Gabapentin improves symptoms of functional dyspepsia

14 Apr 2019
Gabapentin improves symptoms of functional dyspepsia

Treatment with gabapentin significantly improves symptoms of functional dyspepsia in a retrospective, open-label cohort of patients, reports an open-label study.

Sixty-two of the 110 patients with functional dyspepsia completed pre- and postgabapentin surveys. A 0.44-decrease (p<0.0001) was observed in the patients’ mean Patient Assessment of Gastrointestinal Disorders-Symptom Severity Index (PAGI-SYM), with significant changes in all subscales, including upper abdominal pain, lower abdominal pain and postprandial fullness, except for bloating.

An independent association was seen between worsening pretreatment symptom severity and improvement in multivariable analysis. Gabapentin treatment was discontinued in seven (11.3 percent) patients, with five (71.4 percent) stopping due to side effects.

There were significant improvements in overall, postprandial fullness and upper abdominal pain subscores in ≥50 percent of the cohort using the minimum significant PAGI-SYM score change threshold.

“Further studies are needed to place gabapentin in the functional dyspepsia treatment algorithm,” the authors said, adding that the findings were limited by the open-label design of the study.

Prior to evaluation, a baseline PAGI-SYM was completed by consecutive patients presenting to a tertiary motility clinic for the evaluation of functional dyspepsia without concurrent gastric emptying delay. Providers also initiated these patients on gabapentin for functional dyspepsia. Change in total PAGI-SYM score between initial and subsequent visits was the primary endpoint.

“Gabapentin has an established role in the treatment of neuropathic pain, with evidence supporting a benefit in visceral hypersensitivity. There is currently no data on the use of gabapentin for the treatment of functional dyspepsia,” the authors noted.

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