Prior Opioid Use Does Not Impact the Response to Pregabalin in Patients With Fibromyalgia

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Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain disorder for which pregabalin is an approved treatment in the United States. Although opioids are not a recommended treatment option, they continue to be used by many FM patients. The impact of patients’ prior opioid use on their subsequent response to pregabalin has not been assessed.


This was a pooled analysis of 4 clinical trials to assess the efficacy of pregabalin in FM patients both with and without prior opioid use. Patients were divided into those using opioids prior to the trial and those who were not. The change in least squares mean pain score (assessed by 0 to 10 numeric rating scale) with pregabalin compared with placebo was assessed together with FM symptoms, anxiety, and depression.


There were 2062 patients in the analysis set, including 371 patients with prior opioid use. Equal numbers of patients were treated with placebo, pregabalin 300 mg/d, and pregabalin 450 mg/d. Pregabalin significantly improved the least squares mean (95% confidence interval) difference in pain score compared with placebo in patients both with and without prior opioid use 0.87 (0.34-1.41) and 0.41 (0.17-0.65), respectively, at 300 mg/d and 0.91 (0.39-1.44) and 0.72 (0.48-0.96) at 450 mg/d (P≤0.001 for all). FM symptoms, anxiety, and depression were also improved with pregabalin compared with placebo, regardless of prior opioid use.


FM patients respond to treatment with pregabalin with significant improvements in pain scores irrespective of prior opioid use. These data could inform treatment decisions for FM patients with prior use of opioids.

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