Gabapentin Equals Epidural Steroid for Radicular Pain


FREE PREVIEW. AAFP members and paid subscribers: Log in to get free access. All others: Purchase online access.

FREE PREVIEW. Purchase online access to read the full version of this article.

Am Fam Physician. 2015 Nov 1;92(9):814a-820.

Clinical Question

Is an epidural steroid injection or gabapentin (Neurontin) more effective for pain relief in patients with lumbosacral radicular pain due to a herniated disk or spinal stenosis?

Bottom Line

After controlling for the placebo effect that may accompany an epidural steroid injection, treatment with gabapentin is as effective as the injection in reducing radicular leg pain in the short term (three months). A placebo bump in response, if present, is likely to be transient. (Level of Evidence = 1b)


Patients enrolled in this study were recruited from eight hospitals in different areas of the United States and from a U.S. military facility

POEMs (patient-oriented evidence that matters) are provided by EssentialEvidence Plus, a point-of-care clinical decision support system published by Wiley-Blackwell. For more information, please see http://www.essentialevidenceplus.com. Copyright Wiley-Blackwell. Used with permission.

For definitions of levels of evidence used in POEMs, see http://www.essentialevidenceplus.com/product/ebm_loe.cfm?show=oxford.

To subscribe to a free podcast of these and other POEMs that appear in AFP,search in iTunes for “POEM of the Week” or go to http://goo.gl/3niWXb.

This series is coordinated by Sumi Sexton, MD, Associate Deputy Editor.

A collection of POEMs published in AFP is available at http://www.aafp.org/afp/poems.


Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions

CME Quiz

More in AFP

Editor's Collections

Related Content

More in Pubmed


Oct 15, 2016

Access the latest issue of American Family Physician

Read the Issue

Email Alerts

Don't miss a single issue. Sign up for the free AFP email table of contents.

Sign Up Now

Navigate this Article