What is gabapentin?
Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant medication, similar to pregabalin, which is prescribed primarily for the treatment of seizures. According to a 2007 study, patients with fibromyalgia who consumed gabapentin at regular doses ranging from 1,200 to 2,400 mg for approximately 12 weeks experienced less pain than those who received placebo. In fact, it has also been reported that these patients with fibromyalgia experienced less fatigue and better sleep.
Although this new medication has not yet been approved by the FDA for patients with fibromyalgia, scientists and experts in the field believe that gabapentin is a good option for the treatment of chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia.
However, not all have benefited from gabapentin. In a 2014 review that compared all the relevant studies and trials conducted with gabapentin, the researchers concluded that 35% of patients with fibromyalgia received at least a 50% reduction in pain and saw an improvement in sleep, fatigue, mood, daily function and quality of life. It is best to consult your doctor before starting to consume gabapentin for the treatment of fibromyalgia.
How does gabepentine work for fibromyalgia?
It is still unclear how gabapentin helps alleviate the pain of fibromyalgia, since the root of fibromyalgia remains a mystery. However, researchers believe it has to do with how gabapentin binds to a particular calcium channel in neurons; the union hinders the cellular flow of calcium, which reduces the activity of the signaling molecules that contribute to pain. It is also observed that gabapentin is more effective in reducing chronic pain compared to acute pain. Studies in animals showed that the analgesic effect of gabapentin is especially effective in pain resulting from an amplified response to stimuli associated with inflammation or nerve injury. It is believed that patients with fibromyalgia will obtain the same results.
Gabapentin is also known to improve your sleep cycle, which in turn plays a positive role in the improvement of fibromyalgia.
Side effects of gabepentin.
Some of the common side effects of gabapentin include:
Loss of coordination and balance.
Dizziness and drowsiness
The side effects of the drug usually disappear gradually as the body gets used to the drug. However, look for more serious side effects, such as the following, and seek medical attention immediately. The most worrisome side effects are:
Swelling of the feet and hands giving a swollen appearance.
Rash or itching
Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Keep in mind that not all patients will benefit from gabapentin. It is best to consult your doctor before starting to consume gabapentin for the treatment of fibromyalgia