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Drugs. 2017 Mar;77(4):403-426. doi: 10.1007/s40265-017-0700-x.

Abuse and Misuse of Pregabalin and Gabapentin.

Author information

1
College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Austin, 7703 Floyd Curl Dr., MC 6220, San Antonio, TX, 78229-3900, USA. evoy@uthscsa.edu.
2
University Health System, 1055 Ada Street, San Antonio, TX, 78223, USA. evoy@uthscsa.edu.
3
College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Austin, 7703 Floyd Curl Dr., MC 6220, San Antonio, TX, 78229-3900, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Gabapentinoid (pregabalin and gabapentin) abuse is increasingly being reported.

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the extent of gabapentinoid abuse, characteristics of typical abusers, patterns of abuse, and potential harms in order to bring this trend to providers' attention.

METHODS:

A systematic review of MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, ClinicalTrials.gov, and US FDA data, indexed through 28 July 2016, utilizing the following searches: pregabalin OR gabapentin OR gabapentinoid AND one of the following: abuse, misuse, overdose, or substance-related disorders[MESH], was conducted. Additional studies were identified through review of references. English-language epidemiological studies, clinical studies, and case reports/series of gabapentinoid abuse/misuse/overdose were included. The authors reached consensus regarding study inclusion after full-text review. The body of literature was assessed for bias qualitatively.

RESULTS:

Fifty-nine studies were included in this systematic review (24 epidemiological, three clinical abuse liability, 16 abuse/misuse/dependence case reports/series, 17 acute overdose case reports/series-one included both an epidemiological study and case series and was included in both counts). Analysis of these studies indicates increasing numbers of patients are self-administering higher than recommended doses to achieve euphoric highs. In the general population, a 1.6% prevalence of gabapentinoid abuse was observed, whereas prevalence ranged from 3% to 68% among opioid abusers. An international adverse event database identified 11,940 reports of gabapentinoid abuse from 2004-2015, with >75% reported since 2012. Risk factors include a history of substance abuse, particularly opioids, and psychiatric co-morbidities. While effects of excessively high doses are generally non-lethal, gabapentinoids are increasingly being identified in post-mortem toxicology analyses.

CONCLUSION:

Evidence suggests gabapentinoids possess potential for abuse, particularly in individuals with a history of opioid abuse, and reports of such abuse are increasingly being documented. Prescribers should be aware of high-risk populations and monitor for signs of abuse.

PMID:
28144823
DOI:
10.1007/s40265-017-0700-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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