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.
Effect of Pregabalin on Cardiovascular Responses to Exercise and Postexercise Pain and Fatigue in Fibromyalgia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Crossover Pilot Study
Andrea T. White, Kathleen C. Light, Lucinda Bateman, Ronald W. Hughen, Timothy A. Vanhaitsma, and Alan R. Light in Pain Research and Treatment, Volume 2015