Deprescribing interventions for gabapentinoids in adults: A scoping review

Publication Name

British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology


The emerging issue of rising gabapentinoid misuse is being recognized alongside the lack of current evidence supporting the safe and effective deprescribing of gabapentinoids. This scoping review aimed to assess the extent and nature of gabapentinoid deprescribing interventions in adults, either in reducing dosages, or prescribing of, gabapentinoids. Electronic databases were searched on 23 February 2022 without restrictions. Eligible studies included randomized, non-randomized and observational studies that assessed an intervention aimed at reducing/ceasing the prescription/use of a gabapentinoid in adults for any indication in a clinical setting. The research outcomes investigated the type of intervention, prescribing rates, cessations, patient outcomes and adverse events. Extracted outcome data were categorized as either short (≤3 months), intermediate (>3 but <12 months) or long (≥12 months) term. A narrative synthesis was conducted. The four included studies were conducted in primary and acute care settings. Interventions were of dose-reducing protocols, education and/or pharmacological-based approaches. In the randomized trials, gabapentinoid use could be ceased in at least one third of participants. In the two observational trials, gabapentinoid prescribing rates decreased by 9%. Serious adverse events and adverse events specifically related to gabapentinoids were reported in one trial. No study included patient-focused psychological interventions in the deprescribing process, nor provided any long-term follow-up. This review highlights the lack of existing evidence in this area. Due to limited available data, our review was unable to make any firm judgements on the most effective gabapentinoid deprescribing interventions in adults, highlighting the need for more research in this area.

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