NY Times: “Millions Take Gabapentin for Pain. But There’s Scant Evidence It Works.”

NY Times: “Millions Take Gabapentin for Pain. But There’s Scant Evidence It Works.”

Thanks to Stan Cohen for pointing out this reference.

An excerpt:

The drug was initially approved 25 years ago to treat seizure disorders, but it is now commonly prescribed off-label to treat all kinds of pain, acute and chronic…

Two doctors recently reviewed published evidence for the benefits and risks of off-label use of gabapentin (originally sold under the trade name Neurontin) and its brand-name cousin Lyrica (pregabalin) for treating all kinds of pain…

Gabapentin and Lyrica, both sold by Pfizer, have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat only four debilitating pain problems: postherpetic neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia and spinal cord injury. Even for these approved uses, the evidence for relief offered by the drugs is hardly dramatic…

In many well-controlled studies they found there was less than a one-point difference on the 10-point pain scale between patients taking the drug versus a placebo, a difference often clinically meaningless….

the number of people taking gabapentinoids more than tripled from 2002 to 2015…

Related blog post: Brave New World: Psychotropic Manipulation and Pediatric Functional GI Disorders

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