Impact of pregabalin on acute and persistent postoperative pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Br J Anaesth. 2015 Jan;114(1):10-31. doi: 10.1093/bja/aeu293. Epub 2014 Sep 10.


We performed this systematic review to assess the analgesic efficacy of perioperative pregabalin. Subgroup analyses and meta-regression were performed to assess the impact of individual dose and frequency of pregabalin administration on analgesic efficacy. We included 55 studies. When all doses and administration regimens were combined, pregabalin was associated with a significant reduction in pain scores at rest and during movement and opioid consumption at 24 h compared with placebo {mean difference [95% confidence interval (CI)]=-0.38 (-0.57, -0.20), -0.47 (-0.76, -0.18), and -8.27 mg morphine equivalents (-10.08, -6.47), respectively}. Patients receiving pregabalin had less postoperative nausea and vomiting and pruritus compared with placebo [relative risk (RR) (95% CI)=0.62 (0.48, 0.80) and 0.49 (0.34, 0.70), respectively]. Sedation, dizziness, and visual disturbance were more common with pregabalin compared with placebo [RR (95% CI)=1.46 (1.08, 1.98), 1.33 (1.07, 1.64), and 3.52 (2.05, 6.04), respectively]. All doses of pregabalin tested (≤75, 100-150, and 300 mg) resulted in opioid sparing at 24 h after surgery. There were no significant differences in acute pain outcomes with pregabalin 100-300 mg between single preoperative dosing regimens and those including additional doses repeated after surgery. Data were insufficient to reach conclusions regarding persistent pain, but limited data available from two studies suggested that pregabalin might be effective for the reduction of neuropathic pain. In conclusion, this review suggests that pregabalin improves postoperative analgesia compared with placebo at the expense of increased sedation and visual disturbances.

Keywords: meta-analysis; postoperative pain; pregabalin.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Pain / drug therapy*
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use*
  • Chronic Pain / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy*
  • Pregabalin
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / therapeutic use


  • Analgesics
  • Pregabalin
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid