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New research reveals marked overuse of central nervous system-active medications in dementia patients despite the substantial risks, including an increased risk of premature death.
Gabapentin (NEURONTIN, HORIZANT, GRALISE) is frequently prescribed for uses not approved by the FDA (so-called off-label uses), especially for chronic pain. A recently published clinical trial of the drug for treatment of chronic pelvic pain in women underscores why such off-label use, which we oppose, should be avoided.
Marked increases in the prescribing of the gabapentinoids gabapentin and pregabalin, particularly for uses not approved by the FDA (so-called off-label uses), indicate that these drugs are widely overprescribed and misused in the U.S. In this article, we review three recent studies that characterized the growth and extent of gabapentinoid overuse during the past two decades.
Although impaired driving usu¬ally is caused by alcohol or marijuana, many commonly used prescription and over-the-counter medications also can impair one’s ability to drive safely. Learn about several classes of medications that can cause this serious problem to protect yourself, your passengers and others who share the road with you.
For patients taking opioid analgesics and other drugs that depress breathing and those with lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, use of gabapentin (GRALISE, HORIZANT, NEURONTIN) or pregabalin (LYRICA) could have deadly consequences.
In this article, we summarize the results of a recent research study showing that use of medications that have depression as a potential adverse effect is very common. We also identify some of the many prescription medications that can cause depression symptoms, including suicidal thoughts or behavior.
The FDA has approved gabapentin (NEURONTIN) for several conditions, including a type of seizure disorder, shingles pain and restless leg syndrome. Hear our recommendations for who should use gabapentin and who should avoid it.
Abnormal involuntary movements (movement disorders) occur as adverse events associated with many widely used medications and can cause substantial hardship for affected individuals. Find out which drugs are associated with these adverse effects.
Weight gain is an adverse event associated with many widely used medications and may lead to significant overweight and obesity, especially in susceptible individuals. Find out which drugs have this adverse effect.
In 2004, Parke-Davis, the manufacturer of gabapentin (NEURONTIN), pleaded guilty to felony charges for illegal marketing of the drug, including for "off-label" uses not approved by the FDA. Protect yourself and your loved ones from unnecessary risk by learning which claims about gabapentin are supported by sound science and which are not.
Shingles is a very common disease caused by the chicken (herpes zoster) virus. Elderly adults are particularly vulnerable to developing this painful and sometimes debilitating condition. Learn the facts about shingles and how you can lower your risk of developing it.
When pharmaceuticals are intent on proving that one of their products is safe and effective, they may engage in practices that are professionally suspect and morally unethical. The recent news on Neurontin is a case in point.
Antacids can interact with a number of medications, either increasing or decreasing drug effect.
This second article about drug-induced dementia or delirium lists and discusses an additional 79 drugs that can cause these reversible kinds of mental deterioration. The two articles collectively review 136 drugs that can cause these serious side effects, especially in older people.
Among patients taking antiepileptic drugs for epilepsy, the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior was 3.5 times greater compared to placebo. These drugs are also used to treat pain and as mood stabilizers in people with manic-depressive disorders.
Pay attention to common warning signs that may indicate an increased risk of suicide, including: talking or thinking about hurting oneself or ending one’s life; withdrawal from family and friends; worsening depression; increased preoccupation with death and dying; giving away prized possessions. Do not make any medication regimen changes without consulting your provider. Unsupervised sudden changes in prescription drugs can have dangerous adverse effects
21 percent of the prescriptions written in 2001 in the United States were for drugs that were not deemed to be safe and effective to treat the diseases or symptoms for which they were prescribed. If you have been prescribed a drug for an off-label (unapproved) use, ask your physician about the science supporting the use of the drug and ask if a drug that is approved for that use could be substituted.
The article discusses numerous recent examples of the harm that has been caused by off-label prescribing, including the heart drugs amiodarone (Cordarone), many antipsychotic drugs, topiramate (Topamax)and several antidepressants.
Court documents revealed that senior officials at Parke-Davis determined that it was not sufficiently profitable for Parke-Davis to obtain FDA approval for gabapentin’s alternative uses mentioned above by doing the types of studies necessary for approval. Instead, company officials developed a strategy that would allow Parke-Davis to avoid the costs of proving gabapentin’s safety and effectiveness for these other uses, while allowing the company to enter the lucrative off-label markets.
A March 14, 2002, New York Times article revealed that the manufacturer of the seizure medication gabapentin (NEURONTIN) illegally promoted the drug to prescribing physicians for at least 11 “off-label” (unapproved) medical conditions, using their own employees, euphemistically called “medical liaisons.” Many of the bases for the safety and effectiveness of gabapentin for these 11 unapproved uses appears to have been fabrications by the corporation.
The editors of the highly respected Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics, for doctors and pharmacists, reviewed evidence from controlled clinical trials of anti-seizure drugs for psychiatric disorders in the December 11, 2000 issue. Controlled clinical trials are the “gold standard” for testing the effectiveness of drugs.