30 Sec Answer: Gabapentin should not be taken with certain medications, including opiates and other central nervous system depressants such as alcohol. Taking gabapentin with opioids can increase the risk of side effects such as drowsiness, difficulty breathing, confusion, dizziness, nausea, and loss of coordination.
What Drugs Do Not Go With Gabapentin?
Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant medication used to treat seizures and nerve pain caused by shingles. It works by decreasing abnormal electrical activity in the brain. While it is generally considered safe for most people, there are certain drugs that should not be taken with gabapentin. Here we will discuss what drugs do not go with gabapentin and why they may pose a risk when combined.
What Is Gabapentin?
Gabapentin is a medication primarily used to treat epilepsy and neuropathic pain. It works by decreasing abnormal electrical activity in the brain. The exact mechanism of action is unknown but it is believed to work by inhibiting the release of neurotransmitters involved in the transmission of pain signals. It may also reduce the excitability of nerve cells and improve their ability to resist seizures. It is available in both generic and brand name forms under various trade names including Neurontin, Gralise, and Horizant.
What Are the Side Effects of Gabapentin?
The most common side effects associated with gabapentin include fatigue, drowsiness, nausea, headaches, constipation, blurred vision, dizziness, unsteadiness or lightheadedness when standing up too quickly (postural hypotension), rash or itching, dry mouth, trouble sleeping or concentrating, diarrhea or abdominal pain. Serious side effects may include allergic reactions (such as swelling of face/tongue/throat) and seizures.
How Does Gabapentin Interact With Other Medications?
Gabapentin can interact with other medications including some over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, minerals supplements and herbal products. This means that taking these medicines together could increase your risk for serious side effects or make one or both medications less effective. When you start a new medication always tell your doctor about all other medications you are taking so that potential drug interactions can be monitored.
Opioids are a class of drugs commonly prescribed for moderate to severe pain relief. They work by blocking pain signals from reaching the brain and reducing levels of discomfort felt by an individual. Examples include hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin), morphine (MS Contin), codeine (Tylenol 3) and fentanyl (Duragesic). Taking gabapentin with opioids can increase the risk of serious side effects such as drowsiness, difficulty breathing, confusion, dizziness, nausea and loss of coordination due to excessive sedation which can lead to falls and fractures in elderly patients. It is therefore important to inform your healthcare provider if you are taking any opioid medications while on gabapentin treatment.
Central Nervous System Depressants
Central nervous system depressants are a class of medications that slow down normal brain functioning resulting in drowsiness and decreased alertness. These types of medications are often prescribed for anxiety or sleep disorders but can also be found in over-the-counter products such as cough syrups containing dextromethorphan or antihistamines like diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Alcohol is another example of a CNS depressant that should not be mixed with gabapentin as this combination could result in dangerous side effects such as increased drowsiness or impaired judgment which can impair driving abilities or put you at greater risk for accidental injury or death due to falls or motor vehicle accidents. Therefore it’s important to avoid consuming alcohol while on gabapentin therapy.
Tricyclic antidepressants are medications used to treat depression by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Examples include amitriptyline (Elavil), nortriptyline (Pamelor) and imipramine (Tofranil). Taking gabapentin with tricyclic antidepressants can result in serious side effects such as slowed heart rate which increases risk for heart attack or stroke especially in older adults; elevated body temperature; increased agitation; confusion; irregular heartbeat; coma; tremor; paralysis; seizures; delirium; hyponatremia; hyperglycemia; metabolic acidosis; hypotension; rhabdomyolysis; bradycardia; urinary retention; electrolyte disturbances; hyperthermia; serotonin syndrome; fever with no obvious cause and more serious health problems if taken long-term without medical supervision . Therefore it’s important to speak with your doctor before taking any antidepressant medication while on gabapentin therapy as well as notify them immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms while taking both drugs together.
Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs commonly prescribed for treating anxiety disorders such as panic attacks or generalized anxiety disorder as well as insomnia because they help promote relaxation by calming the mind and slowing down physical functions such as respiration rate and heart rate etc… Examples include alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin) lorazepam (Ativan) and diazepam (Valium). Mixing benzodiazepines with gabapentin increases the likelihood for serious side effects such as confusion , memory problems , speech difficulties , severe tiredness , feeling unsteady on feet , agitation , hallucinations , thoughts about suicide , aggression ; lack of coordination ; shallow breathing ; fainting ; seizures ; weak pulse ; increased urination frequency ; chest tightness ; visual changes ; dizziness ; stomach cramps . Therefore combining these two classes of drugs should only be done under close medical supervision .
Corticosteroids are synthetic hormones commonly used to treat inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases like lupus or psoriasis . Examples include prednisone , methylprednisolone (Medrol) , dexamethasone (Decadron )and hydrocortisone (Cortef ). Taking corticosteroids together with gabapentin increases risk for serious side effects such non – healing wounds , joint pain , weight gain , poor wound healing , vomiting & diarrhea , bone density decrease leading to osteoporosis . Therefore anyone taking corticosteroid therapy must inform their doctor before starting gabapentin treatment so that potential risks can be assessed .
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs known as NSAIDs are commonly used to reduce inflammation related to arthritis , injuries & sprains among other conditions . Examples include ibuprofen (Motrin )& naproxen sodium (Aleve ). Taking NSAIDs while on gabapentin treatment may increase risk for gastrointestinal ulcers & bleeding which may require hospitalization & even surgery depending on severity . In addition they may also lead to kidney failure due to reduced kidney blood flow which further increases chance for developing high blood pressure & congestive heart failure if left untreated . Therefore anyone considering taking NSAIDs while on gabapenti n therapy should discuss risks vs benefits beforehand with their physician & follow up closely after beginning treatment regimen .
Antiplatelet agents like aspirin & clopidogrel bisulfate inhibit platelets from forming blood clots thus helping prevent strokes & other cardiovascular events . Combining these drugs with gabapentin has been