HealthDay News — Pregabalin is beneficial for neuropathic pain, regardless of previous gabapentin use, according to research published online September 9 in Pain Practice.

John D. Markman, MD, from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York, and colleagues pooled data from 18 randomized, double-blind trials of pregabalin in patients with neuropathic pain. The authors compared pregabalin-mediated changes in pain and pain-related sleep interference scores, patient global impression of change scores at end point, and the occurrence of adverse events for those who had previously received gabapentin (+GBN) and those who had not (−GBN). 

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The researchers found that the extent of pain relief and relief of pain-related sleep interference did not differ between the +GBN and −GBN cohorts for any dose of pregabalin or at any time point. Furthermore, there was no significant difference between the +GBN and −GBN cohorts in the distribution of patient global impression of change scores at the study end point, or in the occurrence of adverse events.

“The findings presented here support the idea that pregabalin may be used successfully to treat patients with neuropathic pain who may be refractory, respond inadequately, or are intolerant to gabapentin,” the authors write. “These findings highlight the importance of tailoring treatment of neuropathic pain based on individual patient response to different treatments, including the trial of multiple agents within the same mechanistic class.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to biopharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, which manufactures pregabalin and sponsored the studies included in this analysis.

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