What is gabapentin?
Gabapentin is used in the treatment of neuropathic pain and epilepsy/seizures. It is the first-line drug for the effective treatment of neuropathic pain which is often caused due to central pain, diabetic neuropathy, and postherpetic neuralgia.
Gabapentin is sometimes given together with other drugs in order to treat partial seizures in adults and children who are above the age of 3 years. It is also known as an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug.
What is gabapentin used for?
Gabapentin oral capsule works effectively in treating the following conditions:
Gabapentin helps in treating partial (focal) seizures. The doctors recommend this drug together with other seizure medicines in adults and in children above the age of 3 years who are suffering from epilepsy.
- Postherpetic neuralgia
It is a painful rash that mainly affects adults. In this, you suffer from nerve damage pain caused by shingles. After infection with the varicella-zoster virus, shingles occur. However, this virus generally occurs in people who have already suffered from chickenpox.
Gabapentin might be recommended by the doctor as part of combination therapy. As a result, you might take it with other medicines.
It is important to take the medicine under the supervision of the doctor to get quick relief and avoid any serious side effects.
What does gabapentin do?
Gabapentin belongs to a class of medications known as antiepileptic. Although, it is still not understood how does this medicine works but when given for treating epilepsy, Gabapentin starts working by decreasing the abnormal electrical activity in your brain. This further helps in avoiding seizures.
The medication is also used for treating nerve pain where it blocks the pain by interfering with pain signals that travel through the damaged nerves and your brain.
What is the most common side effect of gabapentin?
Gabapentin oral medication can cause mild or serious side effects. Although, several people taking this pill, do not come across any serious side effects. It is important to consume the medicine as prescribed by the doctor to avoid making your condition worse.
Common side effects
Some of the common side effects that you can experience while taking this pill include:
- Viral infection
- Jerky movements
- Nausea and vomiting
- Trouble speaking
In case, these side effects are mild then they will go within a few days or a week as your body adjusts to the medicine. But you need to contact your doctor immediately if these common side effects persist.
Serious side effects
If you start suffering from serious side effects then call your doctor and get emergency medical help. Although, serious side effects of Gabapentin are rare, but can occur. Immediately give a call on 911, if you start experiencing a medical emergency.
Some of the serious side effects of Gabapentin capsules include:
- Thoughts of suicide or dying
- Panic attacks
- Emotional changes
- Trouble concentrating
- Skin rashes
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
- Unexpected muscle pain
What drugs should not be taken with gabapentin?
Gabapentin oral capsule might interact with some other medicines. The interaction with other drugs can make you suffer from side effects.
Before starting the consumption of Gabapentin, make sure to inform the doctor about all the medications you are taking like prescription, over the counter, and other drugs. Also, inform the doctor about supplements, vitamins, and herbs, you are taking.
Some of the drugs that interact with Gabapentin capsule include:
Opioids like Morphine, Hydrocodone & Oxycodone
Stomach acid medications like Aluminum hydroxide & Magnesium hydroxide
What happens if you stop taking gabapentin?
In case, you suddenly stop the intake of Gabapentin capsules, you might start experiencing Gabapentin withdrawal symptoms like sweating, anxiety, nausea, difficulty in sleeping or staying asleep, and pain.
If, you are taking Gabapentin for treating seizures and stop taking it suddenly then you might suffer from seizures frequently.
Frequently Asked Questions for Gabapentin
Can gabapentin cause weight gain?
Although Gabapentin is a weight neutral drug but there are a few people who might gain weight when taking the higher dose of the medicine.
Can you take gabapentin as needed for nerve pain?
This medicine is effective in treating the type of nerve pain which is caused by nerve damage.
Is Gabapentin for anxiety?
Gabapentin is frequently used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Because gabapentin helps in calming the brain and makes people feel less nervous.
Can you drink coffee with gabapentin?
Avoid taking coffee with gabapentin contains caffeine that affects the working mechanism of the medicine.
Can you get high on gabapentin?
Yes, the drug can get you high because it works just like a mild tranquilizer because of its sedative effects. That is gabapentin high.
Can you overdose on gabapentin?
Yes, a Gabapentin overdose can occur intentionally or unintentionally. However, an overdose of gabapentin can lead to serious side effects.
Can you take gabapentin while pregnant?
This medicine can harm your unborn baby, so it is better to avoid gabapentin during pregnancy.
Does gabapentin cause hair loss?
Side effects of gabapentin can cause hair loss.
Does gabapentin help with anxiety?
Yes, gabapentin helps in calming the brain and makes people feel less nervous.
Does gabapentin help you sleep?
Individuals suffering from serious depression often face the problem of sleep issues. Gabapentin often serves as a mood stabilizer for some individuals and due to the mood stabilizations, it becomes easy to get a sound sleep.
Does gabapentin lower blood pressure?
Yes, gabapentin can lower your blood pressure but you don’t need to worry unless it is linked with lightheadedness or dizziness.
How does gabapentin work for nerve pain?
The medication works by altering the way in which your nerves send messages to the brain. This further helps in decreasing nerve pain.
How long can you stay on gabapentin?
Gabapentin has a unique process due to which it does not stays in your body for a long time.
How long does gabapentin stay in your system?
In most people, the average half-life of Gabapentin is around seven hours. Although the drug can also take the time of almost 48 hours to eliminate from your system. But remember other factors might also have an effect on this process.
How long does gabapentin take to work?
After the administration, the effects of medicines can be experienced within 2 to 3 hours.
How much gabapentin can you take?
Depending upon your condition, the dosage of gabapentin is recommended by the doctor.
Is gabapentin an anti-inflammatory?
No, it’s not an anti-inflammatory but can definitely help with nerve pain disorders.
Is gabapentin a blood thinner?
No, gabapentin is not a blood thinner.
Is gabapentin a muscle relaxer?
Gabapentin is not a muscle relaxer because it does not provide relaxation from muscle spasms.
Is gabapentin addictive?
If taken as per the doctor’s recommendation, gabapentin is not addictive. However, physical dependence has been reported in a few people who have taken more than the suggested dose of the medicine.
Is gabapentin safe?
Yes, gabapentin is absolutely safe to take under the supervision of the doctor.
Is gabapentin used for anxiety?
Gabapentin is a generic antiepileptic and helps to treat anxiety in adults. It is also a generic formula for Neurontin.
Is gabapentin used for pain?
Gabapentin is used for treating nerve pain which is not relieved by taking a normal painkiller. Doctors might recommend you gabapentin with other painkiller drugs to improve your pain relief.