Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant drug that is also prescribed to treat nerve pain from herpes or shingles. New research suggests it might also be helpful in reducing the pain of fibromyalgia, a type of arthritis that affects the muscles and soft tissues.
According to MedPageToday.com, a 12-week study conducted at the University of Cincinnati found that patients with fibromyalgia had reduced pain when taking gabapentin in doses of 1200 to 2400 mg a day.
While patients generally tolerated the gabapentin well, some reported weight gain (possibly due to oedema), feeling sedated and feeling dizzy and light-headed.
The University of Cincinnati study also determined that patients had more restful sleep and experienced reduced fatigue. Their depression symptoms were not altered.
At 12 weeks, the study was relatively short and was limited to 150 subjects. Further trials have been recommended.
Gabapentin and Other Types of Arthritis
Gabapentin is not prescribed to treat the pain of other types of arthritis.