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Evaluation of pregabalin as an adjuvant to patient-controlled epidural analgesia during late termination of pregnancy.

Author(s): Lavand'homme PM, Roelants F

Affiliation(s): Department of Anesthesiology, Universite Catholique de Louvain, St. Luc Hospital UCL Medical School, Brussels, Belgium. patricia.lavandhomme@uclouvain.be

Publication date & source: 2010-11, Anesthesiology., 113(5):1186-91.

Publication type: Comparative Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

INTRODUCTION: Late termination of pregnancy combines psychological distress with severe physical pain. The present study evaluated the benefit of adding oral pregabalin to epidural analgesia during this procedure. METHODS: Healthy women were randomly allocated to receive either oral pregabalin 150 mg/12 h or prazepam 10 mg/12 h at the induction of the late termination of pregnancy procedure. When they felt abdominal pain (numerical rating scale ranging from 0 [no pain] to 100 [worst pain possible]), patient-controlled epidural analgesia was activated and set to deliver ropivacaine 0.1% with sufentanil 0.25 mug/ml, 5 ml/h with a bolus dose of 5 ml/30 min. Rescue analgesia was available as needed by administration of 10 ml ropivacaine 0.1% (pain score less than 60/100) or 0.2% (at least 60/100). The primary outcome was the consumption of epidural analgesics. RESULTS: Forty-eight patients participated in the study. Demographic and obstetric data were similar. Pregabalin reduced total ropivacaine consumption 11.3 +/- 3.2 mg/h (mean +/- SD) versus 15.1 +/- 4.9 mg/h in the prazepam group (P = 0.005), an effect related to a decrease in the need for rescue analgesia. In the pregabalin group, fewer women asked for rescue dose (75 vs. 96%; P = 0.048), and the number of rescue doses per patient was reduced (1 [0-2] vs. 2 [1-3]); median [interquartile range], P = 0.005), particularly the need for ropivacaine 0.2%. DISCUSSION: This is the first study considering the use of pregabalin for labor pain associated with late termination of pregnancy, showing that pregabalin 150 mg/12 h is a helpful adjuvant to epidural analgesia. Modulation of both visceral sensitization and affective component of pain may contribute to the benefits observed.

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