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Gabapentin

Sounds Like: ga.ba.pen.tin

Classification: anticonvulsant

Controlled Substance Act Schedule: RX only

Other names for Gabapentin

  • Gralise
  • Horizant
  • Neurontin

Gabapentin Addiction

Gabapentin, a prescription painkiller, does carry a risk of addiction and abuse, though it is less addictive then most opioids. A physical dependence for gabapentin can develop with frequent use of the drug. While gabapentin may have a calming effect, it can cause suicidal thoughts and behavioral changes. The drug has been used to treat withdrawal symptoms from alcohol dependency.

Law enforcement officials have increasingly encountered gabapentin, according to a report from the Drug Enforcement Agency.¬† A survey of 503 adults in Appalachian Kentucky found that 15% of respondents reported using gabapentin specifically to “get high.” In a survey of 1,500 residents of the United Kingdom, 1% reported they had misused gabapentin.

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Intended Use of Gabapentin

Gabapentin is typically prescribed to relieve nerve pain and discomfort. The drug may be recommended for people suffering from postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) which is a burning or stabbing sensation that can last for months after someone has experienced an attack of the shingles virus. It is also prescribed to help stop restless leg syndrome, and to treat seizures.

The drug is sometimes used to treat diabetic neuropathy pain, which includes numbness or tingling in people who have nerve damage due to diabetes. It’s also been shown to prevent or decrease hot flashes in women who are being treated for breast cancer or who are experiencing menopause.

How Gabapentin Is Taken

Gabapentin can be administered in capsules, tablets or in an oral solution. In most cases the drug is swallowed. It’s important to follow a doctor’s orders when taking gabapentin, and talk to your pharmacist if you are taking other medications or have questions about the dosage.

Side Effects of
Gabapentin

  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • anxiety
  • nausea
  • unsteadiness
  • weight gain
  • rash
  • itching
  • red, itchy eyes
  • involuntary rapid eye movement

Signs of an
Addiction to Gabapentin

Inability to function normally without gabapentin

Prioritizing use of gabapentin over spending time with family and friends

Strong urge to take gabapentin

Purchasing gabapentin without a prescription

Gabapentin
Abuse Facts

Gabapentin was detected in 168 fatalities from 2012 to 2016, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency.

The National Forensic Laboratory reported 3,120 cases of gabapentin being used illegally in 2018.

Gabapentin is not listed under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.