Perioperative administration of gabapentin 1,200 mg day-1 and pregabalin 300 mg day-1 for pain following lumbar laminectomy and discectomy: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study

E Ozgencil, S Yalcin, H Tuna, D Yorukoglu, Y Kecik
Singapore Medical Journal 2011, 52 (12): 883-9

INTRODUCTION: Gabapentin and pregabalin have been compared in studies conducted on management of neuropathic and postoperative pain. In neuropathic pain studies, the analgesic effects of the two drugs were compared, and pregabalin has been found to be more potent. However, in postoperative pain studies, the effects of each drug were examined separately. This study compared the analgesic effects of pregabalin (300 mg day-1), gabapentin (1,200 mg day-1) and a placebo in managing postoperative pain following laminectomy and discectomy.

METHODS: 90 patients were randomly assigned to three groups (pregabalin, gabapentin and placebo) of 30 patients each. Pregabalin 150 mg, gabapentin 600 mg and a placebo were administered every 12 hours, two times pre- and post surgery. Study data collected included morphine consumption, Visual Analogue Scale records, preoperative anxiety, patient satisfaction, adverse effects and observation notes.

RESULTS: In the gabapentin and pregabalin groups, overall morphine consumption, preoperative anxiety, pruritus, postoperative shivering were significantly lower (p-value less than 0.05 for all), and patient satisfaction was significantly higher than those in the placebo group (p-value less than 0.05).

CONCLUSION: This study showed that both pregabalin 300 mg day-1 and gabapentin 1,200 mg day-1 have more analgesic, anxiolytic and opioid-sparing effects, higher patient satisfaction and are more effective for preventing postoperative shivering than the placebo following lumbar laminectomy and discectomy. The findings revealed that pregabalin 300 mg day-1 had equivalent analgesic, adverse and opioid-sparing effects and patient satisfaction as gabapentin 1,200 mg day-1.

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