Ninety-nine percent of injured workers prescribed a standard epilepsy medication did not have a documented diagnosis for one of the approved conditions under the Food and Drug Administration, according to a study released Tuesday that linked the use of such drugs as an alternative to opioids in work compensation .
Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Workers & # 39; Compensation Research Institute studied prescription trends in 28 states and noted a growing number of workers receiving gabapentinoids — an umbrella classification for certain neurological drugs — for managing pain resulting from work-related injuries and increased concerns about security and abuse.
The study also showed that when workers were prescribed medication, gabapentinoids were dispensed more often in some states than others. New Jersey receives gabapentinoids.
Gabapentinoids were almost always dispensed for off-label use in the workers' compensation system, between 96% and 99% of injured workers lacked a documented diagnosis for one of the FDA-approved conditions for such drugs. [1
Workers with gabapentinoids often received opioids at the same time, which increases the risk of respiratory depression leading to overdose death. Nearly half of gabapentinoid workers were given opioid prescriptions in Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana and Texas at the same time, while concomitant use rates were 20% or lower in California and Nevada, according to WCRI.