Neuropathic pain, a form of chronic pain initiated and sustained by an insult to the peripheral or central nervous system, is a challenge to clinicians as it does not respond well to traditional pain therapies. However exact pathophysiology is not known but considering similarities between epilepsy models and in neuropathic pain models justify the rationale for use of anticonvulsant drugs in the symptomatic management of neuropathic pain disorders. The role of anticonvulsant drugs in the treatment of neuropathic pain is evolving and various clinical trials have used these anticonvulsants and shown positive results in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia, painful diabetic neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia. The availability of newer anticonvulsants tested in higher quality clinical trials has marked a new era in the treatment of neuropathic pain. Gabapentin has the most clearly demonstrated analgesic effect for the treatment of neuropathic pain, specifically for treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia. Pregablin is a newer drug and will soon gain popularity in clinical practice. There is a need for further advances in our understanding of the neuropathic pain syndromes to establish the role of anticonvulsants in the treatment of neuropathic pain.
Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association
(2008). Use of anticonvulsants drugs for neuropathic painful conditions. Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, 58(12), 690-6.
Available at: http://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_anaesth/31