Pregabalin for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Is it Effective?

A total of 8 randomized-controlled trials enrolling 2,299 patients were included in the analysis
A total of 8 randomized-controlled trials enrolling 2,299 patients were included in the analysis

A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the journal International Clinical Psychopharmacology found that pregabalin was superior to placebo for the amelioration of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)symptoms. 

Nearly 50% of patients with GAD experience inadequate response despite the numerous treatment options available across multiple drug classes. For the review, the efficacy of pregabalin was compared with placebo for the improvement of anxiety symptoms in patients with GAD. 

Study authors performed a systematic literature search in various databases; the main outcome was Hedges' g for continuous scores and safety was evaluated using patients' dropout rates. A total of 8 randomized-controlled trials enrolling 2,299 patients were included for the analysis that compared various pregabalin doses and placebo. 

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Regarding the main outcome, pregabalin was found to be superior compared to placebo (Hedges' g=0.37, 95% CI: 0.30–0.44). The risk of publication bias was deemed low based on the funnel plot assessment. In addition, between-study heterogeneity was reported not significant (I2=23.6%), which strengthened the results. 

A meta-regression showed no specific impact of any variable on the results and the safety evaluation showed no difference between pregabalin and placebo groups in terms of dropout rates. Pregabalin and benzodiazepines demonstrated similar clinical response but pregabalin had lower dropout rates. 

For more information visit journals.lww.com.

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