The word “drug” usually has a negative connotation among people. Whenever mentioned, the word evokes images of people ruining their lives with addiction, spending all their money to get said drug, and so on. But drugs are of multiple types, and some are also used for medicinal purposes.
One drug worth talking about is gabapentin. This is given as a prescription in certain situations, and it can treat some conditions. If you’re new to this and your doctor has prescribed gabapentin for you, then here is some information about the drug that you should know beforehand.
Gabapentin is a prescription drug that is usually used in order to prevent and control seizures. In some cases, it is also used for nerve pain relief after shingles, and it can treat the pain of postherpetic neuralgia. It has to be taken by mouth, and the doctor is going to decide the dosage for you based on your condition. Sometimes, it could be once a day. How much you take will also be influenced by how you respond to the drug.
As you’re taking the treatment for the first week, the doctor may slowly increase the dose until your body gets used to the treatment. Also, there are different brand names under which you can find gabapentin. These are Horizant, Gralise, and Neurontin.
The history of
Parke-Davis is the one who developed gabapentin, and the drug was described for the first time in 1975. Then, in 1993, it was approved under the Neurontin brand name and it was used to treat epilepsy in the United Kingdom. One year later, it started being marketed in the United States as well.
It was only in May 2002 that progress has been made and gabapentin was approved in the U.S. to treat postherpetic neuralgia. Then, in 2004, a generic version became available in the U.S. Things continued to progress, and that’s how in January 2011, there was an extended-release formula of gabapentin that was approved for postherpetic neuralgia treatment. It was meant for an administration of once a day, and it came under the Gralise brand name. The year 2011 was also when gabapentin enacarbil was introduced in the U.S. It helped treat restless legs syndrome. In 2012, it was also approved as postherpetic neuralgia treatment.
Although gabapentin is an approved drug for medicinal purposes, it can still cause various effects when it’s abused. Some people talked about how gabapentin can give a “high” sensation to the person abusing it, a sensation similar to using cannabis. The sensation includes feeling relaxed and calm and being more sociable.
Basically, gabapentin has properties similar to intoxicants, and it works similar to mild tranquilizers. It has some sedative effects, and with the production of euphoria, it can be abused by those who are looking to get a high feeling.
Very often, the gabapentin substance is also used for an intense high feeling through the combination with other drugs, such as opioids, anti-anxiety medication, and others.
While it’s not listed as a controlled substance by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, there are three states where it became classified as Schedule V medication. These states are West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. There are other states that are asking for reporting to prescription drug monitoring programs.
You may be wondering whether overdosing on gabapentin is possible or not. While it may be possible to ingest too much gabapentin, overdosing on it is quite difficult. Even when someone has taken high levels of the drug, most of the time, they will only deal with mild to moderate mental and physical side effects. Usually, these effects are not life-threatening in any way.
At the same time, gabapentin abuse has increased over the years and it was taken in huge amounts as a suicide attempt. Two case reports of death from gabapentin overdose were made so far. While it’s hardly possible to overdose on it, it’s not impossible either – so, it’s still better to avoid taking huge amounts. Not only is it a bit risky, but there are also pretty bad withdrawal symptoms that come with it, and that’s something you don’t want to experience.
There are some signs of gabapentin overdose. Sometimes, the person who ingests too much of the drug may have weak muscles, feel drowsy, and have droopy eyelids. It’s also possible for sedation and diarrhea to happen. Symptoms like these occur because gabapentin was made to prevent seizures by slowing down the nerves and chemicals responsible for it.
Gabapentin comes with multiple side effects, for both those who overdose and those who don’t. When your doctor prescribes this drug, it means he/she thought that the benefits you’ll get from it are better and greater compared to the side effect risk. At the same time, not everyone using this medication will end up experiencing serious side effects.
Some common side effects that people experience from this drug include tiredness, dizziness, drowsiness, unusual movements of the eyes, shaking, coordination loss, or blurred/double vision. You should tell your pharmacist or doctor about these symptoms, especially if they get worse. Swelling of certain body parts such as the ankles, hands, and feet might also occur, and these should also be reported to your doctor.
Allergic reactions are rarely possible with this drug, but you should get help as soon as possible if you think you are having any. The symptoms could include trouble breathing, fever, swelling or itching, rash, swollen lymph nodes, or severe dizziness.
A small percentage of people taking gabapentin also experience depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and sometimes even attempts of committing suicide. The mind and mood can be affected by this drug. If you are noticing this change or any other family member sees anything unusual, it should be reported to your doctor as soon as possible.
Finding a suitable doctor for
Not all doctors can prescribe gabapentin, so you need to make sure you find a suitable doctor for this. A good way to do this is by looking for a doctor online. However, you should see first if this doctor has the necessary studies and is legally allowed to prescribe this drug.
How Gabapentin Can Help
Gabapentin can help in various ways. For instance, it is used mainly to treat or prevent seizures caused by epilepsy and not only. Even children as young as 3 can be treated with the Neurontin brand drug.
Other than that, the drug can help reduce post-herpetic neuralgia, and it can also reduce nerve pain that comes as a result of diabetes or shingles. Gabapentin was also used to treat restless legs syndrome.
So, overall, gabapentin has something that relieves the discomfort caused by certain conditions and brings relaxation and comfort instead.
Gabapentin is a helpful drug in the medicine industry, especially when it comes to people suffering from certain conditions such as seizures or nerve pain. If used correctly, it will help prevent or treat these symptoms and replace these feelings with those of relaxation. At the same time, you should not overdose on this medicine, or it could cause some side effects that can be pretty uncomfortable. Withdrawal will also cause side effects that you don’t want to experience. So, make sure you find a suitable doctor who can prescribe the right dosage for you.