Suicides, overdoses, road accidents: the dangers of gabapentinoids

Gabapentinoids are commonly used drugs for epilepsy, nerve pain and anxiety disorders.

Gabapentinoids - drugs used for epilepsy, nerve pain and anxiety disorders - are associated with an increased risk of suicidal behavior, overdose and road accidents, according to new research published by the BMJ. The risks are higher among young people aged 15 to 24, particularly because of the overconsumption of alcohol and drugs. So far, data on the side effects of these drugs have been contradictory and understated.

Coordination disorders

Prescriptions for these drugs have risen sharply in recent years, with gabapentinoids now among the 15 most widely sold treatments in the world. But the fact that these substances are also used as opioid substitutes or for recreational purposes has also given rise to restrictions in several countries, including the United Kingdom.
The medical records of 191,973 people who were prescribed pregabalin or gabapentin were analyzed. The aim was "to examine associations between gabapentinoids and undesirable effects related to coordination disorders (head and body injuries, accidents or traffic violations), mental health (suicidal behavior, unintentional overdoses). ) and crime ".

10,026 suicidal or suicidal behaviors

During the treatment periods, participants had an increased risk of suicidal behavior or suicide deaths of 26%, an increased risk of overdose of 24%, an increased risk of injury to the head or body of 22%, and an increased risk of increased risk of traffic offenses by 13%. The association of gabapentinoids with violent crime was less clear.
10,026 participants (5.2%) were suicidal or died by suicide, 17,144 (8.9%) overdosed, 12,070 (6.3%) were victims of an accident involving 70.522 (36.7%) were injured in the head or body and 7984 (4.1%) were arrested for violent crime. The potential interactions of drugs with alcohol or drugs have not been taken into account.
Derek Tracy, a consultant psychiatrist at Queen Mary's Hospital in London, says in an editorial that this study provides "solid data to inform patients about the risks associated with treatment," even though gabapentinoids "remain a valuable therapeutic option for many people. ".

Video: Strategies for Promoting the Safe Use and Appropriate Prescribing of Prescription Opioids (February 2020).