Pregabalin Doesn't Cut Intensity of Sciatica-Linked Leg Pain

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Pregabalin Doesn't Cut Intensity of Sciatica-Linked Leg Pain
Pregabalin Doesn't Cut Intensity of Sciatica-Linked Leg Pain

WEDNESDAY, March 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Pregabalin does not significantly reduce the intensity of leg pain associated with sciatica, according to a study published in the March 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Stephanie Mathieson, from the University of Sydney, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial of pregabalin in patients with sciatica. Two hundred nine patients were randomized to receive either pregabalin at a dose of 150 mg per day, which was adjusted to a maximum of 600 mg per day, or matching placebo for up to eight weeks (108 and 101 patients, respectively).

The researchers found that the mean unadjusted leg-pain intensity score was 3.7 in the pregabalin group and 3.1 in the placebo group at week eight (adjusted mean difference, 0.5; 95 percent confidence interval, −0.2 to 1.2; P = 0.19). The mean unadjusted leg-pain intensity score was 3.4 and 3.0 in the pregabalin and placebo groups, respectively, at week 52 (adjusted mean difference, 0.3; 95 percent confidence interval, −0.5 to 1.0; P = 0.46). There were no significant between-group differences for any secondary outcomes at week eight or 52. Overall, 227 and 124 adverse events were reported in the pregabalin and placebo groups, respectively.

"Treatment with pregabalin did not significantly reduce the intensity of leg pain associated with sciatica and did not significantly improve other outcomes, as compared with placebo, over the course of eight weeks," the authors write. "The incidence of adverse events was significantly higher in the pregabalin group than in the placebo group."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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