Nerve drugs gabapentin, pregabalin linked to breathing problems, FDA warns


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  9 months ago  •  20 comments

By:   Associated Press

Nerve drugs gabapentin, pregabalin linked to breathing problems, FDA warns
The agency will add new warning labels to the drugs.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

U.S. health regulators are warning that popular nervous system medications can cause dangerous breathing problems when combined with opioids and certain other drugs.

The Food and Drug Administration   said   Thursday it would add new warnings to packaging for Neurontin, Lyrica and generic versions, which are used to treat seizures, nerve pain, restless leg syndrome and other conditions.

The new labels will warn doctors against prescribing the drugs with other medications that can slow breathing, including   opioid painkillers . The breathing risks also apply to elderly patients and those with existing lung problems.

The medications, known generically as gabapentin and pregabalin, are among the most prescribed in the U.S. Both physician prescribing and misuse have increased as doctors, hospitals and other health care providers have scaled back their use of opioids amid a national epidemic.

Poison control centers have reported increased calls involving the nerve drugs, which are often abused in combination with opioids, cocaine and marijuana. Neurontin and related generics have long been considered nonaddictive and are not tracked as closely by regulators.

While the nerve drugs are not FDA-approved for conventional muscle and   joint pain , doctors frequently prescribe them for those uses and others, including treatment of migraines and psychiatric conditions.

The FDA also said it will require drugmakers to conduct new studies of the abuse risks of the drugs, especially in combination with opioids.

The agency said it received nearly 50 reports of breathing problems linked to gabapentin and pregabalin between 2012 and 2017, including 12 deaths. While drugmakers are required to report problems to the FDA, it's voluntary for doctors and patients.


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Perrie Halpern R.A.
1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    9 months ago

As a person who takes Gabapentin for a seizure disorder for over 20 years, I find this a little disturbing and worthy of taking note of, since it is also given for chronic pain, fibromyalgia, etc, which are conditions that people might take additional pain killers.  

1.1  Enoch  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1    9 months ago

Dear Friend Perrie: It is a major problem. 

Pain hurts.

It is still there to let us know something needs attention.

It is an important bio feedback mechanism.

As such, when for good and just cause we use pharmacology to address it, there is always that law of unintended consequences.

The more major of which can make the cure worse than the original problem.

No simple answers at this point in time here.

TENS Units and other kinds of external devices work for what they are intended to do. 

They do not touch more internal problems which so far only pills and injections can handle.

The answer lies in the future.

That has to be tempered bu what is known to date.

Also by what is being uncovered in the present. 

There is a Yemenite saying in Hebrew. 

"Min Ha Avar Ateednu Yiftach".

From the past our future derives.

Some kinds of knowledge are cumulative.

Here is to the learning curve, and it promise going forward. 



Raven Wing
2  Raven Wing    9 months ago

I also take Gabapentin for relief of chronic pain in my lower back and advanced arthritis in both hips. I also take other pain medication. I have been taking Gabapentin for only a little over a year, and only take one a day at bedtime, as it makes me too drowsy to take it during the day.

I have not noticed any breathing issues since taking the Gabapentin. However, it is worth keeping the possibility in mind.

Thank you for sharing this important information.

2.1  Enoch  replied to  Raven Wing @2    9 months ago

Dear Sister Raven Wing: I wish you only the very best of things.

True for health.

True for all else.

P&AB Always and Forever.


Raven Wing
2.1.1  Raven Wing  replied to  Enoch @2.1    9 months ago

Dear Brother Enoch,

Thank you for your good wishes. If I has known I would face this kind of problem when I was younger, I would have taken better care of myself. 

But, when we are young and strong we mistakenly see ourselves as invincible. And I our bodies in turn eventually let us know we are not. jrSmiley_35_smiley_image.gif

Like the old saying...."We get too soon old and too late smart" jrSmiley_9_smiley_image.gif

2.1.2  Enoch  replied to  Raven Wing @2.1.1    9 months ago

Dear Sister Raven Wing: I am leaving my body when the time comes for research to Science Fiction.



Raven Wing
2.1.3  Raven Wing  replied to  Enoch @2.1.2    9 months ago

Dear Brother Enoch,

It would be interesting to see what kind of 'alien' they would make with mine. jrSmiley_91_smiley_image.gif

al Jizzerror
3  al Jizzerror    9 months ago

I have had two spinal surgeries.  I had suffered with nerve pain in my right leg for years (sciatica).  My neurosurgeon looked at my MRI and said my spine is a "freak show" that cannot be repaired with surgery.  He sent me to a pain clinic.

