Gabapentin and fibromyalgia may seem like an unusual combination, but it is a medication that has proven to provide significant relief for those that suffer with the chronic pain of the disease.
Gabapentin is more commonly known by its trade name, Neurontin. It is gaining such wide spread acceptance as a treatment for fibromyalgia pain that many of the insurance companies will now cover the medication without an appeal.
A lot of this acceptance comes from the new findings about fibromyalgia, and advances in diagnostic techniques for the disorder.
Up until a few years ago there wasn’t much in the way of testing that doctors could do to determine if a patient was suffering from fibromyalgia. The average time between the onset of symptoms and definite diagnosis was 5 years.
That is an interminable amount of time to suffer without knowing what is wrong with you, and for many people, those 5 years consisted of them being told that nothing was wrong with them and having counseling suggested.
In recent years there has been great progressed made in testing for fibromyalgia which may mean that less people have to suffer that long before they can begin to engage with effective treatments.
These new tests are a result of the findings of studies that are defining how fibromyalgia acts in the body and the mind. It is now known that there are detectable levels and changes in the brain that are detectable by scans that can conclusively prove that fibromyalgia exists within the body It is a chronic condition, but not fatal.
There is currently no known cure, but much is known now about how to manage its symptoms. This also means that there is a greater understanding of what may increase your risk for it, which can help to explain why drugs like Gabapentin and fibromyalgia can work so well together.
It used to be that doctors thought that women over 40, and those with a family history of fibromyalgia were at risk of developing the disorder. Now, we understand that there is a complex series of triggers associated with the disease.
Women over the age of 18 with a family history of fibromyalgia are still considered to be at the greatest risk – but it is now acknowledged that men can get the disorder too. You can also develop it as a result of stress in childhood, a traumatic brain injury, severe illness and surgery.
The range of potential causes are so broad that there is no one cause to look too – but all of them do have a definite tie in to neurochemical processes that deal with stress and pain. Which is why Gabapentin may be so potent.
Gabapentin, also known as Neurontin, is a drug that is used to control seizures. It is highly successful as an anti-convulsant. It works by controlling the brain impulses and slowing down the electrical activity in the neural network.
This controls seizures, but it also slows down the impulses that work overtime with fibromyalgia to convey pain messages. One of the hallmarks of fibromyalgia is a hyperactive sympathetic nervous system.
It is a condition that is common with chronic pain ailments, the more pain you are in the more sensitive you become to pain.
That doesn’t just lower your pain threshold, but it also means that your brain chemicals to counteract pain are released in doses that may be too high. That could raise your risk of developing serotonin syndrome too – and that can be fatal.