Journal Mobile

EE Morrison, EA Sandilands, DJ Webb
Journal Issue: 
Volume 47: Issue 4: 2017




Gabapentin and pregabalin prescribing in Scotland has increased substantially over recent years. Evidence suggests that prescribers may be advocating the use of these medicines off-label to avoid prescribing opioid analgesics. The evidence to support gabapentin and pregabalin use in non-neuropathic pain disorders indicates they are less effective than several other licensed non-opioid analgesics. Notably, patients may not benefit from gabapentin and pregabalin but remain at risk of adverse drug reactions. Furthermore, greater availability has resulted in increased diversion of gabapentin and pregabalin; creating problems within the opioid misuse population and prison service. As a consequence, both gabapentin and pregabalin may soon be controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Prescribers should be aware of the very limited clinical evidence for use of gabapentin and pregabalin outside their licensed indications, as well as their capacity to do harm.