Pregabalin prescribing restrictions lifted

Pregabalin can now be prescribed generically for the treatment of neuropathic pain, NHS England has advised.

GP practices have been asked to remove any prompts in their electronic prescription systems requiring GPs to prescribe the brand Lyrica for neuropathic pain. | iSTOCK
GP practices have been asked to remove any prompts in their electronic prescription systems requiring GPs to prescribe the brand Lyrica for neuropathic pain. | iSTOCK

Healthcare professionals can now prescribe pregabalin generically for any licensed indication, following the end of patent protection for the branded form, Lyrica, in the treatment of neuropathic pain. 

NHS England has asked GP practices to act 'in accordance with normal practice' when dispensing pregabalin 'for the treatment of any condition'.

The new instruction reverses a 2015 directive requiring GPs to only prescribe Lyrica for patients with neuropathic pain.

Prescribing information for the pregabalin products Alzain and Lecaent has been updated to reflect the new licensed indication.

Prescribers should continue to consider prescribing pregabalin by brand name for epilepsy, in line with MHRA guidance, given the potential for differences in bioavailability between brands.

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