The Combination of Gabapentin with Opioids Is Bad News for Patients

January 15, 2020 |  Gabapentin with Opioids Is Bad News for Patients

By, Lauraine Kanders, ANP, ACNP-BC

New research has been published that should cause every epilepsy patient to pause and consider their current medication regimen with their doctor. The US Food and Drug Administration is requiring prescription labels to note the risk of serious breathing problems with are used in conjunction with opioids or by certain patients.

What Patients Need to Know

When seniors, people with underlying respiratory conditions or those with epilepsy take gabapentinoids in combination with prescription opioid painkillers, there can be severe breathing difficulties that can lead to death. Numerous case reports, observational studies, animal studies and human studies informed this change in recommendations.

What gabapentinoids will be receiving these new labels?

  • Generic gabapentin
  • Neurontin
  • Gralise
  • Gabapentin enacarbil
  • Horizant
  • Pregabalin
  • Lyrica
  • Lyrica CR

What conditions do these drugs help with the treatment of?

  • Epilepsy
  • Postherpetic neuralgia
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Insomnia
  • Migraines
  • Panic disorder
  • Social phobias
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Withdrawal from alcohol

Data from 2016 shows that 14-19% of all patient encounters with doctors that involved gabapentinoids also included opioids, which shows how many patients might be impacted by these new guidelines. This also means that these patients will need new pain-relieving alternatives. Medical marijuana is a proven powerful pain-reliever that is completely safe for use with gabapentinoids.

Helping Patients on Gabapentinoids Find New Opioid Alternatives

You do not deserve to live a life filled with pain. Instead, you deserve a healthcare professional who listens to your concerns and works to find a solution. One of our recent patients, Jennifer (name changed for patient privacy) remarked on how “simple” and “extremely comfortable” her visit was. “I was able to talk about my current problems so easily to her without any judgment. I strongly recommend her services.” After the visit, “any time [she] had an issue [Lauraine Kanders] would answer immediately to help [her] out.” Lauraine Kanders, ANP, ACNP-BC is always proud to help patients in pain through her work, and patients like Jennifer are a prime example of how a skilled healthcare professional can transform a life of pain into a life of comfort.

Ensure Your Medications Work Together Harmoniously with Help from Lauraine Kanders, ANP, ACNP-BC

To explore pain reliever alternatives that don’t interact poorly with your other medications or to schedule an appointment, visit our website or call us at (516) 570-7565. Lauraine Kanders offers online certification via telemedicine to patients coping with PTSD, neuropathy, epilepsy, seizures and other conditions that utilize gabapentinoids. Live your best pain-free life with help from Lauraine Kanders.