What Is Gabapentin (Neurontin)?
Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant medication used primarily to help control epileptic seizures, restless leg syndrome, and postherpetic neuralgia. Abuse of this substance, however, can lead to gabapentin addiction.
This medication can come in a capsule or tablet form and is typically taken three times a day orally. In many cases, patients are started on a low dose of gabapentin, slowly increasing the dosage over time until the maximum benefit is reached.
Gabapentin does not cure any of the above conditions. Instead, it makes the symptoms more manageable through regular use by maintaining the amount of medication in the bloodstream. For this reason, patients should never increase or decrease the amount they are taking without first consulting their doctor.1
What Is Gabapentin Prescribed for?
How Does Gabapentin Make You Feel?
Is Gabapentin Addictive?
Despite this medication not being classified as an addictive substance in many states, addiction to gabapentin is still possible. Because the drug is relatively new, not enough research has been done to determine what long-term effects it may have or if it could be more addictive than we think.
Gabapentin Addiction Signs and Symptoms
This commonly starts when patients take their prescriptions more often than they should or at a higher dosage than prescribed because they like the feeling that it gives them. Over time, they have to keep increasing the amount in an attempt to reach the same euphoric effects, leading to addiction and possible overdose.
Physical Symptoms of Gabapentin Addiction
Gabapentin addiction may cause agitation, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and seizures when the medication starts leaving the body. This may prompt patients to take another dose of the drug to feel better.
Mental Symptoms of Gabapentin Addiction
- Memory loss
- Difficulty speaking
- Coordination problems
Gabapentin Addiction Side Effects
When a person’s body becomes physically dependent on gabapentin, it can become difficult for their body to function normally without it. This typically presents as agitation, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, consuming thoughts about getting the drug, nausea, and sweating.
Gabapentin Addiction Risk
Although gabapentin is not classified as a risk for addiction, it is still possible for the body to become dependent on it. Even if the medication is being taken properly and only as prescribed, a person can become physically dependent on gabapentin when it is being used for a chronic condition.
Recreational use and abuse of this medication usually result in a higher probability of being taken in conjunction with other substances, such as alcohol or another prescription medication. These actions can increase the chance of addiction.
Patients should never stop taking gabapentin at once. Instead, they should work with their medical provider or a detox center to wean themselves off the drug. In addition, if a person has a chronic medical condition, they may have to work with their doctor to find an alternative medication for treatment purposes.
Gabapentin Use and Overdose
Gabapentin use and overdose can lead to severe side effects and increased symptoms. In addition, if a patient has been using the medication to monitor a medical condition, there is a high probability that they will experience more symptoms of that condition. For example, those with seizure disorders are likely to have more seizures within twelve hours of their last dosage.
Gabapentin Overdose Symptoms
Gabapentin overdose symptoms can be severe and may be fatal. They include:
- Double vision
- Slurred speech
- Muscle weakness
Gabapentin Withdrawal Timeline
Gabapentin Withdrawal Symptoms
- Crying spells
- Abdominal pain
- Suicidal ideation
- Changes in appetite
- Anxiety or depression
- Muscle pain or spasms
Gabapentin (Neurontin) Addiction Treatment Options
Gabapentin drug abuse and subsequent gabapentin withdrawal can seriously affect a person’s life. Although there are no specific medications that can help with gabapentin withdrawal, there are steps that can be taken to help patients manage their withdrawal symptoms.
At Concise Recovery, we offer gabapentin addiction treatment. We will help you break your addiction to gabapentin with our state-of-the-art detox treatment facility. Our medical staff will help you manage your symptoms and guide you during and after recovery. Contact Concise Recovery today to begin your road to recovery and improve your quality of life.