Is Pregabalin Effective for Benzodiazepine Discontinuation?

Long-term efficacy of pregabalin in benzodiazepine discontinuation unknown
Long-term efficacy of pregabalin in benzodiazepine discontinuation unknown

Pregabalin does not appear to be an effective treatment strategy for long-term benzodiazepine discontinuation, according to a review published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.

For this study, researchers from the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy investigated the available evidence for the use of pregabalin in benzodiazepine discontinuation. What they found was that the majority of the literature failed to show a a significant difference between the pregabalin and placebo groups with regard to the rate of discontinuation of benzodiazepines. In addition, long-term efficacy data was unavailable as most of the studies lasted no longer than 12 weeks. 

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While the studies did show that withdrawal symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and cognitive function consistently improved in pregabalin-treated patients, the literature was not as clear as to whether patients were able to then successfully discontinue pregabalin use.

"Based on the current available evidence, pregabalin is not recommended for use in benzodiazepine discontinuation, as the majority of studies did not find a significant difference in benzodiazepine discontinuation rates between pregabalin and comparatory groups despite an improvement in withdrawal and anxiety symptoms," concluded the authors.

For more information visit ajhp.org.