Spine Surgery and Related Research
Online ISSN : 2432-261X
ISSN-L : 2432-261X
Is Pregabalin Effective Against Acute Lumbar Radicular Pain ?
Hiroaki NakashimaTokumi KanemuraKei AndoKazuyoshi KobayashiMinoru YonedaNaoki IshiguroShiro Imagama
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2019 Volume 3 Issue 1 Pages 61-66


Introduction: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the first-line treatment for acute lumbar radicular pain accompanying lumbar disc herniation (LDH), but their effects are minimal. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of pregabalin (PGB) as an alternative therapy for this condition.

Methods: Patients with acute lumbar radicular pain accompanying LDH were randomly administered either NSAIDs plus PGB (30 patients) or NSAIDs alone (30 patients) for up to 4 weeks. The primary outcome was leg pain at 2 and 4 weeks. Secondary outcomes were reduction in sleep disturbances and patient global impressions of change (PGIC) at 2 and 4 weeks.

Results: Four patients in the NSAIDs plus PGB group were deemed ineligible and excluded from the study. Fewer sleep disturbances were reported by patients administered NSAIDs plus PGB compared with the NSAID monotherapy group at both 2 and 4 weeks. Additionally, the NSAIDs plus PGB group showed greater improvement in pain than the NSAID monotherapy group at 4 weeks, although this difference was not significant. PGIC was also significantly better in the NSAIDs plus PGB group than in the NSAID monotherapy group at 4 weeks. The incidence of adverse events was significantly greater in the NSAIDs plus PGB group than in the NSAID monotherapy group.

Conclusions: The combination of NSAIDs plus PGB is more effective against sleep disturbance than NSAIDs alone in patients with acute LDH, although the control of sciatic pain is minimal. Patients reported satisfactory recoveries could also be obtained, and thus, this combination therapy could be a good option for the conservative treatment of acute lumbar radicular pain, including LDH.

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© 2019 The Japanese Society for Spine Surgery and Related Research.

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