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A signal for an abuse liability for pregabalin—results from the Swedish spontaneous adverse drug reaction reporting system

Abstract

Purpose

Pregabalin is a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) analogue approved for the treatment of epilepsy, neuropathic pain and generalised anxiety disorder. As a GABA analogue, there has been some concern about an abuse liability. We aimed to investigate the possible abuse liability of pregabalin.

Methods

By applying a Bayesian data-mining algorithm to reports of possible drug abuse or addiction in the Swedish national register of adverse drug reactions (SWEDIS), we calculated the information component (IC) for pregabalin and reports of abuse and addiction.

Results

Out of 198 reports indicative of abuse or addiction to any drug, 16 concerned pregabalin. The IC became significantly elevated in the fourth quarter of 2008, rising to 3.99 (95% confidence interval 3.21–4.59) at the end of 2009.

Conclusion

Based on the signal from the present study, we conclude that pregabalin is likely to be associated with an abuse potential.

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Acknowledgements

No funding source was involved in this study.

Conflicts of interest

None.

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Correspondence to Pär Hallberg.

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Schwan, S., Sundström, A., Stjernberg, E. et al. A signal for an abuse liability for pregabalin—results from the Swedish spontaneous adverse drug reaction reporting system. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 66, 947–953 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00228-010-0853-y

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Keywords

  • Pregabalin
  • Abuse
  • Addiction
  • Adverse drug reaction
  • Data-mining