Gralise Signs, Symptoms And Side Effects
Gralise is a form of the pain reliever and anticonvulsant gabapentin. Gralise is not interchangeable with other brand names of gabapentin or with the generic version of the drug. The pharmacokinetic profiles that affect dose frequency are too different between Gralise and other forms of gabapentin.
Addiction to Gralise is rare. When cases of addiction to Gralise or other variations of gabapentin occur, they usually involve individuals who have a history of substance misuse disorders.
Taking anticonvulsants like Gralise can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts. Report to your doctor immediately if you experience such symptoms. More common side effects of Gralise include drowsiness, headache, coordination problem, blurry vision, dizziness, fatigue and edema (swelling of the hands and feet).
Signs of an allergic reaction to Gralise include swelling in the face, lips, throat or tongue, difficulty breathing, and hives. These symptoms can be life-threatening. Contact emergency medical services if you experience these or similar symptoms. Dangerous drug interactions can result in muscle aches, skin rash, swollen glands, abnormal bruising and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes).
Gralise’s primary use is for pain reduction in cases of diabetic neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia (pain from shingles). With diabetes, blood flow can become restricted to certain parts of the body, causing nerve endings to die. This can be painful for the patient. Gralise dulls sensations to these nerve endings, thereby reducing pain. Evidence shows that Gralise is most effective at reducing pain when it’s combined with a pain reliever like oxycodone, morphine or nortriptyline.
Gralise is also an anticonvulsant that’s used to treat seizures. Gralise is approved for the treatment of focal seizures and mixed seizures. Off-label uses of Gralise include the treatment of insomnia, anxiety and bipolar disorder. More research needs to be done to confirm the efficacy of gabapentin for these off-label applications.
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Misuse of Gralise typically only occurs in patients with a pre-existing history of drug or alcohol addiction. Individuals addicted to an opiate like heroin may combine opioids with Gralise to intensify the effects of both drugs. Misuse of Gralise or some other form of gabapentin occurs in 22 percent of individuals attending addiction treatment facilities.
Patients’ without a history of substance misuse have an approximately one percent chance of developing an addiction to Gralise or some other form of gabapentin. Withdrawals symptoms are common among people discontinuing use of Gralise. Symptoms are typically more severe when treatments are stopped abruptly. Withdrawals can begin within 12 hours after stopping Gralise and may remain persistent for up to seven days.
General side effects of Gralise tend to get more severe with prolonged use, especially when use is recreational and isn’t monitored by a qualified medical professional. These symptoms can include chronic fatigue, drowsiness, swelling in the extremities, tremors and poor coordination. Sexual dysfunction can also occur, including loss of sex drive, inability to orgasm and erectile dysfunction. Gralise use can lead to renal impairment and possible toxicity. Elderly patients taking Gralise should be carefully monitored.