Gabapentin for arthritis pain

Updated July 19, 2017

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.

Reduced Pain

According to, 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.

Side Effects

While patients generally tolerated the gabapentin well, some reported weight gain (possibly due to oedema), feeling sedated and feeling dizzy and light-headed.

Other Benefits

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.

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About the Author

A writer since 2005, Lynn Dosch writes for LIVESTRONG.COM and eHow. She also has worked in clinical trials research and as a legal assistant in medical malpractice, criminal law, insurance defense and wrongful death litigation. Dosch holds an Master of Fine Arts in writing from the University of Nebraska, and teaches composition, creative writing and literature.