What is Gabapentin?

"Gabapentin" tablets, some sort of experimental drug for alcoholism / alcohol dependence.

alcohol-addiction

Alcohol Addiction

Gabapentin is being investigated for helping to treat alcohol addiction.

alcohol-treatment

Alcohol Treatment

Researchers have been investigating anticonvulsants (like gabapentin also known by brand name Neurontin) for use in the treatment of alcohol dependence.


I found the report, which is not available to the public except for the first page : http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1764005

It says gabapentin is an anticonvulsant, meaning a drug to control convulsions (such as seizures). The article references carbamazepine as a convulsant previously studied for alcohol dependency, but concludes that gabapentin (and the class of anticonvulsants) maybe helpful WITH the currently used long-actine benzodiazepines (such as chlordiazepoxide aka Librium, and diazepam aka Valium)), but not as a replacement.

link

From the web,

"Neurontin is one of Pfizer's best-selling drugs, and was one of the 50 most-prescribed drugs in the United States in 2003. However, Pfizer has come under heavy criticism and serious litigation for its marketing of Neurontin. They face allegations that, behind the scenes, Parke-Davis marketed the drug for at least a dozen supposed uses that the FDA had not approved. Today it is a mainstay drug for migraines, even though it was not approved for such use in 2004"

Gabapentin has been legally marketed for seizures, but allegedly marketed for other uses which is why there were issues with the FDA. Drugs cannot be marketed for uses that have not been approved by the FDA. The fact that it is popular for migraines suggests it was (perhaps improperly) marketed for migraines.

Recently gabapentin has been studied in a clinical trial attempting to show that gabapentin can be effective in the management of alcohol dependency. The only study I've seen (publicized in October of 2013 and reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association JAMA) showed that alcohol-dependent patients given gabapentin did slightly better than control patients given a placebo (fake version used to compare). However, since gabapentin is a mood-altering substance, such results do NOT mean that gabapentin is useful in managing alcoholism or alcohol dependence. At best, such a study suggests that further investigation might be helpful to learn more about gabapentin and treatment for alcohol dependency.

link

answered 04 Nov '13, 20:41

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Asked: 04 Nov '13, 20:28

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Last updated: 04 Nov '13, 20:48