Abilify and Gabapentin: Is there any interaction? (A Complete Guide)

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In this blog post, we are going to talk about the possible interactions between abilify and gabapentin. Gabapentin is a gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) analog and is used for many purposes. 

However, it may interact with other prescription medications, especially antipsychotics. This blog will cover the safety and efficacy of the concomitant use of abilify and gabapentin. 

Is there any interaction between abilify and gabapentin? 

Abilify and gabapentin may interact with each other and increase the risk of sedation, dizziness, tiredness and may make it difficult for you to concentrate or remember things. At high doses, the combination can cause impairment of motor coordination and blackouts. 

Despite the possible interactions, this combination can still be used in some patients. However, it is important to make sure that you only take this combination if it is prescribed by your healthcare provider. 

What is the difference between abilify and gabapentin? 

Abilify, brand name for Aripiprazole, is an atypical antipsychotic medication. It is primarily used for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The drug can be used for other conditions as well, including autism, irritability and major depressive disorders. 

Its exact mechanism of action is still unknown. However, experts believe that the drug acts as an agonist of some of the dopamine receptors including D2 receptors and some of the serotonin receptors including 5HT1A receptors. 

The experts have also added that abilify can inhibit serotonin 5HT2A receptors actively. As abilify is an atypical antipsychotic, it is considered safer than the typical antipsychotics which possess the higher risk of causing extrapyramidal side effects. 

Gabapentin (Brand name: Neurontin), on the other hand, is a gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) analog. Gabapentin mimics the actions of GABA, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. GABA works by inhibiting the excessive neuronal firing in the brain which reduces the frequency of epileptic seizures. 

Gabapentin is also used to reduce the intensity of neuropathic pain by inhibiting nociceptors (pain receptors). This medication is a prescription medication and should be taken only at doses determined by your healthcare professional. 

It is not recommended to start or stop using any medication, especially while you’re being on any medication that can affect your brain, with your doctor’s approval.

Make sure you use these two meds only when the combination treatment is preferred by your mental healthcare professional. Do not start any other medication along with your prescribed medication. 

Self medication is one of the most common reasons for drug interactions and excessive side effects. It is also important to rule out any possible interaction between your prescription medications. 

What are the side effects associated with the use of abilify and gabapentin? 

Both abilify and gabapentin are associated with some side effects. It is impossible to take drugs that affect your brain, without having any unwanted effects. 

The intensity of these side effects depends on how much med you’re taking. If you’re at higher doses, you are more likely to suffer from them. Side effects associated with the use of abilify include:

  • Restlessness 
  • Nervousness 
  • Confusion 
  • Headache 
  • Dizziness 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Fatigue 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Constipation 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight gain 
  • Excess salivation 
  • Body pain

Abilify is associated with some serious side effects. These include:

  • Allergic reaction associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc.
  • Swelling or tenderness in different parts of the body.
  • Vision changes
  • Uncontrollable tremors 
  • Fever
  • Muscle pain, stiffness and rigidity 
  • Neck muscle spasm
  • Arrhythmia or irregular heart rate 
  • Convulsions 

Gabapentin is also associated with some side effects. These include:

  • Xerostomia or dry mouth 
  • Weight gain 
  • Dizziness 
  • Somnolence
  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Headache
  • Vision problems 
  • Cloudy mind
  • Fatigue
  • Tremors 
  • Confusion
  • Joint pain 
  • Difficulty in remembering things
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Unsteadiness
  • Muscle twitching 
  • Constipation 
  • Back pain
  • Increased appetite 
  • Fever

Gabapentin can cause some serious side effects. These include:

  • Suicidal behavior 
  • Impaired motor coordination 
  • Thrombocytopenia or decreased levels of platelets
  • Water retention
  • Rhabdomyolysis, a condition associated with abnormal breakdown of muscles
  • Convulsions 
  • Swelling or tenderness in different parts of the body.
  • Allergic reaction associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc. 

How to ensure the proper use of abilify and gabapentin? 

Make sure you use abilify and gabapentin properly. In case you suffer from an overdose on any one or both of these meds, call a helpline as soon as you can. Inform them properly how much is taken and when. 

Make sure you keep these pills away for your children and pets, if any. In order to do that, keep the bottle out of their reach. Do not stop these meds abruptly. 

If it’s time for you to stop one or both of these meds, your doctor will simply make a taper schedule for you, which should be followed vigilantly if you wish to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. 

Report any problems with bleeding or bruising to your doctor. If you see any unexplained blisters or rashes on your body, or experience any problems with urination, or if you feel changes in your vision, immediately report to your healthcare provider. 

