Gabapentinoids, like gabapentin and pregabalin, are set to become controlled drugs, after a spike in the number of related deaths.
The medication is set to become a ‘Class-C’ controlled medication after evidence has shown a significant increase in the number of related deaths and several studies that have warned healthcare professionals about the adverse effects of the medication.
Offical figures show there were 111 deaths related to pregabalin and 59 related to gabapentin in 2016.
The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) wrote to the Home Office in January 2016 calling for the drugs to be controlled, warning that ‘pregabalin and gabapentin present a risk of addiction and a potential for illegal diversion and medicinal misuse’.
Dr Steve Brinksman, Clinical Director of the drug and alcohol treatment professionals group SMMP, said;
“THEY HAVE PSYCHOTROPIC EFFECTS, WHICH MEANS PATIENTS ARE LIKELY TO CONTINUE TAKING THEM EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT PROVING EFFECTIVE. THEY PROBABLY DO HAVE A WITHDRAWAL EFFECT – THOUGH THAT HAS NOT BEEN PROVEN CONCLUSIVELY YET”.
Sarah Newton, a Home Office Minister told Pulse that the Government had accepted recommendations from advisers to make gabapentinoids a class C drug, subject to a consultation.