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Pregabalin versus tramadol for postoperative pain management in patients undergoing lumbar laminectomy: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study

Authors Kumar K, Kulkarni DK, Gurajala I, Gopinath R

Received 3 February 2013

Accepted for publication 14 March 2013

Published 24 June 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 471—478


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 6

Video abstract presented by Koramutla Pradeep Kumar.

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Koramutla Pradeep Kumar,1 Dilip Kumar Kulkarni,2 Indira Gurajala,2 Ramachandran Gopinath2

1Department of Anesthesiology, Balaji Institute of Surgery Research and Rehabilitation for Disabled, Tirupati, AP, India; 2Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, AP, India

Abstract: Prevention and treatment of postoperative pain continues to be a major challenge in postoperative care. Opioid analgesics, with their well-known side effects, continue to represent a cornerstone in postoperative pain control. Anticonvulsant medications are established treatments for neuropathic pain. Pregabalin (S-[+]-3-isobutylgaba), a structural analog of gamma-Aminobutyric acid, has been used for the treatment of various neuropathic pain and also as an adjunctive therapy for adults with partial onset seizures. This study was thus taken up to primarily assess and compare the analgesic and anxiolytic effects of administering pregabalin and tramadol preoperatively for patients undergoing elective decompressive lumbar laminectomy. The study group included 75 patients between the ages of 20–60 years belonging to American Society of Anesthesiology-1 (ASA) and ASA-2 patients. The patients were randomly allocated into three groups of 25 patients each. The placebo group received a placebo capsule, the tramadol group received a 100 mg capsule, while the pregabalin group received a 150 mg capsule orally 1 hour before anesthetic induction. Pregabalin showed statistically significant analgesic effects compared to placebo, but the effect was found to be less prevalent compared to tramadol. The need for rescue analgesia was the least prevalent in tramadol patients followed by pregabalin patients, and reached a maximum in the control group. Pregabalin showed statistically significant anxiolytic effects compared to placebo, and this was associated with less sedation in comparison to tramadol. Pregabalin had fewer numbers of postoperative complications of nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness in comparison to tramadol. The results of this study support the clinical use of pregabalin in the postsurgical setting for pain relief, as it is well tolerated, and usually presents with transient adverse effects.

Keywords: pregabalin, tramadol, postoperative pain, lumbar laminectomy

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