Trends in the Concurrent Prescription of Opioids and Gabapentin in the US, 2006 to 2018

Published in: JAMA Internal Medicine (2022). doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2022.5268

Posted on RAND.org on December 08, 2022

by Evan D. Peet, Beth Mohr Dana, Yaou Flora Sheng, David Powell, Kanaka Shetty, Bradley D. Stein

Gabapentin is a substance that is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat partial seizures, pain due to damaged nerves, fibromyalgia, and restless legs syndrome; concurrent use with opioids can enhance the analgesic effect and produce a euphoric state. Ninety-five percent of gabapentin prescriptions are for off-label pain management, despite studies questioning its pain management effectiveness and reporting its misuse with concurrent opioid therapy. We examined 2006 to 2018 US trends in concurrent gabapentin and opioid prescribing, overall and by prescriber, patient, and county characteristics.

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