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J Orthop Sci. 2014 Mar;19(2):229-34. doi: 10.1007/s00776-013-0529-4. Epub 2014 Jan 16.

Outcomes of pregabalin in lumbar-disease patients with depression.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Okayama University Hospital, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Kitaku, Okayama, Okayama, 700-8558, Japan.



The anti-seizure drug pregabalin is currently used for peripheral neuropathic pain, including degenerative lumbar disease with a neuropathic component. Although there are many reports associated with pregabalin, treatment outcome in low back pain (LBP) patients with depression remains uncertain. This study investigated the outcomes of pregabalin in LBP patients with depression.


We assessed 64 patients (29 men and 35 women) using a Visual Analogue Scale, a Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS) and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Mean age was 63.3 years (range 20-81), and mean duration of disease was 69.8 months (range 3-576). The patients were divided into two groups according to SDS: normal (n = 37) and depressed group (n = 27).


Pregabalin significantly reduced both SDS and ODI in the depressed group (p < 0.05). Effect size was larger for both SDS and ODI in the depressed group than in the normal group. Pain was significantly relieved, even in the depressed group (p < 0.01). Pain reduction was achieved by the direct effect of pregabalin, as well as indirect effects attributed to change in depressive symptoms. Although both somnolence and dizziness were detected, the use of hypnotic agents was decreased in half of cases. Somnolence did not influence the analgesic effects of the drug or psychotic state.


This investigation indicated that pregabalin is safe and effective for reducing both LBP and mood disturbance in patients with depression.

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