The antiepileptics gabapentin and pregabalin are used as adjuvants to control postoperative pain.Objective
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of perioperative administration of pregabalin on postoperative acute and chronic pain and analgesic requirements.Setting
Department of Anaesthesiology, Aretaieio University Hospital, Athens, Greece.Patients
Eighty patients scheduled for abdominal hysterectomy or myomectomy were randomly assigned to the pregabalin or to the control group.Intervention
The pregabalin group received 150 mg of pregabalin 8-hourly, starting on the afternoon before surgery and continued until the fifth postoperative day. The control group was similarly treated, but received placebo capsules instead.Measurements
Postoperative intravenous morphine and Lonalgal (30 mg codeine with 500 mg paracetamol) tablet consumption, visual analogue pain scores at rest and on coughing, sedation, anxiety, dizziness, ataxia, blurred vision and diplopia were recorded. One and 3 months postoperatively patients were interviewed for the presence of pain and analgesic needs due to surgery.Results
The pregabalin-treated patients consumed less morphine during the first 48 h postoperatively (P = 0.0001). However, consumption of Lonalgal tablets and visual analogue scores for pain at rest and on coughing did not differ between the groups. No difference was found in sedation and anxiety scores between the patients who received placebo or pregabalin. Patients in the control group had lower incidences of dizziness (29 versus 58%, P = 0.015), ataxia (0 versus 18%, P = 0.011), blurred vision (6 versus 26%, P = 0.028) and diplopia (0 versus 16%, P = 0.023). Presence of pain, analgesic intake due to surgery and decreased or absent sensation around the wound did not differ between the groups 1 and 3 months postoperatively.Conclusion
Pregabalin in the doses given decreased morphine requirements for the first 48 h postoperatively, but neither altered the analgesic requirements beyond 48 h nor had any effect on acute, late or chronic pain.