Number of Cancer Patients Using Gabapentinoids Up Since 2005
Authors say more long-term studies of risks, efficacy of gabapentinoids needed
TUESDAY, Nov. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Between 2005 and 2015, there was a more than twofold increase in the percentage of adults with cancer using gabapentinoids, according to a study published online Oct. 25 in Supportive Care in Cancer.
Alex J. Fauer, R.N., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues used data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to examine trends in gabapentinoid use among U.S. adults with cancer from 2005 to 2015.
The researchers found that the adjusted percentage of gabapentinoid users in 2015 was 5.6 percent, 2.39 times greater than the percentage in 2005, translating to approximately 3.52 million prescriptions in 2015. Adults aged 18 to 44 years were the largest age group getting these prescriptions.
"This may indicate doctors are increasingly prescribing gabapentinoids as an alternative to opioids for treating cancer pain in younger adult patients," Fauer said in a statement. "It may additionally point to a growing incidence of nerve pain caused by chemotherapy in cancer survivors."