ASA: Pregabalin Benefits Knee Replacement Patients

Perioperative, next-day administration reduces analgesic consumption, improves range of motion

FRIDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In patients scheduled to undergo total knee arthroplasty, perioperative administration of the anticonvulsant drug pregabalin reduces the need for postoperative epidural analgesia and improves active and passive range of motion, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in San Francisco.

Asokumar Buvanendran, M.D., of Rush Medical College in Chicago, and colleagues randomly assigned 60 patients to receive either 300 mg of oral pregabalin or placebo two hours before surgery. During the next day, patients continued to receive either repeated doses of pregabalin (150 mg twice daily) or placebo.

The researchers found that the pregabalin group had significantly lower epidural analgesic consumption than the placebo group during the 32 hours after surgery. The pregabalin group consistently rated pain post-surgery between 2 and 4 (on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being most severe). The pregabalin group also had significantly greater active and passive range of motion compared to the placebo group.

At hospital discharge, the pregabalin group had an average range of motion of 84 degrees compared to 76 degrees in the placebo group. A level of 83 degrees, which is enough to allow a patient to climb stairs, is typically not achieved until a full week after surgery, Buvanendran said in a statement.

Pfizer, which markets pregabalin under the brand name Lyrica, provided funding for this study.

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