Pregabalin in the Treatment of Herpetic Neuralgia: Results of a Multicenter Chinese Study

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Abstract

Objective.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy, impact on quality of life, and safety of pregabalin for the treatment of acute herpetic neuralgia (AHN) and subacute herpetic neuralgia (SHN).

Design.

Multicenter, parallel-group, single-blind, 4-week, randomized clinical trial.

Setting.

Conducted in the department of pain clinic of participating hospitals.

Subjects.

Three hundred patients with AHN or SHN (of which 239 completed the study).

Methods.

Patients were treated with oxycodone (A group) or combination of oxycodone and pregabalin (B group). Patients with AHN belonged to A1 group and B1 group. Patients with SHN belonged to A2 group and B2 group. Pain intensity was rated on an 11-point numerical rating scale (NRS). Other outcomes included mean daily oxycodone doses, quality of life, and adverse effects.

Results.

Pregabalin-treated patients had greater NRS decrement: 74% in B1 (vs 58% in A1;P< 0.05); 69% in B2 (vs 53% in A2;P< 0.05). Significant improvement in quality of life was observed in all groups, and pregabalin-treated patients improved more, with 72.7% in B1 (vs 63.7% in A1;P< 0.05) and 74.5% in B2 (vs 59.6% in A2;P< 0.05). The maximum tolerated dose of oxycodone for pregabalin-treated patients was lower. Pregabalin had acceptable tolerability.

Conclusions.

Both combination therapy with oxycodone plus pregabalin and oxycodone monotherapy were effective and safe for herpetic neuralgia. In addition, subjects on combination therapy showed shortened time to pain relief, reduced pain intensity, and greater improvement than oxycodone alone.

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