New Form of Gabapentin More Effective for Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain and tenderness, accompanied by disturbed sleep, chronic fatigue and multiple additional functional symptoms. It is a disabling condition affecting the population, with a higher prevalence among females.
In this new study, researchers showed that administration of the drug gabapentin in an extended-release approach, relieved fibromyalgia-associated pain symptoms and improved fibromyalgia patients quality of life. The study was published in the journal Pain Practice. In this study, authors investigated the efficacy and safety of extended-release gabapentin to manage FM pain using the Numeric Pain Rating System (NPRS), Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), Patient's Global Impression of Change (PGIC), and Medical Outcome Sleep questionnaires (MOS).
A total of 34 patients with FM were enrolled in this study and were given an extended-release gabapentin starter pack and treated for a total of 12 weeks. By the end of week 4, patients reported a significant pain relief on the NPRS. Furthermore, authors also found significant improvement in Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) scores, observing that patients experienced improved quality-of-life, including better 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 Patient's Global Impression of Change (PGIC), with significant improvement in patient's impression of FM by week 8.
Therefore, the team highlights that although their study has limitations (it was not controlled study, geographical bias, relatively short duration of treatment, and single-arm study and the sample size was small) it suggests that extended-release gabapentin is effective against FM pain and improves patients quality of life.