Close X
Get more out of
by joining the site for free
Free 17-point plan to great health
Twice weekly e-news bulletins
Access to our News, Forums and Blogs
Sign up for free and claim your
17-point plan to great health
Free 17-point plan to great health

Twice weekly e-news bulletins

Access to our News, Forums and Blogs

If you want to read our in-depth research articles or
have our amazing magazine delivered to your home
each month, then you have to pay.

Click here if you're interested
Helping you make better health choices

What Doctors Don't Tell You

In shops now or delivered to your home from only £3.50 an issue!

July 2020 (Vol. 5 Issue 5)

'New opioid' painkiller scandal looms
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

'New opioid' painkiller scandal looms image

The opioid addiction scandal may be triggering the misuse of another painkiller. Prescriptions for gabapentinoids have doubled in the last few years as the opioid epidemic has been making the headlines.

Gabapentinoids—which include gabapentin and pregabalin—are licensed as anti-seizure and nerve pain medications, but around 95 percent of prescriptions are 'off-label', meaning they are given to treat other health problems, such as migraine and fibromyalgia.

Nobody is tracking the safety of the drugs for these problems or how people are taking them, say researchers from the University of Michigan. The sudden increase in prescriptions has partly been caused by doctors prescribing them to cancer patients to help them with their pain—but patients as young as 18 have also been handed a prescription, suggesting it's being used for other conditions too.

The number of cancer patients given a prescription increased from 3.3 percent in 2005 to 8.3 percent in 2015, with the total number of prescriptions increasing from 1.2 million to 3.5 million over the 10 years.

But the drugs may not be the best solution, even for cancer patients, the researchers warn. It's not clear just how the drug works, and the potential for abuse and addiction is high. Because they are powerful drugs, they can also interact badly with other medication.


(Source: Supportive Care in Cancer, 2019; doi: 10.1007/s00520-019-05100-9)

You may also be interested in...

Support WDDTY

Help support us to hold the drugs companies, governments and the medical establishment accountable for what they do.


Latest Tweet


Since 1989, WDDTY has provided thousands of resources on how to beat asthma, arthritis, depression and many other chronic conditions..

Start by looking in our fully searchable database, active and friendly community forums and the latest health news.

Positive SSL Wildcard

Facebook Twitter

© 2010 - 2020 WDDTY Publishing Ltd.
All Rights Reserved