❇️ From 2012 to 2016, prescriptions for gabapentin increased 64 percent. It’s now the 10th-most-commonly-prescribed medication in the United States
❇️ Though gabapentin and baclofen are much safer alternatives to opioids, recent research suggests that they’re not as safe as some doctors might have hoped, especially in combination with other sedating medications
❇️ In isolation, gabapentin isn’t necessarily dangerous. Many chronic-pain patients rely on it to maintain functionality. But when used in high doses, or in combination with opioids or benzodiazepines, it can be risky.
❇️ Reynolds and others say patients who are prescribed drugs like gabapentin and baclofen should be screened for substance-abuse disorders, mood disorders, and suicidal ideation. And patients who are taking gabapentin should avoid mixing it with other drugs, especially depressants such as alcohol and opioids
❇️ Not only does gabapentin appear to exacerbate or create overdose risk, it also doesn’t work that well for chronic pain. A review published last year found that gabapentin is ineffective for treating back pain. This study “is one more reason to think twice before starting a patient on this drug,”
A “safe” alternative to opioid painkillers turns out to be not so safe.
Posted to FB on 2019-12-12 05:04:56