According to a latest Henry Ford study, pregabalin, a FDA-approved drug for neuropathic pain may effectively lessen abdominal pain and improve sleep in women with adhesion. Supposedly, neuropathic pain is pain caused by shingles and peripheral neuropathy.
Adhesion pain is known to be an ordinary complication after abdominal or pelvic surgery. Also, it at present lacks effective therapy. Moreover, adhesions could appear after infections in the bowel such as diverticulitis.
“Many patients in the study went from debilitating pain to complete resolution of pain on pregabalin,” says lead author of the study, Ann Silverman, M.D., senior staff gastroenterologist at Henry Ford Hospital.
“Aside from the use of analgesics, additional surgery is the only treatment option for abdominal pain from adhesions but repeat surgery can lead to more adhesions,” elucidates Dr. Silverman.
It was estimated that abdominal adhesion formation following surgery has been found to be as high as 100 percent in certain studies. Apparently, surgery is only recommended for bowel obstruction.
During the study, the authors examined nearly 18 women who received the drug or a look-alike placebo. Additionally, all patients appeared to have undergone an earlier abdominal surgery and were similar in age.
The first eight weeks was believed to have been a randomized placebo controlled trial of pregabalin followed by a four-week open label study in which all the patients received the active study drug. The main objective was noted to show a significant reduction in pain scores.
The pain score result from the blinded phase revealed that the amount of decrease seems to be considerably greater in the drug group i.e. p-value = 0.024 in contrast to those on placebo. Whereas, the pain score resulted from the open label setting indicated that the amount of decrease appears to be significantly greater in the placebo group i.e. p-value = 0.043.
This could possibly be expected since those on active drug continued to take the active drug. Also, patients who had received the look-alike placebo were noted to have received the active drug only during this phase of the study.
The findings of the study have been presented at the American College of Gastroenterology’s Annual Scientific Meeting in San Diego.