gabapentin and alcohol side effects

Gabapentin is a prescription drug that is used mainly to treat seizures. It can also be used to treat nerve damage in shingles patients. It may be sold under a brand name, such as Gralise, Horizant, or Neurontin. 

Gabapentin can also be abused. People who abuse the drug sometimes report feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and calm. Abusing this drug is dangerous enough by itself, but mixing it with alcohol could make matters even worse.

Learn everything you need to know about the side effects of mixing gabapentin and alcohol below, including how you can get addiction treatment if you are struggling with the abuse of these substances.

Gabapentin Side Effects

Gabapentin was initially thought to have little potential for abuse, but recent studies like the one cited above are finding that this is not the case. As more people show up at treatment centers due to abuse of the drug, we need to increase public knowledge about it.

Gabapentin has several potential side effects, some of which can be serious. There are several dozen side effects that could stem from using this drug, but we will stick with some of the more common ones for the sake of this article. 

Common Side Effects of Gabapentin

  • Clumsiness, unsteadiness, or lack of coordination.
  • Uncontrolled eye movements.
  • Behavioral problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Mood swings
  • Blurred vision
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Dementia
  • Delusions

There are too many side effects of gabapentin to list here, but as you can see, some of them are very serious. 

Risks of Combining Alcohol and Gabapentin

Alcohol can make some side effects of gabapentin even worse. For this reason, it is not recommended to drink and take this drug. If you have a prescription for the drug and your doctor tells you to avoid drinking while you are on it, you need to take that advice.

Even if you have a prescription, failing to listen to your doctor’s orders regarding drinking while on gabapentin means you are abusing the drug. When it comes to medications, using them in any way other than exactly as they are prescribed is the same as abusing them. You could be abusing gabapentin just by drinking.

Alcohol can make certain side effects of gabapentin worse. For the most part, alcohol will increase the nervous system side effects of the drug.

Side effects From Mixing Alcohol With Gabapentin

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of coordination
  • Trouble focusing
  • Impaired thinking and judgment
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches

It may be possible to take Gabapentin and still drink a small amount, but you need to talk to your doctor before doing this. If you don’t, you could face any of these serious side effects of mixing the two drugs.

Get Addiction Treatment for Drugs and Alcohol

Are you or someone you love looking for drug or alcohol addiction treatment? Are you fed up with seeing your life ruined by drugs or alcohol? If so, maybe it’s time to give us a visit.

At Spring Hill Recovery Center, you will be treated as an individual and given a plan that works for you. Every patient’s recovery journey looks different, and the best treatment centers recognize that fact by creating personalized plans for every patient.

No matter who you are, some elements of substance abuse treatment are likely to show up in your recovery plan. Some basic foundations of treatment include:

  • 12-step programs: These tried-and-true group therapy models are great for confidence building and creating a continuum of care for patients after they leave rehab.
  • Counseling: You can’t overcome your addiction without knowing and understanding your underlying causes for substance abuse. Therapy helps you understand your triggers, so that you can avoid and change them.
  • Activity therapy: To recover from addiction, you need to be healthy and balanced as a whole. Activities like yoga, meditation, art, and exercise can help you achieve a sense of calm that is essential to overcoming your substance abuse.

Call our treatment specialists today to learn more about how you can start the path to a better life.

Sources

  1. Gabapentin and Alcohol / Food Interactions. (n.d.).
  2. Gabapentin Side Effects. (n.d.).
  3. Substance misuse of gabapentin. (n.d.).