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Pain Research and Treatment
Volume 2015, Article ID 136409, 10 pages
Clinical Study

Effect of Pregabalin on Cardiovascular Responses to Exercise and Postexercise Pain and Fatigue in Fibromyalgia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Crossover Pilot Study

1Department of Anesthesiology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
2Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
3Bateman Horne Center of Excellence, Salt Lake City, UT 84102, USA
4Department of Kinesiology, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA 93108, USA

Received 24 August 2015; Accepted 8 December 2015

Academic Editor: Marina De Tommaso

Copyright © 2015 Andrea T. White et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pregabalin, an approved treatment for fibromyalgia (FM), has been shown to decrease sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity and inhibit sympathetically maintained pain, but its effects on exercise responses have not been reported. Methods. Using a randomized double-blind crossover design, we assessed the effect of 5 weeks of pregabalin (versus placebo) on acute cardiovascular and subjective responses to moderate exercise in 19 FM patients. Blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) during exercise and ratings of pain, physical fatigue, and mental fatigue before, during, and for 48 hours after exercise were compared in patients on pregabalin versus placebo and also versus 18 healthy controls. Results. On placebo, exercise RPE and BP were significantly higher in FM patients than controls (). Pregabalin responders (, defined by patient satisfaction and symptom changes) had significantly lower exercise BP, HR, and RPE on pregabalin versus placebo () and no longer differed from controls (). Cardiovascular responses of nonresponders () were not altered by pregabalin. In responders, pregabalin improved ratings of fatigue and pain (), but negative effects on pain and fatigue were seen in nonresponders. Conclusions. These preliminary findings suggest that pregabalin may normalize cardiovascular and subjective responses to exercise in many FM patients.