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Gabapentin: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Warnings

By June 7, 2023 March 19th, 2024 No Comments

is gabapentin addictive for sleep

Electroencephalography (EEG) readings indicated that gabapentin altered brain waves during sleep, particularly by increasing delta-2 and theta amplitude in Stage 1 of sleep and by reducing sigma activity in Stages N2 and N3 of sleep. Moreover, gabapentin appeared to increase heart rate-variability (HRV) during Stages N2 and N3 of sleep – plus increased visual motor processing speed in neuropsychological tests. The exact degree to which each of the aforestated [hypothesized] mechanisms of gabapentin’s action facilitate a therapeutically-relevant hypnotic effect is unknown. It’s possible that a specific mechanism or a combination of mechanisms are responsible for facilitating the totality of gabapentin’s hypnotic effect. For example, maybe voltage-gated calcium channel inhibition may be the only relevant hypnotic mechanism. Some people do report feeling groggy the following morning after taking their medication.

is gabapentin addictive for sleep

A total of 63 individuals that met DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for major depression were recruited for participation. It was noted that all participants had received treatment with selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Neurontin (gabapentin) is used to treat pain you may have from shingles (postherpetic nerve pain). It is also used with other seizure medicines for partial onset seizures in patients 3 years and older. Gabapentin can interact with several medications, leading to different effects. Gabapentin’s exact mechanism of action is not fully understood, but it is believed to work by reducing abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

Important considerations when taking gabapentin

Although the polysomnographic assessments clearly indicated improved sleep following gabapentin administration, no differences were discovered on subjective scales of drowsiness and functioning. Nonetheless, researchers concluded that single-dose gabapentin appears to enhance many aspects of sleep [after alcohol consumption]. In 2016, results 7 topics covered in group therapy for substance abuse from an open-label pilot study conducted by North, Hong, and Rauck were published in which extended-release gabapentin was administered to individuals with fibromyalgia. The primary aim of the study was to determine whether gabapentin could alleviate pain, but a secondary aim was to determine whether gabapentin could enhance sleep.

is gabapentin addictive for sleep

Researchers concluded that the administration of gabapentin increases slow-wave sleep and sleep efficiency while decreases spontaneous arousal. Although this study was relatively small-scale (with just 18 participants) and short-term, its findings support the hypothesis that gabapentin can effectively treat primary insomnia while favorably modulating sleep architecture. That said, a larger randomized controlled trial is needed to rule out placebo responses and strengthen the quality of data. That said, there were no differences in breakthrough pain frequency, pain severity, and pain duration based on the titration regimen.

Specifically, gabapentin users experienced less initial insomnia and were less likely to report “feeling tired and worn out” upon waking. Neither agent was regarded as more tolerable than the other – as evidenced by similar dropout rates. In other words, a person with sleep disturbances stemming from deficits in cortical GABA may benefit most from enhancement of GABA synthesis, whereas someone with overactive NMDA receptors may benefit more from the NMDA receptor inhibition. These individual differences may be related to brain morphology, genetic expression, medication and/or supplement regimen, and lifestyle. This medication boosts deep sleep, the stage of sleep known for improving memory consolidation. It’s also been shown to improve sleep efficiency, or the time spent asleep while you’re in bed, as well as preventing sleep interruptions.

Reports note that gabapentin is often used by people abusing other medicines, such as opioid painkillers like oxycodone, muscle relaxants, and anxiety medications such as Valium and Xanax to boost the high. In the general population, around 1% of people are estimated to misuse gabapentin, but in those who abuse opioids, one study has noted that 15% to 20% of people abuse the drug. In drug abuse treatment centers, up to 22% of people were reported to be misusing gabapentin.

What is gabapentin?

One important interaction is with opioids, such as morphine or oxycodone, which can cause severe sleepiness, respiratory depression, coma, or even death. Additionally, medications used to treat stomach acid problems, such as aluminum or magnesium-containing antacids, can reduce the effectiveness of gabapentin. It is primarily prescribed to manage partial seizures in epilepsy patients. It is also effective in treating postherpetic neuralgia, a type of nerve pain that occurs after a shingles infection.

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant medication primarily used to treat seizures and nerve pain. Originally developed as a muscle relaxer and anti-spasmodic medication, gabapentin was later found to have anticonvulsive properties. It is also used as an adjunct medication in combination with more potent anticonvulsants.

  1. If you have any concerns or questions, be sure to call your healthcare provider or pharmacist right away.
  2. It has also been used “off-label” to treat other conditions like fibromyalgia, anxiety, alcoholism or other types of nerve pain.
  3. To determine whether gabapentin is efficacious for the enhancement of sleep and/or treatment of insomnia, it is necessary to examine results from relevant studies [in which gabapentin was formally assessed as a sleep aid].
  4. For the study, researchers assigned 34 fibromyalgia-diagnosed individuals to receive gabapentin ER (extended-release) starter packs for a duration of 12 weeks.

A lower starting dose may be necessary to prevent overdose and accumulation of the drug in the body. Gabapentin was initiated at a dosage of 300 mg nightly and titrated upwards “as-needed” to a maximum dosage of 1800 mg nightly. Trazodone was initiated at 25 mg nightly and titrated upwards “as-needed” to a maximum dosage of 300 mg nightly.

Gabapentin use in elderly patients

In addition, a sensitivity analysis was conducted by removing each trial one at a time, and the publication bias was evaluated using the Egger test. PubMed was searched for all clinical trials related to the present research topic (up to November 8, 2015). The keywords selected from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) included intervention, study type, and endpoint event.

It is recommended to space the administration of these medications at least 2 hours apart to avoid this interaction. Moreover, it is worth noting that pooled statistics were used with the basic premise of analyzing the efficacy of gabapentin. In this study, we introduced the concept of “composite endpoints” to pool sleep-outcome data that had similar significance and consistent direction. In a broad sense, this research method is in accordance with the basic principle of meta-analysis (39). Except for the 26 trials above that had unclear risks, the trials included in this study had low risks of bias (Figures S1 and S2 in Supplementary Material).

Summary of key points about gabapentin

Serious breathing problems can also occur when gabapentin is taken with other medicines that can cause severe sleepiness or decreased awareness and by someone who already has breathing problems. Gabapentin withdrawal symptoms have been reported since the drug was approved. However, the individuals in these reports experienced symptoms after discontinuing higher-than-recommended 8 best opioid detox and rehab centers doses of gabapentin and for uses for which the drug was not approved. Never stop taking gabapentin without talking to your healthcare provider first. Stopping gabapentin suddenly can cause serious problems, including increasing your risk of seizures (if you are taking gabapentin to control seizures) or not improving your symptoms (if taking gabapentin for other indications).

How common is gabapentin addiction?

If you have epilepsy, stopping gabapentin suddenly can cause serious seizures that will not stop, known as status epilepticus. If you forget to take a dose of gabapentin, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s just a few hours before it’s time to take your next dose, take only one dose. If you have any concerns 4 ways to pass a drug test or questions, be sure to call your healthcare provider or pharmacist right away. It takes about 2 to 3 hours for immediate-release gabapentin to reach its fullest effect, and it’s typically taken 3 times per day. It is advised not to drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how the medication affects you.

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