Spasticity increases during pregabalin withdrawal

J. J. Braid, S. G B Kirker*, I. J. Baguley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Primary objective: To determine whether pregabalin produces long-term spasticity reduction in subjects previously identified as responding in short-term trials. Design, subjects and setting: Prospective service evaluation of patients taking pregabalin for spasticity management for at least 1 year through a tertiary referral rehabilitation clinic. A graduated pregabalin withdrawal was undertaken as part of routine clinical management. Method: Twelve of 19 potential subjects agreed to participate. The primary outcome measures were visual analogue pain and spasticity scores at lowest dose of pregabalin compared to baseline and their choice to resume pregabalin therapy. Results: Mean pre-withdrawal pregabalin dosage was 386 mg/day, decreasing to 70 mg/day at mean lowest dosage. Median subjective spasticity scores increased from 4 at baseline to 6 at lowest dose (p < 0.01) without a significant increase in median pain scores. Two patients with epilepsy, whose other anti-convulsants were not altered, had seizures. Following the evaluation, five subjects chose to return to the original dose, five recommenced pregabalin at a lower dose and two subjects no longer required the drug. Conclusion: Pregabalin withdrawal resulted in self-reports of increased spasticity without a concomitant increase in pain, with 91% choosing to continue pregabalin at the conclusion of the evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-124
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Acquired brain injury
  • Epilepsy
  • Pain
  • Pregabalin
  • Spasticity


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