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Pregabalin for acute and chronic pain in adults

Pregabalin relieves pain caused by damage to nerves, either from injury or disease. Antiepileptics (such as pregabalin) are medicines used for treating epilepsy, but are also effective for treating pain. The type of pain that responds well to pregabalin treatment is neuropathic pain (pain caused by damage to nerves). This includes postherpetic neuralgia (persistent pain in an area previously affected by shingles) and painful complications of diabetes, as well as fibromyalgia. Only a minority of patients with these types of pain will have a substantial benefit, and somewhat more will have moderate benefit. With pregabalin daily doses of 300 mg to 600 mg, the patient global impression of change rating of much or very much improved was about 35% in postherpetic neuralgia, 50% in painful diabetic neuropathy, and 40% in fibromyalgia. There is no evidence that pregabalin is effective in acute conditions where pain is already established, and in chronic conditions in which nerve damage is not the prime source of the pain, such as arthritis.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2010

Use of pregabalin for the treatment of essential tremor

The authors of this review tried to assess the effectiveness and safety of pregabalin in people with essential tremor.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Pregabalin add‐on for drug‐resistant partial epilepsy

Use of pregabalin in combination with other antiepileptic drugs can reduce the frequency of seizures, but has some adverse effects. The overall evidence for reducing seizures was rated as moderate in quality.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

The use of pregabalin analgesia for patients with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome

It has been suggested that chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome is due to pain caused by the nerves in or around the prostate. Pregabalin is a pain killer that is specific for nerve pain. Therefore we conducted a search of the literature to evaluate the use of pregabalin for this ailment and whether or not it was better than placebo.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Antiepileptics other than gabapentin, pregabalin, topiramate, and valproate for preventing migraine attacks in adults

Various medicines, collectively termed 'antiepileptics', are used to treat epilepsy. For several years, three antiepileptics have also been recommended as drugs of first choice (topiramate and valproate) or third choice (gabapentin) for preventing migraine attacks. These three drugs, along with one other (pregabalin), are the subject of separate Cochrane reviews. For the present review, researchers in The Cochrane Collaboration reviewed the evidence about the effect of other antiepileptics in adult patients (≥ 16 years of age) with 'episodic' migraine (headache on < 15 days per month). They examined research published up to 15 January 2013 and found 10 studies of nine different antiepileptics. The majority of these drugs were no better than placebo for migraine prophylaxis (acetazolamide, carisbamate, clonazepam, lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine, and vigabatrin). In one study each, carbamazepine and levetiracetam were better than placebo, and there was no significant difference between zonisamide and topiramate (a drug proven to be effective for migraine prophylaxis). None of these studies was of high methodological quality. The quantity and quality of the evidence were such that no firm conclusions could be drawn about the effect or lack of effect of any of the antiepileptics studied.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Pregabalin monotherapy for epilepsy

A number of people continue to have seizures and many experience adverse effects, despite current antiepileptic treatments. As a result, there is increasing interest in new pharmacological treatment options such as pregabalin. This systematic review evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of pregabalin in people with epilepsy. The review authors only included two, short‐term randomised controlled trials involving 753 participants treated with pregabalin monotherapy for epilepsy. Studies included in this review suggested that pregabalin was inferior to lamotrigine but was better than gabapentin, but we found some limitations in the study design which may have had a great influence on the results. There is no strong evidence to support its monotherapy as a treatment for epilepsy. Long‐term trials and high quality randomised clinical trials are needed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of pregabalin monotherapy for treating epilepsy.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Gabapentin or pregabalin for preventing migraine attacks in adults

