There are many medications taken by fibromyalgia sufferers to help relieve their symptoms. One of these medications is gabapentin for fibromyalgia.Know the important stuff of #gabapentin for #fibromyalgia Click To Tweet
Medications for Fibromyalgia
There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but there are various ways to get relief from the daunting symptoms of fibromyalgia. There are several medicinal ways to manage symptoms such as over-the-counter and prescriptions. Some of the medications are approved by the Food Drug Administration such as Lyrica (approved in 2007), Cymbalta (approved in 2008), and Savella (approved in 2009), but there are many other medications used to treat fibromyalgia symptoms.
Gabapentin for Fibromyalgia
Gabapentin is in the class of medications called anticonvulsants and is commonly used to treat seizures in epileptic patients. It is also used to treat the burning sensation that may last after an attack of shingles as well as treatment of restless leg syndrome, more commonly known as RLS. It is also known as Fanatrex, Gaborone, Gralise, and Neurontin.
In November 2007 the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) performed a clinical trial of gabapentin on 150 fibromyalgia patients. The patients were given 1,200 to 2,400 mg of gabapentin for 12 weeks. Patients taking the medication reported less pain, better sleep, and less fatigue. Patients had side effects of dizziness and sedation that were mild to moderate. Read the complete clinical study and results.
While gabapentin for fibromyalgia has not yet been FDA approved, those with fibromyalgia can still discuss this treatment option with their physician.
There are side effects to this medication you should know and be aware of. They include:
- abnormal eye movements that are continuous, uncontrolled, back-and-forth, or rolling
- clumsiness or unsteadiness
- difficulty speaking
- drowsiness or tiredness
- dry mouth
More serious side effects include:
- violent behavior, aggressiveness, or anger
- anxiousness or restlessness
- anxiety that is new or worse
- depression that is new or worse
- irritability that is new or worse
- panic attacks
- suicidal thoughts or behavior
- insomnia (trouble sleeping)
The allergic reactions to this medication include:
- skin rash
- difficulty breathing
- gland swelling that does not go away
- swelling of your face, lip, throat, or tongue
- yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- severe tiredness or weakness
- unexpected muscle pain
Before quitting a medication, please discuss this with your physician or medical provider. Suddenly stopping a medication can have dire – even fatal – effects. Most providers recommend tapering off a medication instead of quitting ‘cold turkey’. Some side effects of stopping gabapentin include:
- withdrawal symptoms such as agitation, restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, nausea, sweating, or flu-like symptoms. The risks of withdrawal are higher if you’re taking high doses or have been on gabapentin for longer than 6 weeks. Withdrawal symptoms can start from 12 hours to 7 days after stopping the medication.
- status epilepticus, which is a rapid cycle of seizure activity so that an individual experiences an almost constant seizure for a period of time
- irregular heart rate
- return of nerve pain