Uncovered Concerns of Drugs for Nerve Pain
The People’s Pharmacy, Joe Graedon, (11.28.2023) reports “New Concerns About Gabapentin and Pregabalin (Lyrica) for Nerve Pain.” Concerning data has come out of the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) regarding drugs that are regularly prescribed for nerve pain.
Early published reports regarding gabapentin benefits and side-effects neglected to include important adverse reactions that were observed in six clinical trials of this drug. Safety concerns were raised in the ISMP ((ISMP QuarterWatch Reports, March 27, 2019) report regarding gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica) that physicians, patients, and FDA safety officers should be aware of when prescribing.
The authors of the new overview (Journal of Clinical Epidemiology (Oct. 21, 2023) identified many side effects that were not included in the results and summaries of initial studies which impacted the reviews that followed regarding safety and effectiveness of gabapentin. The omission of side effects in these early reviews has resulted in many physicians and patients being unaware of some of these potential adverse effects that were identified early in trials regarding gabapentin and pregabalin. These effects include powerful impacts on the brain: memory loss, memory impairment, confusion, dizziness, falls, depression, drug abuse, overdose, and withdrawal syndromes.
It is noted that prescriptions for these drugs have soared as more physicians prefer to prescribe these for pain over opiates and that concurrent medication impacts need to be considered when prescribing these drugs, especially when used off-label for pain.
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