Neurontin Withdrawal & Detox

Neurontin is a brand name drug and is also known by its generic name gabapentin. Neurontin is prescribed for several different reasons. It’s used to treat certain symptoms of epilepsy, such as partial seizures. It’s also used for the treatment of neuropathic pain, diabetic neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia. Off-label uses of Neurontin include treating anxiety and bipolar disorder, although clinical research is still needed to determine how effective or safe these off-label uses are.

While Neurontin has therapeutic benefits, it has adverse effects as well. There are common side effects like dizziness and sleepiness. Severe side effects are also possible, such as changes in mood and behavior, as well as suicidal thoughts or tendencies. There has been an increase in the recreational use of Neurontin in recent years. Neurontin can create a sense of euphoria, or calm relaxation, especially when it is used in high doses or when it is combined with other drugs like narcotics. The risk of abuse and addiction is particularly high for people who have a history of substance abuse. Increased tolerance and dependence can also occur with the use of Neurontin. Neurontin withdrawal can occur in both people who use it as prescribed, as well as those who use the drug recreationally.

Causes of Withdrawal

Neurontin is believed to function as a structural analog of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. It doesn’t bind to GABA receptors but it does affect certain calcium channels that alter the activity and functionality of the central nervous system. The mechanism of action for Neurontin means that it increases levels of GABA in the brain and central nervous system. When the brain’s neurotransmitters are affected by a drug, the brain becomes used to those effects. The brain then changes how it functions in response to the presence of whatever the substance is. This often results in dependence. If someone has been regularly using Neurontin and suddenly stops, the brain and body will struggle to respond and get back to the point of normal functionality. That’s why Neurontin withdrawal symptoms occur.

The more often someone uses Neurontin or the longer they use it, the more likely withdrawal is to occur if they suddenly stop using the drug. Some Neurontin withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, nausea, pain, sweating and sleep disturbances. Like most other drugs, Neurontin withdrawal symptoms are usually considered to be rebound symptoms. This means that they are the symptoms the drug was originally used to treat. For example, Neurontin provides calming, anti-anxiety effects; and yet, Neurontin withdrawal can cause new or worsening anxiety. Severe symptoms of Neurontin withdrawal may occur as well, such as seizures. It’s important to follow a doctor’s instructions before stopping Neurontin in order to avoid these dangerous or deadly symptoms.
The half-life of Neurontin is short, at around 5 to 7 hours. While every situation can vary somewhat, for most people, Neurontin withdrawal symptoms begin within around 12 hours after the last dose is taken. For some people, it may take longer for Neurontin withdrawal to begin. It could be anywhere from one to two days after the last dose is taken. The withdrawal timeline of Neurontin usually lasts for a few weeks. However, for some people, symptoms of Neurontin withdrawal can last for months. For people who use Neurontin chronically or have been taking the drug for a long time, it can take up to a year to completely overcome withdrawal symptoms.
Neurontin detox needs to allow patients to gradually taper-down their use of the drug. Stopping “cold turkey,” or suddenly, will result in the most severe Neurontin withdrawal symptoms, including seizures. Gradual tapering-down requires that the Neurontin dosage is gradually reduced over weeks or months. During Neurontin detox, symptoms can be effectively managed and many patients receive magnesium supplements since Neurontin affects magnesium levels in the body. Along with treating physical symptoms, Neurontin detox should include treatment for any psychological symptoms.

Most people will benefit from attending a professional Neurontin withdrawal and detox center. At a professional Neurontin detox center, a patient can be closely monitored. This ensures that their vitals are monitored and any necessary medical interventions can be performed. A Neurontin detox center also means that patients can receive the necessary medications that they need for their physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Many addiction treatment centers have medical detox programs that are part of the facility, allowing patients to move straight into treatment after completing detox.

To learn more about addiction treatment and how recovery is possible for you or a loved one, contact The Recovery Village today.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.