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Pregabalin misuse: the next wave of prescription medication problems

Bridin Murnion and Katherine M Conigrave
Med J Aust 2019; 210 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.12056
Published online: 4 February 2019

Overseas experience need not portend the future of prescription drug misuse in Australia

Dispensing data indicate that pregabalin prescribing in Australia is rising rapidly, and the numbers of self‐poisonings and deaths are also increasing.1 This mirrors the European and North American experience of escalating misuse and harms.2,3 Although Australian guidelines recommend it only as second line treatment for neuropathic pain,4 pregabalin is now the seventh most expensive drug in terms of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) expenditure.5

  • Bridin Murnion1,2
  • Katherine M Conigrave2,3

  • 1 Drug and Alcohol Services, Wyong Hospital, Wyong, NSW
  • 2 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  • 3 Drug Health Services, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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