A Gabapentin Prescriptions Surge May be Brewing Out-There!

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA

Prescriptions for nerve pain medicines like gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica) have more than tripled in recent years, driven by increased use among chronically ill older adults and patients already taking opioids, a U.S. study suggests. The proportion of US adults prescribed gabapentin and other drugs in the same family of medicines climbed from 1.2% in 2002 to 3.9% by 2015, a period that also saw a surge in opioid overdoses and deaths.

The drug class, known as gabapentinoids, includes gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant) and pregabalin. “Nearly 1 in 25 adults takes a gabapentinoid during a year, which matters because we have little data to support much use of this drug class and minimal data to support the long-term safety of the medications,” said study author Dr. Michael Johansen of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at Ohio University in Athens.

Source: Reuters Health News via MDLinx [1/8/18]



I hate to admit that these drugs did not even exist when I was in medical school. So, can we assume that most doctors today learned about them thru drug reps, TV, radio, internet, blog and vlog advertising, etc? 

Is this the next opiod or drug crisis in the USA? Doctor colleagues, please think about the antibiotic resistance problem. Economic colleagues, please think about the “law of substitutions.” All, think about recreational marijuana?


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