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Research Letter
Less Is More
February 2018

Gabapentinoid Use in the United States 2002 Through 2015

Author Affiliations
  • 1Grant Family Medicine, OhioHealth, Columbus
  • 2Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at Ohio University, Athens
JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(2):292-294. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.7856

Gabapentin and pregabalin are the 2 clinically used medications in the gabapentinoid drug class. Pregabalin and gabapentin have both been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of partial seizures and postherpetic neuralgia. Gabapentin enacarbil has also been approved for restless legs syndrome, while pregabalin has additional approvals for diabetic peripheral neuropathy, neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury, and fibromyalgia. Gabapentin, in particular, is frequently used for off-label indications.1 There has been controversy around the use of these drugs due to off-label marketing,1 the short-term follow-up of studies,2 potential for addiction,3 possible increased risk of overdose among individuals concomitantly taking opiates,4 and ineffectiveness for common indications.2,5 Given the safety concerns and the implications of widespread use, I set out to characterize the use of gabapentinoids among the adult population.