Triphasic waves and encephalopathy in the setting of pregabalin toxicity

Pria Anand, Peter Wolfe Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Summary: EEG triphasic waves are usually seen in the setting of metabolic encephalopathies, but may also occur secondary to medication toxicity. There are few reports of medications causing continuous triphasic waves, and only rare reports in the literature show an association between these discharges and pregabalin toxicity. Here, we describe triphasic waves in a patient with underlying white matter lesions, as well as pregabalin toxicity, secondary to renal insufficiency. Patients with renal or hepatic failure presenting with triphasic waves and confusion pose a diagnostic challenge in determining whether the etiology of their encephalopathy is purely metabolic or whether it results from impaired medication clearance and subsequent toxicity. In this patient, discontinuing pregabalin improved her EEG despite the ongoing renal insufficiency, confirming pregabalin toxicity as an etiology of triphasic waves and encephalopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-517
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2018


  • Generalized periodic discharges
  • Pregabalin
  • Triphasic waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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