Sciatica | Steroids Versus Gabapentin

Sciatica research study

What is the primary objective of this study?

Who is eligible to participate?

Inclusion Criteria: - Lumbosacral radicular pain based on history and physical exam (e.g. pain radiating into one or both lower extremities, sensory loss, muscle weakness, positive straight leg raising test etc.) - Numerical Rating Scale leg pain score > 4 (or if 3/10, greater or equal to back pain) - MRI evidence of spinal pathology consistent with symptoms Exclusion Criteria: - Untreated coagulopathy - Previous spine surgery - No MRI study - Leg pain > 4 years duration Epidural steroid injection within past 3 years Cauda equina syndrome Previous failed trials with gabapentin or pregabalin Allergic reactions to gabapentin or pregabalin Referrals from surgery for diagnostic injections for surgical evaluation Serious medical or psychiatric that condition that might preclude optimal outcome or interfere with participation, such as the need for uninterrupted anticoagulation. Pregnancy

Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?



Study Interventions

Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.

Procedure:epidural steroid injectionInjection of steroids and local anesthetic into the epidural space

Procedure:Sham epidural steroid injectionInjection of saline into the back muscles

Drug:GabapentinTitration of gabapentin to effect

Drug:Placebo gabapentinTitration of placebo gabapentin

Study Arms

Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.

Epidural steroidsInjection of steroids into the epidural space

GabapentinTitration of gabapentin to effect

Study Status


Start Date: December 2011

Completed Date: September 2014

Phase: N/A

Type: Interventional


Primary Outcome: Average Leg Pain at 1 Month Measured Using the Numeric Pain Scale

Secondary Outcome: Average Back Pain at 1 Month Measured Using the Numeric Pain Scale

Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references

Principal Investigator: Steven P Cohen, MD

Lead Sponsor: Johns Hopkins University

Collaborator: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

More information:

Discuss Gabapentin