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Ann Pharmacother. 2012 Mar;46(3):424-9. doi: 10.1345/aph.1Q405. Epub 2012 Mar 6.

Pregabalin for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder.

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  • 1McWhorter School of Pharmacy, Samford University, Birmingham, AL, USA.



To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of pregabalin in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).


A search of PubMed (1966-December 2011) and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1970-December 2011) was conducted using the MeSH and free-text terms pregabalin, anxiety disorders, and anxiety.


All English-language articles identified through the search were evaluated for inclusion. Only randomized controlled trials involving the use of pregabalin for the treatment of GAD were included in the review.


Eight published trials were identified through the search strategy. Successful treatment of GAD with pregabalin versus placebo and active comparators has been reported in clinical trials. Pregabalin lowered total Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety scores within 1 week and was effective against both somatic and psychic subcomponents. In 1 controlled clinical trial, pregabalin was found to be effective in patients aged 65 years and older. Another trial demonstrated improved relapse rates when pregabalin, compared with placebo, was used for up to 6 months. The most commonly experienced adverse events were somnolence, dizziness, headache, and dry mouth.


Available evidence suggests that pregabalin is effective and well tolerated in the treatment of GAD. As somnolence and dizziness are common adverse effects, caution should be used in elderly patients. Pregabalin rapidly relieves anxiety, a benefit that it may have over many other currently available therapeutic options besides benzodiazepines. While not a first-line therapy in GAD, pregabalin offers another treatment option in patients who do not respond to or who suffer intolerable adverse effects from other agents.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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