If you are up to date with recent medical news, you would know that the USA is fighting arguably the worst opioid crisis ever known to Americans. Death rates have climbed to thousands with the numbers expected to rise in the future. Given the precarious nature of the problem, scientists are looking out for possible explanations for the fatalities. One such theory put forward argues that Gabapentin mixed with opioid medication can result in severe health complication.
A doctor would normally prescribe Gabapentin during instances of any neuropathic emergency. It first became legal in the USA in the early 1990s. Ever since its FDA approval, the drug was considered safe for individuals. Taken alone was believed to pose no risk whatsoever and the chances of overdose were also minimal.
However, new research findings have now argued that Gabapentin mixed with opioid medication can result in fatality.
Gabapentin mixed with Opioid Medication: What to keep in mind?
The news became public after several deaths were reported in the state of Kentucky. After medical examination, doctors found out that Gabapentin mixed with opioid had been the cause of the fatality. In fact, statistically speaking, one out of every three overdose death was the result of the mixture of the two drugs.
This has made medical scientists rather apprehensive about the situation who now consider the situation as alarming.
Although, still not denying that Gabapentin alone can not lead to overdose but the mixture with other medication is detrimental. Most individuals who unfortunately became the victims were looking to induce a stronger high. That’s because Gabapentin specifically targets the Central Nervous System of the person.
A low-level of euphoria is a common side effect, but a combination with opioid medication leads to a much stronger high. There were several documented cases of Gabapentin’s effect doubled with that of Fentanyl. But not many were aware of how serious the situation could become for them.
Gabapentin’s repute over the years
Consider the list of top medicines prescribed in the USA, and you will find Gabapentin making it to the list. The drug is widely and very commonly recommended to patients who deal with issues such as neuropathic pain. There are currently 65 million Americans users of Gabapentin.
But with the usage increasing with time, little attention is geared towards the dark side of the drug. The external consequences often turn deaf ears to the patient as well as doctor, who continue to use and prescribe the drug.
As the new research has established that Gabapentin mixed with opioid medications can be severely harmful, its time for a serious re-evaluation of decisions taken by doctors.
Just about 2016, a private medical company, the first introducer of the drug had to face a lawsuit worth $410 million. The company had been advertising the potential off the label treatment, not proved by scientific evidence.
Before the whole lawsuit conundrum, Gabapentin was also prescribed for patients with mental illnesses. Patients with bipolar disorder, anxiety and even migraine were commonly using the drug.
Having argued all of that, it’s about time before health authorities take the new claims about Gabapentin seriously. Opioid crisis needs to end before the death rates accelerate further.