Can Gabapentin ruin your life? (3+ disturbing side effects) 

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In this blog post, we are going to talk about the disturbing side effects of gabapentin that can ruin the quality of life. We are also going to discuss why this medication is prescribed and what is the safety and efficacy of the drug.  

Is gabapentin associated with disturbing side effects? 

Yes, gabapentin is associated with some disturbing side effects that can ruin the quality of your life. 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. 

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. 

The muscle and joint pain in some people get so bad that it ends up affecting their normal life activities. 

Some people get severely affected and develop some of the serious, rare and disturbing side effects that can linger around for much longer even after the discontinuation of your treatment. 

What actual people have experienced so far on gabapentin? 

There are a few people who have come forward and revealed how the med has made them feel as long they took it. One user stated:

“Gabapentin has been a nightmare for me and left me with another disease to deal with for probably the rest of my life. It horribly increased my appetite and made me miserable. I kept eating all the fatty and high sugar foods and I just did not stop.” 

The user continued:

“This not only made me gain a tremendous amount of weight, but it also caused insulin resistance in my body and later I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Just one drug left me with an entire disease to deal with.”

Another user stated:

“Gabapentin completely ruined my life. The drug not only caused severe pain in my bones, but it ate away my muscle strength. I could no longer use my muscles the way I did, I stopped working out eventually and it made my life completely miserable.”

This medication is indeed associated with some side effects that can scar you for life. However, one important thing to bear in mind is that not everyone is affected in the same way. 

Gabapentin, and every other medication on this planet, causes different types of effects in every other individual. There’s no way it can cause the same complications in every other person who has ever taken this medication. 

There are some people for whom gabapentin has been a life saviour. Make sure you immediately report to your healthcare provider if you exhibit any sign of an allergic reaction or any unusual side effect. Another user stated:

“Gabapentin became my worst nightmare right after I took the first ever dose of this medication. I suffered from terrible side effects and I had to discontinue the treatment as there was literally no way I could bear that horrible drug.”

Another user stated:

“I had been on gabapentin since my teenage years and it did control my seizures well. Although it worked fine, it suddenly just stopped and that’s not the worst part.”

The user further stated:

“My worst nightmare was the withdrawal of this medication. Since I had been using it for years, the withdrawal became one hell of a task for me. I could not continue to use it because it did absolutely nothing and I could not stop using it because of the terrible withdrawal symptoms.”

This is indeed an upsetting condition. Researchers are still searching for answers why medications act this way and suddenly stop working. In some conditions, dose escalation helps, but some meds cause terrible side effects and can not be increased. 

What is gabapentin and why is it used? 

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. 

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. The uses of gabapentin in detail include:

Convulsions 

Gabapentin is used for the prevention and treatment of partial seizures. It can also be used in children above 3 years of age and in elderly patients as well. It may not suit some people, but overall it is considered a very good medication in order to relieve some epileptic symptoms. 

Nerve pain associated with shingles

Shingles is associated with terrible nerve pain that can be controlled by gabapentin. It is caused by the chickenpox virus that can stay dormant in you for a long, long time. 

This virus remains inactivated, but becomes active either because of compromised immunity or excess stress. This is indeed a very painful condition and some experts have related this pain to the pain that is caused by an actual heart attack. 

Restless Leg syndrome 

Gabapentin can also be used for the treatment, prevention and management of Restless leg syndrome. It manages the excessive and involuntary movements associated with this condition by controlling the excessive neuronal activity in your brain. 

How to ensure the proper use of gabapentin? 

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. 

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 how gabapentin can cause serious side effects and can ruin some people’s lives. 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. 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 ruined my life 

Can gabapentin make you crazy?

Gabapentin can cause some serious mood related side effects. 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. The muscle and joint pain in some people get so bad that it ends up affecting their normal life activities.

Does gabapentin cause long-term damage?

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. 

Is it difficult to get off gabapentin?

It can be difficult to get off gabapentin because it might produce dependence, especially in people who have been taking this medication for a long time now. It is advised to not stop this medication abruptly. Sudden withdrawal can lead to the relapse of epileptic seizures and you can also suffer from tremors and other psychological symptoms. 

Why should you not take gabapentin?

Gabapentin is associated with a number of side effects and some people may not be able to tolerate this medication at all. 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

Can you take gabapentin forever?

The duration of your treatment with gabapentin depends on the severity of your condition and how well you can tolerate this medication. Some people can not stand the long-term treatment because of the disturbing side effects, whereas others can function really well with this medication and they can use it for years. 

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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