Pregabalin may help improve symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS) and decrease sleep disturbances, according to a recent study in Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

Pregabalin, a gamma-aminobutyric acid analog, possesses antinociceptive and anticonvulsant activity by binding to voltage-gated calcium channels in the central nervous system. Researchers from the Durham VA Medical Center, NC, conducted a review to evaluate the safety and efficacy of pregabalin for the treatment of restless legs syndrome (RLS). The team searched MEDLINE and EMBASE databases to include English-languaged, peer-reviewed publications; of the 285 initially identified, 5 trials were included for the final analysis. 

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Study durations ranged from 6–52 weeks and the studied doses ranged from 150mg–600mg daily. The analysis showed pregabalin significantly reduced mean International RLS Scale scores and wake after sleep onset scores. Pregabalin also showed a lower rate of augmentation than treatment with pramipexole. 

The most common adverse effects associated with pregabalin were dizziness and somnolence, the study authors reported.

Overall, the clinical data suggests pregabalin may provide symptomatic relief, leading to improvements in quality of life for patients with RLS. Pregabalin was considered relatively safe with low risk of augmentation and could potentially be a reasonable therapeutic option for RLS.

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