Purpose: A new perioperative management method was explored by assessing the safety and the efficacy of pregabalin for the treatment of intercostal neuralgia after thoracotomy. Methods: The study was conducted on 68 adult patients scheduled to undergo thoracotomy. Patients were randomly divided into two groups; a NSAIDs group, where 34 patients were orally administered loxoprofen three times daily and a pregabalin group, where 34 patients were orally administered 75 mg of pregabalin twice daily, starting on the day of surgery and continuing for 2 weeks. The pain scores, sleep interference and the incidence of neuropathic pain were evaluated on days 1, 3 and 7, and at weeks 4, 8 and 12 after surgery. The frequency of pain medication use in the first week after surgery and the adverse effects in each group were also examined. Results: The pain scores, sleep interference and incidence of neuropathic pain were significantly lower (p < 0.001) at all time points in the pregabalin group. The use of additional pain medication during the first week after surgery was not significantly different between the groups. The only significant adverse effect was a stomach ache in the NSAIDs group, while mild drowsiness was reported in the pregabalin group. Conclusion: Pregabalin is considered to be an effective and safe drug for the treatment of pain after thoracotomy.
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