Millions of Americans undergo surgery each year and most are prescribed opioids for pain management. Some of these patients become chronic users of opioids.
‘Routine use of gabapentin before and after surgery may be warranted if it can promote opioid cessation and prevent chronic use of opioids.’
Patients scheduled for surgery from May 2010 to July 2014 and followed up to two years
Gabapentin before and after surgery or the active placebo lorazepam before surgery and an inactive placebo after surgery (interventions); time to pain resolution (five consecutive reports of zero on a pain scale) and time to opioid cessation (five consecutive reports of no opioid use) (outcomes); 410 patients were separated nearly evenly into gabapentin or placebo treatment groups
This was a randomized clinical trial (RCT). An RCT allows for the strongest inferences to be made about the true effect of an intervention. However, not all RCT results can be replicated in real-world settings because patient characteristics or other variables may differ from those that were studied in the RCT.
• Gabapentin before and after surgery had no effect compared with placebo on time to cessation of pain.
• Patients who received gabapentin had a modest increase in opioid cessation.
: Physicians could prescribe different medications to different patients and this could have affected outcomes.
: Routine use of gabapentin before and after surgery may be warranted if it can promote opioid cessation and prevent chronic use of opioids.