Gabapentin is not the primary option for treating anxiety, but it can be an effective alternative when other medications have failed.
Doctors may prescribe gabapentin to treat a variety of medical conditions, including mental health disorders.
First discovered in the 1970s, gabapentin was initially prescribed as a muscle relaxant. The drug later demonstrated promise in the treatment of epilepsy and neuropathic pain.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved anxiety treatment with gabapentin. Nonetheless, some evidence suggests that it may alleviate symptoms.
Gabapentin, also known as Neurontin, is an anticonvulsant used to treat and prevent diabetic and herpes-zoster-related nerve discomfort. Additionally, it is used to manage and prevent seizures. The medication relieves pain by decreasing abnormal brain electrical activity. Gabapentin can be taken alone or with other medications. Gabapentin is licensed for the treatment of partial seizures in children older than three. Use only the brand and formulation of gabapentin prescribed by your doctor. Once gabapentin has been prescribed, it can be purchased online.
How does gabapentin work?
Gabapentin helps manage pain associated with herpes zoster by altering how the pain is perceived.
As an anticonvulsant medication for seizures, gabapentin reduces any abnormal brain activity that can contribute to seizure activity.
According to a 2015 systematic review, researchers are unclear on how gabapentin treats psychiatric disorders, but the drug appears to function similarly to other anti-anxiety drugs.
In addition, there is evidence that gabapentin is more effective at reducing the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and certain forms of anxiety than conditions such as bipolar disorder, panic disorder, and panic attacks.
However, additional research is required before definitive conclusions can be drawn.
How Gabapentin Is Used to Treat Anxiety and Mood Disorders Including Depression
Gabapentin is not typically used to treat anxiety alone. It is frequently prescribed to those with depression or bipolar disorder to alleviate anxiety symptoms. (Depression and bipolar disorder co-occur frequently with anxiety.) This is because it may not be efficacious for anxiety by itself. Seven clinical trials indicate that Gabapentin may be marginally more efficacious than a placebo in treating generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). A social anxiety disorder may have slightly more favorable outcomes.
Dosage of gabapentin for anxiety
Since physicians prescribe gabapentin for anxiety off-label, there is no established dosage for treating anxiety symptoms.
Your dosage will be determined by:
- age weight medical record
- Daily administration of 300 milligrams (mg) is a possible commencing dose. Your physician may recommend gradually increasing the daily dosage to 4,800 mg.
In some cases, the drug’s effects can be felt within a week, while in others, it can take up to a month.
How is gabapentin used?
Gabapentin is available in oral capsules, tablets, extended-release tablets (long-acting), and infusions (liquid). Gabapentin pills, tablets, and oral liquid are typically consumed three times daily, with or without an 8-ounce (240 mL) glass of water. These prescriptions should be taken at consistent intervals of no more than 12 hours, day or night. In addition, carefully follow the instructions on the prescription label and ask your doctor or chemist to explain any sections you do not understand. Gabapentin should be administered precisely as prescribed. Take no more, no less, and no more frequently than your doctor prescribes.
The extended-release form of gabapentin cannot be substituted for any other form. Only use gabapentin as prescribed by your doctor. Visit your chemist if you have any questions about the type of gabapentin you are taking. Completely swallow the extended-release tablets. This medication should never be cut, pulverized, or chewed. If your doctor instructs you to divide a standard tablet in half, do so along the score line.
Gabapentin side effects
You may encounter the following side effects while taking gabapentin:
- headache tremors nausea
- diarrhea swelling
Gabapentin can cause rare but severe side effects, including anaphylaxis, seizures, withdrawal, and liver and kidney damage.
Consult your physician if you experience symptoms of liver or kidney injury, such as difficulty urinating, unexpected bleeding, or yellowing of the skin.
If you develop a rash, experience itching, or have difficulty inhaling, you may be experiencing an allergic reaction. Seek immediate medical assistance.
It is essential to continue taking gabapentin even if your symptoms improve.
If you are considering discontinuing gabapentin, you should discuss tapering with your doctor. Suddenly stopping can increase the likelihood of experiencing seizures. In addition, some individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing this medication.
- These can include anxiety, difficulty resting, and pain.
- excessive perspiration
- Together with your physician, you can devise a plan for safely and progressively reducing your dosage over time.
- To avoid afternoon drowsiness and vertigo, take the medication daily at the same time.
- Antacids make it more difficult for the body to absorb medication; you should avoid consuming them. 2 hours before or after the administration of gabapentin.
- Because gabapentin may cause drowsiness during the day, you should avoid driving until you know how the drug impacts you.
- Inform your physician if you experience any adverse effects, develop any new symptoms, or if an existing symptom worsens.
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