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Doctors warned about prescribing anti-epileptic drug as misuse cases increase tenfold

The misuse of an anti-epileptic drugs has health experts concerned, as cases of misuse have dramatically increased over five years.

As reported in The Age, since being subsidised by the PBS in 2013 the drug pregabalin, sold by Pfizer as Lyrica, has seen ambulance calls for misuse of the drug increase tenfold.

Analysis by the Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre noted 1200 cases of misuse over five years.

Professor of clinical pharmacology at the University of Sydney, Nicholas Buckley, told Ross and John the drug is also used for anxiety and nerve pain.

“It’s approved for use for so called neuropathic pain,” Professor Buckley said.

“There’s a lot of people who are misusing it, up to a packet a day, who are taking it just to get high.”

“How many in a packet?” Ross asked.

“Twenty-eight,” Professor Buckley replied.

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