Are Off-Label Gabapentinoids Useful for Post-Operative Pain Relief?

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Michael Verret MD FRCPC
Alexis F. Turgeon MD MSc FRCPC

Laval University, Québec

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Gabapentinoids is a class of drugs including gabapentin and pregabalin that is frequently used for the management of postoperative pain as a part of multimodal analgesia regimen. This off-label use of gabapentinoids is increasing in many countries despite an unclear level of evidence and off-label use.

In our meta-analysis of 281 randomized controlled trials, the perioperative use of gabapentinoids was not associated with clinically significant difference in postoperative acute, subacute or chronic pain intensity compared to control. These findings were consistent regardless of the type of drug (gabapentin or pregabalin) and the dosage regimen. Gabapentinoids were also associated with an increased risk of adverse events such as dizziness and visual disturbance.