A randomized, double-blind, 6-week, dose-ranging study of pregabalin in patients with restless legs syndrome

Sleep Med. 2010 Jun;11(6):512-9. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2010.03.003. Epub 2010 May 13.


Objective: This study evaluated the dose-related efficacy and safety of pregabalin in patients with idiopathic restless legs syndrome (RLS).

Methods: This six-arm, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-response study randomized patients (N=137) with moderate-to-severe idiopathic RLS in an equal ratio to placebo or pregabalin 50, 100, 150, 300, or 450 mg/day. The dose-response was characterized using an exponential decay model, which estimates the maximal effect (E(max)) for the primary endpoint, the change in the International Restless Legs Study Group Rating Scale (IRLS) total score from baseline to week 6 of treatment. Secondary outcomes included Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement Scale (CGI-I) responders, sleep assessments, and safety.

Results: The separation of treatment effect between placebo and pregabalin began to emerge starting at week 1 which continued and increased through week 6 for all dose groups. The IRLS total score for pregabalin was dose dependent and well characterized for change from baseline at week 6. The model estimated 50% (ED(50)) and 90% (ED(90)) of the maximal effect in reducing RLS symptoms that occurred at pregabalin doses of 37.3 and 123.9 mg/day, respectively. A higher proportion of CGI-I responders was observed at the two highest doses of pregabalin (300 and 450 mg/day) versus placebo. Dizziness and somnolence were the most common adverse events and appeared to be dose-related.

Conclusions: In this 6-week phase 2b study, pregabalin reduced RLS symptoms in patients with moderate-to-severe idiopathic RLS. The symptom reduction at week 6 was dose-dependent with 123.9 mg/day providing 90% efficacy. Pregabalin was safe and well tolerated across the entire dosing range.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00676403.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy
  • Adult
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pregabalin
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Sleep / drug effects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wakefulness / drug effects
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / adverse effects
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / therapeutic use


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Pregabalin
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00676403