Anticonvulsants were used initially to treat epilepsy, however in recent times the usefulness of these medicines in neuropathic pain has been considered. These drugs operate by suppression of rapid firing of neurones and this may be why they are possibly useful in some types of pain.
Gabapentin and Pregabalin are drugs in this class. These are found to have some evidence that they can help people experiencing neuropathic pain.
According to NPS Medicinewise:
"Neuropathic pain is a common form of chronic pain, with an array of drugs available for its treatment, including anticonvulsants.
A recent Cochrane review assessed the evidence around efficacy and safety for 10 anticonvulsant drugs used to treat neuropathic pain and found evidence of efficacy for only 2 — gabapentin and pregabalin.
The study provides support for the use of pregabalin and gabapentin in treatment of neuropathic pain, but was not able to distinguish between the 2 drugs in terms of efficacy for the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy or postherpetic neuralgia. Nor was the study able to identify patients most likely to benefit from treatment with either drug.
Gabapentin and pregabalin are TGA-approved in Australia for the treatment of neuropathic pain. Currently, pregabalin is PBS subsidised when prescribed for neuropathic pain, and gabapentin is subsidised for this indication only under the RPBS"
You can read more from NPS Medicinewise here