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Neurontin: A new treatment for fibromyalgia?


Gabapentin (Neurontin), an anti-seizure medication, may be an effective fibromyalgia treatment. In a 12-week study, published in April 2007, researchers looked at the potential treatment benefits of gabapentin in a group of 150 people with fibromyalgia. Participants who were treated with gabapentin reported less pain and fatigue and improved sleep compared with participants who received a placebo. The most common side effects of the medication are dizziness and drowsiness.

It is important to note that gabapentin has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of fibromyalgia. However, some doctors may prescribe it off-label for such use.

In June 2007, the FDA did approve pregabalin (Lyrica) — an anti-seizure medication that is structurally related to gabapentin — for fibromyalgia treatment. A study published in April 2005 suggested that pregabalin is more effective than is a placebo in reducing pain and fatigue and improving sleep in people with fibromyalgia. The most common side effects of pregabalin are dizziness and drowsiness.

If you have fibromyalgia and have questions about whether gabapentin or pregabalin may be an appropriate treatment for you, consult your doctor.

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