Pregabalin (Lyrica) didn't offer any relief from the leg pain associated with acute or chronic sciatica, and was associated with more adverse events in a randomized controlled trial, researchers found.
Sciatica is characterized by radiating pain in the leg, which is sometimes accompanied by back pain, sensory loss, or weakness.
(Two patients in the pregabalin group were subsequently determined to be ineligible and were excluded from the analysis.) The primary outcome was leg pain intensity score (using a 10-point scale, with 10 being the worst pain) over 8 weeks, with additional evaluations at 1 year.
In addition to there being no significant difference between the groups at 8 weeks (adjusted mean difference 0.5, 95% CI -0.2 to 1.2, P=0.19), no differences were found a year later, the researchers reported (3.4 versus 3.0, adjusted mean difference 0.3, 95% CI -0.5 to 1.0, P=0.46).
Lin and colleagues said their results were similar to those of previous trials of pregabalin and gabapentin in chronic low back pain or sciatica, with no benefit over placebo: "Our trial extends this finding by the inclusion of patients who had acute sciatica." The researchers added that since the study was not powered to detect the risk of suicidality, a known complication with these drugs, "it is important for doctors to continue to be cautious with regard to prescribing pregabalin to patients who are susceptible to self-harm." The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.© 2017 MedPage Today, LLC.