Pharmacopsychiatry 2016; 49(04): 155-161
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-101868
Original Paper
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Use of Pregabalin – A Nationwide Pharmacoepidemiological Drug Utilization Study with Focus on Abuse Potential

O. Schjerning
1  Department of Psychiatry, Aalborg University Hospital
2  Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
,
A. Pottegård
3  Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark
,
P. Damkier
3  Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark
4  Department of Clinical Chemistry and Pharmacology, Odense University Hospital
,
M. Rosenzweig
5  Danish Medicines Authority, Copenhagen, Denmark
,
J. Nielsen
1  Department of Psychiatry, Aalborg University Hospital
2  Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 04 September 2015
revised 18 January 2016

accepted 21 January 2016

Publication Date:
07 March 2016 (online)

Abstract

Introduction: Pregabalin is currently approved for the treatment of epilepsy, generalized anxiety disorder and neuropathic pain with a licensed dosage range of 150 mg to 600 mg/day. Growing concern about the abuse potential of pregabalin is partly based on reports of pregabalin being used in dosages that exceed the approved therapeutic range.

Methods: To identify predictors of pregabalin use above recommended dosage, we conducted a pharmacoepidemological drug utilization study using the Danish nationwide registers. We deployed 4 measures of abuse: high use (≥600 mg/day) or very high use (≥1 200 mg/day) over a 6- or 12-month period, respectively. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify patient and treatment characteristics that were associated with either abuse marker.

Results: Out of 42 520 pregabalin users 4 090 (9.6%) were treated with more than 600 mg/day for 6 months and 2 765 (6.5%) for more than 12 months. Male gender and prescription of antipsychotics and benzodiazepines were associated with increased risk of use of above the recommended dosage.

Discussion: Use of pregabalin above recommended dosages was rare but abuse may occur in susceptible patients.