Background: Postoperative pain and agitation are common and distressing complications after open heart surgery. Pregabalin is an anticonvulsant agent which reduce anxiety and some type of pain such as neuropathic pain and has anti-spastic effects. The use of this medication for controlling of postoperative pain and agitation was recently suggested. This study aimed to assess the effects of pregabalin on agitation and pain after Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG).
Methods: A total of 94 patients candidate for CABG were randomly assigned to receive placebo or pregabalin at a dose of 150 mg two hours before surgery and also 75 mg at first, second and third days after operation twice daily at 9 am and 9 pm(47 patients in each group). Two hours after drug administration in postoperative days, the patient's degree of agitation was determined using the Richmond agitation sedation scale (RASS), and pain severity was determined using the visual analogue scale (VAS) score.
Results: We found no difference between the groups at different study time points including before surgery, immediately after operation, as well as days 1, 2, and 3 after operation. There was also no difference in pulmonary functional parameters and arterial blood gas analysis between pregabalin and placebo groups at the study time points, except for PCO2 that was higher in pregabalin group at second and third days of operation. We found no difference in mean pain scores (VAS) and agitation scale (RASS) between the two groups. No difference was seen in the amount of analgesic drugs used between the two groups at different time points.
Conclusion: We found that use of pregabalin had no significant effect on relieving of post-CABG pain severity and level of postoperative agitation.