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Gabapentinoid Prescribing for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Billig JI, Gunaseelan V, Yazdanfar M, Sears ED, Iwashyna TJ, Chang T, Waljee JF. Gabapentinoid Prescribing for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Hand (New York, N.Y.). 2022 Feb 27; 15589447211063544.

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Gabapentinoids, including gabapentin and pregabalin, are commonly prescribed for neuropathic pain, but robust evidence recommends against using gabapentinoids for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). We aimed to quantify national prescribing patterns of gabapentinoids for CTS. METHODS: We performed a retrospective population-based cohort study using claims data of gabapentinoid-naïve patients with a new diagnosis of CTS (2009-2016). Our primary outcome was a new gabapentinoid fill for CTS. We assessed temporal trends and characteristics associated with a gabapentinoid fill. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between patient-level factors and a new gabapentinoid fill for CTS. RESULTS: Of the 248 324 previously gabapentinoid-naïve patients with CTS, 9589 patients (4%) filled a gabapentinoid prescription. Sixty-one percent were prescribed by primary care providers or medical subspecialists. Patients with a history of neck pain (odds ratio [OR]: 1.31, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.25-1.38), back pain (OR: 1.25, 95% CI, 1.20-1.31), arthritis (OR: 1.25, 95% CI, 1.18-1.31), and other pain conditions (OR: 1.26, 95% CI, 1.20-1.31) were associated with an increased odds of a new gabapentinoid fill. In addition, patients with a history of alcohol or substance use disorder were significantly associated with a new gabapentinoid prescription fill (OR: 1.33, 95% CI, 1.20-1.47). CONCLUSIONS: Despite evidence recommending against the use of gabapentinoids for CTS, gabapentinoids were frequently initiated among those with higher risk for misuse, including substance use disorders. Given the effectiveness of bracing or surgery for CTS and the risks associated with gabapentinoids, efforts aimed at disseminating evidence-based treatment for CTS are critical to minimize the harms of gabapentinoid misuse.





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