Gabapentine is an anti-epileptic drug, also called an anticonvulsant. It affects chemicals and nerves in the body that are involved in the cause of seizures and some types of pain. Gabapentin is used together with other medicines to treat partial seizures in adults and children at least 3 years old. Also, Gabapentin is used to treat neuropathic pain (nerve pain) caused by the herpes virus or shingles (herpes zoster) in adults.
There are many brands of gabapentin in the market but not all brands are the same. Use only the brand and form of gabapentin your doctor has prescribed. Check your medicine each time you get a refill to make sure you receive the correct form.
The Gralise brand of gabapentin is indicated for the management of neuropathic pain only. It is not used for epilepsy. Horizant is used to treat nerve pain and restless legs syndrome (RLS), while the Neurontin brand is used to treat seizures in adults and children who are at least 3 years old, in addition to neuropathic pain.
Before Taking Gabapentin
You should not use gabapentin if you are allergic to it. To make sure gabapentin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- Breathing problems or lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis)
- Depression, a mood disorder, or suicidal thoughts or actions
- A drug addiction
- Liver or heart disease
- If you are a day sleeper or work a night shift (for patients with RLS)
Why Substitute Gabapentin
Gabapentin can cause life-threatening breathing problems, especially if you already have a breathing disorder or if you use other medicines that can make you drowsy or slow your breathing. Seek emergency medical attention if you have very slow breathing.
Some people have thoughts about suicide or behaviour changes while taking gabapentin. Because of these dire effects, doctors and clients alike have sort alternatives to gabapentin.
Gabapentin can produce feelings of relaxation, calmness and euphoria. Some users have reported that the high from snorted gabapentin can be similar to taking a stimulant. It can also enhance the euphoric effects of other drugs, like heroin and other opioids, and is likely to increase the risks when taken in this way. Because of this feeling, people tend to abuse the drug which is highly addictive. Hence, gabapentin which is supposed to promote wellness is acting in the opposite direction.
Furthermore, in a released data gathered from autopsies performed on people who died of drug overdoses. The data revealed the presence of gabapentin alongside deadly opioids such as heroin and fentanyl. In fact, gabapentin was the most frequently detected substance in these autopsies.
Below, I shall list and explain some of the best drugs (or herbs) to substitute gabapentin with.
Xanax may be used for the treatment of anxiety or panic disorder; however, it is addictive and withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Prescribed for Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Depression. Xanax is of the drug class: Benzodiazepines.
Like Gabapentin, Common side effects of Xanax include: ataxia, cognitive dysfunction, constipation, difficulty in micturition, drowsiness, dysarthria, fatigue, memory impairment, skin rash, weight gain, weight loss, anxiety, blurred vision, diarrhoea, insomnia, decreased libido, increased appetite, and decreased appetite.
Clonazepam may reduce seizure frequency in specific seizure disorders and can be used short-term for panic disorder; however, it can cause dependence and withdrawal symptoms on discontinuation. Prescribed for Panic Disorder, Seizure Prevention, Epilepsy.
Clonazepam may also be prescribed off label for Benzodiazepine Withdrawal, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Sleep Paralysis, Restless Legs Syndrome, Primary Orthostatic Tremor, Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, Migraine Prevention, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Night Terrors, Insomnia, Hyperekplexia, Cluster-Tic Syndrome, Chronic Myofascial Pain, Burning Mouth Syndrome, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. Commonly reported side effects to include: drowsiness.
When gabapentin is taken for physical body pain and stress, green tea is a natural substitute. There are natural anti-toxicants and amino acids in each cup of Green Tea that can encourage your body to fight off any causes of pain directly.
Also, simply the act of making a cup of green tea can help to cure your pain. Sometimes, what is needed is a simple break from the stresses of day to day life to allow you to get a clear head. Stress can actually increase the feeling of physical pain in your body, and spending a few moments of the morning with some green tea can really help you without the need to take Gabapentin.
This natural alternative is great for removing any pain you feel on particular parts of your body. Rub some Aloe Vera gel into the painful areas both at the beginning and at the end of each day.
As well as providing instant pain relief, Aloe Vera can also help to stimulate the nerve endings on your skin to naturally repair themselves. In fact, some users even use Aloe Vera on cuts and find that Aloe Vera gets instantly to work in repairing the broken skin.
You can buy some Aloe Vera gel from almost all local health stores. And it is nowhere near as expensive as a prescription of Gabapentin. This makes Aloe Vera a cheap, and all-natural, alternative to Gabapentin for pain relief.
Frequently Asked Question
Is gabapentin considered a painkiller?
Yes. Gabapentin, also known by the brand name Neurontin, is a prescription painkiller belonging to its own drug class, Gabapentinoids. It is considered an anticonvulsant and is most commonly used to treat epilepsy, restless leg syndrome, hot flashes, and neuropathic pain
Can you drink coffee with gabapentin?
No, this is not advisable. Gabapentin can interact with caffeine and diminish its anticonvulsant effects
What vitamins should not be taken with gabapentin?
Aluminium or magnesium-containing products (such as antacids) should be avoided for at least two hours before gabapentin is administered.
If you have a genuine need for gabapentin but fear the risk of addiction, you should consider the alternatives listed above. However, if you are on gabapentin already, let your doctor be aware before you change drugs.