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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

PHE Advice on Gabapentin and Pregabalin

Public Health England (PHE) has recently issued advice (PDF) for prescribers on the risk of misuse of pregabalin and gabapentin.

The advice was produced by an expert group and contains suggestions for a balanced and rational use of these medicines. It is noted the majority of patients will use these medicines appropriately but that in some cases they can lead to dependence and may be misused or diverted.

It is suggested that less harmful, alternative drugs can often be first-line treatments for the indicated conditions for which pregabalin and gabapentin are now used, and may be tried preferentially in higher risk settings or in patients who may be more likely to be harmed by the drugs.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of the potential for misuse and diversion of these medicines and the recommendations made to reduce these risks.

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