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Concept: Neuropathic pain


Previous studies have documented strategies to promote off-label use of drugs using journal publications and other means. Few studies have presented internal company communications that discussed financial reasons for manipulating the scholarly record related to off-label indications. The objective of this study was to build on previous studies to illustrate implementation of a publication strategy by the drug manufacturer for four off-label uses of gabapentin (Neurontin, Pfizer, Inc.): migraine prophylaxis, treatment of bipolar disorders, neuropathic pain, and nociceptive pain.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Pain, Caffeine, Postherpetic neuralgia, Pregabalin, Neuropathic pain, Gabapentin, Off-label use


Patients from a previous study of neuropathic pain (NP) in the Spanish primary care setting still had symptoms despite treatment. Subsequently, patients were treated as prescribed by their physician and followed up for 3 months. Since pregabalin has been shown to be effective in NP, including refractory cases, the objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of pregabalin therapy in patients with NP refractory to previous treatments.

Concepts: Effectiveness, Neuropathic pain


Chronic Low Back Pain (CLBP) is very common, with a lifetime prevalence between 51% and 80%. In majority, it is nonspecific in nature and multifactorial in etiology. Pregabalin (PG) and Gabapentin (GB) are gabapentinoids that have demonstrated benefit in neuropathic pain conditions. Despite no clear rationale, they are increasingly used for nonspecific CLBP. They necessitate prolonged use and are associated with adverse effects and increased cost. Recent guidelines from the National Health Service (NHS), England, expressed concerns on their off-label use, in addition to the risk of misuse. We aimed to assess the effectiveness and safety of gabapentinoids in adult CLBP patients.

Concepts: Medicine, Epidemiology, Low back pain, Medical statistics, Randomized controlled trial, Neuropathic pain, Gabapentin, Off-label use


Background Sciatica can be disabling, and evidence regarding medical treatments is limited. Pregabalin is effective in the treatment of some types of neuropathic pain. This study examined whether pregabalin may reduce the intensity of sciatica. Methods We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of pregabalin in patients with sciatica. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either pregabalin at a dose of 150 mg per day that was adjusted to a maximum dose of 600 mg per day or matching placebo for up to 8 weeks. The primary outcome was the leg-pain intensity score on a 10-point scale (with 0 indicating no pain and 10 the worst possible pain) at week 8; the leg-pain intensity score was also evaluated at week 52, a secondary time point for the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included the extent of disability, back-pain intensity, and quality-of-life measures at prespecified time points over the course of 1 year. Results A total of 209 patients underwent randomization, of whom 108 received pregabalin and 101 received placebo; after randomization, 2 patients in the pregabalin group were determined to be ineligible and were excluded from the analyses. At week 8, the mean unadjusted leg-pain intensity score was 3.7 in the pregabalin group and 3.1 in the placebo group (adjusted mean difference, 0.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.2 to 1.2; P=0.19). At week 52, the mean unadjusted leg-pain intensity score was 3.4 in the pregabalin group and 3.0 in the placebo group (adjusted mean difference, 0.3; 95% CI, -0.5 to 1.0; P=0.46). No significant between-group differences were observed with respect to any secondary outcome at either week 8 or week 52. A total of 227 adverse events were reported in the pregabalin group and 124 in the placebo group. Dizziness was more common in the pregabalin group than in the placebo group. Conclusions Treatment with pregabalin did not significantly reduce the intensity of leg pain associated with sciatica and did not significantly improve other outcomes, as compared with placebo, over the course of 8 weeks. The incidence of adverse events was significantly higher in the pregabalin group than in the placebo group. (Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia; PRECISE Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry number, ACTRN12613000530729 .).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Neurology, Placebo, Randomness, Randomization, Outcome, Pregabalin, Neuropathic pain


To investigate changes in body ownership and chronic neuropathic pain in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) using multisensory own body illusions and virtual reality (VR).