Make sure you avoid certain activities when the concomitant use of these two meds make you feel sleepy or tired during the day time. These activities include:

  • Do not drive when you’re feeling tired or drowsy. Driving requires your full physical and mental alertness and it’s in your best interest to avoid it when you’re tired and have low energy levels. 
  • If you’re an employee in some factory where you are supposed to operate heavy machinery, don’t! Your drowsiness might cause an accident and can make you or others around you severely injured. 
  • Make sure you’re not taking any other medication that might be contributing to your drowsiness. Do not drink alcohol, or you’ll end up dulling your senses even more. Alcohol itself is responsible for causing fatigue and drowsiness.

Immediately talk to your healthcare provider if you experience unusual side effects while taking gabapentin and abilify together. Do not recommend this drug to someone else and use it as long as your doctor has advised. 

Inform your doctor if you’re pregnant or trying to conceive. It is extremely important to ensure safety of your meds during your pregnancy. Some meds can cross placenta and are capable of causing unwanted side effects in the growing fetus. 

Inform your doctor if you’re a breastfeeding mother. Gabapentin and abilify may be capable of passing into the breastmilk and may cause side effects in newborns. 

Make sure you rule out any possibility of an interaction between abilify and gabapentin or the interaction of either one of them with some other prescription medication. 

Drug interactions should be an important consideration before taking two or more medicines together. Yes, drugs in combination are often used to achieve better therapeutic response but this is not the case with every interaction. 

Some drugs are highly incompatible with one another. They often cancel out each other’s effects or antagonise them. Some drugs are so incompatible that they end up changing the entire chemical composition of one another. 

Some interfere with metabolism or bioavailability (the rate and extent at which the active drug moiety enters systemic circulation/blood). This can lead to drug accumulation in different parts of the body. 

It is always advised to inform your healthcare provider of any medicine you take before getting a new prescription. Your doctor will make sure not to prescribe any such drug which might interfere with those you are already taking. 

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed the possible interactions between abilify and gabapentin. These may interact with each other and increase the risk of sedation, dizziness, fatigue, impaired senses and difficulty in concentrating. 

Elderly patients are more susceptible to these side effects and may suffer from additional effects like memory loss, impairment of motor coordination and troubled judgement. However, these two meds are still used together. 

The dose at which you take these two drugs can make a huge impact on your health. Make sure you use these two meds only when the combination treatment is preferred by your mental healthcare professional. Do not start any other medication along with your prescribed gabapentin. 

FAQs: abilify and gabapentin

What medications should not be taken with Abilify?

  • Certain antibiotics including macrolides. Examples are clarithromycin, azithromycin and erythromycin. 
  • Antidepressants including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Examples are fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine etc. 
  • Some antifungal agents like ketoconazole, itraconazole, fluconazole etc. 
  • Certain antiarrhythmic medications like quinidine
  • Medications used to treat HIV including ritonavir, indinavir etc.

What medications should not be taken with gabapentin? 

  • Narcotic analgesics: Both narcotic opioid analgesics and gabapentin decrease the amount of excitatory neurotransmitters in your brain. This can slow down your physiological functions including breathing rate. 
  • Alcohol can also act as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. The synergistic effects of alcohol and gabapentin can cause severe depression and suicidal behavior.
  • Certain diabetic agents may react with gabapentin and cause increased water retention, which results in swelling or edema in upper and lower extremities, or any other part of the body.

Does gabapentin interact with antipsychotics?

Antipsychotics and gabapentin may interact with each other and increase the risk of sedation, dizziness, tiredness and may make it difficult for you to concentrate or remember things. At high doses, the combination can cause impairment of motor coordination and blackouts. 

Despite the possible interactions, this combination can still be used in some patients. However, it is important to make sure that you only take this combination if it is prescribed by your healthcare provider. 

Are abilify and gabapentin the same? 

No, abilify and gabapentin are not the same. Abilify, brand name for Aripiprazole, is an atypical antipsychotic medication. It is primarily used for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The drug can be used for other conditions as well, including autism, irritability and major depressive disorders.

Gabapentin, on the other hand, is a gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) analog. Gabapentin mimics the actions of GABA, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. GABA works by inhibiting the excessive neuronal firing in the brain which reduces the frequency of epileptic seizures.

What does gabapentin do to a person?

Gabapentin is a gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) analog. Gabapentin mimics the actions of GABA, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. GABA works by inhibiting the excessive neuronal firing in the brain which reduces the frequency of epileptic seizures. 

Gabapentin is also used to reduce the intensity of neuropathic pain by inhibiting nociceptors (pain receptors). This medication is a prescription medication and should be taken only at doses determined by your healthcare professional. 

References 

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