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Pregabalin and gabapentin set to become controlled drugs


Following a paper (N Engl J Med 2017; 377:411-414) which highlighted concerns about their prescribing, coupled with "new evidence" that their effectiveness as a treatment for chronic backache was to be questioned, I wrote elsewhere: "That is sad news as I for sure have been quite strongly under this impression for many years, that is more than 10 years. I cannot refrain from thinking that the price drop of those medications may have reduced the interest in highlighting benefits we should have been more cautious about. Also, worthwhile exploring other mid and long term downsides on the CNS, including mental health and addiction, or other forms of impacts. Co-prescribing with opiates and coexistence of drug abuse and hyperalgesic states appear to be of common observation. Perhaps "negative" studies should have a louder resonance to avoid similar, too late, "discoveries". Ever since, a heroin addicted trying to detox shared his knowledge of them. He had known for many years too well first hand about them and why they should have been controlled drugs, in his humble opinion. However, it has to be said that making a drug controlled does not necessarily limit its diffusion. The opioid epidemic can just confirm my consideration. It is our prescribing and the way we explain what we know about pros and cons of any prescription that may make a significant difference. Often, a 10 minutes consultation may not be long enough. Furthermore, we should be most mindful of the unknown unknowns for any new drug, particularly if acting on the CNS.

Posted date

23 Sep 2017

Posted time