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Pregabalin abuse as a sleep medication: case reports

Sleep Medicine and Disorders: International Journal
Basavaraja Papanna,1 Carlo Lazzari,2 Kapil Kulkarni,1 Sivasankar Perumal1

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Background: Pregabalin is well known as an anxiolytic, analgesic and antiepileptic medication. It was alarming for mental health service when it started being used as addictive agent by patients for its hypnotic properties.
Methods: We report two cases from Community Mental Health Team who started abusing their prescribed Pregabalin. They were closely observed in community and on inpatient unit for their pattern and extent of drug abuse and dependence criteria.
Results: Both the patients developed dependence syndrome indicated by tolerance, craving and presented with withdrawal symptoms on stopping Pregabalin. They needed replacement medication to manage withdrawal symptoms.
Conclusion: Pregabalin has strong addictive potential and mostly abused by people for its hypnotic or sleep-inducing properties. The development of dependence and nature of withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person; however, Benzodiazepines with long half-life have good potential to manage Pregabalin withdrawal symptoms.


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