Pregabalin is an anti-epileptic drug that is primarily used to treat epilepsy, chronic pain and anxiety. Commonly branded under the name Lyrica, Pregabalin is one of the most commonly misused prescription drugs across the globe, with side effects including euphoria and hallucinations.
In 2019, Pregabalin was the most frequent drug appearing on death certificates in Northern Ireland. This, coupled with the risks of dependence, misuse and diversion, was cited by the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Board as influencing their decision to remove Pregabalin from the Northern Ireland Formulary for neuropathic pain in July 2021. Prior to this, according to the NI Audit Office, Northern Ireland prescribed more Pregabalin per capita than anywhere else in the United Kingdom.
In the United Kingdom, Pregabalin is categorized as a Class C Drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act, meaning it is illegal to possess the substance without a prescription or to sell or supply it to others. Despite this, Pregabalin is frequently purchased through the Internet, often to be mixed with other drugs, such as heroin, to enhance its effect.
Using our patented Biochip Array Technology, Randox Toxicology offers a number of highly sensitive screening options to detect Pregabalin in either urine or blood.