Various medicines, collectively termed 'antiepileptics', are used to treat epilepsy. For several years, some of these drugs have also been used for preventing migraine attacks. For the present review, researchers in The Cochrane Collaboration reviewed the evidence about the effects of gabapentin and two related drugs (pregabalin and gabapentin enacarbil) in adult patients (≥ 16 years of age) with 'episodic' migraine (headache on < 15 days per month). They examined research published up to 15 January 2013, along with three unpublished and previously confidential drug company research reports, and found six relevant studies, five of gabapentin and one of gabapentin enacarbil, both over a wide dose range. The studies showed that neither gabapentin nor gabapentin enacarbil was more effective than placebo at reducing the frequency of migraine headaches. Gabapentin commonly caused side effects, especially dizziness and somnolence (sleepiness). No studies of pregabalin were identified, and research on this drug is desirable.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Pregabalin for decreasing abdominal pain in people with chronic pancreatitis

The pancreas is an abdominal organ that secretes several digestive enzymes into the pancreatic ductal system, which empties into the small bowel. It also comprises the Islets of Langerhans, which secrete several hormones, including insulin. Chronic pancreatitis is long‐standing and progressive inflammation of the pancreas resulting in destruction and replacement of pancreatic tissue with fibrous tissue. This may lead to a shortage of digestive enzymes and insulin (helps regulate blood sugar), leading to diabetes (a lifelong condition in which a person's blood sugar level becomes too high). Alcohol is considered the main cause but others include: smoking, some drugs, and a variety of other disorders. Chronic abdominal pain is the major symptom of chronic pancreatitis. The pain is usually in the upper abdomen and is usually described as deep, penetrating, and radiating to the back. Various theories exist about the reason for pain in chronic pancreatitis. One theory is that the disease process affects the nerves supplying the pancreas. Pregabalin inhibits the transmission of pain through the nerves. Pregabalin may decrease pain in people with chronic pancreatitis, but may also produce a number of side‐effects. Some common side‐effects include: excessive sleepiness, blurred vision, double vision, dry mouth, constipation, vomiting, excessive wind, feeling excited, confusion, reduced sexual desire, irritability, feeling dizzy, feeling unsteady, tremors, speech difficulty, tingling or pricking ('pins and needles') sensation, and disturbances of attention and memory. Less frequent, but serious adverse events include: fainting episodes, heart failure, and reversible kidney failure. This review included all studies 22 June 2015, on the benefits and harms of using pregabalin to treat chronic pain in people with chronic pancreatitis.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Pregabalin for treating fibromyalgia pain in adults

We found high quality evidence that pregabalin at daily doses of 300 to 600 mg produces a large fall in pain in about 1 in 10 people with moderate or severe pain from fibromyalgia. Pain reduction comes with improvements in other symptoms, in quality of life, and in ability to function.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

Anticonvulsants for fibromyalgia

Researchers in The Cochrane Collaboration conducted a review of research about the effects of anticonvulsants (antiepileptic drugs) on fibromyalgia (FM). After searching for all relevant studies, they found eight studies with up to 3579 people. The anticonvulsants that they studied were gabapentin, lacosamide, levetiracetam and pregabalin. They found reliable conclusions for pregabalin only.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Systemic drugs for the prevention of chronic pain after surgery

Pain associated with surgery generally resolves within one to two weeks, however in some situations surgical patients are left with longstanding pain for months or even years after the surgical procedure. Researchers have studied the ability of various drug treatments to prevent the development of chronic pain after surgery and this systematic review evaluated published studies in this field. Available studies suggest a modest effect of ketamine, compared to placebo, for prevention of chronic pain after surgery, however small study size could lead to an overestimation of this effect. Studies of other drugs such as gabapentin and pregabalin did not suggest the same preventative effect. Additional large studies using improved research methods are necessary to more clearly identify treatments that are beneficial for preventing chronic postsurgical pain.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

Antiepileptic drugs to treat neuropathic pain or fibromyalgia‐ an overview of Cochrane reviews

