30 Sec Answer: No, gabapentin is not a narcotic. It is an anticonvulsant and nerve pain reliever used to treat seizures and other neurological conditions.
What is Gabapentin?
Gabapentin (also known as Neurontin) is a prescription medication used to treat a variety of neurological disorders such as epilepsy, restless leg syndrome, and postherpetic neuralgia (nerve pain caused by shingles). It works by calming overactive nerves in the brain that can cause seizures or pain.
It is typically taken orally in pill form but can also be administered through injection. The dosage and frequency of use depend on the condition being treated and the individual’s response to the medication.
Is Gabapentin A Narcotic?
No, gabapentin is not a narcotic. Narcotics are powerful drugs with strong effects on the central nervous system; they are usually derived from opium poppies and are highly addictive when misused.
In contrast, gabapentin does not have any addictive properties and its effects are milder than those of narcotics. It is primarily used to relieve nerve-related pain and seizure activity, rather than providing a “high” like narcotics do.
How Does Gabapentin Work?
Gabapentin works by binding to specific receptors in the brain called voltage-dependent calcium channels (VDCCs). These channels help regulate the amount of calcium entering cells, which in turn affects how cells communicate with each other. By blocking these channels, gabapentin reduces activity in certain areas of the brain that may be causing seizures or chronic pain.
What Are The Side Effects Of Gabapentin?
Common side effects of gabapentin include dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and blurred vision. Other less common side effects may include difficulty concentrating, confusion, unsteadiness or clumsiness, depression, anxiety, agitation, irritability, problems with memory or coordination, restlessness, euphoria or mood swings.
Although rarer than these more common side effects, serious adverse reactions can occur when taking gabapentin including changes in vision, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD), suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Talk to your doctor if you experience any unusual symptoms while taking this medication.
Who Should Not Take Gabapentin?
People who are allergic to gabapentin should avoid taking it. People with kidney disease may need lower doses of gabapentin due to reduced clearance of the drug from their bodies; people with liver disease may require monitoring for possible increased side effects. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should speak with their doctors before taking this medication since it has not been adequately studied in these populations yet.
What Other Drugs Interact With Gabapentin?
Before starting gabapentin treatment it is important to tell your doctor about all medications you are currently taking as some drugs may interact negatively with each other. This includes both prescription and nonprescription medicines as well as herbal supplements or vitamins. Some drugs that may interact with gabapentin include opioids like codeine or morphine; benzodiazepines such as alprazolam or diazepam; antacids containing magnesium; and HIV protease inhibitors like indinavir or ritonavir. Your doctor will determine whether it is safe for you to take these medications together.
Is Gabapentin Habit Forming?
Unlike many other drugs used to treat neurological disorders such as epilepsy or nerve pain, there is no evidence that gabapentin produces physical dependence when taken at recommended dosages for a limited time period (usually around 6 weeks). However it has been observed that some people may develop psychological dependence upon long-term use so caution should be taken when discontinuing this medication abruptly without consulting your doctor first.
What Is The Recommended Dosage For Gabapentin?
The exact dosage required for any given patient depends on multiple factors such as age, weight and severity of the condition being treated; your doctor will determine the best dose for you based on your individual needs and adjust it accordingly if necessary during follow-up visits/appointments. Generally speaking though adults aged 18 years old and older typically start out with a dosage between 900 mg–1200 mg per day divided into 3 equal doses taken at evenly spaced intervals throughout the day; younger children tend to receive lower dosages depending on their weight/age range determined by their doctor’s discretion.
How Long Does It Take For Gabapentin To Work?
Most people will begin noticing improvements in their symptoms within 1–2 weeks after starting treatment but it can take up to 4–6 weeks before maximum benefits are seen so patience is key here! During this period your doctor might also change your dosage accordingly if necessary in order to find what works best for you specifically since everyone responds differently to medications depending on various factors such as body chemistry etc..
How Do I Store Gabapentin?
It is important to store this medication properly at room temperature away from light exposure; make sure to keep all pills tightly sealed in their original packaging until ready for use! Additionally if any capsules become hard or brittle then discard them immediately since they will no longer be effective once exposed too much air/humidity etc…
Can I Buy Gabapentin Online?
No – it is illegal to purchase controlled substances online without a valid prescription written by a licensed physician so please refrain from doing so otherwise legal action may be taken against you! However if you have been prescribed gabapentin by your healthcare provider then they might provide options such mail order pharmacies where one can buy their medications safely from home instead of having to physically visit them every time..
Final Thoughts On Gabapentin
Overall gabapentin appears to be an effective treatment option for certain neurological disorders including epilepsy & nerve pain although its efficacy varies greatly depending on individual responses etc… As always consult your doctor before beginning any new regimen & make sure read up on potential interactions between other medications/supplements you might already be taking beforehand too just be safe!