Gabapentin

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant with analgesic properties that may be primarily derived by down-regulating calcium channels.61 Because of its efficacy and tolerability, gabapentin is widely used in humans with neuropathic and other maladaptive painconditions. 62 Along with published clinical case reports in animals, the data suggest a strong rationale for using gabapentin in dogs and cats with similar conditions.63,64 One canine study suggested a disease-modifying effect in experimental DJD, but clinical studies are lacking.65 In cats, one unpublished study demonstrated a benefit of gabapentin in naturally-occurring DJD (E. Troncy, personal communication 2013), and one case series of chronic musculoskeletal pain has also been published.66 The evidence for gabapentin in human postsurgical pain is encouraging, but not yet in dogs and cats.67–72 An 8–12 hr dosing interval has been suggested based on one publication.73 The primary adverse effect in dogs appears to be somnolence (also the case in humans), which usually resolves with patient acclimationover several days, allowing for a tapering-up schedule.

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