QuarterWatch® Reports

Focus on Three Psychoactive Drugs

This issue of QuarterWatch™ focuses on abuse, off-label use, and untested combination therapy with two drugs that provide analog or synthetic versions of the most common neurotransmitter in the brain, GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid. They are gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica). Separately, we examine updated U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviews of pimavanserin (Nuplazid), a new kind of antipsychotic approved to treat Parkinson’s disease patients with psychosis. Additional data increase our concerns about both the risks and benefits of this new agent.

QuarterWatch™ is an independent publication of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP). We analyze computer excerpts from the Food and Drug Administration’s Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS). These reports (best known as MedWatch reports) are a cornerstone of the nation’s system for monitoring the safety of prescription drugs after FDA marketing approval.