Eperisone for patients with low back pain
Low back pain (LBP) is a very commonly observed complaint among middle aged population, affecting 90% of adults at least once in lifetime and is usually associated with ‘muscle spasms’.
It is a major health problem and is associated with high costs of healthcare, work absenteeism and disability. Generally, short term use of non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and centrally acting skeletal muscle relaxants are used in the management of low back pain.
Eperisone hydrochloride is a recently introduced centrally acting muscle relaxant. It reduces muscle ischemia and pain by acting on skeletal muscles as well as on vascular smooth muscles. It is unique from other muscle relaxants as it does not cause sedation. Eperisone hydrochloride is widely prescribed now days for treatment of muscle stiffness and pain.
This systematic review aims to identify, evaluate and summarize the findings of all relevant individual studies regarding the efficacy and safety of eperisone in low back pain , thereby making the available evidence more accessible to decision makers. This study followed Cochrane Back and Neck (CBN) Group and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines in order to perform this systematic review. To prevent the risk of bias in clinical trials, CBN Group and Moga tools were used.
Around 801 patients were included in the study from 5 randomized controlled trials and 2 uncontrolled studies. These findings revealed that eperisone may be effective in the treatment of acute LBP and less serious side effects were noticed. There was also significant improvement in paraspinal blood flow and appear to have efficacy similar to that tizanidine in patients with chronic LBP.
The studies included in this review were of short duration and low sample size to support eperisone use in LBP. This discovery has opened the door to new approaches for the treatment and prevention of chronic as well as acute back pain. Researchers are hopeful that with further research, these treatments could be exploited in the near future. However, larger studies and longer follow-up are required to confirm these clinical benefits of eperisone for LBP patients.