Concepts: Spinal cord injury, Virtual reality, Neuropathic pain


Minocycline strongly inhibits microglial activation, which contributes to central sensitization, a major mechanism underlying chronic pain development. We hypothesized that the perioperative administration of minocycline might decrease persistent pain after lumbar discectomy. We randomly assigned 100 patients undergoing scheduled lumbar discectomy to placebo and minocycline groups. The minocycline group received 100mg minocycline orally, twice daily, beginning the evening before surgery and continuing for 8days. The primary outcome was the change in lower limb pain intensity at rest between baseline and 3months. Secondary outcomes were pain intensity on movement, the incidence of persistent pain and chronic neuropathic pain, back pain intensity at rest and on movement, and changes in Neuropathic Pain Symptom Inventory, Brief Pain Inventory, and Roland-Morris scores at 3months. An intention-to-treat analysis was performed for patients assessed from the day before surgery to 3months. The decrease in lower limb pain intensity was similar in the placebo and minocycline groups, both at rest -1.7±1.6 vs -2.3±2.4 and on movement -2.5±2.1 vs -3.4±2.9. The incidence and intensity of neuropathic pain and functional scores did not differ between the minocycline and placebo groups. Exploratory analysis suggested that minocycline might be effective in a subgroup of patients with predominantly deep spontaneous pain at baseline. Perioperative minocycline administration for 8days does not improve persistent pain after lumbar discectomy.

Concepts: Game theory, Randomized controlled trial, Rheumatoid arthritis, Pain, Randomness, Microglia, Chronic pain, Neuropathic pain


Pain qualities may reflect neurobiological mechanisms and guide therapy. The objective was to assess whether pain qualities were associated with satisfaction with pain relief in subjects with neuropathic pain.

Concepts: Pain, Suffering, Pain management, Peripheral neuropathy, Neuropathic pain


The aim of this research was to evaluate analgesic, antioxidant, metabolic, and cytotoxic effects of pregabalin (PGB), which is widely applied for the treatment of neuropathic pain syndromes in diabetic patients.

Concepts: Nutrition, Research, Pain, Neuropathic pain


Neuropathic pain is a serious chronic condition strongly affecting quality of life, which can be relieved but cannot be cured. Apart from symptomatic management, treatment should focus on the underlying disorder. The estimated prevalence is at least 1% to 5% of the general population. Neuropathic pain is characterized both by spontaneous and evoked pain. A diagnosis of neuropathic pain can usually be established based solely on history and neurological examination. Ancillary investigations may include EMG and computerized tomography/magnetic resonance imaging scans, depending on the localization of the suspected lesion. A limited number of agents, primarily directed at symptom control, are currently approved for use in neuropathic pain. A mechanism-based approach to pharmacological intervention supports the use of polypharmacy in neuropathic pain.

Concepts: Medicine, Life, Greek loanwords, Neurology, Pain, Symptomatic treatment, Peripheral neuropathy, Neuropathic pain


BACKGROUND: Chronic pain is distressing for patients and a burden on healthcare systems and society. Recent research demonstrates different aspects of the negative impact of chronic pain and the positive impact of successful treatment, making an overview of the costs and consequences of chronic pain appropriate. OBJECTIVE: To examine recent literature on chronic noncancer and neuropathic pain prevalence, impact on quality and quantity of life, societal and healthcare costs, and impact of successful therapy. METHODS: Systematic reviews (1999 to February 2012) following PRISMA guidelines were conducted to identify studies reporting appropriate outcomes. RESULTS: Chronic pain has a weighted average prevalence in adults of 20%; 7% have neuropathic pain, and 7% have severe pain. Chronic pain impeded activities of daily living, work and work efficiency, and reduced quality and quantity of life. Effective pain therapy (pain intensity reduction of at least 50%) resulted in consistent improvements in fatigue, sleep, depression, quality of life, and work. CONCLUSION: Strenuous efforts should be put into obtaining good levels of pain relief for people in chronic pain, including the opportunity for multiple drug switching, using reliable, validated, and relatively easily applied patient-centered outcomes. Detailed, thoughtful and informed decision analytic policy modeling would help understand the key elements in organizational change or service reengineering to plan the optimum pain management strategy to maximize pain relief and its stream of benefits against budgetary and other constraints. This paper contains the information on which such models can be based.

Concepts: Medicine, Management, Pain, Suffering, Chronic pain, Pain management, Neuropathic pain