Initially used as a treatment against epileptic seizures, anticonvulsants are increasingly prescribed in the treatment of certain neuropathic pain or not, such as chronic low back pain or sciatica. But according to Australian researchers, these drugs would be ineffective for treating chronic back pain. They analyzed the efficacy of three of these molecules against placebo: topiramate (marketed in France under the name of Epitomax), pregabalin (Lyrica) and gabapentin (Neurotin, the antiepileptic treatment which was the subject of the most large number of studies as anti-pain). For this, they grouped together several studies involving 850 patients with low back pain and average age of 50 years.
Result *: out of 15 comparisons, 14 showed no incidence of anticonvulsants on patients' pains.
Not to mention the adverse effects: drowsiness, nausea ... In short, for scientists, these molecules have more disadvantages than benefits in the treatment of chronic low back pain and lumbar root pain. One class of analgesic drugs pointed out after others: opioids and anti-inflammatories are also considered ineffective for this disabling back pathology. The alternative ? Turn to non-drug techniques, such as osteopathy, yoga, mindfulness meditation. Finally, a healthy lifestyle and exercises adapted to muscle.
* published in Canadian Medical Association Journal