Neurontin-Here We Go Again

A recent Cochrane Report, embracing the use of Neurontin for Fibromyalgia is making noise in the medical profession. It apparently doesn’t matter that Neurontin has been largely abandoned by most doctors who treat fibromyalgia and by patients who have fibromyalgia. Once the side effects of Neurontin became well known and sales started to become compromised, Lyrica was released-same drug different name.

The Cochrane Report-
Gabapentin (Neurontin) for chronic neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia in adults
Antiepileptic drugs like gabapentin are commonly used for treating neuropathic pain, usually defined as pain due to damage to nerves. This would include postherpetic neuralgia (persistent pain experienced in an area previously affected by shingles), painful complications of diabetes, nerve injury pain, phantom limb pain, fibromyalgia and trigeminal neuralgia. This type of pain can be severe and long-lasting, is associated with lack of sleep, fatigue, and depression, and a reduced quality of life. 

In people with these conditions, gabapentin is associated with a moderate benefit (equivalent to at least 30% pain relief) in almost one in two patients (43%), and a substantial benefit (equivalent to at least 50% pain relief) in almost one in three (31%). 

Over half of those taking gabapentin for neuropathic pain will not have good pain relief, in common with most chronic pain conditions. Adverse events are experienced by about two-thirds of people taking gabapentin, mainly dizziness, somnolence (sleepiness), edema (swelling), and gait disturbance, but only about 1 in 10 (11%) have to stop the treatment because of these unpleasant side effects. Overall gabapentin provides pain relief of a high level in about a third of people who take it for painful neuropathic pain. Adverse events are frequent, but mostly tolerable. This review looked at evidence from 29 studies involving 3571 participants.
I have several issues with this drug:
It only works in about 30% of patients who take it-if you’re in the 30% group, great. Most folks with fibromyalgia won’t notice any pain relief. And two-thirds of patients taking the drug will have side effects. Please keep in mind that two-thirds is extremely conservative and the percentage of those who will experience side effects is realistically more like 75%-90%.
You can read more about the deceitful marketing campaign Pfizer orchestrated in their attempts to take a worthless drug and turn it into a multi-billion dollar block-buster seller-click link below-
In my experience of treating hundreds of patients who’ve tried Neurontin and Lyrica I find both drugs to be potentially dangerous, toxic and ineffective for fibromyalgia.

1 reply
  1. Arlene
    Arlene says:

    I took Neurontin for a short time for chronic back pain. I had a lot of swelling and numbness in hands and feet. When your feet are numb you are more likely to fall. I stopped taking that and now I take 1 Tramadol each morning before going to work. I am always on edge as if I can not control my stress level. Very tired especially in the mornings. My FP continues to blame depression as my problem. My blood work always comes back normal with a couple of exceptions. Nobody ever understands how bad you feel and why you can’t get out of bed.


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