Effects of gabapentin on morphine consumption and pain in severely burned patients

Burns. 2007 Feb;33(1):81-6. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2006.04.020. Epub 2006 Oct 30.


Objective: Nociception is the major cause of burn pain and leads to central hyperalgesia. Gabapentin (Gp) is an antihyperalgesic drug that selectively affects central sensitization. We studied the opioid-sparing and analgesic effects of Gp in severely burned patients.

Methods: Ten patients (mean total burned body surface area (TBSA), 25%), received 2400 mg of oral Gp daily from after burn days 3-24 in addition to standard pain therapy. They were compared to a retrospective matching group. Outcomes were cumulative morphine consumption and mean daily pain scores. Outcomes were recorded during treatment (21 days) and 21 days after treatment.

Results: During treatment and post-treatment phases, patients receiving Gp had cumulative morphine consumption and a mean daily pain score significantly lower than controls.

Conclusion: Gp use reduced opioid consumption and lowered pain scores that seemed to extend beyond its pharmacologic action probably result from the ability of Gp to prevent central hyperalgesia induced by burns.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Amines / administration & dosage*
  • Analgesics / administration & dosage*
  • Burns / complications*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Gabapentin
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morphine / administration & dosage*
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Treatment Outcome
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / administration & dosage*


  • Amines
  • Analgesics
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Gabapentin
  • Morphine