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Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2014 Feb;70(2):197-204. doi: 10.1007/s00228-013-1594-5. Epub 2013 Oct 19.

Factors associated with pregabalin dispensing at higher than the approved maximum dose.

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  • 1Centre for Pharmacoepidemiology at the Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, robert.boden@neuro.uu.se.



Concerns have been raised about the abuse potential of pregabalin. Therefore, the aim of our study was to characterize patients dispensed pregabalin at higher than the maximum allowed dose in a cohort study based on data extracted from Swedish national registers.


All patients dispensed at least three prescriptions of pregabalin between July 2006 and December 2009 were included (n = 48,550). The daily dose was defined as the amount of pregabalin dispensed divided by the number of days between the second and third dispensings. Associations between sociodemographic and clinical variables and dispensing pregabalin at a dose exceeding the maximum daily allowed dose (600 mg) were investigated in multivariate regression models.


Of the patients dispensed pregabalin during the study period, 8.5 % were dispensed a dose that exceeded the maximum daily allowed dose. A previous addictive disorder drug treatment or diagnosis was present in 20 and 31 % of patients dispensed pregabalin within and exceeding the recommended dose range, respectively. Our analysis revealed that those patients at increased risk of being dispensed pregabalin at higher than the maximum allowed dose were male [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.40, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.31-1.49], were between 18 and 29 years of age compared with those aged ≥65 years (aOR 1.62, 95 % CI 1.45-1.82), had a low income (aOR 1.24, 95 % CI 1.10-1.40), had epilepsy compared with no diagnosis (aOR 1.41, 95 % CI 1.10-1.81), had a previous substance use disorder treatment or diagnosis (aOR 1.41, 95 % CI 1.31-1.52) or had previously been dispensed high doses of drugs with abuse potential (aOR 1.77, 95 % CI 1.62-1.94).


Based on our results we conclude that patients at a high risk of addiction and patients with epilepsy are more likely to be dispensed pregabalin at higher than the maximum approved daily dose.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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