Gabapentinoids — a class of therapies sometimes used off-label to help control pain in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) — can increase the risk of serious breathing problems, particularly for those who have risk factors like poorer lung function or use opioid pain medicines, according to a warning issued by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
While not FDA-approved to treat MS itself, these medications are approved for a number of other conditions, like epilepsy and restless leg syndrome. Gabapentinoids are used to help alleviate seizures and pain resulting from damage to nerves in people with these conditions. For MS patients, gabapentinoids are prescribed to control pain.
“Our evaluation shows that the use of these medicines … has been growing for prescribed medical use, as well as misuse and abuse,” the FDA warning states.
In particular, the warning focuses on the use of gabapentinoids in combination with medications that decrease the activity of the central nervous system, which includes opioids as well as some antihistamine, anti-anxiety, and antidepressive medications.
The use of such combinations can increase the risk of respiratory depression (hypoventilation), a condition in which breathing is slow and inefficient at delivering enough oxygen to the body.
According to the FDA, this conclusion was reached by reviewing “several sources of data including case reports submitted to FDA or published in the medical literature, observational studies, human trials, and animal studies.”
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?