(From NC Medical Board) —  Per a new state law, the anticonvulsant and nerve pain medication gabapentin will soon be added to the list of drugs tracked through the state’s prescription drug management program (PDMP), the NC Controlled Substances Reporting System (NC CSRS).

While gabapentin remains a non-controlled substance, Session Law 2023-65 Part XI Section 11.1 G.S. 90-113.73(b) adds it to the medications recorded in NC CSRS because it may cause a level of sedation in patients that puts them at increased risk of overdose when taken with opioids. The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has created a collection of FAQs to help clinicians understand the risks associated with co-prescribing gabapentin with opioids. Read the FAQs

In sharing this information, NCMB is in no way discouraging the use of gabapentin. The Board is encouraging, thoughtful consideration of dosing for both gabapentin and opioids in patients who have diagnoses that place them at risk for excessive sedation and respiratory depression.

Beginning March 1, outpatient pharmacies will begin reporting dispensed gabapentin prescriptions to NC CSRS, in accordance with the new law. The system currently logs all prescriptions for controlled substances dispensed in outpatient pharmacies across the state. Checking a patient’s prescription history with NC CSRS makes it possible to avoid harmful drug interactions, as well as spot potentially inappropriate controlled substances use.

State law requires medical professionals to check a patient’s 12-month prescription history with NC CSRS before writing an initial prescription for any Schedule II or Schedule III controlled substance. If you are not yet registered to use NC CSRS, sign up to access the system now. Learn more about North Carolina’s “mandatory use” law. [source]