Topical Gabapentin Effective in Vulvodynia

Possible benefits of treatment include reduced pain and improvements in sexual function

FRIDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In women with vulvodynia, treatment with topical gabapentin may lead to significant pain relief, according to study findings published in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Lori A. Boardman, M.D., of the Women and Infants' Hospital of Rhode Island in Coventry, R.I., and colleagues conducted a retrospective study of 51 patients -- including 19 with generalized vulvodynia and 32 with localized vulvodynia -- who were treated with 2 percent to 6 percent gabapentin between 2001 and 2006.

Of the 35 evaluable women who completed a minimum of eight weeks' therapy, the researchers found that mean pain scores decreased from 7.26 to 2.49, and that 28 women achieved at least a 50 percent reduction in pain scores. Among the 20 evaluable women with localized vulvodynia, they also found that 17 reported improved sexual function.

"Although our results with the use of topical gabapentin in women with vulvodynia have been encouraging, we realize the limitations of such retrospective assessments of efficacy," the authors conclude. "The complexity of vulvar pain syndromes and the unclear rate of resolution in the absence of therapy coupled with our inability to control for all the potential variables that might affect the measurement of pain outcomes require a randomized clinical trial."

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