Drugs – Gabapentin (Neurontin): Moderate to Severe Pain Relief


This detailed leaflet talks about pain in M.E. and how it can be managed. It features the drug Gabapentin and reviews the evidence for its use as a pain relief medication.


What is Gabapentin?

“Gabapentin (trade name = Neurontin) is a drug normally used to treat epilepsy – where it stabilises and calms down electrical activity in the brain. It does so by mimicking the action of a brain chemical transmitter called GABA, which is a ‘nerve-calming’ chemical.

“However, it has also been found to be effective in relieving neuropathic/nerve pain. It is sometimes also used to treat migraine and trigeminal neuralgia (facial pain)…”

“In addition to its use in neuropathic pain, gabapentin has been assessed for relieving musculoskeletal pain in fibromyalgia – a condition with a considerable degree of overlap to M.E.

“One clinical trial in fibromyalgia found that gabapentin reduced pain, fatigue and sleep disruption more effectively than a placebo. Gabapentin was generally well tolerated in this trial…”

New Prescribing Guidelines

“Due to growing concerns about misuse, the legal status of gabapentin has changed and these changes came into effect in April 2019.

“This drug is now classified as a Class C Controlled Drug… and as a result, some doctors are likely to take a far more cautious view about prescribing gabapentin for pain relief in M.E.”

Telephone Helpline

The ME Association telephone helpline – ME Connect – is available every day of the year, during the hours of 10am-12noon, 2pm-4pm and 7pm-9pm. Please phone: 0344 576 5326 if you have any questions or would simply like to talk to someone who is there to listen.

Please note this leaflet is a download. You can read it on-screen and save to your computer, phone or other device and can attach it to any email you might need to send. But you will need access to a printer if you wish it printed.


0344 576 5326

Available every day of the week between these times: 10am - 12noon, 2pm - 4pm and 7pm - 9pm.

Calls cost the same as other standard landline numbers (starting 01 or 02). If you have a call package for your landline or mobile phone then calls will normally come out of your inclusive minutes.