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Neurontin: Over-Hyped And Underwhelming

The opioid epidemic has a lot of people concerned. Mothers, fathers, patients, doctors, and everyone in between are distraught over the troubling situation many individuals and families find themselves in. Some experts believe that the overuse and addiction to opioids could claim nearly half a million lives over the next ten years.

Opioids target the opioid receptors in our bodies, and they do so with “morphine-like” effects. Taking steps to limit or avoid their use is of course of great importance. Unfortunately, the move away from opioids is pushing those in need towards drugs that may be just as harmful to their health.

In the move to combat the opioid crisis, alternative non-opioid drugs are being prescribed. Mind you, these are drugs that aren’t being used as they were necessarily intended. Drugs such as Lyrica and Neurontin were approved by the Food and Drug Administration for very specific conditions, and they’re now being prescribed for a variety of issues. Neurontin for example was originally created to treat epilepsy, but is now being prescribed for everything from insomnia to general pain and even restless leg syndrome. While this practice might sound illegal, it’s not. In fact, under FDA guidelines “when a drug receives FDA approval for a particular indication a physician can then legally prescribe that drug for other conditions...” This is a move known as “off label use”. And even the effectiveness of the drug to treat general pain has been called into question with studies showing only “one person in 10 was actually helped by the drug…” while also experiencing “adverse effects”. And if all of that wasn’t bad enough, the drug is also considered “addictive” and works by “numbing the brain”.

Prescribing a drug for something other than its intended use that’s addictive, numbs your brain, has adverse side effects, and roughly a 1 in 10 chance of actually relieving your pain is no way to fight the opioid epidemic. If your doctor wants to prescribe you medications for pain that aren’t opioids, please ask them not to prescribe those that are being misused and have little chance of actually working.

To learn more about how Lyrica and Neurontin are being incorrectly prescribed, follow the link: