Is there a role for the generic Gabapentin in the fight against fibromyalgia?
Gabapentin is the generic for Pfizer’s Neurontin and is a medication that’s used as an anticonvulsant and an analgesic. It was originally developed to treat epilepsy and is currently used to relieve neuropathic pain, shingles and restless leg syndrome.
Now a new study a published in Pain Practice suggests that extended-release Gabapentin holds promise for treating fibromyalgia.
“We assessed the efficacy and safety of extended-release gabapentin in a 15-week, open-label, single-arm, single-center study in patients with fibromyalgia (FM),” the study’s authors, James M. North MD1, Kyung-soo J. Hong MD and Richard L. Rauck MD stated.
And what did they find?
“Extended-release Gabapentin relieved Fibromyalgia pain symptoms and improved quality-of-life for the Fibromyalgia subjects studied. Subjects reported improvements in both quantity and quality of sleep,” the study concluded.
Fibromyalgia syndrome affects the muscles and soft tissue. Symptoms include chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep problems, and painful tender points or trigger points, which can be relieved through medications, lifestyle changes and stress management.
The study is a very small sample.
A total of 34 subjects were enrolled and 29 subjects completed the study. Patients reported significant pain relief on NPRS by end of 4 weeks. Subjects also reported similar magnitude of improvements in fibromyalgia and its impact on daily life by the end of 4 weeks. MOS results showed subjects reporting improved sleep quantity (on average, 1.2 hours over baseline) with gradual and statistically significant improvement in quality. Improvements in primary and secondary measurements were reflected in PGIC, with significant improvement in patients’ impression of fibromyalgia by week 8.
A small company, Tonix Pharmaceuticals is developing medicines to help the millions of Americans who suffer from central nervous systems disorders (CNS). We featured it recently on National Pain Report.
It is starting a large Phase 3 study of TNX-102SL that has shown promising results in improving sleep quality in fibromyalgia patients.
Darbi Beals Stolk is a fibromyalgia sufferer who was featured on the National Pain Report, was a registered nurse. She understands the importance of sleep.
“After a while those with Fibromyalgia forget what a good night’s sleep feels like,” she said. “In the past medications did little to help because they didn’t allow for deep restorative sleep and had many adverse side effects.”
The U.S. has the world’s largest fibromyalgia market; an estimated 5.7 million Americans suffer from it. Currently, three approved brands: Lyrica, Cymbalta, and Savella are approved to treat it.source