Skip to Main Content

Although the widely prescribed Lyrica painkiller was studied for more than 30 other uses, a new analysis finds much of the subsequent testing appears to have been merely exploratory, creating perceptions that the drug could combat other maladies and encouraging off-label use.

Specifically, a systematic review of 238 clinical trials for unapproved uses found that 67 percent of the studies that examined 33 additional indications generated uncertainty about the effectiveness of the drug, according to the analysis published in JAMA Internal Medicine.


The researchers reached this conclusion by tracking whether confirmatory trials were published within five years of publication of an exploratory study. The unapproved uses for which confirmatory trials were lacking included low back pain, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, and essential tremor.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!