Angie Szumlinski News

Many people call it the miracle drug, commonly prescribed to the elderly for diabetic neuropathy, but hold on! A recent study revealed that this medication can also affect the cardiovascular system. Gabapentin is widely used, and the common side effects seem pretty benign, somnolence and dizziness, but what about cardiac side effects?

One observational study showed that gabapentin can be associated with increased risk of atrial fibrillation, the most commonly sustained cardiac arrhythmia. Although more common in younger adults, it could also affect seniors! How many of your residents have orders for gabapentin and have cardiac conditions? Think about it, the resident on coumadin for A-Fib with orders for gabapentin. Hmmm….

Maybe it is time to do a little investigating, as it is important to identify unintended adverse effects, including A-Fib. Gather your team including your pharmacist and medical director. Share this information and do a risk/benefit analysis for each resident currently receiving gabapentin. What could it hurt? Remember, first do no harm! Stay well and stay informed!