University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)647-654
JournalDrugs
Journal publication date16 Jun 2016
Volume30
Issue7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2016

Abstract

Introduction: The gabapentinoids pregabalin and gabapentin are being increasingly prescribed for a range of clinical conditions. Recently, although gabapentinoids at therapeutic dosages may present with low addictive liability levels, cases of misuse and rising numbers of related fatalities have been reported. Objectives: The aim of the study was to identify and assess cases of gabapentinoid misuse or dependence as reported to the European Medicines Agency’s EudraVigilance database, to identify the magnitude of this problem and the characteristics of these reactions. Methods: All spontaneous reports of both gabapentin- (2004–2015) and pregabalin- (2006–2015) related misuse/abuse/dependence were retrieved. A descriptive analysis by source, sex, age, and type of report was performed. Results: From the EudraVigilance database 7639 (6.6 % of a total of 115,616) and 4301 (4.8 % of 90,166) adverse drug reaction reports of misuse/abuse/dependence were, respectively, associated with pregabalin and gabapentin, with an overall reporting frequency increasing over time. For both molecules, subjects typically involved were female adults. A total of 27 and 86 fatalities, respectively, associated with pregabalin and gabapentin, and mostly in combination with opioids, were identified. Analysis of proportional reporting ratios for drug abuse/dependence/intentional product misuse values seem to indicate that these adverse drug reactions were more frequently reported for pregabalin (1.25, 1.39, and 1.58, respectively) compared with gabapentin. Conclusions: Despite data collection/methodological approach limitations, the present data seem to suggest that gabapentinoid misuse may be a cause for concern, especially in patients with a history of substance misuse. Hence, healthcare professionals should be vigilant when prescribing these molecules.

Notes

This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of the following article: Stefania Chiappini, and Fabrizio Schifano, ‘A Decade of Gabapentinoid Misuse: An Analysis of the European Medicines Agency’s ‘Suspected Adverse Drug Reactions’ Database’, CNS Drugs, Vol. 30 (7): 647-654, July 2016. The final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1007/s40263-016-0359-y. © 2016 Springer International Publishing.

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