A Randomised, Placebo-controlled Trial of the Effects of Preoperative Pregabalin on Pain Intensity and Opioid Consumption following Lumbar Discectomy.
Author(s): Hegarty DA, Shorten GD
Affiliation(s): Department of Anaesthesia, Intensive Care & Pain Medicine, Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland.
Publication date & source: 2011-03, Korean J Pain., 24(1):22-30. Epub 2011 Feb 25.
BACKGROUND: Pregabalin has been shown to have analgesic effect in acute pain models. The primary objective was to examine the efficacy a single dose of pregabalin, would have on morphine consumption following lumbar discectomy. METHODS: With ethical approval a randomized, placebo-controlled prospective trial was undertaken in 32 patients (ASA I-II, 18-65 years) with radicular low back pain for > 3 months undergoing elective lumbar discectomy. Patients received either oral pregabalin 300 mg (PG Group) or placebo (C Group) one hour before surgery. Pain intensity, the accumulative morphine consumption and adverse effects were recorded for 24 hours following surgery. Functional, psychological and quantitative sensory testing were also assessed. RESULTS: Fourteen patients out of the 32 recruited were randomized to receive pregabalin. Morphine consumption was reduced (absolute difference of 42.3%) between groups with medium effect size. (Mann-Whitney; U = 52.5, z-score= 2.84, P = 0.004, r = 0.14). This was not associated with a significant difference in the incidence of adverse effects between the two groups. The median pain intensity (VAS) on movement was not significantly different between groups. CONCLUSIONS: A single pre-operative dose of pregabalin (300 mg) did not result in a reduction in pain intensity compared to placebo in this patient cohort but the significant reduction in morphine consumption suggests that a fixed peri-operative dosing regime warrants investigation.