Myofascial Pain Syndrome is a pain disorder that affects people every day. It is chronic and learning how to deal with this is the priority of most people that are affected with this syndrome.
For those who have this they have inflammation and muscle pain throughout the soft tissues in their bodies. It can make a typical day feel as though it is going to last forever, as the pain is something that tends to stick around throughout the day and the night.
Studies are constantly being done to find the best way to treat the pain that is associated with this syndrome. One of the methods that people are becoming more interested is the use of Gabapentin for the treatment of the pain.
What is Gabapentin?
Gabapentin is classified as an anti-epileptic medication or an anticonvulsant. When this medicine is taken, it affects the chemicals and nerves that are in the body. These are the nerves and chemicals that have been associated with causing seizures.
It has also been shown to treat restless legs syndrome, provide relief from nerve pain associated with the herpes virus of shingles, and treating the chronic pain that has been seen with Myofascial Pain Syndrome, or fibromyalgia.
The Side Effects of Gabapentin
With every medication that enters the market, there are always side effects that are associated with this. These side effects can be more like allergic reactions or they can be small and be nothing more than bothersome. Some of the serious allergic reactions that the manufacturer warns consumers about are:
- Dark urine
- Blood in the urine
- Swollen glands
- Sore throat
- Extreme weakness
- Feeling extreme tired
- Feeling agitated, hostile, restless or hyperactive
- Having feelings about suicide
There are several other side effects that doctors will warn patients about. These side effects include;
- An increase in seizure activity
- Severe weakness or being tried
- Upper stomach pain
- Check pain that could be accompanied with cough, fever or trouble breathing
- Severe tingling or numbness
- Rapid movement of the eyes
- Kidney issues such as little or no urination, swelling in the ankles or the feet, feeling short of breath
- Skin reactions that may include a red or purple rash hat appears on the skin, blistering or peeling of the skin
It is interesting to note that many of the side effects that are seen are more common in children than they are in adults.
However, if any child or adult experience these symptoms while taking gabapentin, then they should contact their doctor as soon as possible. These side effects include:
- Changes in behavior
- Memory problems
- Having issues with concentrating
- Acting restless
The side effects of Gabapentin are rather high and scary for many individuals. However, if the drug could help with the chronic pain that is felt when you have issues due to Myofascial Pain Syndrome, then the side effects, in the opinion of most people is well worth it in the end.
Studies of Gabapentin and Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Myofascial Pain Syndrome is a relatively newer medical issue when compared to others that have been studied for decades.
However, it is a syndrome that is getting rapid amounts of attention. Why is this? It seems to be affecting more and more people. Thus, finding something that offers relieve is a priority among those who are in the medical field.
A recent study that looked at various people who had this syndrome along with taking Gabapentin to find if there were any signs that this would help. The following are just a few of the interesting stats that were collected from this small study:
- There was a total of 268 people who willing participated in this study of effectiveness
- Overall, around 110 of these participants find that they had moderate relieve from the pain they usually felt.
- 51 people reported high relief of the pain that they were feeling.
- 7 people stated they had very high relief of pain symptoms.
- 83 stated that this drug somewhat helped to relieve pain
- 17 people stated they could see no difference in pain relief while taking this drug
It was found that out of those who reported some or moderate help with their pain were more women than men. In fact, 90% of the participants were women. Age wise, 40% of those who take gabapentin are ages 40 to 49 years of age.
Followed by ages 30-39. With these stats in mind and considering all those participants in this study it was found that gabapentin mostly benefits women who are between the ages of 30 to 49 for the highest percentage of response to the drug.
Keep in mind this does not mean that it will work for everyone in this age bracket or gender, these were average results from the study.
Dosage and Treating with Gabapentin
The dosage of Gabapentin a person is given is going to depend on several factors. These factors include their weight, the level of pain they are having and their tolerance for new drugs.
A doctor will best be able to suggest where to start. However, most people start small and gradually work up to higher dosages when their bodies become accustomed to the intake of this drug.
Are more doctors treating with Gabapentin? In many cases, doctors are looking at this as treatment option. However, this is not their first choice when treating this syndrome.
There are many studies still needing to be completed before doctors will start to make this their go-to drug for those who suffer with pain from myofascial pain syndrome.
For those who are currently suffering with myofascial pain syndrome, and who have tried other methods for relieving your pain, then talking to your doctor is the first step you should take. It could be that gabapentin is the perfect treatment for you, and offers the relief that you desire.