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Gabapentin use may lead to adverse drug events, polypharmacy

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In an effort to reduce postoperative opioid prescribing, non-opioid pain medication such as gabapentin, is prescribed more often, however, a recent study shows that prolonged use of gabapentin is a potential issue that may increase the risk of adverse drug events and polypharmacy.

 Amongst, 17,970 patients >65 years old without prior gabapentinoid use who underwent common non-cataract surgical procedures and had a new prescription for gabapentin after surgery, prolonged use (a fill>90 days after discharge) was reported in 22%. Prolonged use was more likely in women (64% vs 61%), those who were non-White (14% vs 12%), those with concurrent prolonged opioid use (44% vs 18%), and those who had undergone emergency surgery (8% vs 4%).

On multivariable analysis, prolonged use of gabapentin was associated with:
-Being female
-Having a higher Charlson comorbidity score
-Having an opioid prescription at discharge and at >90 days
-Having a higher care complexity

Bongiovanni T, Gan S, Finlayson E, et al. Prolonged use of newly prescribed gabapentin after surgery. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022 Aug 24. doi: 10.1111/jgs.18005. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36000860.