In North Carolina, a new state law has added the anticonvulsant and nerve pain medication gabapentin to the list of drugs that are tracked through the state's prescription drug management system, the NC Controlled Substances Reporting System.
Gabapentin is not a controlled substance.
Session Law 2023-65 Part XI Section 11.1 G.S. 90-113.73(b) adds it to the list of medications recorded in the NC CRS because it may cause a level of sedation in patients that puts them at risk of overdose when taken with opioids. The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has created a collection of FAQs to help clinicians understand the risk of co-prescribing gabapentin with opioids.
The North Carolina Medical Board is in no way discouraging the use of gabapentin. The Board is encouraging thoughtful consideration of dosing for both gabapentin and opioids in patients who have diagnoses that place them at risk for excessive sedation and respiratory depression.
Beginning March 1, outpatient pharmacies will begin reporting dispensed gabapentin prescriptions to NC CSRS, in accordance with the new law. The system currently logs all prescriptions for controlled substances dispensed in outpatient pharmacies across the state. Checking a patient's prescription history with NC CSRS makes it possible to avoid harmful drug interactions, as well as spot potentially inappropriate controlled substances use.
State law requires medical professionals to check a patient's 12-month prescription history with NC CSRS before writing an initial prescription for any Schedule II or Schedule III controlled substance. If you as a prescriber are not yet registered to use NC CSRS, sign up now.
Source: North Carolina Medical Board https://www.ncmedboard.org/resources-information/professional-resources/publications/forum-newsletter/notice/gabapentin-added-to-ncs-pdmp