Gabapentin is used for treatment of seizures and hypersensitivity to pain. Researchers at UCI have employed low-dosage gabapentin immediately after injury to block the development of chronic pain.
Expanding beyond currently approved use for seizures and neuralgia to include use as a preventative treatment for chronic pain
·Gabapentin can successfully block the development of chronic pain
·Reduce reliance on opioids as a method to treat chronic pain
Chronic pain is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States, with an estimated 30% of adults experiencing chronic pain. Many therapeutics have been released to help minimize the pain such as gabapentinoids, which bind to calcium channels in the spinal cord, thus blocked the exaggerated excitation and hypersensitivity that lead to the development of new connections between nerves to cause chronic pain. However, the optimal dosage or timing of this treatment has not been discovered. Work by scientists at UCI have shown that a repurposed the anti-convulsant, Gabapentin, can block the hypersensitivity that leads to chronic pain in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, gabapentin has been shown to effectively block, but not reverse chronic-pain related changes, indicating that it is best used in a preventative fashion.
Gabapentin has been approved by the FDA for treatment of seizures and neuralgia. Gabapentin has been tested by Lou and colleagues for prevention of chronic pain in rodent models.