Behavioral HealthCASE REPORTS

Potential for Pregabalin Abuse or Diversion After Past Drug-Seeking Behavior

Frank A. Filipetto, DO; Christopher P. Zipp, DO; and Joshua S. Coren, DO, MBA
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: November 24, 2009

Accepted: May 11, 2010

Published: October 1, 2010

J Osteopath Med; 110(10): 605-607

Pregabalin, primarily used to manage neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia, is categorized as a Schedule V drug (ie, lowest potential for abuse) in the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s Controlled Substances Act. Because pregabalin is not recognized as a drug with high-abuse potential, data on pregabalin abuse and addiction are lacking. The authors report a case of a 35-year-old woman with a history of opioid-seeking behavior who was prescribed pregabalin for pain control. The patient requested an increase in her medication 2 months after beginning treatment and, after her physician denied her request, subsequently obtained pregabalin from other sources. Over a 28-day period, the patient received a total of 88,500 mg of pregabalin. After learning of the other prescriptions, the patient’s physician became suspicious of pregabalin abuse or diversion. In accordance with state medical board guidelines, the patient was discharged from the practice and referred to a local detoxification center.

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