AIM In Europe, pregabalin is approved for treatment of neuropathic pain, general anxiety disorder (GAD) and as adjunctive therapy for epilepsy. The purpose of this study was to assess utilisation of pregabalin in the UK, including patients with a recorded history of substance abuse, from a large general practice database. METHODS This observational drug utilisation study (DUS) analysed pregabalin prescription data from the UK Health Improvement Network primary care database between September 2004 and July 2009. Patient demographics, diagnoses (by READ codes) and pregabalin dosing data were collected. Diagnosis codes were used as proxy for approved indication for pregabalin. RESULT A cohort of 18,951 patients was prescribed pregabalin; dosing information was available for 13,480 (71.1%). Median age of patients was 58 years, and majority were female (60.1%). Median (interquartile range) prescribed average daily dose (ADD) of pregabalin for all patients was 150.0 (162.5) mg/day; this was highest in patients with epilepsy (191.9 mg/day), followed by neuropathic pain (158.0 mg/day) and GAD (150.0 mg/day). Only 1.0% (136/13,480) of patients were prescribed an ADD of pregabalin over the maximum approved dose of 600 mg/day. Of these, 18.4% (25/136) of patients had a history of substance abuse compared with 14.0% (1884/13,480) in the full population. CONCLUSION Data from this DUS indicated that the majority of pregabalin prescribing in the UK was consistent with product labelling. The proportion of patients with prescribed ADD > 600 mg/day was small and with a similar proportion with a history of substance abuse as in the full population.