially approved as one of many fibromyalgia medications, a recent study has found that Gabapentin may well be an effective fibromyalgia drug treatment that can minimize common fibromyalgia symptoms. But what exactly is gabapentin and might this drug help to treat fibromyalgia syndrome?
What is Gabapentin?
Gabapentin is a generic form of Neurotonin, which is an anticonvulsant medication.
The FDA recently approved the drug for the treatment of persistent, severe pain associated with shingles. In addition, the drug has been found to minimize chronic pain associated with nervous system disorders.
Gabapentin and Fibromyalgia
A recent study found that Gabapentin was effective in alleviating common fibromyalgia symptoms, and some experts are hopeful that the drug may soon become a fibromyalgia pain relief medication.
The study included 150 participants, 90% of whom were women (there is a higher rate of incidence of fibromyalgia in women compared to in men). The study randomly assigned dosages of Gabapentin or placebo to participants for a 12-week period. The effectiveness of the drug was based on the following categories:
Gabapentin was generally well tolerated; side effects of gabapentin were reported, the most common of these being dizziness or sedation. However, these symptoms were generally mild to moderate in nature.
According to the study, Gabapentin helps to minimize fibromyalgia pain by binding to a specific subunit of voltage-gated calcium channels found in the nerves; this helps to reduce the calcium flow to the nerve cells, which in turn minimizes the release of signaling molecules that are central to the pain process in the body. This finding is in line with one of the theories behind the causes of fibromyalgia, namely, that fibromyalgia is caused by an abnormality of the pain processing in the nervous system.
While further testing needs to be conducted, this study results seem to suggest that Gabapentin might prove to be part of the latest treatment for fibromyalgia.