Trends in new prescription of gabapentinoids and of coprescription with opioids in the 4 nations of the UK, 1993-2017.Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2021 08; 87(8):3349-3353.BJ
We explored potential differences in time trends of gabapentinoid prescription and of opioid coprescription between 1993 and 2017 in the 4 UK nations using the Clinical Practice Research Datalink, a UK primary care database. There were distinct trends in annual rates of new gabapentin and pregabalin prescriptions in Northern Ireland. The rate of new gabapentin prescriptions rapidly increased after 2010 and exceeded that of the other nations by 2017 (rate of 836 [95% confidence interval: 787-887] per 100 000 person-years). Additionally, the rate of new pregabalin prescriptions was higher during the entire study period, reaching a peak of 1139 (95% confidence interval: 1088-1193) per 100 000 person-years in 2010, 5-fold higher than the other nations. Findings in Northern Ireland may be partly attributable to the high burden of anxiety disorders, an indication for pregabalin. Further exploration of reasons for discrepancies in gabapentinoid prescribing between UK nations is warranted.