September 2020: As part of a surveillance review on neuropathic pain, the available evidence on treating sciatica was reviewed. As the NICE guideline on low back pain and sciatica already covered this topic area, it was agreed that the revised advice would be best placed in that guideline (see the section on pharmacological management of sciatica). Some research recommendations that included sciatica have also been amended in the full version of this guideline.
July 2019: Because of a risk of abuse and dependence, pregabalin and gabapentin are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 as class C substances and scheduled under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 as schedule 3 (as of 1 April 2019). Notes in this guideline have been updated to reflect this change.
April 2018: Cautions in the guideline have been added to link to the MHRA's latest advice and resources on sodium valproate. Medicines containing valproate taken in pregnancy can cause malformations in 11% of babies and developmental disorders in 30–40% of children after birth. Valproate treatment must not be used in girls and women including in young girls below the age of puberty, unless alternative treatments are not suitable and unless the terms of the European Medicines Agency pregnancy prevention programme are met. This programme includes: assessment of patients for the potential of becoming pregnant; pregnancy tests; counselling patients about the risks of valproate treatment; explaining the need for effective contraception throughout treatment; regular (at least annual) reviews of treatment by a specialist, and completion of a risk acknowledgement form. In pregnancy, valproate is contraindicated and an alternative treatment should be decided on, with appropriate specialist consultation. See the MHRA toolkit to ensure female patients are better informed about the risks of taking valproate during pregnancy.
November 2013: This guideline updated NICE guideline CG96 (published March 2010) and replaced it.
April 2022: We added a link to NICE's guideline on medicines associated with dependence or withdrawal symptoms in the sections on key principles of care and treatment.
May 2021: We linked to the updated MHRA safety advice on antiepileptic drugs in pregnancy in recommendation 1.1.13.
February 2017: We amended the additional information for recommendation 1.1.8 to clarify use of generic pregabalin and off-label status.