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Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant. Common brand names for this drug include Gralise®, Horizant®, and Neurontin®.
This drug helps treat various medical conditions. It can help treat certain seizures in individuals who have epilepsy.
Doctors may also prescribe this drug for:
Using gabapentin can cause different side effects, including:
Rarer but more serious side effects of the drug include:
Mixing gabapentin with central nervous system (CNS) depressants can create stronger side effects. These include alcohol, antihistamines, and muscle relaxants, among others
Yes, gabapentin can be addictive.
It is less addictive than opioids, but physical dependence and tolerance can still develop.
Withdrawal symptoms may occur when you stop taking the medication suddenly.
Quitting gabapentin all at once can result in more frequent seizures. Doctors may taper your dose over a week or more to minimize the risk of such symptoms.
There is not enough evidence to answer this question conclusively.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that gabapentin may help treat alcohol withdrawal and promote alcohol abstinence.
In the randomized clinical trial, 1% of the placebo participants reported total alcohol abstinence. 41% of the gabapentin participants reached total abstinence.
However, more studies are needed. Especially in people who have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), liver disease, and psychiatric and health conditions.
Also, the study authors report supportive counseling or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) attendance may have contributed to treatment success.
No, you should not drink alcohol on gabapentin.
You should not take any medication that can cause drowsiness or dizziness.
Drinking alcohol can increase the severity of side effects and the risk of overdose or death.
Gabapentin alone can cause:
Alcohol is a CNS depressant, so it has similar side effects. Mixing gabapentin and alcohol increases the risk of these effects. It can also make them worse.
In more severe cases, alcohol and gabapentin can cause respiratory depression. Difficulty breathing or swallowing can result in death.
Also, the risk of death by overdose is possible. Alcohol can make the symptoms of gabapentin overdose worse.
Symptoms of gabapentin overdose include:
The risk of gabapentin-alcohol interactions is higher in women and the elderly. Both women and the elderly cannot metabolize alcohol efficiently.
This means that alcohol stays in the body longer and can interact with gabapentin.
There are many treatment options available for alcohol use disorder (AUD) and addiction, including:
Inpatient treatment takes place at a licensed residential treatment center.
These programs provide 24/7 comprehensive, structured care. You'll live in safe, substance-free housing and have access to professional medical monitoring.
The first step of an inpatient program is detoxification. Then behavioral therapy and other services are introduced. These programs typically last 30, 60, or 90 days, sometimes longer.
Most programs help set up your aftercare once you complete the inpatient portion of your treatment.
Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are sometimes referred to as intensive outpatient programs (IOPs). Partial hospitalization programs provide similar services to inpatient programs.
Services include medical care, behavioral therapy, and support groups, along with other customized therapies.
However, in a PHP program, you return home to sleep. Some services provide food and transportation, but services vary by program.
PHPs accept new patients as well as people who have completed an inpatient program and still need intensive treatment.
Outpatient treatment is less intensive than inpatient or partial hospitalization programs.
These programs organize your treatment session based on your schedule. The goal of outpatient treatment is to provide therapy, education, and support in a flexible environment.
They are best for people who have a high motivation to recover and cannot leave their responsibilities at home, work, or school. Outpatient programs are often part of aftercare programs once you complete an inpatient or PHP program.
Sometimes medications may be used in alcohol addiction treatment.
Some medicines can help reduce the negative side effects of detoxification and withdrawal.
Others can help you reduce cravings and normalize body functions. Disulfiram (Antabuse), acamprosate (Campral), and naltrexone are the most common medications used to treat AUD.
When combined with other evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), MAT can help prevent relapse and increase your chance of recovery.
Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Self-Management And Recovery Training (SMART) are open to anyone with a substance use disorder.
They are peer-led organizations dedicated to helping each other remain sober. Support groups can be the first step towards recovery or part of a long-term aftercare plan.
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