2015’s most cited PAIN paper written by Ottawa researchers

February 17, 2016

Could an antiepileptic drug reduce pain after all kinds of surgery? Dr. Naveen Eipe and colleagues were awarded Most Cited Paper of 2015 by the journal PAIN for their attempt to answer this controversial question. Pregabalin was originally approved by Health Canada to treat epilepsy and generalized anxiety disorder. But later clinical trials and anecdotal evidence found that it could also be used as a painkiller for surgical patients to reduce their need for opioids. However, it wasn’t known whether pregabalin was equally effective for all kinds of surgeries, which can cause different kinds of pain. In a systematic review of 43 randomized controlled trials, the researchers found that pregabalin’s effect on pain is small (10 percent), and mainly restricted to surgeries like spine, joint surgery and amputations. The paper concluded that pregabalin should only be given to some patients undergoing certain procedures.

Co-authors: Penning, John; Yazdi, Fatemeh; Mallick, Ranjeeta; Turner, Lucy; Ahmadzai, Nadera; Ansari, Mohammed Toseef.
Funders: The Ottawa Hospital Department of Anesthesiology, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation

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