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By: Dr. Donna A. Pontoriero, Chiropractor

A drug increasingly being prescribed for treating sciatica has been revealed to be no better than a placebo. New research published in the New England Journal of Medicine also found people taking the drug pregabalin, reported nearly twice as many adverse effects as those receiving a placebo.

Since its first approval in 2004, pregabalin (sold as Lyrica) has become the most widely prescribed medicine for neuropathic pain globally, with worldwide sales of between $3-5 billion annually.

At any one time, around 12% of the world's population has low back pain. It is estimated that around five to 10% of people with low back pain will have sciatica.

Researchers from the Musculoskeletal Division at The George Institute undertook the study after being increasingly concerned about the rise in the use of pregabalin, limited data on its effectiveness and fears over the drug's safety. One of the possible serious side effects is suicidal thoughts or actions. Pregabalin is used for a number of painful conditions that include neuropathic pain.

Unfortunately there are no drugs proven to work for people with sciatica and even epidural injections only provide a small benefit in the short term.

Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) medicine regularly treat sciatica, and should be the first choice for radiating pain in the lower extremities.

Please contact our office if you would like further evaluation on your condition.

Dr. Donna Pontoriero can be reached at 299 Franklin Ave, Nutley NJ 07110, 973-235-9393.