Can I take Gabapentin for two weeks? (3 consequences of early withdrawal) 

As a BetterHelp affiliate, we may receive compensation from BetterHelp if you purchase products or services through the links provided

In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Can I take Gabapentin for two weeks?”. Gabapentin is a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) analog, which is used for the treatment of a number of health conditions. 

However, proper treatment is required to make this medicine work to its full potential. This blog will cover the consequences of the early withdrawal of Gabapentin. 

Can I take Gabapentin for two weeks?

Counseling is Key to a Healthy Marr...
Counseling is Key to a Healthy Marriage

No, it is not suitable to take Gabapentin for just 2 weeks because this time duration is not enough to achieve the desired therapeutic response. The treatment with Gabapentin usually continues for around 5 to 6 months to completely resolve the symptoms associated with your illness. 

Gabapentin can take up to a week to start working for some people. It is not a magic pill and your body needs a certain amount of time to be adjusted to this medication. When it does adjust to it, that’s when the med starts working. 

If you stop taking Gabapentin after just two weeks, you may experience therapeutic failure as the drug would not treat your illness effectively in such a short span of time. That is not the only problem. 

Several studies have indicated that leaving your treatment halfway can end up exacerbating your symptoms and you may suffer from other consequences. Every medicine on this planet is associated with some side effects. 

If we specifically talk about Gabapentin, it is not an easy medication. In fact, it is one of those meds which are not easily tolerated and is associated with a number of side effects that we will discuss shortly. 

This is exactly why you should always stick to your doctor’s recommendations. Do not deviate from the prescribed dose and do not take it more than needed. If you’re having trouble tolerating Gabapentin, just talk to your healthcare provider. Do not alter your treatment plan on your own. 

What are the consequences of early Gabapentin Withdrawal? 

If you stop your treatment with Gabapentin in just 2 weeks, you may have to face the following consequences:

  • Inability to achieve a desired therapeutic outcome
  • Worsening of your illness
  • Gabapentin Withdrawal syndrome 

Inability to achieve a desired therapeutic outcome

If you stop your treatment way too early, the first consequence you will face is the therapeutic failure. It is a known fact that no drug works overnight. You have to give both the medicine and your body enough time to settle in. 

This is the very first step. If you fail to achieve the bond between your body and Gabapentin, in case of an allergic reaction or any unusual side effect, then you can definitely stop taking it and no matter how much time you give, it won’t work out. 

However, if you give up on your treatment way too early and that too without a logical explanation, then you will gain no benefit from Gabapentin. 

Meds are supposed to be taken properly and on accurate timings. If you don’t follow your doctor’s advice and stop your treatment halfway, then you will not be able to achieve your desired results. 

Worsening of your illness

This is another consequence of discontinuing your treatment halfway. If you stop taking Gabapentin just after 2 weeks, you may not be able to notice any difference in your illness. 

However, it may also worsen the symptoms associated with your condition as you have stopped taking Gabapentin. This way your disease will continue to progress and may become a bit more complicated. 

Gabapentin is used for the treatment of a number of health conditions, including:

  • Seizures. This is one of the primary uses of Gabapentin and is also used in children above 3 years of age and in elderly patients as well.
  • Nerve pain associated with the herpes virus. Gabapentin is known for the treatment of nerve pain. However, it may take upto 2 to 3 weeks to show noticeable results. 
  • Anxiety. Gabapentin is a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) analog that mimics the activity of this inhibitory neurotransmitter. This limits the excessive neuronal firing and controls anxiety.
  • Restless leg syndrome. Gabapentin can be used to control the excessive muscular jerks that cause restless leg syndrome. This effect is also because of GABAergic activity. 
  • Fibromyalgia. Gabapentin can also control the intensity and frequency of the pain caused by fibromyalgia. This condition can lead to a number of other complications if left untreated. 
  • Sciatica. Gabapentin is well known for the treatment and management of sciatic pain. It can also relieve psychological symptoms associated with sciatica, like insomnia and anxiety. 

Gabapentin Withdrawal Syndrome 

Although Gabapentin Withdrawal syndrome is not that common, it can still occur in some individuals. Some people are naturally sensitive to meds and these people are subjected to intolerable symptoms upon abrupt withdrawal of Gabapentin. 

Two weeks can make your body adjust to the med and if you stop suddenly after a short span of time, your body may get all confused and you may feel sick. Gabapentin, as stated earlier, acts on GABA, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. 

