Antiepileptic drugs as analgesics/adjuvants in inflammatory pain: current preclinical evidence
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Inflammatory pain is the most common type of pain that is treated clinically. The use of currently available treatments (classic analgesics - NSAID5, paracetamol and opioids) is limited by insufficient efficacy and/or side effects/ tolerance development. Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are widely used in neuropathic pain treatment, but there is substantial preclinical evidence on their efficacy against inflammatory pain, too. In this review we focus on gabapentinoids (gabapentin and pregabalin) and dibenzazepine AEDs (carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, and recently introduced eslicarbazepine acetate) and their potential for relieving inflammatory pain. In models of somatic, visceral and trigeminal inflammatory pain, that have a translational value for inflammatory conditions in locomotor system, viscera and head/face, AEDs have demonstrated analgesic activity. This activity was mostly consistent, dependent on the dose and largely independent on the site of inflammation and method of its inductio...n, nociceptive stimuli, species, specific drug used, its route of administration and dosing schedule. AEDs exerted comparable efficacy with classic analgesics. Effective doses of AEDs are lower than toxic doses in animals and, when expressed as equivalent human doses, they are largely overlapping with AEDs doses already used in humans for treating epilepsy/neuropathic pain. The main mechanism of antinociceptive/antihyperalgesic action of gabapentinoids in inflammatory pain models seems to be alpha 2 delta-dependent suppression of voltage -gated calcium channels in primary sensory neurons that leads to reduced release of neurotransmitters in the spinal/medullar dorsal horn. The suppression of NMDA receptors via co-agonist binding site primarily at spinal sites, activation of various types of K+ channels at spinal and peripheral sites, and activation of noradrenergic and serotonergic descending pain modulatory pathways may also contribute. Inhibition of voltage -gated sodium channels along the pain pathway is probably the main mechanism of antinociceptive/antihyperalgesic effects of dibenzazepines. The recruitment of peripheral adrenergic and purinergic mechanisms and central GABAergic mechanisms may also contribute. When co-administered with classic/other alternative analgesics, AEDs exerted synergistic/additive interactions. Reviewed data could serve as a basis for clinical studies on the efficacy/safety of AEDs as analgesics/adjuvants in patients with inflammatory pain, and contribute to the improvement of the treatment of various inflammatory pain states.
Keywords:Antiepileptic drugs / Gabapentinoids / Dibenzazepines / Inflammatory pain / Adjuvants
Source:Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 2018, 192, 42-64
- Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd, Oxford