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Sep, 2019

Non-inferiority double-blind randomised controlled trial comparing gabapentin versus tramadol for the treatment of chronic neuropathic or mixed pain in children and adolescents: the GABA-1 trial-a study protocol


Authors: Kaguelidou F, Le Roux E, Mangiarini L, et al.; GAPP consortium

Published in: BMJ Open. 2019;9(2):e023296

Introduction Gabapentin is currently used ‘off-label’ in children and adolescents with chronic neuropathic pain, and reliable evidence of its effects and optimal dosing are lacking.

Objectives The GABA-1 trial aims to compare the efficacy and safety of gabapentin liquid formulation relative to tramadol and to explore the pharmacokinetics of both drugs in the treatment of chronic, neuropathic or mixed pain in the paediatric population.

Methods and analysis The trial is a multicentre, double-blind, double-dummy, randomised, active-controlled, non-inferiority trial. Participants aged from 3 months to <18 years of age with moderate to severe (≥4/10 in age-appropriate pain scales) chronic neuropathic or mixed pain will be recruited in 14 clinical sites in eight European countries. A total of 94 subjects will be randomised to receive gabapentin and tramadol placebo or tramadol and gabapentin placebo throughout 16–19 weeks (including 3 weeks of titration [optimisation period], 12 weeks of treatment at a stable dose [maintenance period] and 1–4 weeks of tapering [discontinuation period]). The primary objective is to assess the efficacy of gabapentin relative to tramadol for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic neuropathic or mixed pain by comparing the difference in average pain scores (assessed by age-appropriate pain scales) between intervention arms after 15 weeks of treatment. Secondary objectives include the assessment of the safety, quality of life and global satisfaction with treatment and the description of the pharmacokinetic–pharmacodynamic relationship of gabapentin liquid formulation and tramadol oral drops to validate the recommended paediatric doses. Only rescue pain medication by paracetamol and/or ibuprofen is allowed during the trial.

Ethics and dissemination Ethic approval was obtained in the eight participating countries. Results will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at one or more scientific conferences.



Sep, 2019

Gabapentin as add-on to morphine for severe neuropathic or mixed pain in children from age 3 months to 18 years – evaluation of the safety, pharmacokinetics, and efficacy of a new gabapentin liquid formulation: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial


Authors: de Leeuw TG, Mangiarini L, Lundin R, et al; GAPP consortium

Published in: Trials. 2019; 20(1):368

Background Gabapentin has shown efficacy in the treatment of chronic neuropathic or mixed pain in adults. Although pediatric pain specialists have extensive experience with gabapentin for the treatment of neuropathic pain, its use is off-label. Its efficacy and safety in this context have never been shown. The aim of this trial is to compare gabapentin with placebo as add-on to morphine for the treatment of severe chronic mixed or neuropathic pain in children. This trial is part of the European Union Seventh Framework Programme project Gabapentin in Paediatric Pain (GAPP) to develop a pediatric use marketing authorization for a new gabapentin suspension.

Methods/design The GAPP-2 study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter superiority phase II study in children with severe chronic neuropathic or mixed pain. Its primary objective is to evaluate the efficacy of a gabapentin liquid formulation as adjunctive therapy to morphine. Sixty-six eligible children 3 months to 18 years of age with severe pain (pain scores ≥ 7), stratified in three age groups, will be randomized to receive gabapentin (to an accumulating dose of 45 to 63 mg/kg/day, dependent on age) or placebo, both in addition to morphine, for 12 weeks. Randomization will be preceded by a short washout period, and treatment will be initiated by a titration period of 3 weeks. After the treatment period, medication will be tapered during 4 weeks. The primary endpoint is the average pain scores in the two treatment groups (average of two measures each day for 3 days before the end-of-study visit [V10] assessed by age-appropriate pain scales (Face, Legs, Activity, Cry, Consolability scale; Faces Pain Scale–Revised; Numeric Rating Scale). Secondary outcomes include percentage responders to treatment (subjects with 30% reduction in pain scale), number of episodes of breakthrough pain, number of rescue interventions, number of pain-free days, participant dropouts, quality of life (Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory), and acceptability of treatment. Outcomes will be measured at the end-of-study visit after 12 weeks of treatment at the optimal gabapentin dose. Groups will be compared on an intention-to-treat basis.

Discussion We hope to provide evidence that the combination of morphine and gabapentin will provide better analgesia than morphine alone and will be safe. We also aim to obtain confirmation of the recommended pediatric dose.