Multimodal treatment of postoperative pain using adjuncts such as gabapentin is becoming more common. Pregabalin has anti-hyperalgesic properties similar to gabapentin. In this systematic review, we evaluated randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) for the analgesic efficacy and opioid-sparing effect of pregabalin in acute postoperative pain. A systematic search of Medline (1966-2010), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), and Google Scholar was performed. We identified 11 valid RCTs that used pregabalin for acute postoperative pain. Postoperative pain intensity was not reduced by pregabalin. Cumulative opioid consumption at 24 h was significantly decreased with pregabalin. At pregabalin doses of <300 mg, there was a reduction of 8.8 mg [weighted mean difference (WMD)]. At pregabalin doses ≥300 mg, cumulative opioid consumption was even lower (WMD, -13.4 mg). Pregabalin reduced opioid-related adverse effects such as vomiting [risk ratio (RR) 0.73; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.56-0.95]. However, the risk of visual disturbance was greater (RR 3.29; 95% CI 1.95-5.57). Perioperative pregabalin administration reduced opioid consumption and opioid-related adverse effects after surgery.