Gabapentin High – What You Should Know

Introduction

Gabapentin is a drug which was approved for use in USA, 1993. The drug is synthetic and is commonly recommended for hot flashes, restless leg syndrome, neuropathic pain, and epilepsy. When used for relieving pain, the patients have experienced positive results. The drug also has a recreational use, which has gained popularity over the years. Many people often use it to experience the gabapentin high that refers to a sensation of reduced anxiety, pain management, and more happiness. It is a prescription drug and recreational use of this drug is considered illegal in countries like the United States.

Gabapentin High – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Prevention

Why is Gabapentin Used?

The synthetic drug gabapentin is approved as an effective treatment for seizures and pain caused by shingles. There are gabapentin oral capsules available under prescription to treat the seizures and pain from nerve damages caused by shingles.

  • In the process of treating partial seizures, gabapentin is taken orally with other prescribed medications for seizures. They are also prescribed to children of three years or more who have epilepsy.
  • The pain from nerve damage that the patients suffering from shingles experience is treated with gabapentin. Shingles appear on the body of a person as painful rashes all over the body after they get infected with the varicella-zoster virus.

Gabapentin is most commonly suggested to the patients along with other medications as a part of a combination therapy.

Recommended Dosage of Gabapentin

The dosage recommended for gabapentin is related to the oral capsules one might take. There are various factors that must be considered first before deciding on the dosage, form and how frequently the drug must be taken by the person. Other factors like the following must also be considered:

  • The age of the person.
  • The condition that is being treated with gabapentin.
  • If the person has any other medical conditions.
  • How the person’s body is reacting to the first dosage.

There are several forms in which gabapentin can be introduced in the body. Each of these forms is released into the body in different ways. Thus, the dosage can differ from one form to the other. You are recommended to stick to the form prescribed by your doctor.

For Treating the Pain from Shingles (Postherpetic Neuralgia)

In adults (18 years to 64 years of age):

The suggested person can start by taking 300mg of gabapentin oral capsule on day 1, followed by 600 mg of the same on day 2 (300 mg can be taken twice in 24 hours) and 900mg on day 3 (300mg can be taken three times within 24 hours). If the body is found reacting perfectly with the dosage, your doctor might increase the dosage after the third day. The maximum dosage that a person must take is 1,800mg per day by taking 600mg of gabapentin in the prescribed form, thrice a day.

In children (0 to 17 years of age):

Visit the doctor for knowing the right amount of gabapentin that can be suggested to the child because the right dosage for children belonging to this age group has not been established yet.

In adults (above 65 years of age):

Visit a doctor to know about the right amount of dosage of gabapentin for people of this age group. With the increasing age, the kidney starts to function less efficiently which will slow down the process of outflow of the drug from the body. Due to this reason, the doctor will prescribe a much lower dosage for the person so that too much drug residue isn’t present within the body as this can be dangerous. The condition of the kidneys will be analyzed by the doctor, and accordingly, the doctor might suggest an increase in the dosage of gabapentin.

For Treating Seizures

In adults (18 to 64 years of age):

Starting with 900mg per day by taking 300mg three times in a day which can be increased as per the doctor’s suggestion. The doctor might suggest taking up to 2400-3600mg dosage per day depending upon the body’s reaction to the drug.

In children (3 to 11 years of age):

A small dosage of 10-15mg per day is recommended in the beginning. The doctor may increase the dosage of the drug after analyzing the requirement of the child. The maximum dosage preferred for a person of this age group is 50mg per day. Dosage for people younger than this age group has not been established yet.

In adults (above 65 years of age):

The doctor will start with a lower dosage per day depending upon the various factors and keeping the age in consideration as kidney functions slow down with increasing age and too much build up of the drug in the body can be dangerous for the person. The doctor might increase the dosage after checking on the kidney functions of the person.

For kidney Problems

People with kidney problems will have a change in the dosage of gabapentin. People who are above 12 years of age and suffering from any kidney problem need to visit the doctor and mention this condition so that he can change the dosage of the drug accordingly.

Gabapentin must be taken as directed by the doctor. The oral capsule is used to treat both short-term and long-term conditions. Depending upon how serious the condition is the dosage and time period for taking this drug will be prescribed to the person which must be followed to avoid any health risks related to the use of this drug.

Overdosing on Gabapentin:

It is considered as safe by the recreational users of gabapentin, because when compared with other drugs the chances of overdosing on gabapentin seem low. When prescribed to a person, the dosage of gabapentin is much less than the approved maximum dosage for each day like mentioned earlier for each day. Yet there are chances of overdosing on gabapentin. Reports have stated that there have been cases where a number of deaths were caused due to overdosing on gabapentin. Taking high dosage of gabapentin can also lead to suicidal tendencies in the users.

