Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Off label uses of Gabapentin

Q: Name at least 7 off-label uses of Gabapentin?

Answer: Gabapentin is a versatile drug in the sense that it can be used in many nerve-related situations where the etiology of pain is not clear or the pain is refractory. It includes
  • Chronic refractory cough
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hiccups
  • Postoperative pain
  • Pruritus including chronic, brachioradial, malignancy-related and uremic
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Menopause associated vasomotor symptoms
  • Alcohol withdrawal
All of these off labels uses may utilize different doses via different routes. A pharmacy should be consulted before prescribing it, particularly in patients with renal insufficiency and with other medications on board. 



1. Alonso-Navarro H, Rubio L, Jiménez-Jiménez FJ. Refractory hiccup: successful treatment with gabapentin. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2007;30(3):186-187.

2. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 141: management of menopausal symptoms [published correction appears in Obstet Gynecol. 2016;127(1):166]. Obstet Gynecol. 2014;123(1):202-216.

3. Arnold LM, Goldenberg DL, Stanford SB, et al. Gabapentin in the treatment of fibromyalgia: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. Arthritis Rheum. 2007;56(4):1336-1344.

4. Aurora RN, Kristo DA, Bista SR, et al; American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The treatment of restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder in adults—an update for 2012: practice parameters with an evidence-based systematic review and meta-analyses: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine clinical practice guideline. Sleep. 2012;35(8):1039-1062.

5. Brower KJ, Myra Kim H, Strobbe S, Karam-Hage MA, Consens F, Zucker RA. A randomized double-blind pilot trial of gabapentin versus placebo to treat alcohol dependence and comorbid insomnia. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2008;32(8):1429-1438.

6. Carvalho S, Sanches M, Alves R, Selores M. Brachioradial pruritus in a patient with cervical disc herniation and Parsonage-Turner syndrome. An Bras Dermatol. 2015;90(3):401-402.

7. Cobin RH, Goodman NF; AACE Reproductive Endocrinology Scientific Committee. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and American College of Endocrinology position statement on menopause—2017 update [published correction appears in Endocr Pract. 2017;23(12):1488]. Endocr Pract. 2017;23(7):869-880

8. Demierre MF, Taverna J. Mirtazapine and gabapentin for reducing pruritus in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006;55(3):543-544

9. Furieri FA, Nakamura-Palacios EM. Gabapentin reduces alcohol consumption and craving: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Clin Psychiatry. 2007;68(11):1691-1700.

10. Garcia-Borreguero D, Ferini-Strambi L, Kohnen R, et al; European Federation of Neurological Societies; European Neurological Society; European Sleep Research Society. European guidelines on management of restless legs syndrome: report of a joint task force by the European Federation of Neurological Societies, the European Neurological Society and the European Sleep Research Society. Eur J Neurol. 2012;19(11):1385-1396

11. Gibson P, Wang G, McGarvey L, Vertigan AE, Altman KW, Birring SS; CHEST Expert Cough Panel. Treatment of unexplained chronic cough: CHEST guideline and expert panel report. Chest. 2016;149(1):27-44. 

Pande AC, Davidson JR, Jefferson JW, et al. Treatment of social phobia with gabapentin: a placebo-controlled study. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1999;19(4):341-348.

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