Friday, February 23, 2007

A drug in search of a disease now pestering kids

Gabapentin, jack of all trades (epilepsy, chronic pain, migraines, mood stabilization, and pizza topping), master of none:

may improve the irritability seen in certain children with neurologic impairments, researchers report in the journal Pediatrics.

"Irritability may represent abnormal signaling of the...nervous system," lead investigator Dr. Julie M. Hauer told Reuters Health. The present study suggests pain in the gastrointestinal tract is "a plausible source of chronic irritability in neurologically impaired children."

Hauer, who is currently at Children's Hospital Boston, and colleagues point out that neurologically impaired children have higher than normal rates of chronic pain and irritability that persist in children despite thorough medical examination and treatment of possible pain sources. Parents commonly identify the gastrointestinal tract as a source of pain in these children.
Folks always made jokes about putting prozac in the water, but it seems like Neurontin would be so much better a choice. Interestingly enough, I expected a headline of "anti-seizure drug calms irritable kids" to address the off-label (and only mildly supported) use of neurontin as an adjunct mood stabilizer, but instead we're directed to neurontin's most fortuitous property, which is its ability to partially address chronic neuropathic pain. Just never know where this thing is gonna go.

Neurontin. What's one more pill?

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