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Why Experts Say Gabapentin Shouldn’t Be Used To Treat Chronic Pelvic Pain In Women.
Have you heard of gabapentin? It is a drug originally developed to treat epilepsy, but it has also been prescribed for pelvic pain. Now researchers discover that gabapentin is not recommended for treating pelvic pain. They explain why.
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In the study published in The Lancet journal, the results showed that gabapentin was not routinely prescribed to women with chronic pelvic pain.
Chronic pelvic pain affects up to 24 percent of women worldwide to varying degrees. In 55% of women the cause is unknown. If no underlying cause is found, the pain is much more difficult to treat.
Gabapentin is not recommended for treating chronic pelvic pain in women.
Gabapentin is used to control many forms of chronic pain. In two separate surveys, 74% of GPs and 92% of gynecologists said they would consider prescribing the medication for chronic pelvic pain.
Researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh, Birmingham, Oxford and Nottingham tested the drug’s effectiveness in treating chronic pelvic pain. The randomized clinical trial involved 306 women with the condition and no known cause.
153 women received gabapentin and 153 received placebo for 16 weeks. Neither the group nor the prescribing doctors knew what they were receiving.
The women were asked to rate their average pain and worst pain on a scale of zero to ten, weekly. The scores for the drug and placebo groups were then averaged.
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The team found that there was very little difference between the two groups’ pain. However, the gabapentin group experienced more side effects (dizziness, drowsiness, and mood swings) than the placebo group.
The researchers say that gabapentin should no longer be considered in the treatment of chronic pelvic pain when a cause has not been identified. They recommend that other avenues of treatment should be explored, such as different drugs, physical therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Professor Andrew Horne, a researcher at the MRC Center for Reproductive Health, notes: ‘We have prescribed this drug for many years with little evidence of its efficacy. As a result of the study we can safely conclude that gabapentin is not effective for chronic pelvic pain in women where no cause has been identified. More research is needed to explore whether other therapies can help instead, “she says.
Source: By Europa Press