Gabapentin is often prescribed to treat conditions like epilepsy and neuropathic pain. However, there is some confusion about whether gabapentin is classified as a narcotic or a controlled substance. This article delves into the classification of gabapentin and provides information about its legal status and potential for misuse.
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Gabapentin is employed in conjunction with other medications to prevent and manage seizures. Additionally, it alleviates nerve pain that occurs in adults following a shingles outbreak (a painful rash caused by herpes zoster infection). Gabapentin is classified as an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic medication.
How To Use Gabapentin Oral
Follow your doctor’s instructions when taking this medication, either with or without food. The dosage is determined by your medical condition and how you respond to the treatment. For children, the dosage is also determined by their weight.
If you are prescribed tablets and your doctor instructs you to split them in half, take the remaining half-tablet at your next scheduled dose. Dispose of any half-tablets that are not used within a few days of splitting. If you are using capsules, swallow them whole with ample water.
It’s crucial to adhere precisely to your doctor’s prescribed dosage. During the initial days of treatment, your doctor may gradually increase your dose to allow your body to adapt to the medication. To minimize potential side effects, take the very first dose at bedtime.
Ensure you take it consistently to derive the maximum benefit from this medication. This medication is most effective when the level of medicine in your body remains constant. Take gabapentin at regular intervals, ideally simultaneously (s) daily. If you use it thrice a day to manage seizures, avoid exceeding a 12-hour gap between doses to prevent increased seizure activity.
Do not self-adjust the frequency or dosage of this medication without consulting your doctor. Increasing or taking the dose more frequently will not expedite your recovery and may elevate the risk of severe side effects.
Consult your doctor before discontinuing this medication. Abruptly stopping the drug could worsen certain conditions. Your doctor may need to reduce your dosage gradually.
Antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium might hinder the absorption of this medication. If you are using an antacid, it’s advisable to take gabapentin at least 2 hours after your antacid dose.
It’s important to note that various formulations of gabapentin, such as immediate-release, sustained-release, and enacarbil sustained-release, are absorbed differently in the body. Switching between these forms should be done only under the guidance of your doctor.
If your condition does not show improvement or worsens, be sure to inform your doctor.
Gabapentin Side Effects
While taking this medication, you may experience drowsiness, dizziness, coordination difficulties, fatigue, blurred or double vision, unusual eye movements, or tremors. If these effects persist or worsen, promptly inform your doctor or pharmacist.
Remember that your doctor prescribed this medication because they have determined its benefits outweigh the potential side effects. Many individuals using this medication do not encounter severe side effects.
Notify your doctor immediately if you experience significant side effects, such as swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet.
In rare cases, a few individuals using anticonvulsants for various conditions (e.g., seizures, bipolar disorder, pain) may encounter symptoms like depression, thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts, or other mental and mood issues. Contact your doctor right away if you or your family/caregiver observe any abrupt or unusual changes in your mood, thoughts, or behavior, including signs of depression, thoughts of self-harm, or self-harming ideation.
Seek immediate medical attention if you encounter severe side effects, such as slow or shallow breathing.
A highly uncommon severe allergic reaction to this medication may occur. Nevertheless, seek immediate medical assistance if you observe any signs of a severe allergic reaction, including symptoms like fever, enlarged lymph nodes, skin rash, itching or swelling (particularly of the face, tongue, or throat), profound dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
Before initiating gabapentin, inform your doctor or pharmacist about any allergies, whether to gabapentin itself, gabapentin enacarbil, or other substances. This product might contain inactive components capable of triggering allergic reactions or other complications. For more information, consult your pharmacist.
Before commencing this medication, disclose your medical history to your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if you have a history of kidney disease, mental or mood disorders (such as depression or suicidal thoughts), substance use or abuse, or respiratory issues like COPD.
