How Gabapentin Can Help Your Anxiety
There has been a notable increase in the use of anticonvulsants over the recent past. Gabapentin is one among the most popular cognitive enhancers, but what makes it so appealing?
What Is Gabapentin?
Gabapentin is one of the drugs that are prescribed for patients suffering from anxiety. This drug is marketed as Neurontin. This drug is often recommended for bipolar patients as an anxiety reliever. In this article, we will explore the usage of Gabapentin as a medication for anxiety, its benefits, disadvantages, and also have a look at associated side effects.
Gabapentin was initially used for prevention of seizures and epilepsy. Later, medical experts realized that gabapentin has the ability to suppress anxiety in bipolar patients and decided to pass it as an off-label prescription because they are not approved for such use.
Using Gabapentin for Anxiety
To-date, anxiety has no known cure. It is largely dependent on one’s coping ability. This begs the question, what then is the role of anxiety drugs? All that anxiety prescriptions can do is make it easy to live with anxiety at the moment one is under medication. As such it is practical to couple Gabapentin and other anxiety medications with other forms of therapy known to reduce anxiety.
Gabapentin is known for helping patients subsist anxiety, but it is important to consult your health service provider before starting the use of Gabapentin.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Gabapentin Drugs?
As is the case with many medications, Gabapentin has its own share of side effects. For instance, many reviewers said that that they found Gabapentin use addictive as is the case with alcohol and other drugs, withdrawal is an uphill task. Many side effects were reported from the elderly. Some of the known after effects include:
- Weight increase
- Reduced concentration
- Drowsiness and headache
- Some patients may experience reduced sex drive with other symptoms such as an inability to get an erection and a lower libido.
- Gabapentin has also been said to increase the risk of suicidal deaths.
- The effects of gabapentin usage depend on the individual user and may vary according to dosage
Safety Precautions for Taking Gabapentin Drug
- People with renal ailments should take low doses as this drug is said to cause increased accumulation of toxins.
- Consult with your doctor to ensure that your body will not have adverse reactions.
- It is wise to have the serum Gabapentin concentrations evaluated before administration. This reduces the likelihood of taking an overdose which might cause negative effects such as impaired vision, drowsiness or even death as mentioned earlier.
- In case of an overdose, seek immediate help.
- Do not take alcohol while under Gabapentin medication, it can cause side-effects.
- In the event that you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember.
- Never take two doses to make up for a skipped dose.
- Avoid mixing other drugs with Gabapentin before discussing it with your doctor. This could worsen the side effects. Drugs that may interfere with Gabapentin include herbal medicines and over-the-counter medicines such as vitamins. It is important to tell your doctor all the medicines you are on before starting on Gabapentin.
- Avoid antacids before taking this drug; they make its absorption into your body more constrained.
- Last but not the least; ensure you take this drug after a meal.
Other Uses of Gabapentin
As noted earlier, Gabapentin is used as an anxiety treatment drug as an off-label drug. Though it was essentially designed for bipolar patients, Gabapentin may be effective for the different ailments which include
- Infantile Nystagmus
- As a pain reliever for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis.
- Hot flashes treatment.
- May be used by people who are trying to quit smoking, though the results, in this case, are unclear.
- It is known to successfully treat restless leg syndrome and semi-convulsions by allowing them to sleep.
- Gabapentin is said to help people who are struggling with the effects of alcohol withdrawal although it does not avert the related convulsions.
- This drug is also said to be essential for stopping all sorts of body itching, for example, that which is mostly experienced by people with Kidney failure.
- May also be a good remedy for orthostatic tremors.
- This drug is also said to treat migraines.
Though it still remains an off-label prescription for anxiety, Gabapentin still remains one of the best-selling anxiety medications.