Gabapentin And Alcohol
What happens to someone who takes Gabapentin and drinks alcohol? The consensus is that it’s dangerous to combine these two drugs. To understand what happens, you must understand the mechanisms behind each one.
Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant, meaning it primarily treats seizures. This drug can also treat nerve pain. Alcohol is a depressant that decreases the body’s motor functions and alertness. In addition, it limits the effects of Gabapentin and results in severe side effects due to potentiation.
That means when the drugs interact together in the human body, they each increase the effects caused by the other. For alcohol, this means that the high is more robust and takes effect with less of it. However, it also means that unfortunate side effects common with these drugs increase for Gabapentin and alcohol.
Anyone who takes prescription medications may know that drinking is not advisable. It is due to their combined effects can be heavily sedating and dangerous to the body’s nervous system. Despite these precautions, people commonly mix Gabapentin with drinking recreationally to enjoy the high. Like any misuse of prescriptions, this can lead to addiction, hospitalization, and possibly even death.
The most common reason for hospitalization while under the influence of drinking is injury from a fall. Drinking leads to a range of other side effects, including:
- Loss of coordination
- Extreme drowsiness
- Loss of memory
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
These side effects are incredibly unsafe if someone is driving, operating machinery, or exercising. It places the person and those around them at risk of injury.
While people who combine them are more likely to overdose than those who take the drugs separately, this is not a hard-and-fast rule. Some research suggests that drinking in moderation and taking Gabapentin as prescribed is acceptable. This data indicates that overdose from both drugs is unlikely, but this doesn’t mean that mixing them is always safe.
In a study supported by the NIAAA, researchers found that “evidence from single-site studies lend[s] support to the safety and efficacy of gabapentin as a novel treatment for alcohol use disorder, with unique benefits for alcohol-related insomnia and negative affect, relative to available treatments.”
This particular use is likely due to the anxiety-relieving effects that Gabapentin has on many people. In addition, it has led to the discovery that Gabapentin can be effective for withdrawal symptoms. It is, again, due to potentiation, which allows someone to drink less and still feel the same effects. For this reason, mixing them can help the body detoxify from drinking.
As you can see, there are varied results regarding their use. While there may be some therapeutic benefits to combining these medications, dosages are sensitive. Taking too much can be very dangerous. Always consult your doctor before mixing any drugs, as they will advise you correctly to help prevent or treat addiction appropriately.
Recently, new research for using Gabapentin as a possible treatment for alcohol use disorder. In a recent study, Gabapentin significantly improved abstinence from heavy drinking. It determined Gabapentin was a highly effective intervention for alcoholics.
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