Efficacy of gabapentin in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome

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Med Clin (Barc). 2008 Mar 22;130(10):371-3. Taverner D, Lisbona MP, Segalés N, Docampo E, Calvet J, Castro S, Benito P. BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the analgesic efficacy and safety of gabapentin in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), as well as the electromyographic (EMG) evolution after 6 months. PATIENTS AND METHOD: A prospective study with a 6-month follow-up of patients with EMG diagnosis of primary CTS starting treatment with 1.800 mg/day of gabapentin. At baseline visit and after 6 months of treatment a complete clinical evaluation and an EMG study were performed. Adverse effects of gabapentin were also registered. RESULTS: Twenty-five patients were included, mean age (standard deviation) 58.88 (7.69) years. After 6 months of treatment, a statistically significant reduction of pain (p = 0.001) and improvement of severity of symptoms (p = 0.008) were observed, although functional capacity did not change. EMG was performed in 19 patients at 6 months. Compared to baseline EMG: 52.6% patients showed no changes in EMG findings, while 5.3% patients showed improvement and in 26.3% the EMG was normal. Progression was only seen in 15.8% of patients after 6 months of treatment. In 28% of the patients gabapentin was stopped because of side effects. CONCLUSIONS: In our series, gabapentin was effective in the reduction of pain and improvement of the severity of the symptoms. Results of EMG after 6 months of treatment showed no changes, with improvement and/or remission in 84.2% of the cases. The drug was safe and well tolerated.

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