This makes your body habitual of the dominance of the inhibitory system in your brain. It helps calm down your nerves and your muscles, helps you fall asleep, and relieves your pain. 

However, if you take the med away abruptly, your body starts craving this calming sensation and may start to act crazily. Common symptoms associated with abrupt Gabapentin Withdrawal include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Palpitations
  • Fatigue 
  • Insomnia or inability to sleep
  • Photosensitivity 
  • Pain 
  • Excessive sweating
  • Tremors
  • Hypertension

These withdrawal symptoms are not the same for everyone. They may come and go in waves. Some people may not even experience these symptoms, but some people can get severely affected by them. 

Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider if you wish to stop Gabapentin. Messing with such difficult medicine is no joke. 

What reasons lead to the discontinuation of Gabapentin? 

The most common reasons which make people stop using Gabapentin include:

Side effects

Gabapentin is associated with a number of side effects and this is precisely why this medication is considered a difficult one. People often get scared of taking it when the doctor prescribes it. 

Gabapentin has a history of making people feel miserable and it has somehow earned this fear. Let’s look at some of the most commonly experienced 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 the abnormal breakdown of muscles
  • Convulsions 
  • Swelling or tenderness in different parts of the body.
  • Allergic reactions associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness, etc. 

Non-adherence 

Non-adherence is another reason why the treatment with Gabapentin is often discontinued. It simply means that people do not take their treatment plan seriously and do not show proper adherence. They don’t take their meds at times and fail to follow the doctor’s directions. 

This makes their treatment ineffective. This is why it is strongly recommended to always listen to your healthcare provider. Your doctor tells you the best and safest ways to take your meds. If you don’t pay attention, you’re just being mean to your own self, to your own health. 

Conclusion

In this blog post, we have discussed the consequences of stopping your treatment with Gabapentin just after 2 weeks because this time duration is not enough to achieve the desired therapeutic response. 

The treatment with Gabapentin usually continues for around 5 to 6 months to completely resolve the symptoms associated with your illness. Gabapentin can take up to a week to start working for some people. 

It is not a magic pill and your body needs a certain amount of time to be adjusted to this medication. If you’re having trouble tolerating Gabapentin, just talk to your healthcare provider. Do not alter your treatment plan on your own. 

FAQs: took gabapentin for 2 weeks 

Can I stop taking gabapentin after 2 weeks?

No, it is not suitable to take Gabapentin for just 2 weeks because this time duration is not enough to achieve the desired therapeutic response. The treatment with Gabapentin usually continues for around 5 to 6 months to completely resolve the symptoms associated with your illness. Gabapentin can take up to a week to start working for some people.

What happens to your body when you stop taking gabapentin?

Gabapentin acts on GABA, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This makes your body habitual of the dominance of the inhibitory system in your brain. It helps calm down your nerves, your muscles, helps you fall asleep, and relieves your pain. However, if you take the med away abruptly, your body starts craving this calming sensation and may start to act crazily. 

What is the longest you should take gabapentin?

According to a research study, you can stay on Gabapentin for as long as 5 to 7 months. However, the time duration of your treatment is determined by your healthcare provider. 

This is decided according to the condition for which you have started taking this medication and the severity of this condition. It also depends on how well you can tolerate Gabapentin. If you can’t seem to tolerate this medication well then the treatment is discontinued and you’re switched to another, safer medicine. 

Does gabapentin need to be stopped gradually?

Yes, Gabapentin needs to be stopped gradually. This is because the med acts on the inhibitory system of your brain and your body becomes used to it. If you take away the med suddenly, your body will start craving the inhibitory action and as no more Gabapentin is being used, you’ll be subjected to withdrawal symptoms. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Palpitations
  • Fatigue 
  • Insomnia or inability to sleep
  • Photosensitivity 
  • Pain 
  • Excessive sweating
  • Tremors
  • Hypertension

Does gabapentin become more effective over time?

Gabapentin can only become more effective with time if your doctor escalates your dose accordingly. If you’re on the same dose, then the med works in the same manner. However, Gabapentin can stop working in some individuals.

In fact, this is one of the most common complaints with this medication. Gabapentin is considered one of the most complex and dangerous medications in the world. This med is not tolerated well by every other individual taking it.

References 

[Sassy_Social_Share type="standard"]