Increasing gabapentinoid use has raised concerns of misuse and abuse in the United States (US). Little is known about the characteristics of gabapentinoid use in general clinical practice over time. This cross-sectional study used data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. We examined the trends of patient and prescriber characteristics and the diagnoses associated with US ambulatory care visits involving gabapentinoids for adult visits from 2003 to 2016. Using multivariable logistic regression, we estimated the adjusted proportion of gabapentinoid-involved visits among all visits and tested for trend significance. Among the weighted estimate of 260.1 million gabapentinoid-involved visits (aged 18–64 years: 61.8%; female: 61.9%; white: 85.5%), the adjusted annual proportion of gabapentinoid-involved visits nearly quadrupled from 2003 to 2016 (9.1 to 34.9 per 1000 visits; Ptrend < 0.0001), driven mainly by gabapentin. Nearly half had concurrent use with opioids (32.9%) or benzodiazepines (15.3%). Primary care physicians (45.8%), neurologists (8.2%), surgeons (6.2%), and psychiatrists (4.8%) prescribed two-thirds of the gabapentinoids. Most (96.6%) of the gabapentinoid visits did not have an approved indication for gabapentinoids among the first three diagnoses. Among US ambulatory care visits from 2003 to 2016, gabapentinoid use increased substantially, commonly prescribed by primary care physicians.
- Ambulatory care visits
- Approved indication
- Off-label use
- Patient and prescriber characteristics
ASJC Scopus subject areas