Drugs prescribed to treat specific illnesses are often capable of resulting in physical dependency. One such substance is gabapentin.
Also known as neurotonin, gabapentin impacts brain chemistry to produce specific intended results. The chemical is similar to the neurotransmitter called GABA, which is an abbreviation for gamma-Aminobutyric acid. This brain chemical’s primary function is to calm nerves and prevent excessive excitement inside the nervous system and throughout the body.
How Gabapentin Works Inside The Body?
Gabapentin has been extended its own classification of drugs titled gabapentinoid. Once ingested, the chemical influences electrical activity within the brain and the function of neurotransmitters.
As the drug takes hold, said substance calms overactive nerves and is known to precipitate feelings of calmness, tranquility, and comfort. Therefore, it is often effective in eliminating or easing chronic pain, insomnia, or anxiety-related disorders.
Gabapentin is most commonly prescribed to treat convulsive illnesses like epilepsy. The substance has also proven effective in alleviating nerve pain associated with rashes like shingles. Additionally, the chemical has found success easing the pain and uncontrolled movements occurring in those stricken with restless leg syndrome.
Though the drug comes in liquid and capsule form, there is no set dosage by which users should ingest this product for therapeutic purposes. Prescribing physicians will render that determination after considering factors including the intended recipient’s:
- General health
- The specific condition the drug is being prescribed to address
- The offending malady’s severity
Moreover, specific dosage might be contingent upon the prospective user’s kidney and liver functions, weight, and mental health.
Potential Side Effects
Gabapentin has been known to elicit side effects. Typically, the most common occurrences are dizziness, insomnia, and balance issues. That said, the substance is capable of producing other outcomes like:
- Body aches
- Digestive problems
- Vision disturbances
- Weight gain
- Mood alterations
Furthermore, the drug has also been reported to have caused flu or cold-like symptoms.
Is Gabapentin Addictive?
Medical professionals caution that the drug could precipitate addiction on two fronts.
First, any drug that eases pain or produces a sense of calmness and relaxation carries the risk of growing addictive. However, even when used properly and for short periods, gabapentin alters brain chemistry. When this happens, the body reacts to the cessation of ingestion and withdrawal manifestations can be experienced.
Abrupt stoppage of the drug carries the potential to produce numerous withdrawal symptoms.
Individuals using the drug to treat convulsive disorders could witness a precipitous increase in seizure activity. That said, afflicted subjects might experience other physical and mental manifestations including:
- Increased perspiration
- Mood disturbances
- Body pains
Those undergoing withdrawal might also encounter cognitive issues like confusion, memory loss, and concentration difficulties.
Withdrawal symptoms may commence anywhere from 12 hours to as long as seven days after the last dosage. However, persons with severer or long-standing dependencies should expect manifestations to begin faster and be more intense.
The Detox Process
Physicians and drug treatment experts strongly urge those ending usage do so at a gradual pace or detox under the strict supervision of trained and experienced medical professionals.
These individuals recommend the cessation of the drug occur inside a hospital or treatment center. Moreover, the dosage the individual was ingesting should be reduced ever so slowly over the period of at least one week. This enables the drug to exit the user’s system and either prevent or limit the strength of withdrawal symptoms.
Researchers have found that gabapentin abuse is not terribly common.
However, those who do misuse the substance often do so while abusing other drugs like opioids. Unfortunately, persons ingesting prodigious quantities of multiple dangerous substances stand at greater risk of suffering extreme withdrawal concerns or fatal overdoses.
Dependent subjects seeking to overcome their addictions might also seek drug treatment in an inpatient or outpatient setting.
Detoxing gabapentin from one’s system is a critical first step in the recovery process. That said, a solid percentage of addicts will require treatment geared towards helping said individuals determine the underlying reasons their addictions took hold, identify coping mechanisms, achieve optimal mental and spiritual health, and learn how to embrace sobriety.
Several factors play into choosing the most befitting form of treatment, such as one’s age, overall health, financial circumstances, familial responsibilities, and mental state.
Reaching Out To Us
Those currently experiencing gabapentin or any other chemical dependency are implored to contact us. Our Columbus, Ohio facility has helped an appreciable number of current addicts become former addicts and look forward to helping many more across the United States achieve that important distinction. Call us at 833-820-2922.