Why Doctors Over prescribing Gabapentin and Pregabalin (Lyrica) for Pain? – Women With Fibromyalgia

Why Doctors Over prescribing Gabapentin and Pregabalin (Lyrica) for Pain?

“Patients who are in pain deserve empathy, understanding, time, and attention. We believe some of them may benefit from a therapeutic trial of gabapentin or pregabalin for off-label indications, and we support robust efforts to limit opioid prescribing. Nevertheless, clinicians shouldn’t assume that gabapentinoids are an effective approach for most pain syndromes or a routinely appropriate substitute for opioids.”

Gabapentin Side Effects:
The history of gabapentin (Neurontin) is fascinating. It was originally approved by the FDA for treating epilepsy in 1993. There is a tale of woe and intrigue about how the company that marketed Neurontin got into trouble with the FDA for illegal off-label marketing practices. We won’t go into that here, but you can read all about it in this article:
Surprising Gabapentin Side Effects
Gabapentin has become a go-to drug for doctors who are trying to control chronic pain problems. At last count, dispensed prescriptions have gone from 39 million in 2012 to 51 million in 2014 to 64 million in 2016 (Quintiles IMS, May, 2017, now IQVIA Institute).

Gabapentin can cause depression, dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, digestive tract upset, trouble with balance, cognitive difficulties and visual problems. The official prescribing information warns:

“Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including gabapentin, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in patients taking these drugs for any indication. Patients treated with any AED for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior.”


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