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

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This detailed leaflet talks about pain in ME/CFS 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).

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 ME/CFS.

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.

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