This medication may induce dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. The consumption of alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can intensify these effects. Refrain from driving, operating machinery, or performing tasks that require alertness or clear vision until you can do so safely. Restrict your alcohol intake, and consult your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Before undergoing any surgical procedure, inform your doctor or dentist about all the products you are using, including prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs, and herbal products.
Elderly individuals may be more susceptible to the side effects of this medication, especially swelling in the hands, ankles, or feet, shallow or slow breathing, dizziness, or impaired coordination. Dizziness and coordination issues can elevate the risk of falls.
Pediatric patients may exhibit increased sensitivity to the potential side effects of this medication, particularly changes in mental state, mood, or behavior, such as increased hostility, difficulties in concentration, or restlessness.
If you are pregnant, consider using this medication only when its necessity is unequivocal, and discuss the associated risks and advantages with your physician.
Gabapentin can pass into breast milk. Before breastfeeding, consult with your doctor for guidance.
Interactions between drugs can alter the effectiveness of your medications or heighten the risk of severe side effects. This document may not encompass all conceivable drug interactions. Maintain a comprehensive list of all the products you are using, including prescription and non-prescription medications and herbal products. Share this list with both your doctor and pharmacist. Refrain from initiating, discontinuing, or altering the dosage of any medications without the explicit approval of your doctor.
One product that may interact with this medication is Orlistat.
The likelihood of severe side effects, such as shallow or slow breathing, profound drowsiness, or dizziness, may rise when this medication is combined with other substances that can induce drowsiness or breathing difficulties. Notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are using additional products like opioid pain relievers or cough suppressants (e.g., codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), sleep aids or anxiety medications (e.g., alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (e.g., carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (e.g., cetirizine, diphenhydramine).
Constantly scrutinize the labels of all your medications, including those for allergies or colds, as they may include ingredients that induce drowsiness. Seek advice from your pharmacist on the safe use of such products.
Avoid combining this medication with other drugs that contain gabapentin, which includes gabapentin enacarbil.
It’s essential to be aware that this medication might disrupt specific laboratory tests, such as urine protein tests, potentially leading to inaccurate results. Ensure that the laboratory staff and all your healthcare providers are informed of your use of this medication.
If an overdose occurs and severe symptoms like loss of consciousness or difficulty breathing are evident, dial 911 immediately. In less severe cases, promptly contact a poison control center.
Below is a dosage chart providing information about Gabapentin dosage ranges, imprints, color, shape, and tablet versus capsule classification.
|Dosage Range (mg)||Imprint||Color||Shape||Type|
|Gabapentin 100 mg||103||White||Oblong||Tablet|
|Gabapentin 300 mg||SG 180||Yellow||Oblong||Tablet|
|Gabapentin 400 mg||SG 181||Orange||Oblong||Tablet|
|Gabapentin 600 mg||1 2||White||Oblong||Tablet|
|Gabapentin 800 mg||1 3||White||Oblong||Tablet|
Is Gabapentin a Narcotic Drug?
There is no narcotic in gabapentin. It is primarily prescribed for treating epilepsy and neuropathic pain, as it is an anticonvulsant. The drug is effective because of its effect on particular brain nerve signals. While gabapentin is not technically a narcotic, it is nonetheless possible for abuse and dependence to occur, especially at higher doses or when not under medical care. When taking any medication, you must adhere to your doctor’s instructions.
What Is Gabapentin?
Neurontin (gabapentin) is an anticonvulsant that alleviates epileptic seizures and neuropathic pain. It’s used to treat a wide range of medical issues, including epilepsy, restless leg syndrome (RLS), hot flashes, and nerve pain, and the gabapentin narcotic class of medications is called Gabapentinoids. Abuse of gabapentin persists despite being a safer option than opioids.
It aids sleep, anxiety, and nerve discomfort and has a structure similar to GABA. Pain from neuropathy, fibromyalgia, alcohol withdrawal, restless leg syndrome, and seizures are all treated with this drug because of its ability to alter calcium channels. Some examples of these narcotics’ brand names include Neurontin and Gralise, whereas their street names are “Gabbies” and “Johnnies.”
