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Research Letter
November 27, 2018

Trends in First Gabapentin and Pregabalin Prescriptions in Primary Care in the United Kingdom, 1993-2017

Author Affiliations
  • 1Service de Pharmacologie Médicale et Clinique, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Toulouse, France
  • 2Centre for Clinical Epidemiology, McGill University, Montreal, Québec, Canada
JAMA. 2018;320(20):2149-2151. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.12358

The gabapentinoid drugs gabapentin and pregabalin are approved for epilepsy, neuropathic pain, migraines (gabapentin only), and generalized anxiety disorders (pregabalin only) in the United Kingdom. These indications differ in other countries. Gabapentinoid prescriptions increased in the United States between 2002 and 2015,1 which may be partly related to an increase in off-label use.2 These medications have the potential for misuse and addiction and for overdose, when used in combination with opioids.3 In 2017, the UK government reclassified gabapentinoids as class C controlled substances.4 We estimated the rates of patients treated with gabapentin and pregabalin for the first time in the UK primary care system since these drugs were first licensed in 1993 and 2004, respectively.