Trends in Pregabalin Use and Prescribing Patterns in the Adult Population: A 10-Year Pharmacoepidemiologic Study

Nofar Benassayag Kaduri*, Reuven Dressler, Wiessam Abu Ahmad, Victoria Rotshild

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objective: Pregabalin is steadily gaining popularity worldwide, with epidemiological studies indicating an increase in labeled, off-labeled, and recreational uses. In Israel, pregabalin prescriptions are not regulated by the controlled substances legislations, prompting a need to examine its usage trends for potential policy adjustments. The objective of this study was to assess trends in pregabalin prescribing during a 10-year period, to characterize demographic and clinical characteristics of individuals prescribed pregabalin, and to identify risk factors associated with high-intensity pregabalin use. Methods: This retrospective, longitudinal study examined trends in pregabalin prescribing from 2010 to 2019 based on data extracted from the Clalit Health Services (CHS) electronic database. Annual pregabalin prescribing rate was calculated individually for each reporting year. A univariable analysis was conducted to compare the demographic and clinical characteristics of pregabalin users in 2019 with those in 2010. Multivariable regression analysis was performed to assess dose-related patterns by specific demographic and clinical characteristics. Results: Pregabalin prescription rate more than doubled over 10 years [odds ratio (OR) 2.3, p = 0.001], reaching 7.2 [95% confidence interval (CI) 7.18–7.28] prescriptions per 100 CHS members in 2019. The highest prescription rates were observed among the elderly population (13.2 and 24.1 prescriptions per 100 CHS members for those aged 55–74 and over 75 years old, respectively). Same-year administration of pregabalin with opioids, benzodiazepines, and Z-drugs was common; however, the percentage of patients using these drugs together declined in 2019 compared with 2010 (p < 0.001). Males, patients with low socioeconomic status, patients aged 35–54 years, and those who consumed opioids, benzodiazepines, and Z-drugs received higher pregabalin doses. Conclusion: Pregabalin use has increased significantly in the Israeli adult-based CHS population, consistent with worldwide data. A growing use over time may indicate overprescription. More studies are needed on misuse patterns to identify populations most susceptible to high-dose and high-intensity pregabalin use.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalCNS Drugs
Early online date25 Jan 2024
StatePublished - Feb 2024

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