A randomized placebo-controlled comparative trial of gabapentin and propranolol in essential tremor

Alexandre Gironell, Jaime Kuliscvsky, Manel Barbanoj, Dolores Lopcz-Villegas, Gonzalo Heniández, Berta Pascual-Sedano

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153 Citations (Scopus)


Background: New medication is needed to treat essential tremor. Preliminary evidence suggests that gabapentin may be effective in the treatment of this disorder. Objective: To study the effects of gabapentin in a comparative, double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled trial of patients who have essential tremor. Patients and Methods: 16 patients with essential tremor (6 with a new onset and 10 with a 2-week washout period of previous treatment with propranolol hydrochloride) received gabapentin (Neurontin), 400 mg 3 times daily; propranolol hydrochloride, 40 mg 3 times daily; and placebo for 15 days with a 1-week washout period between treatments. Major Outcome Measures: Major outcome evaluations consisted of a Tremor Clinical Rating Scale, accelerometric recordings, and a self-reported disability scale obtained before drug intake on study days 1 and 15 of each treatment period. In addition, the initial (day 1) and superimposed (day 15) drug effects were studied before and 2, 4, 6, and 8 hours after drug intake. Results: At day 15, both gabapentin and propranolol demonstrated significant and comparable efficacy in reducing tremor from baseline in all tremor measures. The initial drug effects evaluated through accelerometry revealed no significant changes with the use of a placebo, but gabapentin and propranolol use significantly reduced tremor power. Conclusion: Gabapentin may be useful for the treatment of essential tremor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-480
JournalArchives of Neurology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999


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