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Lyrica Eases Pain From Knee Surgery

Study Shows the Fibromyalgia Drug Also Cuts Pain After Knee Replacement Surgery

Lyrica vs. Placebo

The study involved 240 patients undergoing knee replacement surgery who were divided into two groups.

Half the patients were treated with 300 milligrams of Lyrica two hours before surgery and 150 milligrams of the drug twice a day for two weeks following surgery. The rest of the patients received placebo treatments given at the same time intervals.

Neither the patients nor the doctors and nurses administering the drugs knew which treatment the patients were getting. All the study participants also received standard pain medication following surgery.

Six months after surgery, there were no complaints of chronic neuropathic pain among patients treated with the fibromyalgia drug, while 5.3% of placebo-treated patients continued to have pain.

The Lyrica-treated patients also had a greater range of motion in surgically treated knees following surgery.

Buvanendran says the drug is now routinely given to patients undergoing knee replacement surgery at Rush University Medical Center.

Rush surgeon Aaron G. Rosenberg, MD, tells WebMD that the study is not the first to show that drugs given to patients around the time of surgery can improve long-term outcomes.

Rosenberg was not involved with the latest trial, but he did participate in a 2003 study which showed improved long-term outcomes among knee replacement patients treated with a Cox-2-type pain reliever immediately before and after surgery.

"We showed that patients treated for a couple of weeks with a relatively cheap anti-inflammatory had better range of motion a month after surgery," he says. "That is important because the quicker knee surgery patients get moving the better."

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