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Home > Pregabalin abuse amongst opioid substitution treatment patients.

McNamara, Sinead and Stokes, Siobhan and Kilduff, R and Shine, A (2015) Pregabalin abuse amongst opioid substitution treatment patients. Irish Medical Journal , 108 , (10) .

URL: http://archive.imj.ie//ViewArticleDetails.aspx?Art...


Pregabalin (Lyrica®) is used in treating epilepsy, nerve pain and anxiety. Pregabalin was initially thought to have a low misuse potential however there are emerging reports of Pregabalin being abused. A study was commenced at the National Drug Treatment Centre’s (NDTC) Drug Analysis Laboratory to determine the level of usage of Pregabalin within the addiction services population in Ireland. A total of 498 urine samples representing samples from 440 individual opioid substitution patients, initially screened by immunoassay for drugs of abuse, were subjected to further analysis for Pregabalin by Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS).

 

Of 440 patients tested, 39 tested positive for Pregabalin (9.2%). Only 10 patients from this group were prescribed this drug to our knowledge thus giving an estimated rate of misuse of 7.0%. Other drugs detected in the Pregabalin positive patients were Opiates (31.8%), Cocaine (11.4%), Benzodiazepines (79.5%) and Cannabis (77.8%). Our study confirms that Pregabalin abuse is taking place amongst the addiction services population. We believe that misuse of this prescription drug is a serious emerging issue which should be monitored carefully.

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