University of South Carolina

Doctors may be over-prescribing seizure drugs to treat pain

Doctors may be over-prescribing seizure drugs to treat pain

Physicians might be relying too heavily on "off-label" use of epilepsy drugs as an alternative to prescribing narcotic painkillers, two experts in internal medicine contend.

Doctors are prescribing the anti-seizure drugs gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica) to treat pain more frequently, partly in response to the opioid epidemic in the United States, said Dr. Allan Brett. He's a professor of clinical internal medicine with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia.

However, the drugs might not be doing any good for many people suffering from chronic pain, Brett said.

That's because the medications are only FDA-approved to treat...

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