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Gabapentinoids linked to overdoses and suicide

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

gabapentinoids linked to overdoses and suicide

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  • Gabapentin and pregabalin are used for the treatment of epilepsy and neuropathic pain disorders. Pregabalin, such as Lyrica, is also prescribed for anxiety in Europe and fibromyalgia in the U.S.
  • Recent research links gabapentinoids with a 26% increased risk for suicidal behavior and death from suicide; 24% increased risk for unintentional overdose; 22% increased risk for head or body injury due to an accident; 13% increased risk for traffic violations or accidents and 4% increased risk for violent crime offenses
  • Of the two gabapentinoids, pregabalin — which is the newer of the two — was clearly the worst, accounting for most of these adverse effects, while gabapentin — an older drug — showed “no statistically significant hazards”
  • Research published in 2017 demonstrated that concomitant use of gabapentin and opioids raised the risk of death by 60% over and beyond the risk associated with either drug by itself
  • The suicide rate in the U.S. is now at a 20-year high, having risen 30% between 2000 and 2016 across all age groups. Among Native Americans and Alaska Natives the suicide rate between 1999 and 2017 rose 139% among women and 71% among men

Suicide rates are at an all-time high since World War II, and there are several different reasons for this. One of the factors that is often ignored is the influence many medications have on your mental stability. Antidepressants are perhaps the most well-known in this regard, but violent behavior and suicide are side effects of other medications as well.

Most recently, Swedish researchers have linked gabapentinoids — a nonopioid type of analgesic — to “suicidal behavior, unintentional overdoses, injuries, road traffic accidents and violent crime.”


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