Neuropathic pain is pain coming from damaged nerves. It is different from pain messages carried along healthy nerves from damaged tissue (eg a fall, cut, or arthritic knee). Neuropathic pain is treated by different medicines than pain from damaged tissue. Medicines such as paracetamol or ibuprofen are probably not effective in neuropathic pain, while medicines that are sometimes used to treat depression or epilepsy can be very effective in some people with neuropathic pain. Our understanding of fibromyalgia (a condition of persistent, widespread pain and tenderness, sleep problems, and fatigue) is lacking, but fibromyalgia can respond to the same medicines as neuropathic pain.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

Drug combinations for chronic neuropathic pain in adults

Neuropathic pain – due to nerve disease or damage – is often treated by pain medications which have limited effect and/or dose‐related side effects when given alone. Combinations of more than one drug are often used with the goal of achieving better pain relief or fewer side effects (if the pain relieving effects of the combined drugs are more additive than the side effects), or both. Despite evidence that over 45% of individuals suffering from neuropathic pain take two or more drugs for their pain, we could find only 21 high‐quality studies of various different systemic and topical drug combinations. Given the wide possible variety of different drug combinations and the small number of studies, results for neuropathic pain from this review are insufficient to suggest the value of any one specific drug combination. However, the publication of multiple high‐quality studies suggesting the superiority of some drug combinations, together with evidence that drug combinations are widely used in clinical practice, underline the importance of conducting more combination studies with improved methodology.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

Nortriptyline for neuropathic pain in adults

Neuropathic pain is pain coming from damaged nerves. It is different from pain messages that are carried along healthy nerves from damaged tissue (for example, a fall, or cut, or arthritic knee). Neuropathic pain is treated by different medicines to those used for pain from damaged tissue. Medicines such as paracetamol or ibuprofen are not usually effective in neuropathic pain, while medicines that are sometimes used to treat depression or epilepsy can be very effective in some people with neuropathic pain.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Oral nonsteroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for neuropathic pain in adults

Neuropathic pain is pain which comes from damaged nerves, spinal cord, or brain. It is different from pain messages that are carried along healthy nerves from damaged tissue (for example, a fall or cut, or arthritic knee). Neuropathic pain is treated by different medicines to those used for pain from damaged tissue. Medicines that are sometimes used to treat depression or epilepsy can be very effective in some people with neuropathic pain.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

Comparing Fibromyalgia Drugs

How do drugs for fibromyalgia compare in improving symptoms?

PubMed Clinical Q&A [Internet] - National Center for Biotechnology Information (US).

Version: June 12, 2011

Comparing Antiepileptics for Bipolar Disorder, Migraines, Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Pain

How do antiepileptics compare in treating bipolar disorder?

PubMed Clinical Q&A [Internet] - National Center for Biotechnology Information (US).

Version: October 1, 2010

Options for Treating Restless Legs Syndrome: A Review of the Research for Adults

This summary will cover: What RLS is Treatment options for RLS What researchers have found about RLS treatments

Comparative Effectiveness Review Summary Guides for Consumers [Internet] - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).

Version: August 30, 2013

Phenytoin for neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia in adults

Nerves which have been damaged by injury or disease can continue to produce pain. This type of pain is called neuropathic pain. Some antiepileptic medications can help neuropathic pain. Phenytoin is an antiepileptic medication, and the aim of this review was to assess how effective phenytoin is for neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia. We identified no good quality studies of phenytoin used in this situation. When used to treat epilepsy, phenytoin can cause potentially troublesome adverse events, affecting nervous tissue, the blood, and unborn children. Based on current evidence, phenytoin cannot be recommended for treating neuropathic pain. Other antiepileptic drugs such as pregabalin, gabapentin, and carbamazepine have been shown to be of value in neuropathic pain.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

Drugs for treating headache after a lumbar puncture

Lumbar puncture involves getting a sample of spinal fluid though a needle inserted into the lower back. Post‐dural puncture headache (PDPH) is the most common side effect of a lumbar puncture. The symptom of PDPH is a constant headache that gets worse when upright and improves when lying down. Lots of drugs are used to treat PDPH, so the aim of this review was to assess the effectiveness of these drugs.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

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