Does gabapentin make you pee a lot? (3+ tips that might help)

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Page last updated: 23/09/2022

In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Does gabapentin make you pee a lot?”. 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 frequent urination. This blog will cover why gabapentin acts this way and what could be done to help relieve this condition. 

Does gabapentin make you pee a lot?

Gabapentin may make you pee a lot, but it is one of the rare side effects of this anticonvulsant. Majority of the people who have complained about frequent urination are those who already have some underlying health condition affecting their kidneys.

However, some people who are absolutely normal with normal kidney and bladder function have also reported this side effect, but it is still not that common. Many researchers have investigated to find the link between gabapentin and frequent urination. 

Some researchers found out that gabapentin can directly affect the functions of your bladder and make it overactive. A 2004 study has revealed that gabapentin has helped relieve the symptoms of overactive bladder in some patients. 

The study included 31 patients with overactive bladder activity, especially at night, a condition called nocturia. These people were put on gabapentin and the drug actually resolved this frequent nighttime urination in almost 14 patients. 

A 2012 study revealed a case in which the patient was presented with frequent urination after a few weeks of taking gabapentin. It was later revealed that gabapentin is responsible for this side effect, but that was not the entire truth. 

The actual reason behind this side effect was much more disturbing. After several blood tests, the doctor figured out that the patient was actually suffering from acute renal failure which was giving rise to several kidney related side effects. 

It was later concluded that gabapentin was responsible for this acute kidney failure. Just a drug, which was supposed to take his pain away, took much more from him. Another case study revealed that gabapentin can also induce urinary incontinence in some patients. 

The case included an elderly man who suffered from this side effect a few weeks after starting gabapentin. This indicates that gabapentin can induce urinary problems and it can make you pee a lot. Make sure you report your side effects to your healthcare provider right away.

Does gabapentin make you pee a lot? (3+ tips that might help)

Is there anything you can do if you suffer from gabapentin induced frequent urination?

There are a few things you can try from your end to help relieve some of your symptoms. These include: 

Discuss your side effects with your healthcare provider 

It is extremely important to discuss your side effects with your healthcare provider as soon as you start experiencing them. It’s best to do this before lowering the dose or stopping the medication yourself. 

If you suffer from mild side effects, it’s better to keep taking your medication on time and there is no need to lower down the dose. If you suffer from uncontrollably frequent urination, you need to discuss if your dose is right for you. 

Drink more water during the day, but not before bedtime 

It’s best to stay hydrated as water has tremendous health benefits but make sure you drink 75% of your daily water intake during the day time and start toning it down a notch at night. 

It is not recommended to drink plenty of water before bedtime. In case of frequent urination, excess water intake at night can easily result in bedwetting and can disturb your sleep quality. 

Do not hold your urine

In case of frequent urge to urinate, it is better to go to do it then hold it in. Researchers suggest that when you hold your urine, you’re making yourself more susceptible to urinary tract infections. It could also weaken your bladder muscles and cause further complications. 

Make sure your electrolytes are balanced 

Too much urination with an unhealthy diet and less water intake can lead to electrolyte imbalance. These electrolytes carry out a variety of functions in our body like muscle contraction, energy production etc. 

Make sure you maintain a healthy diet, rich in nutrients and electrolytes so you don’t miss out on anything. 

Check for any unusual smell or color in your urine

In frequent urination caused by gabapentin, the urine is usually colorless and does not have any particular smell, but if your urine is usually dark in color or has any significant smell, you need to reach out to your healthcare provider to rule out any underlying health condition. 

Stop smoking

Frequent smoking can worsen the symptoms of urine incontinence. It could also make overactive bladder condition even worse. Make sure you cut back as much as you possibly can. 

If you’re a chain smoker, you should try smoking cessation therapies which physically and mentally prepare you to quit smoking. 

Avoid certain foods and drinks

In case of frequent urination, make sure you avoid following foods and drinks:

  • Too much salt
  • Citric acid, usually present in citrus fruits and drinks
  • Acetic acid, usually present in white vinegar
  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Caffeine, usually present in tea and coffee
  • Too much spice. 

These foods can make your symptoms even worse. So, reduce their intake as much as you can, even if they are your favourite foods. It’s better safe than sorry, right? 

Maintain a healthy lifestyle 

Is there anything that a healthy lifestyle can’t fix? I don’t think so! Add wholesome foods to your diet, foods that are capable of feeding your brain, strengthening your muscles and boosting your immunity. 

Rule out any underlying health condition 

It is crucial to ask your doctor to rule out any underlying health condition that might contribute to frequent urination without even you knowing about it. These conditions include:

  • Any type of urinary tract infection
  • Kidney disease
  • Benign prostate hyperplasia in men
  • Diabetes mellitus 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Vaginal infections
  • Certain tumors

Make sure your doctor rules out every other possible cause of frequent urination and is certain that indeed gabapentin is the one causing it. Always look out for other side effects as well to make sure if it’s your gabapentin or something else hiding behind it. 

Supplements that might help

Researchers suggest a few supplements that can help with your frequent urination. These include:

  • Capsaicin, which is commonly found in different types of chillies, is known to provide relief in symptoms associated with urinary incontinence. 
  • Vitamin D. Experts revealed the role of Vitamin D in keeping your bladder muscles strong. It can also prevent bladder leaking, especially in older adults.
  • Pumpkin seeds, which are known to be helpful in toning down symptoms associated with overactive bladder. It can also help prevent bedwetting at night. 

What other medications are responsible for making you pee a lot?

There are several other medications which are responsible for causing frequent urination. These include:

  • Antihistamines or anti-allergy medications. 
  • Antidepressants 
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Antipsychotics 
  • Antidiabetic agents 
  • Diuretics 

Note: Diuretics are meant to increase urination but make sure you’re not taking it concomitantly with a drug which is capable of causing frequent urination as a side effect.

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. 

Conclusion

In this blog, we have discussed gabapentin induced frequent urination. It may make you pee a lot, but it is one of the rare side effects of this anticonvulsant. 

Majority of the people who have complained about frequent urination are those who already have some underlying health condition affecting their kidneys. 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. 

FAQs: does gabapentin make you pee a lot

Does gabapentin affect urination?

Gabapentin may make you pee a lot, but it is one of the rare side effects of this anticonvulsant. Majority of the people who have complained about frequent urination are those who already have some underlying health condition affecting their kidneys. 

However, some people who are absolutely normal with normal kidney and bladder function have also reported this side effect, but it is still not that common

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 

Does gabapentin help with overactive bladder?

Gabapentin may help with overactive bladder. A 2004 study has revealed that gabapentin has helped relieve the symptoms of overactive bladder in some patients. 

The study included 31 patients with overactive bladder activity, especially at night, a condition called nocturia. These people were put on gabapentin and the drug actually resolved this frequent nighttime urination in almost 14 patients.

What medications cause you to urinate frequently?

There are several other medications which are responsible for causing frequent urination. These include:

  • Antihistamines or anti-allergy medications. 
  • Antidepressants 
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Antipsychotics 
  • Antidiabetic agents 
  • Diuretics

What should I avoid while taking 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.

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