More awareness, research needed on abuse risk of non-opioid painkiller

More awareness, research needed on abuse risk of non-opioid painkiller

Amid the opioid epidemic, abuse of a different prescription painkiller has widely gone unnoticed.

Gabapentin, a nerve pain medication and anticonvulsant sold under the brand name Neurontin and others, increasingly is being misused, necessitating prescribers to understand its abuse potential and risk profile, said Rachel Vickers Smith, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor in the University of Louisville School of Nursing.

She has found that abusers typically mix gabapentin with opioids, marijuana, cocaine and opioid treatment medication, compounding side effects to the central nervous system that include euphoria and sedation.

Full story at Science Daily