News Release - February 12, 2014

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Jennifer Forbes                                                                                                         
Communications & Public Affairs



Women Seeking Relief from Chronic Pain Invited to Participate in Study at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

 New Brunswick, NJ – A chronic syndrome called vulvodynia that affects from four to seven percent of women is being studied by physicians at The Women’s Health Institute at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in hopes of alleviating sometimes excruciating pain. The purpose of the study is to determine the effectiveness of gabapentin, a medication that is FDA-approved as a treatment for nerve-related pain and other conditions, when used as an extended release therapy. The study is funded by the National Institutes of Health (1R01HD065740-01A1 and 1RC1HD063902-01).

Vulvodynia is a pain that occurs on the external part of a woman’s vaginal area, known as the vulva.  Symptoms include constant vulvar pain or pain caused by touch from activities including prolonged sitting, exercise, sexual activity, tight-fitting clothing and other daily activities. Study applicants will receive clinical exams by physicians in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School to diagnose vulvodynia and determine eligibility for the 16-week study. Eligible participants must be female and at least 18 years old, and have ongoing vulvar pain due to activities or touch and have no other cause of pain such as from an infection. Physicians will help diagnose applicants who are ineligible for the study and refer them to an appropriate physician for treatment. 

Eligible participants will receive either the study medication or a placebo (a pill, which has no treatment) for the first eight weeks. During the second eight-week period, participants will receive the opposite treatment.  Medication will be provided at no charge and participants will be compensated at the completion of each of the six required clinical visits.

For more information on eligibility and this study, contact Diane Dawicki, LPN, study coordinator, by phone at 732-235-7353 or e-mail,

More information about the study, which also is being conducted at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and the University of Rochester, is available at

About Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

As one of the nation's leading comprehensive medical schools, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in education, research, health care delivery, and the promotion of community health. In cooperation with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, the medical school's principal affiliate, they comprise New Jersey's premier academic medical center. In addition, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School has 34 other hospital affiliates and ambulatory care sites throughout the region.

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School encompasses 20 basic science and clinical departments, and hosts centers and institutes including The Cardiovascular Institute, the Child Health Institute of New Jersey, the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, and the Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey. The medical school maintains educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels for more than 1,500 students on its campuses in New Brunswick and Piscataway, and provides continuing education courses for health care professionals and community education programs. To learn more about Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, visit Find us online at and