Magnesium and Gabapentin (Can you use these two together? )

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Page last updated: 23/09/2022

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

It may interact with some of the supplements, including magnesium or magnesium containing compounds. This blog will cover all there is to know about the safety and efficacy of using magnesium with gabapentin. 

Can you use magnesium and gabapentin together? 

Yes, you can use magnesium and gabapentin together, but there has to be a gap of at least 4-6 hours between the administration of these two agents. You can either take gabapentin after 4-6 hours of taking magnesium, or you can take it 2-4 hours before taking magnesium. 

The time gap is quite important because of the possible interaction between magnesium and gabapentin. Several studies have revealed that magnesium can decrease the amount of absorbed gabapentin in your body. 

This can result in therapeutic failure because gabapentin will not be available in concentration enough to deal with your condition. Experts also believe that magnesium binds to the same receptor that gabapentin binds to. 

On one hand, it can result in therapeutic insufficiency, but on the other hand, magnesium can help people deal with gabapentin withdrawal. So magnesium supplement can be a healthy addition in someone’s diet if he or she struggles with gabapentin withdrawal. 

Are there any common side effects of magnesium and gabapentin? 

Nothing in this world is free from side effects, medicines especially. Gabapentin is no exception and causes serious complications in some people. Although magnesium is an element that’s naturally present in our body, too much of it can cause some complications. 

It is okay to consume high amounts of magnesium from natural sources. However, supplements can cause complications. They might cause side effects like:

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Constipation 
  • Muscle twitching 

Make sure you stick to the prescribed dose of magnesium and do not deviate from it. 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
Magnesium and Gabapentin (Can you use these two together? )

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. 

What is the role of magnesium in a human body? 

Magnesium is an important mineral that helps regulate a lot of physiological conditions. It has a huge impact on your mood, depression and anxiety. Studies have linked magnesium deficiency with mood disorders. 

Magnesium have an impact on a lot of physiological functions:

  • It is essential for your bone health, as it plays an important role in bone development. The use of magnesium is also linked to preventing the occurrence of osteoporosis in women. 
  • It plays a huge role in maintaining your cardiac health as well. In fact, several studies revealed that people with magnesium deficiency are more likely to suffer from coronary artery diseases. It can also help counteract the effects of arrhythmia. 
  • High magnesium concentration is also linked with low chances of getting type 2 diabetes mellitus, as it helps regulate the functions of insulin. 
  • Magnesium can also help relieve the symptoms of migraine. A 2017 research article concluded that 600mg magnesium dicitrate can be used as an effective treatment to fight against nerve-racking migraines. 

What are the common dietary sources of magnesium? 

There are plenty of natural sources of magnesium that you can incorporate in your diet. These include:

  • Almonds
  • Bananas
  • Cashews
  • Dark chocolate 
  • Spinach
  • Avocado
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Black beans
  • Legumes
  • Peanuts and peanut butter
  • Yoghurt
  • Oatmeal and many more

Mother nature has a whole lot of sources for every single nutrient rich element. Make sure you incorporate these in your daily diet and help replenish magnesium reserves in your body. 

What are the uses of gabapentin? 

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. It is used to treat the following health conditions:

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. 

When to call your doctor 

Call your doctor before you start to take magnesium supplements. It’s okay to incorporate magnesium rich foods in your diet but if you’re on gabapentin, it’s best to discuss with your healthcare provider before taking supplements. 

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 the possible interactions between magnesium and gabapentin. It’s okay to use magnesium and gabapentin together, but there has to be a gap of at least 4-6 hours between the administration of these two agents. 

You can either take gabapentin after 4-6 hours of taking magnesium, or you can take it 2-4 hours before taking magnesium. The time gap is quite important because of the possible interaction between magnesium and gabapentin. 

It’s okay to incorporate magnesium rich foods in your diet but if you’re on gabapentin, it’s best to discuss with your healthcare provider before taking supplements. 

FAQs: magnesium and gabapentin 

Can you take a magnesium supplement with gabapentin?

Yes, you can take magnesium supplements with gabapentin. It is okay to consume high amounts of magnesium from natural sources. However, supplements can cause complications. They might cause gastrointestinal side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation etc. Make sure you stick to the prescribed dose of magnesium and do not deviate from it. 

How far apart should you take magnesium and gabapentin? 

There should be a gap of at least 4-6 hours between the administration of these two agents. You can either take gabapentin after 4-6 hours of taking magnesium, or you can take it 2-4 hours before taking magnesium. The time gap is quite important because of the possible interaction between magnesium and gabapentin. 

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.

What does low levels of magnesium cause?

  • Headache 
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Muscle aches
  • Discomfort during pregnancy and breastfeeding 
  • Poor bone health
  • Poor heart health
  • Fatigue or low energy levels
  • Insomnia or sleep disturbance

Who is most at risk for magnesium deficiency?

  • Geriatric population 
  • Paediatric population 
  • People with severe diarrhoea 
  • People who have low dietary magnesium intake
  • People with type 2 diabetes 
  • People with severe depression and anxiety 
  • Certain prescription medicines
  • Too much sugar intake, like in people addicted to colas and other carbonated high-sugar beverages.

References 

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