Trends in gabapentin prescribing in a commercially insured U.S. Adult population, 2009-2016

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41 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Gabapentin is prescribed for a variety of conditions and is often used off label. It is important to understand the prevalence of gabapentin prescribing and the characteristics of individuals who are prescribed gabapentin, given increasing concern regarding its potential for misuse. OBJECTIVES: To (a) examine state- and region-level prevalence and trends in gabapentin prescribing from 2009 to 2016 and (b) characterize demographic and clinical characteristics of individuals prescribed gabapentin in a nationwide population of commercially insured adults. METHODS: This retrospective, longitudinal study examined trends in gabapentin prescribing from 2009 to 2016. The study population included individuals aged 18-64 years who were enrolled in a commercial insurance plan at any point from 2009 to 2016. Individuals who were prescribed gabapentin were defined as beneficiaries with at least 1 gabapentin prescription claim in a calendar year (CY). A cross-sectional descriptive analysis was performed to examine differences in demographic and clinical characteristics of individuals prescribed or not prescribed gabapentin in CY 2016. RESULTS: The prevalence of gabapentin prescribing nearly doubled from 2009 to 2016. During this time, gabapentin prescribing increased in every state (range: 44%-179%). State-specific prevalence rates in 2016 varied from 12.7 to 43.9 per 1,000 beneficiaries. Overall, 2.7% of beneficiaries filled ≥1 gabapentin prescription in 2016. Individuals prescribed gabapentin were more likely to fill opioid prescriptions (60.8% vs. 16.5%, P<0.01); reside in the South (53.7% vs. 47%, P<0.01); be female (62.5% vs. 52.3%, P<0.01); and be aged 55-64 years (41.7% vs. 21.2%, P<0.01) compared with the comparator. Individuals who were prescribed gabapentin also had significantly higher rates of seizure disorders, neuropathic pain, mental health disorders, substance use disorders, and diabetes. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of gabapentin prescribing among a U.S. privately insured population has increased steadily in recent years. Additional research should examine coprescribing of gabapentin in the context of the opioid epidemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-252
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Health Policy

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