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5/5/2018 - Drug epidemic ensnares 25-year-old pill for nerve pain - Click here to print this information

WASHINGTON (AP) -
State and federal health officials are grappling with a new drug of abuse.

It's a 25-year-old generic pill long seen as a low risk way to treat seizures, nerve pain and other ailments.

The drug called gabapentin (GA-ba-PEN-tin) has grown into one of the most prescribed medications in the U.S.

Researchers attribute the trend to recent restrictions on opioid painkillers, which are also driving changes in the drugs that Americans abuse

The Food and Drug Administration is now studying patterns of prescribing and illicit use of gabapentin and will soon share its findings.

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