As well as the propensity for addiction, gabapentin is associated with emotional instability, thoughts of suicide, and new behavior patterns. High blood pressure, fever, sleeplessness, appetite loss, and chest pain are all symptoms. Talk to your doctor frequently and do your research.
Gabapentin Narcotics Explained
To put it simply, gabapentin is not a controlled substance. Heroin, morphine, and prescription pain medications like oxycodone and hydrocodone are all opioids or narcotics since they are derived from or chemically comparable to opium. These medications have the potential to produce powerful analgesic effects by binding to opioid receptors in the brain.
In contrast, gabapentin is an anticonvulsant that primarily modifies particular brain nerve signals. Restless leg syndrome, neuropathic pain, and epilepsy are typical uses for this drug. Although gabapentin is not a narcotic, it has come under scrutiny because of reports of abuse and dependence.
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Gabapentin Abuse Statistics
Prevalence of gabapentin misuse in the general population was reported to be 1%, 40– 65% among individuals with prescriptions, and between 15–22% within populations of people who abuse opioids. An array of subjective experiences reminiscent of opioids, benzodiazepines, and psychedelics were reported over various doses, including those within clinical recommendations. Gabapentin was primarily misused for recreational purposes, self-medication, or intentional self-harm and was misused alone or in combination with other substances, especially opioids, benzodiazepines, and alcohol. Individuals with histories of drug abuse were most often involved in its misuse.
Neuropathic pain affects up to 8% of the population, causing significant distress and morbidity. Gabapentin is one of the recommended mainstays of evidence-based treatment.
The prevalence of gabapentin abuse in the general population was reported to be 1%,
65% among individuals with prescriptions and between 15–22% within populations of people
who abuses opioids also abuses gabapentin
Gabapentin Drug Facts
Gabapentin Abuse Overview
Gabapentin abuse is the misuse or overuse of medication for non-medical purposes. This can include taking higher doses than prescribed, taking the medication more frequently than directed, or using it without a prescription.
Overdosing on gabapentin or becoming addicted to it can have serious psychological and physiological consequences. It’s critical to get help if you or someone you know is abusing gabapentin and to use the medication only when prescribed.
Gabapentin Abuse Treatment
Gabapentin abuse can be treated with medication-assisted treatment, behavioral therapy, and support groups.
Treatment plans are tailored to the individual and may include detoxification, medication management, and counseling to address underlying issues related to substance abuse.
Is Gabapentin considered a narcotic?
No, Gabapentin is not considered a narcotic. It is an anticonvulsant medication used to treat seizures, nerve pain, and other conditions.
Gabapentin Side Effects
Gabapentin is a medication commonly prescribed to treat various medical conditions, such as seizures, neuropathic pain, and anxiety disorders. While it is generally considered safe and effective, there are some potential side effects to be aware of, including:
- Dizziness or drowsiness.
- Fatigue or weakness.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Dry mouth.
- Swelling in the extremities.
- Mood changes or depression.
- Difficulty speaking or slurred speech.
- Coordination problems.
- Memory or concentration difficulties.
- Unusual eye movements.
- Allergic reactions.
If you experience these side effects, you must talk to your healthcare provider to determine the best action. Sometimes, adjusting the dosage or switching to a different medication may be necessary.
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Gabapentin Analgesic Effects
Gabapentin’s analgesic effects stem from its ability to interact with neurotransmitters involved in pain perception. Here’s an overview of its actions:
- Neuropathic Pain Relief: Gabapentin’s primary application is in managing neuropathic pain, which results from nerve damage or dysfunction. It modulates the activity of calcium channels in neurons, reducing the release of neurotransmitters involved in pain signaling.
- GABA Modulation: Gabapentin increases the synthesis and release of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This can dampen nerve excitability and the transmission of pain signals.
- Glutamate Regulation: It also reduces the release of glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter that contributes to pain amplification. By decreasing glutamate activity, gabapentin may alleviate pain sensations.
