Is There New Hope for Fibromyalgia Sufferers from an Old Source?

Is There New Hope for Fibromyalgia Sufferers from an Old Source?

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.

Follow Us on Twitter:

@NatPainReport

@edcoghlan

Authored by: Ed Coghlan

  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
P J

I have a couple bottles of 300 mg gabapentin, but it makes me feel too shaky, does it bother anyone else like that ?
Also, my Mom was taking it in higher dosage , while she was in the hospital someone went into her apartment & stole 4 very large bottles & we can’t
Understand why ? They took two bottles , then a few days later, the other two disappeared ! Is this medication also sold on the streets ?
I wish I could tolerate it myself, I definitely need the relief with all the nerve damage I have. I was given samples ( about 10 small bottles ) of Lyrica & I sure was glad I had the samples to try ! It made me feel so disoriented & my mouth was very dry . Cymbalta worked better for me.

Sheryl W.

I have been taking 3600mg. of gabapentin(4 300mg capsules 3x a day) and 90mg. of Cymbalta (in addition to six other kinds of pills plus 1 injectable, 3 patches (1 of which is an opioid, 1 a topical anesthetic and 1 hrt) and a partridge in a pear tree…but no my point of this posts is I have been taking the gabapentin and the Cymbalta for about 11 years all for CRPS/RSD….9 years ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia….this would be after having already been on the cure for two years prior to needing them for the Fibro….doesn’t leave me much room for improvement…
Those of us dealing with comorbidities really need the researchers to start thinking outside of the box…

My Wife Paula ( UK ) has Fibro and takes Gabapentin 400mg 3 x a day. Dr/GP has given her Gym membership, but she’s worried about the pain this may cause her, and the after affects. Anybody go to Gym and will she suffer ?

Pauline

Gabapentin has been used for Fibro for at least nine years so this is a bit old hat. I tried it years ago and all it did was make me feel as if I was on planet nine and it certainly did absolutely nothing for the pain!! I tried Lyrics which is a much better drug! That stopped working too after a while. My pain specialist said that there are no good efficient drugs for Fibro as yet.

J.A.

A rather interesting article on what patients say works for Fibromyalgia listed below (if I am allowed to post a link).

Although Gabapentin may help some, under this survey, it was not that helpful:

http://blog.23andme.com/23andme-research/what-patients-say-works-for-fibromyalgia/#OQUBwfqrdmsWzcv4.01

Debra

I am on 1600 mgs per day, 800 twice per day. This is a miracle drug for me, and affordable. If I miss a dose, I can tell within about 15 minutes. My skin starts burning and my joints hurt. I am in the US and have a high deductible medical plan, I cannot afford Lyrica and am allergic to Cymbalta. I am thankful that my doctor listens to me. All drugs are different for everyone, but I am thankful that this drug works and I do not have to take opiod pain relievers.

Steve M

It’s not just the UK, we’ve been using it here (USA) for years as well. My wife and I have been using it since 2008 and our doctors have used it for approximately two decades for Fibromyalgia and neuropathy.

I’ve also found that I tolerate 500mg (five 100mg capsules), but everytime the insurance cons my doctor into prescribing the cheaper 600 mg tablets three times per day, I struggle to swallow them and they knock me on my a… rear end.

Then, the insurance pays for the 100mg capsules again.

Julie

ive been taking this in the UK for a couple of years but find I have to take small doses regularly. 100 not 300 so it helps but doesn’t knock me out .

Elayne Casados

I was on Gabapentin for my Fibromyalgia to be used for pain. All it did was make me gain weight but did not to take the pain away. After a year, I got off of it! It may help others but it didn’t help me at all.

Steve M

How is this “new hope”? To me, it’s just more tired leftovers. Chronic pain patients are second class citizens and those of us with Fibro are third class

Consider my wife’s suicide before taking this stuff…

http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm100190.htm

Suicidal Behavior and Ideation and Antiepileptic Drugs

Update 5/5/2009:

AED class label changes

Manufacturers of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) or anticonvulsant drugs will update product labeling to include a warning about an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or actions..

Janice Reynolds

This is anecdotal however my 30+ year old daughter had been on Lyrica for several years. It worked well but not great. she also takes several other medications. Changing jobs she had to use ACA insurance until her new insurance kicked in and with a $7000 deductible she couldn’t pay for her meds. We helped as much as we could but her meds run about $3500-4000 a month. Lyrica was $1200. Her physician switched her to gabapentin and not only was it affordable, it worked much better for her. If she only knew sooner Of course as always, everyone is different.