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Pulse Today: Gabapentinoids the New Benzos? (Gabapentin etc) - Great Comments!


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A smart GP in UK weighs in on use of Gabapentinoids and equates risks of drugs with Benzos.  Very interesting comments as well.


I believe his take on these drugs.  I was offered Gabapentin for my muscle pain.





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Oh yes, I believe this.  Mid-way through my taper my GP sent me to an addiction doctor who wanted me to stop taper and switch to gabapentin.  In my eyes this was just replacing one unknown poison for another.  Very scary prospect.  I wouldn't do it and on next visit for acupuncture was told I could no longer attend the program since I would not following doctor's recommendations!  >:(  As vulnerable and compromised as I was at the time, I had enough sense to dodge that bullet.  I've since seen BB's here having just as hard a time coming off gabapentin as benzos.


Thank you for article SS  :)



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Good article raising the alert on Neurontin (Gabapentin) and Lyrica (Pregabalin), for anyone thinking of pursuing this particular course.


However, I raised an eyebrow at a couple of his comments.


First this one:


We won’t prescribe statins to everyone because it is irrational and stupid. We don’t accept that ‘pain is what the patient says it is’, because common sense dictates that it isn’t.


Common sense dictates that pain isn't what the patient says it is?  I don't quite know how to interpret that.  How does a third party's "common sense" apply to the pain patient?



GPs are first to notice the danger posed by psychoactive drugs. In the past five years my sensor has been off the scale with the gabapentinoids (gabapentin and pregabalin). Patients are seeking them using the crude acting skills that I used to witness with benzodiazepines: anger, tears and threats; constant requests for dose increases; stories of lost scripts; and a tag-team approach with friends who ‘corroborate’ stories.


If you google ‘gabapentinoids’, it is clear they are being widely abused ...


Many are doing this out of necessity and the blame lies with the initial prescribing GP, as he is very well aware!  I would've preferred hearing him acknowledge that fact, instead of categorizing everyone as irresponsible, recreational users and expressing this extremely disdainful and reproachful attitude.


A very good alert, nonetheless, but not my favorite piece of writing.

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I knew this was you abcd before I even logged in. :laugh: Well seen and put.  Your critique is right on the money as usual.  Much arrogance and patient-blaming going on here, which didn't quite register with  me consciously on first reading, but yeah, there it is, hard to overlook.  Good alert nonetheless, but too bad for that.
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Yes, great catch. It is there and I didn't catch it when I scan read the article.


I'd rather have a doctor who won't prescribe and is maybe over vigilant than one with a full script pad and fresh ink with a mindset of "I'm helping when I prescribe."

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One of the reader comments below the linked opinion piece (and that's all it is, an opinion piece) goes like this:


"Whilst I agree there is abuse potential in gabapentine and pregabalin, I don't agree that it is directly comparable to benzodiazepines. The degree to which people become attached to a benzo prescription can be truly weary making. I have worked in prisons, community drug services and general practice and I say with out doubt benzodiazepines are one of the hardest drugs to get someone to accept to come off...harder, to be honest, than opiates in that whilst people generally accept heroin isn't good for you, plenty of folk on benzos are convinced they couldn't live without their benzo. You really don't get that degree of angst from the typical gabapentine user confronted with the prospect of a declined prescription. The prospect of no prescription for a benzodiazapne user can be abject terror."


I agree with this comment.  The addiction potential of gabapentin can in no way be compared to that of benzodiazepines.  Not even close.  I am using gabapentin as a crutch to help me get off of lorazepam.  The strategy is working.  Will I need to deal with gabapentin addiction after finishing the lorazepam taper?  Yes I will.  Will it be as difficult as stopping lorazepam?  I don't think it will be, based on what I've learned about its mechanism of action and the comments of others here who have used it as a crutch.  We shall see, and I'll keep you all posted.

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