- Calcium Channels: Gabapentin indirectly affects calcium channels that regulate the release of neurotransmitters. Reducing the influx of calcium into neurons can lessen pain transmission.
- Central Sensitization: It might help with central sensitization, a process in which the nervous system becomes hypersensitive to pain. By modulating neurotransmitters involved in this process, gabapentin may counteract this sensitivity.
- Chronic Pain Conditions: Beyond neuropathic pain, gabapentin is prescribed for various chronic pain conditions, including fibromyalgia, chronic low back pain, and migraines.
- Dosage and Titration: The effectiveness of gabapentin’s analgesic effects often requires careful dosage titration. Individuals might start at a lower dose and gradually increase it to find optimal pain relief without excessive side effects.
- Adjunct to Opioid Therapy: Gabapentin is sometimes used as an adjunct to opioid pain management to enhance pain relief and potentially reduce opioid doses, helping to mitigate opioid-related risks.
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Conquering Gabapentin Withdrawal: Discover the Support You Seek
Withdrawing from gabapentin can be an arduous journey to navigate alone. Numerous individuals face relapses during withdrawal as they try to ease symptoms and cravings. Yet, you can effectively manage withdrawal symptoms and achieve recovery through detox, rehab therapy, and a strong support network at We Level Up treatment centers. Contact a We Level Up treatment expert today if you need help on your rehab path. Your call is both free and confidential.
Why do People Abuse Gabapentin?
People may abuse Gabapentin for various reasons, often seeking to experience its euphoric or relaxing effects. Some of the motivations behind Gabapentin abuse include:
- Euphoria: Gabapentin can induce euphoria, calmness, and relaxation, which some individuals find pleasurable and desirable.
- Enhancement of Other Substances: Some people use Gabapentin to enhance the effects of other substances, such as opioids or benzodiazepines, leading to a more intense high.
- Self-Medication: Individuals may misuse Gabapentin as a form of self-medication to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, or pain, even without a valid prescription.
- Opioid Withdrawal: Gabapentin has been used to manage opioid withdrawal symptoms, as it can alleviate discomfort and help individuals cope during detoxification.
- Combating Insomnia: Some people abuse Gabapentin to improve sleep or manage insomnia, as it can induce sedation and drowsiness.
- Experimentation: Curiosity or experimentation can drive individuals to misuse Gabapentin to understand its effects and how it interacts with other substances.
- Availability: Gabapentin may be readily available and easy to obtain, leading to misuse by those seeking a readily accessible high.
- Lack of Awareness: Some individuals may be unaware of the potential risks of Gabapentin misuse and may inadvertently develop a habit.
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Gabapentin Detox and Addiction Treatment
Suddenly, discontinuing Gabapentin can boost the probability of seizures, so it’s vital to seek assistance when looking to quit. Suppose you are getting treatment for a gabapentin addiction problem. In that case, you will likely begin with a medically-assisted Gabapentin detox to slowly eradicate the drug from your body in a controlled way. After completing the Gabapentin detox, you need medical clearance before transitioning into an inpatient treatment program. There are several gabapentin addiction treatment options available, including:
Medically-assisted Gabapentin Detox
After heavy or extended use of this drug, your system becomes dependent on Gabapentin and needs it to function and avoid a possible dangerous withdrawal symptom. Getting medically-assisted Gabapentin detox helps you slowly wean off gabapentin while under medical care.
If your gabapentin addiction is severe or you have co-occurring mental health or medical issues, an inpatient program can provide intensive care. Inpatient treatment demands that you live at the facility for the entire duration of your treatment. These programs provide a safe environment and a high level of structure that minimizes triggers to use the drug. Before starting treatment, medical professionals will assess your situation and your addiction to create a tailored treatment plan. This may include group and individual therapy, family therapy, relapse prevention lessons, support groups, and aftercare planning.
