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Effect of the alpha2delta ligand, pregabalin, on colonic sensory and motor functions in healthy adults.

Author(s): Iturrino J, Camilleri M, Busciglio I, Burton D, Zinsmeister AR

Affiliation(s): Clinical Enteric Neuroscience Translational and Epidemiological Research, Division of Biomedical Statistics and Informatics, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

Publication date & source: 2011-08, Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol., 301(2):G377-84. Epub 2011 May 19.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Pregabalin, an alpha2delta ligand, is used clinically to treat somatic pain. A prior study suggested that pregabalin reduces distension-induced pain while increasing rectal compliance. We aimed to quantify effects of pregabalin on colonic sensory and motor functions and assess relationships between sensory effects and colonic compliance. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of a single oral administration of 75 or 200 mg of pregabalin in 62 healthy adults (aged 18-75 yr). Subjects underwent left colon intubation. We assessed "stress-arousal symptoms", compliance, sensation thresholds, sensation ratings averaged over four levels of distension, fasting and postprandial colonic tone, and phasic motility index (MI). Analysis of covariance (adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, and corresponding predrug response) and proportional hazard models were used. There were no clinically important differences among treatment groups for demographics, predrug compliance, tone, MI, and sensation. Treatment was associated with reduced energy and increased drowsiness but no change in tension or relaxation. Sensation ratings averaged over the four distension levels were lower for gas sensation [overall effect P = 0.14, P = 0.05 (pregabalin 200 mg vs. placebo)] and for pain sensation [overall effect P = 0.12, P = 0.04 (pregabalin 200 mg vs. placebo)]. The magnitude of the effect of 200 mg of pregabalin relative to placebo is on average a 25% reduction of both gas and pain sensation ratings. Pregabalin did not significantly affect colonic compliance, sensation thresholds, colonic fasting tone, and MI. Thus 200 mg of pregabalin reduces gas and pain sensation and should be tested in patients with colonic pain.

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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