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, 40 (6), 282-5

Gabapentin for Neuropathic Pain Following Spinal Cord Injury

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Gabapentin for Neuropathic Pain Following Spinal Cord Injury

T-P To et al. Spinal Cord.

Abstract

Study design: Retrospective review of patient data.

Objective: To present two years of experience in the use of gabapentin for the alleviation of neuropathic pain in spinal cord injury patients.

Setting: Supra-regional Spinal Cord Service, Melbourne, Australia.

Method: Data were retrieved from the medical records of all spinal cord injury patients prescribed gabapentin for neuropathic pain. Pain was assessed prior to and during treatment at 1, 3 and 6 months with a 10 cm visual analogue scale which ranged from 0 ('no pain') to 10 ('worst pain imaginable'), or by the documentation of a verbal description of pain.

Results: Seventy-six per cent of patients receiving gabapentin reported a reduction in neuropathic pain. In those patients with data at all four measurement points, the mean pretreatment score was 8.86. Following treatment with gabapentin the score dropped to 5.23, 4.59 and 4.13 at 1, 3 and 6 months, respectively. Where only a verbal description of pain was documented, the trend was that the pretreatment report of 'unbearable' was replaced by 'liveable' during treatment.

Conclusion: Our experience suggests that gabapentin offers an effective therapeutic alternative for the alleviation of neuropathic pain following spinal cord injury. Controlled clinical trials are now required to confirm these observations.

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