Recreational Use of Gabapentin:

The recreational users of gabapentin stated that they take more than the medically approved maximum daily dosage for their age group to get high on the drug. The maximum dosage approved for treating epileptic seizure that can be taken orally each day is 3600mg and recreational users take the drug in a greater amount than that to get high on the drug. The drug has become very popular under this use but when used alone the drug has shown little potential for abuse unlike when used with other drugs, which can have the potential for greater abuse. The fact that it gives a sensation of calmness with improved sociability and feelings of euphoria makes the drug as popular as any other recreational drug.

Snorting Gabapentin:

It seems quite possible to crush the gabapentin tablets and smoke or snort it for recreational use. But this process is rarely used by the gabapentin users because snorting it does not get them high as reported. The drug needs to be passed through the digestive system to get absorbed by the body. Using the drug in any other way than the intake in form of tablets, capsules, or syrups will make it totally useless for medical and recreational uses.

What Causes Gabapentin High?

Gabapentin high is the sensation of happiness, reduced anxiety and relieved pain that the person taking the drug experiences. People use gabapentin for recreation, in order to get high, which has gained popularity over the years. When gabapentin is taken as prescribed, it will certainly not make you high. The effect of the drug can differ from person to person depending upon the amount of the drug intake as well. When misused the drug can bring about certain sensations like:

  • Relaxation.
  • Enhanced sociability.
  • Feeling of euphoria.
  • Larger dosages giving psychedelic-type of experiences.
  • Marijuana-like high.

Using this drug in very large amounts can also lead to frightening results like in many reports it has been seen that abusive use of this drug can lead to zombie-like behavior.

Symptoms of Gabapentin High

According to the National Library of Medicine, Gabapentin users are suggested not to take more or less of the drug than the dosage that is prescribed to them by their doctor. But there are people who participate in the recreational use of this drug to get high which is much similar to that of marijuana. On taking a high dosage of this drug, individuals tend to feel sleepy, calm, and more relaxed than usual. Improved communication skills and sociability are other things that are experienced by them. An extremely high dosage of the drug can cause a person to feel drowsy, confused, and become zombie-like. Here are some of the symptoms of gabapentin high:

  • Confusion
  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Drowsiness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Improved sociability
  • Giddiness

Side Effects of Being Under Gabapentin High

The common side effects of using this drug more than the approved maximum dosage for daily use are:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Memory loss
  • Lack of coordination
  • Viral infections
  • Tremors
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Unsteadiness
  • Mood or behavioral changes
  • Depression
  • Aggression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Abnormal excitement
  • Extreme restlessness

Using gabapentin for recreational high is not at all safe. It can lead to serious side effects and severe withdrawal symptoms in the users. Serious side effects include swelling of the lymph nodes, rashes, seizures, difficulty in breathing and suicidal thoughts in the person.

Check More:  Long Term Side Effects of Gabapentin

Treating Gabapentin High

To treat a person for a gabapentin abuse issue, the person cannot immediately stop taking the drug as that increases the likelihood of seizures. To treat this issue, the first step would be detoxification to help you in eliminating the drug from the body in a controlled way. After detox is completed, medical clearance is necessary before the person is moved on to an inpatient or outpatient treatment procedure.

Inpatient treatment programs require the person to live at the facility for the duration of the treatment in order to help the person treat his gabapentin addiction. The addiction might be severe which could have affected the person mentally or have given rise to any medical issues. These programs will provide the person with a safe environment to minimize the gabapentin cravings. The doctor will check on the person and his family after which he will decide if he needs this treatment program or not.

Outpatient treatment programs can be started after completing detox. If the addiction is not very severe up to the point where the person needs intensive care or inpatient treatment, the person can be provided with this treatment program where he can live normally at home and would have to visit a therapist for few hours as asked by the doctor.

How to Prevent Gabapentin High?

People are suggested not to take gabapentin in any more or less dosage than as prescribed by your doctor. It is not safe to take the drug for recreational purposes as the side effects might be severe. The suggested dosage is 500-600 mg per day depending upon various factors like age, tolerance level etc. which must be considered before consumption. Tolerance and intoxication of the drug must be very well monitored to avoid any over dosage which could lead to gabapentin high and cause side effects. The body will get intoxicated due to the over dosage. Thus, the dosage must be monitored at all cost to prevent the high. Deep intoxication from the use of this drug can also lead to coma which is why precautions must be taken and the drug should be used as per the prescription only.

You can also ask your doctor to suggest any other medically approved drug to treat your condition. There are alternatives to this drug available in the market which could be used instead of gabapentin to prevent taking any risks of getting high on gabapentin.

Conclusion

Gabapentin must not be consumed with alcohol as such a combination could lead to severe side effects. There are a number of side effects that you might experience due to an intake of high dosage of gabapentin. The person who is using the drug for treating certain conditions must always follow the prescription by his doctor strictly. It is better if the doctor prescribes alternatives to this drug to prevent the chances of experiencing its serious side effects.


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