Gabapentin is a medication that is used to treat anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. This was developed to treat seizures originally. But is now effective in treating other conditions as well. Gabapentin works by increasing the amount of GABA, a neurotransmitter. It helps regulate mood and anxiety. It is important to note that gabapentin does not work for everyone, and it may take some time to find the correct dosage.
- 1 What Is Gabapentin?
- 2 Tips Before Starting Gabapentin
- 3 How To Take Gabapentin?
- 4 Is The Medication Safe To Take?
- 5 Other Uses Of Gabapentin
- 6 Benefits Of Gabapentin For Anxiety, Depression & Bipolar Disorder
- 7 Side Effects Of The Medicine
- 8 Alternatives For Gabapentin
- 9 Concluding Thoughts
- 10 A Word From Therapy Mantra
What Is Gabapentin?
Gabapentin is a prescription medication that is used to treat a number of conditions, including anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. It is in a class of medications known as anticonvulsants. Gabapentin works by modifying the actions of certain chemicals in the brain.
It is an important part of knowing about the various medications to treat mental health. Because it helps in managing them.
If you have been diagnosed with any mental illness conditions. You must talk to your doctor about whether gabapentin might be a good option for you. This medication is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of seizures, but it is also commonly used to treat other conditions.
Tips Before Starting Gabapentin
Before starting gabapentin medication, be sure to inform your doctor about any other medications you’re taking. That includes over-the-counter drugs and supplements.
In some cases, gabapentin may worsen anxiety symptoms. If this occurs, your doctor may recommend a lower dose or advise you to stop taking the medication.
It is very important to dig out facts before beginning a new medication.
Some Tips Before Starting Medication
These are some of the tips one should remember while taking this medication.
- Be honest with your doctor about other medications you’re taking. Both prescription and over-the-counter.
- Some people experience worsened anxiety symptoms when starting gabapentin. If this occurs, your doctor may recommend a lower dose or advise you to stop taking the medication.
- Make sure you understand why you’re taking the medication. Be aware of the potential side effects to watch out.
- Start with a low dose and increase gradually as directed by your doctor.
- If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. They want you to be safe and comfortable with your treatment plan.
- Gabapentin is also sometimes prescribed off-label for bipolar disorder. Mania can often be treated with gabapentin in combination with other medications.
It is not fully understood how gabapentin helps with anxiety and mood disorders. But it is assumed doing this, effectively stabilizes the emotions & helps to keep them within a normal range.
How To Take Gabapentin?
Ways of taking the medicine are generally prescribed by a doctor. Gabapentin is available in tablet, capsule, and liquid form. The medicine may be taken with or without food. But should be swallowed whole with plenty of water.
However, the dosage of the medicine is totally dependent on the doctor’s prescriptions. Those prescriptions are influenced by such followings factors;
- The severity of the condition and requirement of the patient,
- The patient’s age and weight,
- Other medications the person is taking,
- Side effects of the drug.
There are other things also which should be kept in mind while taking Gabapentin. For instance, do not crush or chew the tablets. Doing this will destroy the sustained-release action.
Is The Medication Safe To Take?
There are questions related to its safety that continue to circulate. The main concern is the potential for abuse and addiction. However, studies have shown that Gabapentin does not seem to be addictive in most people who take it.
There are also concerns about its effects on pregnant women and their developing babies. So far, there is no evidence that Gabapentin possesses any major risks for pregnant women or their babies.
Gabapentin is a medication that has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. It is a prescription drug that is available in both tablet and capsule form. Gabapentin belongs to a class of medications called anticonvulsants.
With many kinds of research, it is proven to be as safe as other medications prescribed to the same.
Other Uses Of Gabapentin
It is a helpful medication that cures diseases includes; anxiety, bipolar disorder, and depression. Apart from this, it helps in curing hair fall and chronic pain. Gabapentin is an oral drug that comes in the form of capsules or tablets. It is mainly used to prevent seizures and treat restless leg syndrome (RLS).
Other uses of gabapentin are as follows that usually remains unknown;
- It helps in relieving pain after surgery,
- Gabapentin is also found to be effective in treating chronic pain.
- Withdrawal of alcohol is very difficult, by taking this medication one can overcome this difficulty.
