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Gabapentin for acute and chronic post-surgical pain


1Lecturer, Department of Anaesthesiology, Aretaieio Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Capodistrian University of Athens

2Professor and Chairperson, Department of Anaesthesiology, Aretaieio Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Capodistrian University of Athens

DOI: 10.22514/SV21.052007.5 Vol.2,Issue S1,May 2007 pp.42-51

Published: 01 May 2007

*Corresponding Author(s): ARGYRO FASSOULAKI E-mail:


Pain after surgery remains a significant clinical problem as it impairs recovery adversely and may lead to the transition to chronic pain. Opioid medications are far from ideal agents in suppressing postoperative pain. Gabapentin –an anticonvul-sant with antihyperalgesic properties- originally efficacious against neuropathic pain seems to be very promising for the management of pain after surgery as well. Gabapentin, by decreasing noxious stimulus-induced excitatory neurotransmitter release at the spinal cord, may attenuate central sensitization, and eventually decrease postoperative late pain. Furthermore, different sites of action may be pertinent to a synergistic effect with opioids. Both actions (antihyperalgesic effect and syn-ergy with opioid analgesia) may manifest as analgesia and/or opioid-sparing effect after surgery. This has been confirmed by a variety of clinical studies, in a variety of settings. Most of these studies have shown that either single preoperative or repeated doses of gabapentin, continued for up to a few days after surgery, decrease acute postoperative pain and/or need for postoperative opioids. This has been shown for procedures such as abdominal and vaginal hysterectomy, breast surgery for cancer (mastectomy or lumpectomy), lumbar discectomy and spinal fusion, laparoscopic cholecystectomy and other, such as ENT surgery. Finally, a few studies indicate that perioperative gabapentin may as well decrease chronic pain several weeks after surgery.


pain postoperative, pain chronic, post-mastectomy pain, anti-convulsants, gabapentin

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AIKATERINI MELEMENI,CHRYSSOULA STAIKOU,ARGYRO FASSOULAKI. Gabapentin for acute and chronic post-surgical pain. Signa Vitae. 2007. 2(S1);42-51.


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