Systematic review of the comparative effectiveness of antiepileptic drugs for fibromyalgia

The Journal of Pain, 01/03/2011

Siler AC et al. –This systematic review evaluates the benefits and harms of using the antiepileptic drugs gabapentin and pregabalin for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Conclusions from this paper can help clinicians to more effectively treat the pain associated with fibromyalgia.

Methods

  • Literature search conducted
  • 8 studies matched criteria (7 studies of pregabalin, 1 of gabapentin)

Results

  • Both drugs reduced mean pain scores more than placebo at a modest rate (pregabalin, 38% to 50%; gabapentin, 51%)
  • In 6-month trial of pregabalin responders, 32% continued to have response at 6 months, with mean time to loss of response of 34 days
  • Compared to placebo, drugs had similarly high rates of adverse events and withdrawals
  • Without head-to-head trial it is not possible to conclude if 1 antiepileptic is more effective or harmful than the other, although limited evidence suggests potential differences

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