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Eur J Pain. 2001;5(2):119-24.

Pregabalin in patients with postoperative dental pain.

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Department of Oral Surgery, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK.


Pregabalin is an analogue of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid. In preclinical models, it has shown activity as an analgesic agent. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial was undertaken to compare pregabalin to placebo and 400 mg of ibuprofen using a dental pain model. Study medication was administered postoperatively to patients who had undergone elective surgery to remove one or two third molars, at least one of which was mandibular and fully or partially impacted in bone. The study was conducted in the UK at a single centre and evaluated pregabalin at doses of 50 and 300 mg. Primary efficacy parameters included pain relief (PR), pain intensity difference (PID), pain relief intensity difference (PRID), time to onset of analgesia, and duration of analgesia. The patient's global impression of the study medication was used as a secondary efficacy parameter. Efficacy data were evaluated for the intent-to-treat (ITT) population, defined as all randomized patients who took study medication. Results showed that there were statistically significant differences in PR, PID, and PRID between the 300-mg pregabalin group and placebo. In addition, the 300-mg pregabalin group had a significantly longer duration of analgesia than the ibuprofen group and had the highest score on the patient global impression of study medication. Adverse events were reported more frequently in the pregabalin 300-mg group. Pregabalin appears to have significant analgesic properties in the third molar extraction model. Further research is needed to confirm these findings.

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