Navigation Links
Gabapentin Shown Effective for Fibromyalgia Pain

BETHESDA, Md., June 11, 2007--New research supported by the National Institutes of Healths National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) shows that the anticonvulsant medication gabapentin, which is used for certain types of seizures, can be an effective treatment for the pain and other symptoms associated with the common, often hard-to-treat chronic pain disorder, fibromyalgia.

In the NIAMS-sponsored, randomized, double-blind clinical trial of 150 women (90 percent) and men with the condition, Lesley M. Arnold, M.D., director of the Womens Health Research Program at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and her colleagues found that those taking gabapentin at dosages of 1,200 to 2,400 mg daily for 12 weeks displayed significantly less pain than those taking placebo. Patients taking gabapentin also reported significantly better sleep and less fatigue. For the majority of participants, the drug was well tolerated. The most common side effects included dizziness and sedation, which were mild to moderate in severity in most cases.

NIAMS Director Stephen I. Katz. M.D., Ph.D., remarked that While gabapentin does not have Food and Drug Administration approval for fibromyalgia, I believe this study offers additional insight to physicians considering the drug for their fibromyalgia patients. Fibromyalgia is a debilitating condition for which current treatments are only modestly effective, so a study such as this is potentially good news for people with this common, painful condition.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by chronic, widespread muscle pain and tenderness, and is frequently accompanied by fatigue, insomnia, depression, and anxiety. It affects three million to six million Americans, mostly women, and can be disabling.

The precise cause of fibromyalgia in not known, but research suggests it is related to a problem with the central nervous systems processing of pain. As with some other chronic pain conditions, people with fibromyalgia often develop a heightened response to stimuli, experiencing pain that would not cause problems in other people. Yet, unlike many other pain syndromes, there is no physical evidence of inflammation or central nervous system damage.

Although gabapentin has little, if any, effect on acute pain, it has shown a robust effect on pain caused by a heightened response to stimuli related to inflammation or nerve injury in animal models of chronic pain syndromes. Researchers have suspected that it might have the same effect in people with fibromyalgia. The new research, published in the April 2007 edition of Arthritis & Rheumatism, indicates the suspicions were correct.

Although the researchers cannot say with certainty how gabapentin helps reduce pain, Dr. Arnold says one possible explanation involves the binding of gabapentin to a specific subunit of voltage-gated calcium channels on neurons. This binding reduces calcium flow into the nerve cell, which reduces the release of some signaling molecules involved in pain processing, she says.

How gabapentin improves sleep and other symptoms is less clear, and there are probably different mechanisms involved in fibromyalgia symptoms. Gabapentin improved sleep, which is an added benefit to patients with fibromyalgia who often report unrefreshing or disrupted sleep, Dr. Arnold says.

What is important is that people with fibromyalgia now have a potential new treatment option for a condition with few effective treatments. Studies like this give clinicians evidence-based information to guide their treatment of patients, says Dr. Arnold.

The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a part of the Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health, is to support research into the causes, treatment and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. For more information about NIAMS, call the information clearinghouse at (301) 495-4484 or (877) 22-NIAMS (free call) or visit the NIAMS website at

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) The Nation's Medical Research Agency includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

Ray Fleming

Arnold, LM et al. Gabapentin in the treatment of fibromyalgia; a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial. Arthritis Rheum. 2007; 56: 1336-1344.


Related medicine technology :

1. RTA 402 Shown to Protect Animals Against Toxicities of Standard Cancer Treatments
2. Breaking Multi-Center Study: Masimo SET Pulse Oximetry Technology Shown to Significantly Lower Instances of Severe Retinopathy of Prematurity in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants
3. CEL-SCIS CEL-1000 Shown to Significantly Enhance Immune Response Against Avian Flu Antigen in Animals
4. Efficacy and Safety Profile of Basileas Alitretinoin for Severe Refractory Chronic Hand Eczema Confirmed by Data Shown at European Dermatology Congress
5. Innovative Cancer Drug MabThera Again Shown To Improve Survival Rates In Patients With Lymphoma
6. RTA 402 Shown to Inhibit STAT3 in Animal Model and Holds Significant Promise for Treating Breast Cancer
7. Accelreon Pharmas ACE-031Shown to Increase Muscle Mass in Preclinical Studies
8. Cethromycin Shown Effective Against Anthrax in Study
9. CEL-SCIs Cel-1000 Shown to Significantly Enhance Immune Response Against Hepatitis B Antigen in Animals
10. New Study Shows That Extending Prophylaxis With Clexane / Lovenox (enoxaparin Sodium Injection) to 5 Weeks is More Effective Than 10 Days for Reducing the Risk of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) in Acutely ill Medical Patients With Reduced Mobility
11. Eurands Zentase Effective in Treating Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency, Studies Show
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015 Breg, Inc ., a ... today that it has been awarded three contracts by ... by Novation will have access to improved pricing for ... and soft goods dedicated to advancing orthopedic care.  ... aging U.S. population, rising prevalence of chronic conditions and ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... N.J. , Dec. 1, 2015 ... against HIV/AIDS, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ... its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies to significantly reduce the ... who make up 74 percent of new HIV ... Announced on World AIDS Day, these new initiatives ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015 Relmada Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: RLMD), a ... pain, announced today that the company will present at the ... 1-3 at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in ... of Relmada Therapeutics, will present on Thursday, December 3, at ... . Please register at least 10 minutes prior to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... 7th Annual 2015 Golden Bridge Business Awards under the New Products and Services ... capex web based sample management software that helps labs organize data ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... For many X-rays taken at hospitals, ... interpretation by the radiologist. The marking utensils are so small, however, they are ... a way to alleviate this problem. , He developed the patent-pending MARK N ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... McLean, ... been awarded a fixed price per sprint agile development contract to support the ... million over five years, provides software engineering, infrastructure, as well as operations and ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... SACC-USA through membership and leadership since 2008. Gary Bruce, President of PartnerTech North ... Gary has spent a significant amount of time in Sweden since joining PartnerTech ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Tympani ... Technology Provider (ATP) status from Cisco. This designation recognizes Tympani as having fulfilled ... Contact Center solutions targeted to the high-end enterprise contact center marketplace. , Ed ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):