Today we’re talking about the medication Gabapentin For Anxiety. If you’re currently taking it wherever recently you’ve prescribed it by your doctor, you need to read this article.
We’re going to go over how to take it and the most common side effects, and what are the most concerning things that you need to be aware of if you’re going to be on it.
The drug gabapentin is perhaps best recognized by the brand name Neurontin, but numerous generic versions of gabapentin exist. Gabapentin developed to be an approximate synthetic version of the neurotransmitter GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid.
Gabapentin for anxiety
Today we’re going to be talking about gabapentin or sometimes known as Neurontin. This is a medication that’s been around since the early 1990s and widely used as a generic medication since 2004. it was initially developed as a medication to treat seizures, but over time has been used for many different conditions. There are only two actual approved uses of this medication in the united states, and that’s to treat seizures and create something called postherpetic neuralgia.
Uses of Gabapentin
Gabapentin is when you get chronic pain after having an outbreak of shingles, but this is a medication used for many different conditions that are considered off-label or non-FDA approved conditions. Most commonly, we use this for different nerve involved pains. These are things like diabetic neuropathy; this is when you get a burning pain that people with diabetes can get from uncontrolled diabetes.
Gabapentin for back pain
gabapentin also uses different kinds of back pain or other pain that likely involves the nerves.
Gabapentin uses for depression & alcohol dependence.
Gabapentin’s also used in Latin fibromyalgia alcohol dependence hiccups, chronic itching, restless leg syndrome, anxiety disorders, depression, and even treat symptoms of menopause, so as you can see, there are a lot of reasons that your doctor may have recommended this medication.
Gabapentin can help with a lot of these conditions, but just like any medication, it’s going to help some and others not. The good news is that most patients tend to tolerate the medication pretty well without significant side effects.
Gabapentin dosage for anxiety
Firstly one thing remembers who can have issues with this medication. We’ll go over that in minute gabapentin comes in a tablet capsule or liquid form capsules come in 100 300, and 400 milligrams and tablets come in 600 and 800 milligrams then the liquid comes into 250 milligrams per 5 milliliters that’s usually given anywhere from one to three times a day with a maximum recommended dose of 3600 milligrams a day.
Read carefully about using gabapentin for anxiety.
This is the kind of medication that usually has to build up in your system, so you usually won’t notice any effect right away. We have a patient start out at once a day and increase it slowly to avoid the side effects.
Now we take the same approach as well when we need to stop it. This isn’t a medication that you want to stop all of a sudden after being on it for a while. We have you slowly taper down off of it to avoid any of this kind of withdrawal symptoms now. This is certainly something you definitely want to be working with your doctor on and following their directions.
The side effect of Gabapentin
Now the main thing that most of you will be worried about with this medication is the side effects. Most people do well with it, but I certainly have patients who have had their problems with it as well. The most common side effect that I have patients complain of when taking this medication is a foggy type feeling in the head; you can feel somewhat tired and drugged.
Recommend to start Gabapentin for anxiety
Usually recommend to patients that they started at night in most people those symptoms tend to go away over a few days but not in everybody now other common and less serious side effects can be some fatigue some swelling in the ankles a tremor, nausea, vomiting and dry mouth may be some mood changes. Now just like the foggy feeling, these tend to go away over time.
But starting at a lower dose and slowly increasing it, we can usually avoid most of these problems.
Concern about gabapentin
Now there are some concerning things though that you need to watch out for. These certainly not common, but they are possible now. The less common of the concerning side effects are certain allergic reactions and skin eruptions.
That can happen. You can also get a rhabdomyolysis condition where the muscles break down, causing damage to the kidneys. It can also make it harder to breathe in some people, so those who have breathing issues need to be extra careful.
If they’re going to be on it now, we also recommend that you be careful if you’re taking it with other prescription pain medications because they also have the ability to decrease your drive to breathe when you combine them together.
Gabapentin for Dipression
It can be dangerous for some people. One of the more common or the more serious conditions is the effect they can have on the soul. With those with underlying depression, we can see worsening depression and even suicidal thoughts in some people, so it’s essential that while taking it, you talk to loved ones and your doctor if you start to feel anything like that.
It would help if you also were careful when coming off the medication. As I mentioned before, when coming off of it, you must taper down slowly under your doctor’s direction and help. Stopping it abruptly has been shown in some people to cause withdrawal symptoms and even withdrawal seizures.
Stop abusing gabapentin
One of the more concerning things though that we have seen with this medication over the past few years is that more and more people have been abusing it has become addicted to it in several states in the united states. It has become a controlled substance. We most often see it in those who are already abusing prescription pain medications.
This is especially hard as GABA venting is something that many physicians try to use to get people off pain medications.
Studies about gabapentin
A couple of studies showed that approximately one percent of the general population in the united states and 22 percent of those in addiction treatment facilities had a history of abusing gabapentin. It is something to be careful with and work closely with your doctor and talk to them about any concerns you may have of addiction.
Suppose you already have a history of addiction that may not be the best option for you. In that case, gabapentin can be a beneficial medication in many different situations. Still, unfortunately, the risk of addiction and abuse isn’t on the radar of many who are prescribing it over the past few years with all the problems that we have had with opioid addiction and abuse as a profession.
We have turned more and more together, pentane to treat pain in other conditions. The unattended consequence has been to replace a very addictive substance for another that, although not as addictive, still is a medication that can have the same problem. Now the biggest problem with discussing these serious side effects is scaring away from taking it. That isn’t my intention; this can be a powerful tool in treating some challenging and life-altering conditions. The majority of people do great on this medication, which dramatically improves their quality of life. We’re all different.
So that’s why it’s important to be aware of the issues that can arise so that you can make an educated decision with your doctor now. This isn’t an all-encompassing discussion. It’s medication either there are certainly other things that your own doctor may want to discuss with you, but hopefully, now you can feel a little more informed about how this may affect you.