Study design: Systematic review and meta-analysis.
Objective: To review the literature systematically and make a comprehensive understanding of the efficacy of these 2 drugs in the management of postoperative pain after lumbar spinal surgery.
Summary of background data: Several trials that evaluated the efficacy of gabapentin and pregabalin in the management of postoperative pain after lumbar spinal surgery have been published.
Methods: PubMed (1980 to present), adapted for EMBASE (1980 to present), and Cochrane databases were searched for randomized placebo-controlled trials. Random effect model was used in our meta-analysis, and standard mean difference (SMD) was chosen as the pooled estimate.
Results: Seven trials were included in our study. All included studies could be considered to be of high quality in methodology. The pooled results from meta-analysis demonstrated that compared with placebo, both gabapentin and pregabalin could significantly reduce the postoperative narcotic consumption (SMD, -1.54, and -1.16, respectively). Oral gabapentin was efficacious in the management of postoperative pain at all time points during the first day after surgery (SMD, -1.91 at 0-6 hr, -1.30 at 6-12 hr, -1.05 at 12-24 hr, respectively). Pregabalin seemed to be also efficacious in the management of postoperative pain at 0 to 6 hours (SMD, -1.05), at 6 to 12 hours (SMD, -0.62), and at 12 to 24 hours (SMD, -0.43). Both drugs could be well tolerated in our included trials, compared with placebo.
Conclusion: This work suggested that both gabapentin and pregabalin were efficacious in reduction of postoperative pain and narcotic requirements after lumbar spinal surgery, whereas more trials were needed to further assess the efficacy of pregabalin in the management of postoperative pain after lumbar spinal surgery.
Level of evidence: 1.