Can gabapentin cause sore throat?

By

Author bio

Page last updated: 23/09/2022

In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Can gabapentin cause sore throat?”. Gabapentin is a gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) analog and is used for a number of conditions. 

However, this medicine can cause a number of side effects including sore throat and flu like symptoms. This blog will also cover some tips that can help relieve your throat pain. 

Can gabapentin cause sore throat?

Yes, gabapentin can cause sore throat in some individuals. However, it is considered a rare side effect and may not affect everyone. Make sure you inform your healthcare provider right away and take all the precautionary measures to avoid the worsening of this side effect. 

Many researchers have investigated to find a link between sore throat and gabapentin. Several surveys have revealed that some people have been affected by this side effect and have complained of fever just because of the pain they felt in their throat. 

However, some researchers have revealed that gabapentin can be helpful in relieving the sore throat caused after the operation of thyroid gland.

It is impossible to predict how your body will react once it is exposed to this medication. Some people get away with mild side effects, while others may develop rare ones which can affect the quality of their lives. 

What to do if you suffer from gabapentin induced sore throat? 

There are a few ways you can try to help soothe your sore throat. These include:

Drink hot liquids

Warm liquids are best to soothe your throat muscles. Try adding honey in luke-warm water. Honey has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties and can also help relieve the acidic burning sensation of your throat. 

Ginger tea can also be used to relax a burning throat. Studies reveal the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties of ginger and it is well known to be a herbal treatment of sore throat. 

You can try boiling a small piece of ginger in water for a few minutes. Now turn off the stove and let it sit for a while to bring down the temperature. Add a teaspoon of honey and enjoy this refreshing tea. 

It reduces the inflammation of your throat muscles and can contribute to the healing of damaged esophageal membranes. 

Licorice is another herb that can help to get rid of burning sensation in your throat. Studies have revealed its anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer and pain relieving properties, which can make it very useful in case of a burning throat. 

You can try making its tea and add a teaspoon of honey for some added benefits and some sweetness. 

Can gabapentin cause sore throat?

Salt-water gargles

Try gargling with salt water. Add half a teaspoon of salt in 1-2 cups of lukewarm water and gargle for 5 to 10 minutes. This can help provide relief to some extent. 

Drink plenty of water

Make sure you drink lots and lots of water to help reduce the acidity of your throat and to keep washing any residues. Drinking plenty of water is a great habit in itself. It drives out toxins in your body and keeps your organs well hydrated and energised. 

Over-the-counter painkillers 

If the pill has done quite some damage and you feel unbearable pain, you can try taking paracetamol. Other painkillers, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) should be used cautiously with gabapentin. 

Try throat soothing lozenges 

There are plenty of different flavoured soothing lozenges available at your local pharmacy. You can pick out your favourite flavour and suck on it. It can help relieve your throat pain and irritation to some extent. Do not chew it, as it won’t produce enough beneficial effects.

Avoid eating spicy and acidic foods for a while 

Make sure you avoid spicy foods while your throat is compromised. It can irritate your damaged esophageal membrane even more and may enhance your painful symptoms. 

It is also not advised to eat foods with high acidic content. Avoid citrus fruits, citrus juices and vinegar for a while, till your throat recovers. Excessive intake of these foods will prolong the healing of your damaged throat. 

Take your gabapentin properly 

Improper administration of gabapentin can lead to the drug getting stuck in your throat which may become a cause of your throat pain. People just shove pills in their month and try to swallow it without even a sip of water. 

This is the biggest reason why people get a pill stuck in their throat. You should properly sit down, relax yourself, have a glass of water and then take your pills. 

When you’re in a standing position or talking, your throat muscles are contracted, leaving a small inflexible space for the pill to pass through. 

When you’re in a relaxed state, your throat muscles are relaxed and the pill can move through them in a much better way. Even when the pill is dislodged, sometimes it still feels stuck because of the irritation and muscle spasm it leaves behind.

Improper swallowing of pills can lead to serious complications if it accidentally goes into your windpipe. It may cause symptoms like choking, shortness of breath, severe coughing, and you may start to hyperventilate. Make sure you consume your pills properly. 

What are the additional side effects of gabapentin?

  • 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. 

These side effects can vary from person to person. It is impossible to predict how your body will react once it is exposed to this medication. Some people get away with mild side effects, while others suffer terribly. 

Make sure you are not using any other medication that might interact negatively with gabapentin or enhance its side effects. 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. 

How to make sure you’re taking gabapentin properly? 

Immediately talk to your healthcare provider if you experience unusual side effects while taking gabapentin. 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 may be capable of passing into the breastmilk and may cause side effects in newborns. 

Do not stop gabapentin abruptly. If it’s time for you to stop this med, your doctor will simply recommend a taper schedule for you, which should be followed vigilantly if you wish to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. 

Make sure you use this medication or any other medication only when your doctor has advised it. Using medications which can affect your brain is not something ideal and should not be encouraged unless it is absolutely necessary to do so. 

Make sure you discuss everything in detail with your healthcare provider and ask if you’re at the best possible dose of gabapentin. Also inform your doctor if you’re taking any other medication. 

Conclusion

In this blog post, we have discussed gabapentin induced sore throat. However, it is considered a rare side effect and may not affect everyone. Make sure you inform your healthcare provider right away and take all the precautionary measures to avoid the worsening of this side effect. 

We have also discussed a couple of tips that can help soothe your throat muscles and reduce some of the pain. 

Make sure you discuss everything in detail with your healthcare provider and ask if you’re at the best possible dose of gabapentin. Also inform your doctor if you’re taking any other medication. 

FAQs: gabapentin sore throat

Can gabapentin cause throat swelling?

Gabapentin may cause throat swelling on its own or the pill may get stuck in some people’s throat which can lead to the swelling. You should properly sit down, relax yourself, have a glass of water and then take your pills. 

When you’re in a standing position or talking, your throat muscles are contracted, leaving a small inflexible space for the pill to pass through. When you’re in a relaxed state, your throat muscles are relaxed and the pill can move through them in a much better way. 

Is a sore mouth a side effect of gabapentin?

Yes, gabapentin can cause sore mouth and throat. However, it is considered a rare side effect and may not affect everyone. Make sure you inform your healthcare provider right away and take all the precautionary measures to avoid the worsening of this side effect. 

What is the most common side effect of gabapentin?

The most common side effects of gabapentin 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 

Does gabapentin cause viral infections?

Gabapentin is not associated with viral infections when the drug is used individually. However, when gabapentin is used with antipsychotic meds, the concomitant use widens the spectrum of side effects. Make sure you use these two together only when prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not use any medication without your doctor’s approval. 

Does gabapentin cause dry mouth?

Yes, gabapentin does cause dry mouth or xerostomia and it is one of the most commonly reported side effects of this medication. However, the dryness starts to disappear when your body adjusts to the medication. Make sure you look out for any serious side effects and report to your doctor right away. 

References 

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?