L-Theanine and Gabapentin (Is there any interaction?)

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In this blog post, we are going to talk about the possible interactions between L-theanine and gabapentin. Gabapentin is a gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) analog and is used for a number of conditions. 

However, it may interact with some other prescription medications and mineral or vitamin supplements. This blog will cover all there is to know about the concomitant use of L-theanine and gabapentin. 

L-Theanine and Gabapentin: Is there any interaction?

There is no known interaction between L-theanine and gabapentin. However, it does not indicate that no interaction can ever occur. Both L-theanine and gabapentin affect GABA, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. 

High doses can lead to excess inhibitory effects that may 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. 

What is the difference between L-theanine and gabapentin? 

L-Theanine is a levorotatory isomer of amino acid theanine. D-Theanine is also present in nature, but the L-type is most commonly found. This amino acid helps the movement of nerve impulses in your brain. These impulses carry out most of the functions of the human body. 

L-theanine can also alter the amounts of some neurotransmitters in your body, including GABA, serotonin and dopamine. The most common use of L-theanine is to restore the normal psychological function in troubled human beings. 

It tends to reduce anxiety and stress in some individuals. However, there is no evidence of L-theanine acting this way, but more and more researchers are trying to find out the benefits and the exact mechanism of action of this medication. 

The uses of L-theanine include:

Stress and anxiety 

One study concluded that L-theanine can be useful in toning down the intensity of stress and anxiety in some individuals. However, it is still a topic of research and more data is required to ensure the safety and efficacy of L-theanine. 

Better focus 

L-Theanine is known to cause mental alertness and the daily use of this amino acid in appropriate doses can significantly help you enhance your focus. One study monitored these effects of L-theanine by giving around 40mg of this amino acid to people and the study concluded that it helped them to focus more on the given task. 

Boosts immune system 

L-Theanine is also believed to improve your immunity which holds vital importance in protecting your body from opportunistic pathogens. 

Some researchers learned that the consistent and proper use of L-theanine can help prevent the occurrence of upper respiratory tract infections like cold, flu, sinusitis etc. 

Management of high blood pressure 

L-Theanine can help regulate your blood pressure and helps relieve the workload of your heart. It can also control stress induced hypertension as it not only maintains your blood pressure, but can also help relieve the stress that causes your BP to go high in the first place. 

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. Other uses 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. 

Anxiety

Gabapentin is also used to treat anxiety because of its inhibitory mechanism of action. It is a GABA analog, as stated earlier, and can mimic the actions of this inhibitory neurotransmitter. 

Anxiety occurs because of the excessive neuronal firing in your brain. Gabapentin controls this excessive neuronal activity and helps to tone down the symptoms of anxiety. 

Sciatica 

Gabapentin is also used for the pain associated with sciatica. Sciatica is the throbbing pain that originates from your sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve starts from your lower back and its branches run along the length of your legs and your buttocks. 

Sciatic pain is known to be so severe that it can easily affect your everyday life activities. Gabapentin can take up to 2-4 weeks to help relieve the pain associated with sciatica. 

However, it starts to relieve some of the psychological symptoms like insomnia or inability to sleep and the drug will start controlling your anxiety within a few days. 

Fibromyalgia 

Gabapentin can also be used for the treatment and management of fibromyalgia. It is characterised with the unbearable pain that affects your entire body. 

It can get so bad that most patients are unable to fall asleep or perform their everyday life activities normally. This persistent pain can give rise to depression and erratic behaviour. 

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 antidepressant. 

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 L-theanine and gabapentin? 

Both L-theanine and gabapentin are associated with some side effects. It is impossible to take drugs that can 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 L-theanine include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Upset stomach 
  • Sleepiness 
  • Irritability 
  • Fatigue

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. 

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. 

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 L-theanine and gabapentin. There is no known interaction. However, it does not indicate that no interaction can ever occur. Both L-theanine and gabapentin affect GABA, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. 

High doses can lead to excess inhibitory effects that may increase the risk of sedation, dizziness, fatigue, impaired senses and difficulty in concentrating. 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. 

FAQs: l theanine and gabapentin

Does l-theanine interact with any medications?

L-Theanine may interact with some drugs. These include:

  • Antihypertensive medications 
  • Antipsychotic medications 
  • Medications used for the treatment of ADHD
  • Controlled substances 

What drugs 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.

Can I take L-theanine and GABA together? 

Yes, you can take L-theanine and gabapentin if prescribed by your healthcare provider. There is no known interaction. However, it does not indicate that no interaction can ever occur. 

Both L-theanine and gabapentin affect GABA, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. High doses can lead to excess inhibitory effects that may increase the risk of sedation, dizziness, fatigue, impaired senses and difficulty in concentrating.

Can theanine worsen anxiety?

No, it can help control anxiety. One study concluded that L-theanine can be useful in toning down the intensity of stress and anxiety in some individuals. However, it is still a topic of research and more data is required to ensure the safety and efficacy of L-theanine. 

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. 

References 

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