Before, during, or after treatment, you may attend 12-step meetings like AA/NA or other support groups. When you go to a support group, you will be welcomed by individuals who know what you’ve been through because they’ve gone through it too. Feeling accepted can make a massive difference in your healing because you will create a new support network of sober people and learn from individuals who have been abstinent from drugs for longer.
Aftercare Addiction Treatment Program
While in rehab, you will get ready for your transition out of treatment by developing an aftercare plan. This will look different for every person and may include the following:
- Transitioning into a sober living facility.
- Locating a counselor or therapist outside of treatment.
- Regularly attending 12-step meetings or other support groups.
After you leave treatment, you must stay involved with aftercare recovery treatment to prevent relapse.
Gabapentin for Narcotic Withdrawal
The inpatient treatment approach works best to change the person’s behaviors. Also, it will help clients establish social support systems and better coping methods. However, a person will likely experience many different side effects from the abuse and misuse of Gabapentin. These side effects may be physical, emotional, or mental. For instance, someone in withdrawal will likely experience many uncomfortable feelings and negative thoughts about life during detox. Unfortunately for those with dependency, medically assisted Gabapentin detox is an unavoidable first step towards recovery.
Please do not try to detox on your own. The detox process can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. However, getting through the detox process is crucial for continued treatment. We Level Up NJ provide proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to assist your recovery. So, reclaim your life; call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.
At We Level Up Treatment Center, we are committed to guiding you toward lasting recovery from Gabapentin withdrawal and co-occurring conditions. Our multidisciplinary team is here to provide unwavering support, guidance, and personalized care every step of the way. Let’s embark on this transformative journey together.
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Most Popular Is Gabapentin a Narcotic FAQs
Is gabapentin non narcotic?
Yes, gabapentin is considered a non-narcotic medication. It belongs to a class of drugs known as anticonvulsants or antiepileptics. While it can affect neurotransmitters and relieve pain, it doesn’t share the exact mechanism of action or potential for abuse as narcotics. Gabapentin’s classification and effects distinguish it from narcotics, which primarily work on the opioid receptors in the brain and have a higher potential for addiction and abuse.
Is gabapentin a narcotic now? Is Gabapentin considered a narcotic?
No, Gabapentin is not a narcotic.
Powerful Video Overcoming Prescription Drugs Abuse & Gabapentin Addiction
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Search We Level Up NJ Is Gabapentin a Narcotic or a Controlled substance? Topics & Resources
 Gabapentin: MedlinePlus Drug Information Learn More: Is gabapentin a narcotic?
 Substance misuse of gabapentin – PMC (nih.gov) Learn More: Is gabapentin a narcotic?
 Gabapentin drug misuse signals: A pharmacovigilance assessment using the FDA adverse event reporting system – PMC (nih.gov) Learn More: Is gabapentin a narcotic?
 FDA warns about serious breathing problems with seizure and nerve pain medicines gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant) and pregabalin (Lyrica, Lyrica CR) | FDA Learn More: Is gabapentin a narcotic?
 Notes from the Field: Trends in Gabapentin Detection and Involvement in Drug Overdose Deaths — 23 States and the District of Columbia, 2019–2020 | MMWR (cdc.gov) Learn More: Is gabapentin a narcotic?
 A Qualitative Analysis of Gabapentin Misuse and Diversion among People who Use Drugs in Appalachian Kentucky – PMC (nih.gov) Learn More: Is gabapentin a narcotic?
 Misuse and abuse of gabapentin (utah.gov) Learn More: Is gabapentin a narcotic?
 Gabapentin add‐on treatment for drug‐resistant focal epilepsy – PMC (nih.gov) Learn More: Is gabapentin a narcotic?
 Gabapentin: An update of its pharmacological properties and therapeutic use in epilepsy – PMC (nih.gov) Learn More: is gabapentin a narcotic? Does gabapentin show as narcotic?
 Gabapentin in generalized seizures – PubMed (nih.gov) Learn More: Is gabapentin a narcotic? is gabapentin a narcotic analgesic?