30 Sec Answer: The maximum length of time that you can safely stay on gabapentin is up to five years. However, this depends on your individual medical history and dosage. It’s important to discuss any potential long-term risks with your doctor before starting a course of gabapentin.
Gabapentin is a medication used to treat certain types of seizures, as well as pain associated with shingles and nerve damage caused by diabetes or multiple sclerosis. It is also sometimes prescribed for off-label uses such as treating anxiety or depression. As with all medications, it’s important to understand how long you can take gabapentin safely before considering any alternatives or stopping treatment altogether. In this article we’ll look at the recommended duration of use and potential side effects of taking gabapentin for an extended period of time.
What Is Gabapentin?
Gabapentin is a prescription drug that belongs to the class of drugs known as anticonvulsants. It works by decreasing abnormal activity in the brain and has been approved for the treatment of partial seizures, postherpetic neuralgia (nerve pain after shingles), and other forms of neuropathic pain. It may also be prescribed off-label for other conditions such as anxiety and insomnia.
How Long Can You Stay On Gabapentin?
The maximum length of time that you can safely stay on gabapentin is up to five years. After that, the risk of developing side effects becomes greater. Additionally, studies have shown that long-term use of gabapentin may increase the risk of developing mental health problems such as depression or suicidal thoughts. For this reason, it is important to discuss any potential risks with your doctor before starting a course of gabapentin for more than five years.
What Are The Recommended Dosage Levels?
The recommended dosage levels for gabapentin depend on your condition and the severity of your symptoms. Generally speaking, most adults should not exceed a dose of 2400 mg per day. If you are being treated for epilepsy or postherpetic neuralgia, then your doctor will likely prescribe a lower dose depending on your individual needs. It’s important to stick to the dosage prescribed by your doctor so that you can remain within safe limits and avoid any potentially harmful side effects.
What Are The Side Effects Of Taking Gabapentin For An Extended Period Of Time?
Taking gabapentin for an extended period of time carries certain risks including drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, constipation, increased appetite, weight gain, swelling in the hands or feet, changes in behavior or mood swings, difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly, memory problems, dry mouth, tremors or shaking hands and feet, tiredness or fatigue, loss of coordination and balance issues. These side effects generally become more common when taking higher doses for longer periods of time; however it’s always important to talk to your doctor about any potential risks before starting a new medication or continuing one for an extended period of time.
How Should I Take Gabapentin To Minimize Side Effects?
To minimize the side effects associated with taking gabapentin for an extended period of time it’s important to follow the instructions provided by your doctor carefully regarding dosage levels and timing. Additionally, there are some steps that you can take yourself to help reduce the severity and frequency of these side effects including drinking plenty of water throughout the day and avoiding alcohol consumption while taking this medication. Lastly, if you experience any unusual symptoms or feel unwell while taking gabapentin then it’s important to contact your healthcare provider right away so they can assess whether any changes need to be made in regards to dosage levels or timing in order to prevent further complications from occurring.
Overall, understanding how long you can stay on gabapentin is essential if you’re considering using this medication for an extended period of time due to its potential side effects which can become more severe when taken over an extended duration. It’s important to discuss any concerns with your doctor prior to starting treatment so they can adjust dosages accordingly and monitor you regularly for any signs or symptoms that may indicate something isn’t quite right with your body’s reaction to this particular drug.