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Randomised clinical trial: pregabalin attenuates the development of acid-induced oesophageal hypersensitivity in healthy volunteers - a placebo-controlled study.

Author(s): Chua YC, Ng KS, Sharma A, Jafari J, Surguy S, Yazaki E, Knowles CH, Aziz Q.

Affiliation(s): Wingate Institute, Centre for Digestive Diseases, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, UK.

Publication date & source: 2012, Aliment Pharmacol Ther. , 35(3):319-26

BACKGROUND: Acid infusion in humans induces primary and secondary oesophageal hypersensitivity. The effects of pregabalin, a centrally-acting modulator of voltage-sensitive calcium channels, on development of acid-induced oesophageal hypersensitivity remain unknown. AIM: To study the effects of pregabalin on development of secondary oesophageal hypersensitivity in healthy humans. METHODS: Placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomised, cross-over study of 15 healthy volunteers (six women, age 21-56 years). After oesophageal manometry, baseline pain thresholds (PTs) to proximal oesophageal electrical stimulation were determined using bipolar ring electrodes. A 30-min infusion of HCl was performed in the distal oesophagus followed by PT measurements at 30 and 90 min. This protocol was repeated after administration of pregabalin (dosing schedule: 75 mg twice daily for 3 days then 150 mg twice daily for 1 day and then 150 mg on the morning of study) or placebo. RESULTS: T0 PTs were similar in patients after receiving placebo or pregabalin [mean (s.d.) 32.9 mA (20.5) vs. 34.1 (15.7), P = 0.42]. Pregabalin reduced development of acid-induced hypersensitivity in the proximal oesophagus at 30 min [mean change in PT (C.I.) placebo -6.2 mA (-11.3 to +1.3) vs. pregabalin +0.20 mA (-2.7 to +3.3)] and 90 min [placebo -3.7 mA (-10.0 to +2.0) vs. pregabalin +0.7 mA (-4.7 to 7.3)] overall P = 0.001. Pregabalin reduced median visual analogue scale score for acid-induced pain (1/10 vs. placebo 3/10, P = 0.027). CONCLUSIONS: Pregabalin attenuates development of secondary hypersensitivity in the proximal oesophagus after distal oesophageal acidification; it may thus have a role in treatment of patients with proven oesophageal pain hypersensitivity.

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