What's All the "GABA" About? Pregabalin and Gabapentin Abuse

The gabapentinoids are a popular class of medications among prescribers for use in chronic pain and various other neurological conditions. In fact, prescription rates for both gabapentin and pregabalin have increased in the United States and other countries in recent years. However, these medications have a street value to a newer niche of users, including patients taking them at megadoses to enhance the effects of other psychotropic drugs, and other patients taking them to manage or mitigate opioid withdrawal symptoms and possibly even opioid cravings. While pregabalin is already classified as a controlled substance, gabapentin does not yet carry this classification. In response to rising abuse, various states and regulatory bodies are considering changes to enhance patient safety and protect the provider's license. Learn what changes you should make to your practice, if any, in light of the growing abuse of gabapentinoids and how to identify patients potentially abusing them.

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