Drinking while taking gabapentin should be avoided as it can increase your risks of side effects like dizziness, drowsiness and difficulty concentrating.
Drinking alcohol while taking the prescription gabapentin can cause side effects like dizziness, drowsiness and difficulty concentrating. Patients are advised to avoid or limit alcohol use while taking this medication due to the likelihood of these side effects.
While taking gabapentin, keep your doctor informed of your alcohol use and any prescription and non-prescription drugs you’re taking, and report any side effects you experience.
Article at a Glance
- Gabapentin is a prescription drug commonly used to treat nerve pain.
- Gabapentin is occasionally prescribed to help people stop drinking when they struggle with alcohol.
- Mixing alcohol and gabapentin can increase your risk of side effects like dizziness, drowsiness and concentration problems.
- Inform your doctor if you drink alcohol while taking gabapentin due to the interaction between these substances.
What Is Gabapentin?
Gabapentin is a generic prescription drug and central nervous system depressant sometimes sold under brand names like Gralise, Horizant and Neurontin. Although initially developed as a seizure medication, gabapentin is currently more frequently prescribed to treat nerve pain from diabetes or shingles.
Gabapentin has been around for almost 30 years, but doctors are still unsure how the medication achieves its effects on the body.
Gabapentin is available as tablets, capsules and an oral solution and can be taken with or without food. This medication’s dosage depends on what you are being treated for.
- Loss of coordination
- Blurred/double vision
- Unusual eye movements
A few patients have reported mood changes, such as thoughts of suicide and depression. If you experience any side effects while taking gabapentin, talk to your doctor to ensure this is the right prescription.
Gabapentin Interactions With Alcohol
Mixing gabapentin with alcohol can lead to increased dizziness, drowsiness and trouble concentrating. Avoid any activities requiring balance or mental alertness while taking gabapentin with alcohol.
Gabapentin is sometimes prescribed to those who struggle with alcohol and want to quit drinking. Although not a first-line agent, experts recommend considering gabapentin at 900–1800 mg daily doses for those who want to stop drinking and cannot take other medications.
Keep your doctor informed of your alcohol use while on gabapentin so they can monitor any possible side effects and interactions specific to you.
Summing Up: Side Effects of Mixing Alcohol With Gabapentin
Drinking alcohol while taking gabapentin can increase the chances of dizziness and drowsiness. Since alcohol is a depressant and gabapentin affects the nervous system, it only makes the combination more likely to affect you adversely. Alcohol consumption should be limited or avoided while taking gabapentin.
Be honest with your doctor about your habits with alcohol and any drugs you are taking when you’re discussing using gabapentin because you want to avoid or lessen unwanted effects from the combination.
Drugs.com. “Drug Interaction Report: gabapentin, eth[…]ntin, ethanol.” Accessed November 1, 2022.
Drugs.com. “Gabapentin”>Gabapentin.” December 3, 2020. Accessed November 1, 2022.
Peckham, Alyssa M.; Evoy, Kirk E.; Ochs, Leslie; Covvey, Jordan R. “Gabapentin for Off-Label Use: Evidence-B[…] for Concern?” Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, September 23, 2018. Accessed November 1, 2022.
American Psychiatric Association. “Practice Guideline for the Pharmacological Treatment of Patients With Alcohol Use Disorder.” 2018. Accessed November 1, 2022.
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