I told the doc at the pain clinic that I would not take opioids because I had gotten addicted to them in the past.  So I was prescribed Gabapentin.

Soon I was taking 1800mg of Gabapentin a day (600mg three times a day).  It didn't relieve my pain and my hands were shaking so bad I couldn't even sign my name.  Then the pain got worse.  My leg cramped up so badly that I had to stay in a chair and I didn't sleep for about a week.  Every time I got up to go to the bathroom, I had to puke when I got there.

My doctor was out of town when my leg cramped up.  His PA gave me multiple "locals" in my leg and back butt it didn't help.

So when my pain doctor got back he gave me a nerve block (a steroid shot to the spine).  It actually worked!  I had to practice walking without my signature limp.

Gabapentin never worked for me and the side effects (shaking) were intense.  I highly recommend a nerve block for anyone who has intense chronic sciatica.  

3.1  Enoch  replied to  al Jizzerror @3    9 months ago

Dear Friend al Jizzerror: Our gratitude for y our courage and caring that you share this information with us. 

Certainly is gives those afflicted with chronic pain one more thing to discuss with their prescribing Doctor.

My site private notes, and from there private email are always open to you for any pastoral care and whatever else you seek and are willing to get for me.

All communications will remain confidential.

Care is always delivered fully respecting your views, values and methods for living life.

Peace and Abundant Blessings Always.


al Jizzerror
3.1.1  al Jizzerror  replied to  Enoch @3.1    9 months ago
Certainly is gives those afflicted with chronic pain one more thing to discuss with their prescribing Doctor.

I probably should have mentioned that medical marijuana helped sooth my pain.  I published an article about how I use cannabis ( ).

Perrie Halpern R.A.
3.1.2  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  al Jizzerror @3.1.1    9 months ago

Thanks for sharing Al. I found that Neurontin is a balancing act. Too much and I get spacey and gain weight. But the other med that I take has side effects, too. So I try to deal with what I can deal with.

3.1.3  Enoch  replied to  al Jizzerror @3.1.1    9 months ago

Dear Al: thanks for the hyper link.

Going there to read it now.



4  Kathleen    9 months ago

I took it for a short time. I have a pinched nerve in my neck and the pain goes down my left arm. It really didn’t help any. I stopped taking it and took Tylenol and Ibuprofen together and that helped much better along with exercises.  I have only took an opioid twice and that was for an abscess tooth and a kidney stone attack.  I don’t care for those pills because they upset my stomach and make you feel out of it. Unfortunately you have to take something strong when you have kidney stones.  So, I guess you have to experiment and see what works best for you.

4.1  Enoch  replied to  Kathleen @4    9 months ago

Dear Friend Kathleen: I too had a kidney stone surgically removed three years ago.

The pain until they got it our was off the charts.

In some circumstances, on a short term basis, and under careful medical supervision and monitoring very strong pain medication are indicated.

As with you, I got off then the very second I was allowed.

I prefer my oatmeal in a bowl with ground cinnamon and fresh berry toppings.

That isn't how I want my brain to function.

I found that when I drink green tea, I add a tablespoon of lemon juice per day.

Drinking proper amounts of water, the lemon juice in small amounts, a low oxylate diet, and not taking calcium and vitamin C supplements unless directed to by a physician have been know to be helpful to many. 

Something to discuss with the Urologist and/or primary care physician you see.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to You and Yours.  



4.1.1  Kathleen  replied to  Enoch @4.1    9 months ago

That oatmeal sure sounds good! : )

They sure aren’t no fun. I think it was Vicodin and it did work. After I drank 2 beers and passed it I stopped taking it. 

You have a wonderful Christmas and New Years too my friend. 

Perrie Halpern R.A.
4.1.2  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Kathleen @4.1.1    9 months ago

I thought passing a kidney stone was worse than giving birth to twins, LOL. 

4.1.3  Kathleen  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.1.2    9 months ago


5  Karri    9 months ago

Gabapentin during pregnancy is also one of the risk factors for autism. So is older age of the father  and some viral infections (which are also risk factors for schizophrenia).

Gabapentin is a good drug for many people, but, as we can see, it needs to be properly prescribed, monitored and used.  

Perrie Halpern R.A.
5.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Karri @5    9 months ago
Gabapentin during pregnancy is also one of the risk factors for autism.

I had not heard that. Very interesting. I will have to look that up. 

5.1.1  Karri  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @5.1    9 months ago

I heard that from a well-known researcher on autism.  She's done a lot of work with the genetics of autism, especially.  I'll see if I can find her name.  (She is quite clear that vaccines do not cause autism, so it's not one of those "researchers".)


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