Easing Nerve Pain Using Gabapentin
One can experience nerve pain (also known as neuropathic pain) as a symptom of many health conditions which may include diabetes, cancer, HIV or shingles. This condition is known to cause other disorders such as anxiety, depression, and lack of sleep. Many find nerve pains not only frustrating and unbearable but also devastating. Neuropathic pain can be experienced as burning sensations, rapid electricity shocks or needle-like pricks.
Although there is no definite cure for nerve pain, the condition can be treated or suppressed through a number of options. This article focuses on treating nerve pain with gabapentin. If you have been wondering whether gabapentin is an ideal treatment for nerve pain, or if you have been in search of a neuropathic pain drug, search no more.
This article brings to light how gabapentin, sold as Neurontin has been used to treat nerve pains. We will also explore its effectiveness and its associated advantages and disadvantages in respect to treatment of nerve pains.
Using Gabapentin for Nerve Pain
Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant drug. It was originally used to treat seizures in epileptic patients. Over time, this drug has been used to treat a host of medical conditions including bipolar disorders, restless leg syndrome, anxiety and neuropathic pain.
Gabapentin has been approved by FDA as fit for treating nerve pains. Clinical researchers have reported positive results for many patients. Mixed results were observed in cases of diabetic, cancer, and HIV neuropathy. Nonetheless, this drug is highly recommended as the top option in the treatment of central nerve pains and post-herpetic neuralgia.
This drug can be taken at 100-300 mg three times a day for 3-7 days according to individual tolerance. Maximum daily dosage should not exceed 3600 mg. A dosage of 1800-3600 mg each day is known to be effective but calls for gradual usage for results to be achieved. Because the tolerance of gabapentin is low, effective results may take up to two months to be realized.
Because it is not metabolized hepatically, this drug has low interactions with other drugs. Nonetheless, patients with kidney ailments are required to have low doses.
Advantages of Using Gabapentin for Nerve Pain
- It is approved as a nerve pain reliever.
- It is relatively affordable.
- Unlike other pain relievers, this drug can hardly cause addiction and dependency.
- Using gabapentin for pain can help treat different ailments simultaneously; this is because it is a drug that is known to treat a host of other diseases as earlier mentioned.
Disadvantages of Using Gabapentin for Nerve Pain
- The drug causes dizziness. This is the most common side effect of gabapentin drug. Its occurrence can be reduced by administering lower doses. Other side effects include fatigue, increased weight, and headaches.
- Users who wished to withdraw from gabapentin administration complained of withdrawal effects ranging from fatigue, general body weakness, and headaches.
A summary of Reviews Left by Users Who Used Gabapentin to Treat Nerve Pain
- A reviewer said that she experienced terrible headaches but these went away after two weeks of administration. She was taking gabapentin to calm restless leg syndrome.
- After taking this drug to suppress pain caused by diabetes, another reviewer said that he experienced synapses after taking this drug.
- One said that he found gabapentin really efficient and he can now comfortably engage in his sports activities without having to worry about nerve pains.
Safety Measures to Ensure While Taking Gabapentin
- Do not take gabapentin as a remedy for nerve pain before consulting with a health practitioner.
- Explain your allergy history (if any) to your doctor before taking gabapentin.
- Avoid activities that require your full attention especially on the initial doses. Gabapentin is known to cause somnolence to some patients.
- Unless the doctor allows it, pregnant women should not take this drug. Nursing mothers should also seek medical advice first.
- Storage should be in room temperatures and away from moisture.
- Renal patients should take gabapentin sparingly to avoid rapid accumulation of toxins.
- Always tell the doctor if you are taking any other medications. He will advise on any interactions.
- If you skip a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless the next time for your next dose is near.
- Never take a double dose to cover for a missed one.
Millions of people suffer from nerve pains. It is a painful condition that requires serious treatment. Why gamble with over-the-counter medications? Gabapentin has been approved for neuropathic pain and many reports assert that it actually helps ease the pain, and though results may vary on the type of pain, still, gabapentin remains a viable nerve pain reliever.