Neurontin -- also known as Gabapentin -- is an anticonvulsant medication that is also used to treat nerve pain. The FDA-approved pill is a non-narcotic medication thought by experts to have a low abuse profile.
However, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy is now tracking the drug. According to its Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System, data found that Gabapentin was the no. 1 drug dispensed in the state in December 2016.
December 2016 is when the pharmacy board started tracking the drug.
"I've never had anyone complain that I took them off of Gabapentin," said Dr. Richard Rosenquist, Chairman of Pain Management Dept at Cleveland Clinic. "It's not like opioid."
However, according to the Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network, those taking part in a focus group reported illicit use of the drug. And participants in the group, including those in Cleveland, indicated that the street availability of the drug has increased during the past six months.
In December 2016, 29,663,894 doses of the drug was dispensed, making it the number one drug dispensed in the state. That trend continued for the first six months of 2017.
OARRS also found that Gabapentin was dispensed at a greater rate than any controlled substance. In December 2016, it was dispensed at a 30% higher rate than Oxycodone.