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Suicide Attempts ↑ 81%, 43%

Beware the Risks: Gabapentin and Baclofen

In an article published online today at Newsweek.com, researchers report an increase in suicides linked to the use of gabapentin and baclofen. Gabapentin is an antiepileptic, and baclofen is a muscle relaxant and antispasmodic, and they are frequently prescribed for pain instead of opioids. Chronic pain is linked to suicide attempts, and suicidal thoughts are noted side effects of gabapentin and baclofen.

The study, published in the journal Clinical Toxicology, covers a 5 year period ending in 2017. Opiophobia has decreased the prescribing of opioids. In its stead, gabapentin prescriptions have gone up 64%.

The article: “Over the period the drugs were studied, suicides attempts after people took just gabapentin rose by 80.5 percent, and by 43 percent for baclofen.” Its conclusion: “Careful consideration and risk-benefit analysis should be employed when prescribing these medications.”

Read the Newsweek online article.

To access the journal article, click here.

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