SA: New use of an existing medication for sciatica

Research Centre:

The Pain & Anaesthesia Research Clinic (PARC)

The   Pain & Anaesthesia Research Clinic (PARC)


Dr. Guy Ludbrook


Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace, Adelaide South Australia


Purpose & Background

The Pain & Anaesthesia Research Clinic (PARC) is seeking patients with herniated intervertebral disc and persistent sciatica (back pain radiating into the lower extremity) to participate in a clinical trial. The trial medication has already been used in several hundred thousand patients, and is currently being used in Australia and other countries around the world to successfully treat conditions other than sciatic pain.

Sciatic pain occurs when one of the discs between the bones in the lower back bulges (herniates) and therefore irritates the sciatic nerve, a major nerve that provides sensation to the leg. Disc pressure on the sciatic nerve may often result in irritation, inflammation and nerve pain. The pain results in a burning sensation which extends from the lower back down one or both legs. Large well controlled trials have shown that most patients with sciatic pain recover without surgery over a period of two to twelve months after the onset of their pain. Since there is no approved therapy for sciatic pain during the two to twelve month natural recovery period, effective and safe treatments to reduce patients’ pain and disability during this recovery period are urgently needed.

Benefits to Participation

  • The trial medication may provide sufferers with pain relief not achieved by current treatments.
  • Participants will be reimbursed for their time and inconvenience caused.
  • Travel expenses to and from the research unit will be reimbursed.
  • Participants’ health will be monitored by qualified health professionals.
  • Participants will be helping to advance medical research.

Main Eligibility Criteria

  • Are aged 18 – 70
  • Have had persistent and significant sciatic pain for less than six months
  • Do not suffer significant pain from other sources

Other Information

This trial is being conducted by medically qualified professionals, and has received ethics committee approval from the Royal Adelaide Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee. If you choose to participate, your participation will not interfere with your relationship with your normal Doctor.

What next?

If you would like to find out more information about participation in the trial, please click the link below to enter your contact details and answer some questions to determine your initial eligibility to participate in the trial. You will then be contacted by the research centre. Please note all information entered will be shared with the professional research staff at the Pain & Anaesthesia Research Clinic (PARC) and with the Clinical Communications and Research call centre (

Alternatively you can call 1800 656 743 between 8:30am and 6:30pm, Monday to Friday.

The following locations are confirmed as participating in the trial. Please click the appropriate link based on your location.

Adelaide SA: Click here to begin

Alternatively you can call 1800 656 743 between 8:30am and 6:30pm, Monday to Friday. Please note, you may only contact the call centre for the above confirmed locations.

The following locations are not confirmed but may participate in the trial in the near future. If you'd like to be contacted if/when they are operational please enter your details using the appropriate link below.

Melbourne VIC: Click here to begin
Perth WA: Click here to begin
Fremantle WA: Click here to begin
Sydney NSW: Click here to begin
Brisbane QLD: Click here to begin
All other locations:Click here to begin

Patient's Pain Communication Tool