Year : 2014  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 143-147

Effect of perioperative oral pregabalin on the incidence of post-thoracotomy pain syndrome

1 Anesthesia and Intensive Care Department, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Anesthesia and Intensive Care Department, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Hazem M. Fawzi
Anesthesia and Intensive Care Department, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1687-7934.133350

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Background Chronic post-thoracotomy pain, which is defined as pain that recurs or persists for more than 2 months, is a common problem affecting the quality of life of patients. We have evaluated the efficacy of perioperative pregabalin for reducing postoperative pain and the incidence of chronic post-thoracotomy pain. Patients and methods Sixty patients aged 30-49 years undergoing thoracotomy were allocated randomly to receive either pregabalin (75 mg oral twice daily for 5 days before and 5 days after the operation) or placebo at corresponding times in a double-blinded manner. Both groups received the same anesthetic technique. Our primary target was to measure the incidence of chronic postsurgical pain using the Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs Pain Scale at 3- and 6-month intervals. Morphine consumption was measured as well as the length of hospital stay and the occurrence of postoperative systemic complications. Results Pregabalin decreased the incidence of chronic postoperative pain at 3 and 6 months from 60 and 40% to 10 and 6.7%, respectively. Also, pregabalin decreased the postoperative acute pain intensity as indicated by lower morphine consumption (P < 0.001). Pregabalin decreased postoperative hospital stay, with a time of discharge of 10 (9-10) days for the control group and 8 (7-8) days for the pregabalin group (P < 0.001). No statistical difference was found in the incidence of complications. Conclusion Perioperative pregabalin reduces the incidence of chronic post-thoracotomy pain, with less postoperative morphine consumption together with early hospital discharge.

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