Poison control centers around the country are receiving a growing number of calls about the abuse of the drugs gabapentin and pregabalin, which are prescribed to treat seizures and nerve pain. Abuse of these drugs has increased fourfold since 2006, new research indicates.
“It’s quite striking,” said Richard C. Dart, MD, PhD, the Director of the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center and the Executive Director of Researched Abuse, Diversion, and Addiction-Related Surveillance (RADARS) System. “The fact that the abuse is increasing so abruptly is concerning.”
It seems that many people who are abusing gabapentin and pregabalin are using or abusing opioids as well, Dr. Dart said. “The problem is getting new-found attention, but we suspect it has been there for awhile and we just didn’t realize it.”