Clinical Pharmacology & Biopharmaceutics
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Pregabalin is a prescription drug approved for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder; partial epilepsy; peripheral and
central neuropathic pain; and has been recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of fibromyalgia. It has also been
studied in clinical trials for its potential as a replacement therapy for alcohol and benzodiazepine addiction. Pregabalin is an
alpha-2-delta ligand, structurally related to the neurotransmitter GABA. Similar to other compounds modulating GABA-ergic
neurotransmission (e.g. benzodiazepines), there is some concern about its potential to cause addiction. However, the results of
premarketing trials have been conflicting in this respect and thus pregabalin has been classified as a Schedule V drug by the US
Drug Enforcement Administration, indicating that it has low abuse potential. Following the rapidly increasing use of pregabalin,
data signaling its abuse liability have been published recently. Currently, these data are limited to two cross-over randomized
control trials, one database analysis, one analysis of anecdotal online reports and a few case reports. Aim of the presentation is to
highlight the potential for abuse of pregabalin, especially in patients with a history of substance-seeking behavior. Considering that
the drug has recently been proposed as a treatment for substance misuse, namely for both alcohol and benzodiazepine-dependent
individuals, a better clarification of its abuse potential is essential in order to characterize its extent and nature.
Georgios Papazisis is 39 years old and has completed his Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology at the age of 31 years from Medical School, Aristotle University
of Thessaloniki, Greece. He is a Medical Doctor specialized in Psychiatry. He holds a Lecturer position in Pharmacology/Clinical Pharmacology in the
Department of Pharmacology, Medical School of Thessaloniki having educational and research activities in the field of Neuropsychopharmacology.
He has published 24 papers in PubMed Journals and is serving as a reviewer in 9 journals. He is the treasurer of the Greek Pharmacological Society
and the Secretary of the Greek Society of Evidence Based Medicine.
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