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Efficacy and Safety of Pregabalin for Muscle Cramps in Liver Cirrhosis: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial

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Issue Date
2022-02
Publisher
대한의학회
Citation
Journal of Korean Medical Science, Vol.37 No.7, p. e56
Abstract
Background: Muscle cramp is possibly related to peripheral nerve hyperexcitability (PNH), and one of the most debilitating symptoms frequently encountered in patients with liver cirrhosis. We investigated whether pregabalin, a gamma-aminobutyric acid analogue, can suppress neuronal excitability and reduce muscle cramps in cirrhotic patients. Methods: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in which study participants with cirrhosis from a single tertiary center were enrolled. Primary endpoint was the relative change in cramp frequency from the run-in to standard dose treatment phase (4 weeks per each). Secondary endpoints included the responder rate, and the changes in cramp frequency during sleep, pain intensity, health-related quality of life (Liver Disease Quality of Life Instrument, Short Form-36) and electrophysiological measures of PNH. Results: This study was terminated early because of insufficient accrual. 80% (n = 56) of the target number of participants (n = 70) were randomized to pregabalin (n = 29) or placebo (n = 27). Median baseline frequency of muscle cramps (interquartile range) was 5.8 (3.5-10) per week in the pregabalin group and 6.5 (4.0-10) in the placebo group (P = 0.970). The primary analysis showed a significant reduction in cramp frequency with pregabalin compared to placebo (-36% vs. 4.5% for the percentage change, P = 0.010). Secondary outcomes did not differ significantly between the two groups. Adverse effects with pregabalin were mainly dizziness and lethargy. Conclusion: With multiple problems emerging from premature termination in mind, the results suggested an acceptable safety profile and favorable effect of pregabalin in reducing muscle cramps compared to placebo in cirrhotic patients.
ISSN
1011-8934
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/177999
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College of Medicine/School of Medicine (의과대학/대학원)Dept. of Medicine (의학과)Journal Papers (저널논문_의학과)
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