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Dispensing Patterns of Drugs used for neuropathic pain in Lebanon: An observational study from community pharmacies
  • Bahia Chahine
Bahia Chahine

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Background: Neuropathic pain is a common chronic ailment that can be challenging to treat, because of the heterogeneity of its etiologies, symptoms, and underlying mechanisms. Drugs to treat neuropathic pain are highly prescribed; however, limited data exist on the rates and patterns of dispensing in Lebanon. Aim: This study was conducted to assess the patterns of dispensing neuropathic pain drugs in the Lebanese adult population. Methods: An observational study was conducted at 30 community pharmacies over a period of 10 months. Adults presenting to the community pharmacy diagnosed with a neuropathic pain disorder, and taking at least one pain medication were interviewed using a questionnaire that included socio-demographic characteristics of patients, comorbidities, neuropathic pain disorder type, physicians’ specialty, class, and number of medications prescribed. Results: A total of 360 patients diagnosed with painful neuropathy were enrolled in our study. The mean patients’ age was 50.2 years. Guideline-recommended first-line agents (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, and gabapentinoids) were prescribed to 278 patients (77.2%) with pregabalin being the most used drug (60.5%), nonsteroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs (46.8%), opioids (15.8%), and topical agents (5.5%). Combination treatment for neuropathic pain was prescribed to 78.3% of patients. Conclusion: Our study revealed that the Lebanese community is following international guidelines in treating neuropathic pain disorders.