Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: Both pregabalin and gabapentin are included in the top 100 products reimbursed by the Primary Care Reimbursement Service in Ireland. The government’s Medicines Management Programme have highlighted the need for vigilance when prescribing and dispensing pregabalin/gabapentin as both drugs have a risk of addiction and a potential for misuse. Pregabalin and gabapentin are frequently supplied for Mater Misericordiae University Hospital (MMUH) in-patients. The aim of this study was to assess the current practice of prescribing gabapentin/pregabalin at the MMUH and to determine if intervention is required to ensure their appropriate use.
Methods: A one day hospital-wide audit of pregabalin and gabapentin was conducted. The audit took place over 5 days (August 2018). Clinical Pharmacists gathered information on the dose prescribed, indication and documented history of epilepsy and if treatment was started prior to admission.
Results: Approximately 588 in-patient drug charts were reviewed. 53 patients were prescribed pregabalin, one of whom had a history of epilepsy. 83% of pregabalin prescriptions were initiated before hospital admission. Pregabalin 75mg twice daily (n=8) was the most commonly prescribed dose.
45 patients were prescribed gabapentin during the audit. Five patients had a history of epilepsy. 47% of these patients were prescribed gabapentin before hospital admission. Gabapentin 300mg three times daily (n=12) was the most commonly prescribed dose.
Conclusion: This study found a significant level of in-patient pregabalin/gabapentin use. The high rate of gabapentin initiation at the MMUH is in accordance with the hospital post-operative pain guidelines. In contrast, most patients commenced Pregabalin prior to hospital admission. This audit provides baseline data for which future audits can be compared against.
Results were disseminated to the Drug and Therapeutics Committee and will be discussed with the pain management team to explore potential interventions for appropriate use. Future studies to address if gabapentin prescriptions are appropriately continued on discharge from the MMUH are required.