Pregabalin for painful HIV neuropathy: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

D. M. Simpson, G. Schifitto, D. B. Clifford, T. K. Murphy, E. Durso-De Cruz, P. Glue, E. Whalen, B. Emir, G. N. Scott, R. Freeman

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185 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Pregabalin is effective in several neuropathic pain syndromes. This trial evaluated its efficacy, safety, and tolerability for treatment of painful HIV-associated neuropathy. METHODS: This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial included a 2-week double-blind dose-adjustment (150-600 mg/day BID) phase, a 12-week double-blind maintenance phase, and an optional 3-month open label extension phase. The primary efficacy measure was the mean Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS) score, an 11-point numeric rating scale. Secondary measures included Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC) and sleep measurements. RESULTS: Baseline mean NPRS score was 6.93 for patients randomized to pregabalin (n = 151) and 6.72 for those to placebo (n = 151). Pregabalin average daily dosage (SD) was 385.7 (160.3) mg/d. At endpoint, pregabalin and placebo showed substantial reductions in mean NPRS score from baseline:-2.88 vs-2.63, p = 0.3941. Pregabalin had greater improvements in NPRS score relative to placebo at weeks 1 (-1.14 vs-0.69, p = 0.0131) and 2 (-1.92 vs-1.43, p = 0.0393), and at weeks 7 (-3.22 vs-2.53 p = 0.0307) and 8 (-3.33 vs-2.53, p = 0.0156). At all other time points, differences between groups were not significant. Sleep measurements and 7-item PGIC did not differ among treatment groups; however, collapsed PGIC scores showed 82.8% of pregabalin and 66.7% of placebo patients rated themselves in 1 of the 3 "improved" categories (p = 0.0077). Somnolence and dizziness were the most common adverse events with pregabalin. CONCLUSIONS: Pregabalin was well-tolerated, but not superior to placebo in the treatment of painful HIV neuropathy. Factors predicting analgesic response in HIV neuropathy warrant additional research. CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE: This Class II trial showed that pregabalin is not more effective than placebo in treatment of painful HIV neuropathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-420
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 2010


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