People with nerve pain respond better to a combination treatment using the anticonvulsant gabapentin and antidepressant nortriptyline than to treatment with either drug alone, according to Canadian researchers.
The study findings suggest that combination treatment could be used to help people who only partially respond to one drug or the other.
Nerve, or neuropathic, pain -- which affects 2 to 3 percent of the population -- is "initiated or caused by a primary lesion or dysfunction in the nervous system," according to a news release from The Lancet, which is publishing the study online Sept. 29. Conditions that cause neuropathic pain include nerve problems in the spine, diabetes-related nerve damage and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), which is nerve pain caused by the varicella zoster virus that can follow an outbreak of shingles.
ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION