Back Pain and Anticonvulsants
Anticonvulsants are traditionally used for the treatment of seizures but have been found to have an impact in dealing with neuropathic pain. Gabapentin (Neurontin) and Pregabalin (Lyrica) are among the drugs that are used as first line treatment for neuropathic pain. They have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of specific neuropathic pains, these include painful diabetic neuropathy and shingles. These drugs are also used for headache and fibromyalgia.
Effect of Anticonvulsants on Back Pain
Anticonvulsants are medications that are prescribed primarily to treat seizures, but they have been in use for many years to treat certain types of chronic back pain. Based on research, the mechanisms responsible for certain types of neuropathic pain are same as those that occur in certain types of epilepsy.
Research Evidence on Anticonvulsants
Many studies have shown that anticonvulsants are effective in controlling chronic back pain caused by nerve damage (neuropathic pain).
Side Effects and Warnings
The side effects of anticonvulsants are often specific to the particular drug being taken, but some common effects are can be dizziness, drowsiness, unsteadiness, nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, weight gain, hormonal changes, photo-sensitivity, memory and liver function, and blood platelet abnormalities.
Effect of Gabapentin on Back Pain
Gabapentin is used for treating partial seizures in adults with epilepsy. It is also used to treat certain types of neuropathic pain as associated with back pain.
Read more about Back Pain and Gabapentin.