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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2018 Jul;29(7):1970-1978. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2018010096. Epub 2018 Jun 5.

Gabapentin and Pregabalin Use and Association with Adverse Outcomes among Hemodialysis Patients.

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Departments of Medicine and
Division of Nephrology, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California; and.
Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, California.
Division of Geriatrics, University of California, San Francisco and San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California.
Departments of Medicine and.


Background Gabapentin and pregabalin are used to manage neuropathic pain, pruritus, and restless legs syndrome in patients on hemodialysis. These patients may be especially predisposed to complications related to these agents, which are renally cleared, but data regarding the risk thereof are lacking.Methods From the US Renal Data System, we identified 140,899 Medicare-covered adults receiving hemodialysis with Part D coverage in 2011. Using Cox regression models in which we adjusted for demographics, comorbidities, duration of exposure, number of medications, and use of potentially confounding concomitant medications, we investigated the association between gabapentin and pregabalin, modeled as separate time-varying exposures, and time to first emergency room visit or hospitalization for altered mental status, fall, and fracture. We evaluated risk according to daily dose categories: gabapentin (>0-100, >100-200, >200-300, and >300 mg) and pregabalin (>0-100 and >100 mg).Results In 2011, 19% and 4% of patients received gabapentin and pregabalin, respectively. Sixty-eight percent of gabapentin or pregabalin users had a diagnosis of neuropathic pain, pruritus, or restless legs syndrome. Gabapentin was associated with 50%, 55%, and 38% higher hazards of altered mental status, fall, and fracture, respectively, in the highest dose category, but even lower dosing was associated with a higher hazard of altered mental status (31%-41%) and fall (26%-30%). Pregabalin was associated with up to 51% and 68% higher hazards of altered mental status and fall, respectively.Conclusions Gabapentin and pregabalin should be used judiciously in patients on hemodialysis, and research to identify the most optimal dosing is warranted.


United States Renal Data System; gabapentin; hemodialysis; pregabalin

[Available on 2019-07-01]

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