RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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Pregabalin reduces opioid consumption and hyperalgesia but not pain intensity after laparoscopic donor nephrectomy.

BACKGROUND: Gabapentinoids are increasingly used to reduce acute postoperative pain, opioid consumption and opioid-related adverse effects. We explored the opioid-sparing, analgesic and anti-hyperalgesic effect of perioperative administered pregabalin in laparoscopic living donor nephrectomy.

METHODS: In this randomized controlled trial, 80 patients were recruited and randomized to receive pregabalin 150 mg twice daily or placebo on the day of surgery and the first postoperative day as part of a multimodal analgesic regimen. Primary outcome was opioid consumption 0-48 h after surgery. Secondary outcomes were pain intensity at rest and with movement 0-48 h after surgery using the 0-10 Numeric Rating Scale and incisional hyperalgesia measured 24 h post-surgery and at hospital discharge. Further secondary outcomes were adverse effects. Persistent post-surgical pain was registered 6 weeks, 6 and 12 months after surgery.

RESULTS: Pregabalin significantly reduced opioid consumption compared with placebo 0-48 h after surgery (median mg [25th, 75th percentile]); 29.0 (22.0-45.5) vs. 41.8 (25.8-63.6) (P = 0.04). Pain intensity 0-48 h after surgery calculated as area under the pain (NRS) vs. time curve was not statistically different between groups at rest (P = 0.12) or with movement (P = 0.21). Pregabalin decreased incisional hyperalgesia 24 h after surgery (median cm [25th, 75th percentile] 8.5 (1.0-18.5) vs. 15.5 (9.5-24.0) (P = 0.02). Nausea (P ≤ 0.01), use of antiemetics (P ≤ 0.01) and pain-related sleep interference (P = 0.02) were reduced with pregabalin.

CONCLUSIONS: Perioperative pregabalin added to a multimodal analgesic regimen was opioid-sparing, but made no difference to pain intensity score 0-48 h after surgery. Pregabalin may reduce incisional hyperalgesia on the first day after surgery.

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