Gabapentin and Alcohol

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Both gabapentin and alcohol are central nervous system depressants that produce similar effects. But what are the outcomes of taking these two substances together? Can you drink alcohol while taking Gabapentin? What are the effects of mixing Gabapentin and alcohol? Is it safe?

Avenues provides a detailed and informative article that will provide you with all the information you need to ensure that you use the medication safely.

Gabapentin and Alcohol Use

Gabapentin (Neurontin) is an anticonvulsant medication that is commonly prescribed to treat the following conditions:

  • Nerve pain from shingles
  • Seizures caused by epilepsy
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Alcohol addiction

The drug works by slowing nerve activity in the central nervous system and increasing the effects of GABA in the brain. Through these processes, pain is managed.

Alcohol is also a central nervous system depressant. This means that when Gabapentin and alcohol are taken together, the side effects are exacerbated, resulting in dangerous behaviors. People abuse Gabapentin and alcohol together to achieve the intense effects, but the results of this act can be fatal.

Can You Drink Alcohol with Gabapentin?

Drinking alcohol while taking Gabapentin is definitely not recommended. Combining the two will worsen the side effects, and cognitive abilities as well as mood stability can be disturbed as a result. For example, one will feel very drowsy and less attentive to one’s surroundings.

So, how long after taking Gabapentin can you drink alcohol? The answer is based around the half-life of Gabapentin, which is 5-7 hours. Most drugs are eliminated from the body in 5 half-lives, so Gabapentin will be removed from the system in approximately 25-35 hours. This is how long one should wait to drink alcohol after taking Gabapentin. Always discuss this matter with your doctor before drinking.

Gabapentin and Alcohol Interactions

Mixing Gabapentin and Alcohol increases the risk of experiencing stronger side effects. Since both affect one’s mood and cognitive abilities, when one takes Gabapentin with alcohol, it can result in severe mood changes and impaired thinking. Moreover, one can become very lethargic, and which could be extremely hazardous whilst driving.                                                                                                                

Another side effect that may be intensified when combining Gabapentin and alcohol is slowed breathing. When one consumes both substances, one’s breathing can become precariously slow and shallow, resulting in a life-threatening situation.

Here are two reasons why mixing Gabapentin with alcohol should not be done:

  1. Alcohol interferes with the absorption of Gabapentin, reducing its effects on the system.
  2. Alcohol can increase the concentration levels of Gabapentin in the blood, making it harmful and toxic to the body.

Gabapentin and Alcohol Side Effects

Side effects of Gabapentin are usually manageable, but when combined with alcohol, they can worsen drastically. The following side effects could be amplified when combining gabapentin and alcohol:

  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Cognitive disturbances
  • Gastrointestinal issues; e.g., constipation, nausea
  • Increased anxiety
  • Impaired coordination
  • Breathing problems
  • Depression
  • Ataxia
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Memory loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Tremors
  • Swelling in hands, feet, legs or ankles
  • Fever
  • Headache

Should you or someone around you experience any of the above symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. The results can be life-threatening.

Can You Overdose on Gabapentin and Alcohol?

Overdosing on Gabapentin and alcohol is a dangerous possibility. Moreover, some studies have shown that Gabapentin can increase the risk of alcohol overdose. Always seek medical advice before combining the two substances.

Gabapentin and Alcohol Withdrawal

Experts say that Gabapentin can help reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms. This an off-label use, which means it’s not yet FDA approved. Here are some other off-label uses of Gabapentin:

  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Trigeminal neuralgia

Gabapentin helps with alcohol withdrawal in the following ways:

  1. It helps to lower the risk for seizures and hallucinations.
  2. It helps stop the urge to drink.
  3. It treats sleeping issues.
  4. It reduces cravings for alcohol.
  5. It lowers anxiety.
  6. It boosts one’s mood.
  7. It can prevent relapse.

Help for Gabapentin or Alcohol Addiction

If you or someone you care about is addicted to Gabapentin or alcohol, it’s important to reach out to professionals in the field who can help you change your life for the better. In a treatment facility you can achieve detox in a caring and medically supervised environment, where after different types of therapies can help address the core problem: the reasons behind the addictions. Once the reasons are identified, different coping skills can be learnt which will help one to deal with issues in the correct, healthy way instead of reaching out to substances to numb the emotional pain.

If you notice signs of addiction in yourself or someone around you, reach out to Avenues Recovery Center before the addiction escalates. Our expert staff have helped thousands of people overcome their addictions and they can help you too. We pride ourselves in offering the highest level of care and professionalism. We use a wide array of therapies and personalized treatment plans to deliver optimal care. Our highly trained and caring staff will guide and support you every step of the way to recovery. If you would like to turn your life around, contact us today so that you can begin your journey towards a brighter, happier and addiction-free future.

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