Treatment of prurigo nodularis with pregabalin


M. Mazza, Department of Neurosciences, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Roma, Via Ugo De Carolis, 48 00136 Roma, Italy. Tel.: +39 06 35348285; fax: +39 06 35501909; e-mail:;


What is known and objective:  Prurigo nodularis (PN) is a chronic skin condition that is difficult to treat. Pregabalin is one of the possible treatments for PN but its safety and efficacy are not well defined. We aimed to assess the efficacy of pregabalin in patients with PN.

Methods:  Thirty patients (10 men, 20 women; mean age 51.6 ± 9.39 years) were treated with pregabalin (75 mg/day) for 3 months. Efficacy was classified as (i) successful (disappearance of the pruritus and reduction of nodules); (ii) slight improvement/reduction of the nodules, that is, number and/or flattening, no disappearance of itching; or (iii) unsuccessful.

Results:  Twenty-three patients (76%) responded successfully after 3 months of treatment. There was a statistically significant difference between visual analogue scale scores before and after 1 month treatment period (8·15 ± 2·04 and 1·5 ± 1·12, respectively; P < 0·0001). Pregabalin was generally well tolerated with only six (20%) patients reporting side effects. No patient showed any renal insufficiency.

What is new and conclusion:  In our study, pregabalin was effective for the treatment of PN. However, given the open and non-controlled study design used, a properly powered randomized controlled validation study is called for.