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Evaluation of the effect of pregabalin on simulated driving ability using a driving simulator in healthy male volunteers

Authors Tujii T, Kyaw WT, Iwaki H, Nishikawa N, Nagai M, Kubo M, Nomoto M

Received 11 November 2013

Accepted for publication 14 December 2013

Published 29 January 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 103—108


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Tomoaki Tujii, Win Thiri Kyaw, Hirotaka Iwaki, Noriko Nishikawa, Masahiro Nagai, Madoka Kubo, Masahiro Nomoto

Department of Neurology and Clinical Pharmacology, Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine, Tohon Ehime, Japan

Abstract: Pregabalin, a novel agent for treating partial epilepsy and peripheral neuropathic and central pain, was studied for its effect on driving performance in healthy volunteers. Sixteen healthy male volunteers who drove regularly were enrolled in a double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study assessing the effect of pregabalin on driving performance. Subjects received an oral dose of pregabalin 75 mg or placebo, and a second dose 12 hours later. A driving simulator was used to test simple and complicated braking reaction time, and simple and complicated steering-wheel techniques before the first dose, and 1 hour and 3 hours after the second dose of pregabalin or placebo. The effect of training during the driving test on the driving performance of each group was also evaluated. There were no statistically significant differences in driving performance between the pregabalin and the placebo groups. However, the pregabalin group showed no significant improvement in steering-wheel skills with training, whereas the placebo group showed a significant (P<0.05) improvement with training. In this study using a driving simulator, pregabalin did not impair driving performance but mildly reduced the training effects of driving experiments. Although pregabalin caused sleepiness, it had no severe effect on driving ability after a second dose of 75 mg after the initial introduction of pregabalin.

Keywords: pregabalin, driving, volunteers

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