Gabapentinoid Use Increased in the United States Over Last Decade

From 2002 to 2015, the percentage of individuals in the United States who used gabapentin and/or pregabalin increased in 1.2% to 3.9%.

HealthDay News — From 2002 to 2015, there was a substantial increase in gabapentinoid use, according to a research letter published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Michael E. Johansen, MD, from Grant Family Medicine, OhioHealth, in Columbus, characterized the use of gabapentinoids among adults using data from the 2002 to 2015 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Data were included for 346,177 individuals.

Johansen noted an increase in the percentage of individuals who used gabapentin and/or pregabalin from 1.2% in 2002 to 3.9% in 2015 (odds ratio [OR] per year for trend, 1.1; 95% CI, 1.09 to 1.11; P <.001). The predominantly used medication in the class was gabapentin, accounting for 82.6% of individuals.

Gabapentin use did not increase before 2008 (OR per year, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.98 to 1.05; P =.39 for trend), but its use increased thereafter (OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.15; P <.001 for trend). There was a plateau in use of pregabalin in 2008, with no increase after 2008 (OR per year, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.95 to 1.03; P =.47 for trend).

“The use of medications from the class was not evenly distributed through the population but concentrated among individuals who were older with numerous comorbidities and/or had numerous opioid prescriptions and/or had a benzodiazepine prescription,” Johansen writes.

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Johansen ME. Gabapentinoid use in the United States 2002 through 2015 [published online January 2, 2018]. JAMA Intern Med. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.7856