A Comparative Study Between Oral Pregabalin and Gabapentin in Prolongation of Postoperative Pain Relief after Spinal Anaesthesia
Keywords:Pain, postoperative pain, neuropathic pain, spinal anesthesia, pregabalin, gabapentin, VAS score
Background: Management of pain and its complications in postoperative period still a major challenge. Generally,
the pathophysiology and treatment of postoperative pain and neuropathic pain have been considered as separate
and distinct, though, there is considerable overlap in their pathophysiology.
Materials & Methods: The present study was designed as randomized, double blinded, parallel group, open label
trial to compare the efficacy of pregabalin and gabapentin as preemptive analgesics in surgery below umbilicus
under spinal anaesthesia. This study was conducted under the Department of Anesthesiology, in the R.G. Kar
Medical College & Hospital, Kolkata. Sixty two patients, aged between 20-50 yrs, ASA grade I and II, scheduled to
undergo infra umbilical surgery, were randomly divided into 2 groups. In group G (n=31) they received 1200 mg
gabapentin, in group P (n=31) they received 300 mg pregabalin capsules, orally with sips of water, 1 hour before
the induction of anesthesia. Routine monitoring in the form of NIBP, Pulse oxymetry and ECG were instituted on
arrival in Operation Theatre. All patients were preloaded with 10 ml/kg lactated Ringer’s solution before being
administered spinal anesthesia. Spinal anesthesia was instituted with 3 ml of 0.5% bupivacaine (15 mg) at L3 – L4
/ L4 - L5 level.
Results: All the groups were comparable in respect to demographic data, ASA physical status, the mean duration
of surgery and the type of surgeries performed between them. In the 24 hrs of post-perative period the mean VAS
scores at rest of Groups P was always significantly lower than those of Group G. The time to first dose of rescue
analgesic was compared between the groups, as in Group G (gabapentin group) rescue analgesic was given after
9.41±1.84 hrs, while in Group P (pregabalin group) rescue analgesic was required after 15.38±3.52 hrs. Hence, as
comparison of pregabalin and gabapentin could be made for these parameters, and it was possible to come to a
conclusion as the superiority of pregabalin over gabapentin.
Conclusion: In conclusion, a single oral dose of pregabalin given preoperatively provides better postoperative pain control and decreases postoperative rescue analgesic consumption compared to single dose of gabapentin,
based on lower mean VAS scores at rest.
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