Friday, May 1, 2009

Pregabalin for restless legs syndrome?

We know that Pregabalin (S)-3-(aminomethyl)-5-methylhexanoic acid), is an anticonvulsant drug used for neuropathic pain and as an adjunct therapy for partial seizures with or without secondary generalization in adults. It has also been found effective for generalized anxiety disorder and is approved for this use in Europe) and the same compound has been reported as effective treatment of chronic pain in disorders such as fibromyalgia and spinal cord injury

But something new property of this product is being presented in the American Academy of Neurology's 61st Annual Meeting in Seattle (April 25 - May 2, 2009). i.e., the drug can be used as an effective treatment for restless legs syndrome (RLS) and also helps people with the disorder get a better night's sleep.

The 12 week study involved 58 people with RLS. Of the group, 30 people received the drug pregabalin and the rest received placebo. Sleep studies were performed at the beginning and end of the research. Researchers found nearly two-thirds of the people who took pregabalin had no RLS symptoms while taking the drug. For people who still had symptoms, those symptoms had improved by 66 percent while taking the drug, compared to the placebo group where symptoms worsened by 29 percent.

Sleep also improved for those taking pregabalin. The study showed the group spent more time in slow wave sleep, otherwise known as Stage 3 or deep sleep, and they spent less time in the lighter sleep stages known as Stage 1 or Stage 2 sleep compared to those taking placebo. Congrats Dr. Diego Garcia-Borreguero (Director of the Sleep Research Institute in Madrid, Spain) for this achievement. The significance of the research lies in the fact that “compared to all the drugs that are being used to treat RLS , Pregabalin is superior over the others in helping people to get more deep sleep- a main problem with RLS…

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