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Papers of the Week

Papers: 16 May 2020 - 22 May 2020

Human Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2020 May 15

Sci Rep



Comparison of the use of opioids only and pregabalin add-on for the treatment of neuropathic pain in cervical myelopathy patients: a pilot trial.


Among patients with cervical myelopathy who were diagnosed with neuropathic pain (NP) by the LANSS test, the study participants were randomly assigned to one of the two study groups. The participants in one study group received opioids only, while those in the other group received opioids and pregabalin. Thirty-nine patients were analyzed in the study (20 patients in the opioid-only group and 19 in the pregabalin add-on group). The LANSS, neck pain, and arm pain scores in the pregabalin add-on group improved significantly compared with those in the opioid-only group after the first 4 weeks (p = 0.005, 0.001 and 0.035, respectively), but there was no significant difference between the two groups during the next 4 weeks (p = 0.615, 0.377 and 0.716, respectively). There was no significant difference in the neck disability index and EuroQol-5Dimension scores after four weeks and eight weeks of follow-up. Adverse events were reported by four patients (20.0%) in the opioid-only group and five patients (26.3%) in the pregabalin add-on group (p = 0.716). However, over time, the occurrence of side effects and dropouts increased in the pregabalin add-on group. This exploratory pilot study suggests that pregabalin add-on treatment is more efficient than the use of opioids alone at the beginning of NP treatment in cervical myelopathy patients. However, prescribing pregabalin add-on treatment for more than four weeks should be done cautiously.