- Gabapentin helps in reducing the risk of developing diabetes.
- It is also used to prevent migraine headaches.
- It helps in stabilizing the mood swings and controlling the manic episodes.
- Used as a mood stabilizer for people with bipolar disorder.
- Doctors prescribe gabapentin off-label for social anxiety, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
So, here are numerous benefits of the medicine. If you are struggling with any of the problems mentioned above, then it is time to switch to Gabapentin.
Benefits Of Gabapentin For Anxiety, Depression & Bipolar Disorder
Gabapentin for anxiety is considerably effective. However, it is not a first-line medication for the treatment of anxiety disorders. This prescriptions by the doctor received only by people who have failed to respond to other medications. Which generally used to treat seizures, restless leg syndrome, and pain.
Helps by affecting certain chemicals in the brain. That may become unbalanced and cause anxiety symptoms.
In terms of curing depression, gabapentin works by increasing the amounts of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. These are two important chemicals that help regulate mood. Also, it is not addictive and has few side effects.
Gabapentin is used in combination with other medications especially to treat bipolar disorder. It can help stabilize mood swings and decrease the number of manic or depressive episodes a person experiences.
On average, gabapentin is a well-tolerated drug with few side effects. A person may experience dizziness, drowsiness, or weight gain while taking it. But these usually go away over time.
If you are considering taking gabapentin for any disease. Be sure to talk to your doctor first. He or she can help you determine if it is the right medication for you.
Side Effects Of The Medicine
It is obvious that if a person is going to take a drug for any reason. They need to be aware of the side effects that can come with it. Gabapentin is no different in this respect.
However, there are very few side effects of the medicine. So far, these are categorized into; common side effects, rare side effects, long term side effects.
Common Side Effects
The common side effects usually occur when a person first starts taking the medication. And if he or she tends to go away after a while. They may face; Dizziness, Fatigue, Headache, Nausea, Vomiting, Constipation, Diarrhea. In addition, these type of side effects can easily treated with over-the-counter medications. As they are usually mild.
Rare Side Effects
Rare side effects generally conclude; allergic reactions. Which are; hives, swelling of the lips, tongue, or face, difficulty breathing, changes in behavior. Sometimes, these effects turned into aggression, agitation & hostility. If any of these occur, it is important to seek medical help immediately. However, it consist rare chances of happening.
Long-Term Side Effects;
These effects are still being studied. But so far it appears that there is a possibility of developing metabolic syndrome. This is a group of risk factors including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol levels, and abdominal obesity. All of it occurs together and increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, and type II diabetes.
However, all three types of effects are rare and do not take place in most people who take the medication.
Other Type Of Side Effects
In this, the effects are completely related to women’s health. Some women have taken this drug and experienced a decrease in libido, or they’ve had problems with arousal.
To outline, there is a chance that gabapentin can cause problems with the developing baby. This includes birth defects, low weight at birth, and withdrawal symptoms in the newborn baby. Not to be sure, some studies have shown negative impacts on pregnant animals. No research over the pregnant woman had take place yet. Thus, it is highly advisable for pregnant women to consult their doctor.
Women who do breastfeeding along with the medication should know that the effects of gabapentin pass through the breast milk. And, directly impacts the child that can cause serious problems. Therefore, it is highly important for nursing mothers to consult a doctor before taking this medication.
Alternatives For Gabapentin
Alternatives for gabapentin are definitely available in the markets. Such as;
- Tricyclic antidepressants,
Each of them has its own set of side effects and risks. So it is important that you discuss all the options with your doctor to see what would be the best for you.
Effectively worked this medicine in most cases. But considering the doctor is a primary concern, it is best to ask for their advice before making a switch.
Each person’s body will react differently to different medications, so it is mandatory to be patient and allow the drug time to work its magic.
To conclude, it is evident that gabapentin is a viable treatment option for anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.
Though it may not work for everyone, it is definitely worth giving a try. Despite having some side effects, the benefits of taking this medication often outweigh them.
So, if you are struggling with any of these conditions. Please talk to your doctor about gabapentin. And see if it is right for you or not
A Word From Therapy Mantra
Your mental health — Your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At TherapyMantra, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, workplace Issues, addiction, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.