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Case Reports, Apr/21: Pregabalin abuse/dependence & withdrawal using diazepam


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The full title of these UK case reports is "Pregabalin abuse and dependence during insomnia and protocol for short-term withdrawal management with diazepam: examples from case reports".






Introduction: Pregabalin (PGN) is an anxiolytic, analgesic, antiepileptic, and hypnotic medication. There are concerns about its abuse in the community for managing chronic insomnia and other risks when assumed in overdose or combination with other abuse substances. PGN is classified as a controlled medication. While its discontinuation is accompanied by rebound insomnia and other neurological symptoms, cross-tapering PGN with short-term diazepam (DZ) during inpatient admissions has shown promising results in dealing with PGN withdrawal symptoms accompanied by rebound insomnia.


Material and methods: We report three cases that began abusing their prescribed PGN. During hospital admission, our teams used a protocol for cross-tapering PGN with DZ to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Other sedative medications are suspended while alcohol is not allowed if patients are on leave from the hospital. Standardized scales for assessment were clinical global impression scale-severity (CGI-S), generalized anxiety disorder scale (GAD-7), and insomnia severity index (ISI).


Results: The cross-tapering PGN with DZ showed similar clinical outcomes with reduced withdrawal symptoms and rebound insomnia during two weeks of cross-tapering. Eventually, DZ, too, is stopped in the hospital to avoid another dependence syndrome.


Conclusion: As emerging in the current study, PGN has strong addictive effects in people who have insomnia and is mostly abused for its hypnotic or sleep-inducing properties when other medications have failed. As applied in the current study, DZ can manage PGN withdrawal symptoms with rebound insomnia while cross-tapering. DZ is then discontinued.


Full Document:



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