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Randomised controlled trial of gabapentin in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome type 1 [ISRCTN84121379]

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Author(s): van de Vusse Anton | Stomp-van den Berg Suzanne | Kessels Alfons | Weber Wim

Journal: BMC Neurology
ISSN 1471-2377

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 13;
Date: 2004;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background Complex Regional Pain Syndrome type one (CRPS I) or formerly Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) is a disabling syndrome, in which a painful limb is accompanied by varying symptoms. Neuropathic pain is a prominent feature of CRPS I, and is often refractory to treatment. Since gabapentin is an anticonvulsant with a proven analgesic effect in various neuropathic pain syndromes, we sought to study the efficacy of the anticonvulsant gabapentin as treatment for pain in patients with CRPS I. Methods We did a randomized double blind placebo controlled crossover study with two three-weeks treatment periods with gabapentin and placebo separated by a two-weeks washout period. Patients started at random with gabapentin or placebo, which was administered in identical capsules three times daily. We included 58 patients with CRPS type 1. Results Patients reported significant pain relief in favor of gabapentin in the first period. Therapy effect in the second period was less; finally resulting in no significant effect combining results of both periods. The CRPS patients had sensory deficits at baseline. We found that this sensory deficit was significantly reversed in gabapentin users in comparison to placebo users. Conclusions Gabapentin had a mild effect on pain in CRPS I. It significantly reduced the sensory deficit in the affected limb. A subpopulation of CRPS patients may benefit from gabapentin.
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