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Gabapentin is as Effective as tramadol/acetaminophen Combination in the Treatment of painful Diabetic Neuropathy

Posted in Acetaminophen, Gabapentin, Tramadol

Gabapentin is used to help control partial seizures (convulsions) in the treatment of epilepsy. This medicine cannot cure epilepsy and will only work to control seizures for as long as you continue to take it.

Gabapentin is also used to manage a condition called postherpetic neuralgia, which is pain that occurs after shingles.

Gabapentin works in the brain to prevent seizures and relieve pain for certain conditions in the nervous system. It is not used for routine pain caused by minor injuries or arthritis. Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant.

This medicine is available only with your doctor’s prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Capsule
  • Tablet
  • Solution
  • Suspension



This study compared the efficacy and safety of tramadol/acetaminophen (T/A) and gabapentin in the management of painful diabetic neuropathy.


An open, randomized, comparative study was conducted. Subjects with painful symmetric neuropathy in the lower limbs and mean pain-intensity score > or = 4 on a numeric rating scale were eligible. Subjects were randomized to receive either tramadol (37.5 mg)/acetaminophen (325 mg) or gabapentin (300 mg) for 6 weeks. After 2 weeks of the titration period (1200 mg/day for gabapentin and three tablets/day for T/A), the doses were maintained if the pain was relieved. The primary efficacy outcome was a reduction in pain intensity. Secondary measures evaluated a pain relief scale, a Brief Pain Inventory, a 36-item Short Form Health Survey, average pain intensity and sleep disturbance.


One hundred and sixty-three subjects (T/A 79; gabapentin 84) were included. At the final visit, the mean doses were 1575 mg/day for gabapentin and 4.22 tablets/day for T/A. Both groups were similar in terms of baseline pain intensity (mean intensity: T/A 6.7 +/- 1.6; gabapentin 6.3 +/- 1.6, P = 0.168). At the final visit, the mean reductions in pain intensity were similar in both groups (T/A -3.1 +/- 2.0; gabapentin -2.7 +/- 2.1, P = 0.744). Both groups had similar improvements in every Short Form Health Survey category and Brief Pain Inventory subcategory, and in the mean pain relief scores.

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This study suggests that the T/A combination treatment is as effective as gabapentin in the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Gabapentin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • drowsiness
  • tiredness or weakness
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • uncontrollable shaking of a part of your body
  • double or blurred vision
  • unsteadiness
  • anxiety
  • memory problems
  • strange or unusual thoughts
  • unwanted eye movements
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • heartburn
  • diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • constipation
  • increased appetite
  • weight gain
  • swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • back or joint pain
  • fever
  • runny nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat, or flu-like symptoms
  • ear pain
  • red, itchy eyes (sometimes with swelling or discharge)

Some side effects may be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • rash
  • itching
  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes
  • hoarseness
  • difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • seizures
  • difficulty breathing; bluish-tinged skin, lips, or fingernails; confusion; or extreme sleepiness

Gabapentin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

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