Gabapentin and Xanax For Opiate Withdrawal
Xanax and Gabapentin are two drugs that are often used together for opiate withdrawal, but separately for a variety of other purposes.
The following information provides an overview of Xanax and Gabapentin separately from one another and also highlights the relationship they may have. It also provides information on the use of Gabapentin and Xanax for opiate withdrawal.
Xanax is a prescription drug classified as a benzodiazepine, and it’s one of the most often prescribed drugs in the U.S. Xanax is a depressant, meaning it calms down brain activity, to relieve symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders.
While Xanax does have therapeutic benefits for the treatment of anxiety and panic, it also has the potential for abuse and addiction. When physicians prescribe it, they should speak with patients about the risk of abuse, and it’s only intended for short-term use. Along with the risk of abuse and addiction, people who take Xanax may also become physically dependent on it, and when they stop taking it suddenly, this means they’ll go through withdrawal.
When someone takes Xanax, it works by binding to GABA receptors in the brain, which increases GABA activity, and that ultimately calms nervousness or over-active neuron activity.
Some of the side effects possible with Xanax include drowsiness, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, concentration problems, and headaches.
This prescription drug is usually taken together with other seizure medicines in patients with epilepsy, and it’s part of a class of drugs known as anticonvulsants.
Some of the common side effects of gabapentin can include dizziness, drowsiness, coordination problems, nausea and vomiting, double vision and speech problems. There are also potentially severe side effects with gabapentin including suicidal thoughts, worsening anxiety, restlessness or mood problems.
As with so many other medicines, gabapentin can interfere with other substances such as hydrocodone and morphine. People are also warned against drinking alcohol while taking gabapentin because it can cause increased drowsiness and dizziness.
If you use Xanax and gabapentin together, it can increase and amplify many of the side effects of both such as confusion, dizziness, and drowsiness. In some people, especially older adults using Xanax and gabapentin together, it may lead to impaired coordination, thinking, and judgment.
In particular, there is some belief that gabapentin may be useful for opiate withdrawal because it slows how pain signals travel through the nerves. This is important for people going through opiate withdrawal because many people experience heightened levels of pain as a result of how the opiates impact their brain.
Gabapentin may be able to help reduce the severity of opiate withdrawal people experience as well because researchers think it mimics the effects of opiates in some ways. When gabapentin is prescribed for opiate withdrawal, it may be able to reduce how intensely someone experiences symptoms of withdrawal, because of how it acts like GABA on the brain.
Xanax is also sometimes used for opiate withdrawal because it helps people feel calmer and more relaxed, and also fall asleep more easily. With that being said, doctors are more cautious about using Xanax for opiate withdrawal because of the risk of addiction, while there isn’t the risk with gabapentin.
While there isn’t necessarily a risk of addiction in the traditional sense with gabapentin, some people might try to use it recreationally because of the sense of relaxation and calm it can create in the user.
Finally, with gabapentin and Xanax for opiate withdrawal, it’s essential that people realize they shouldn’t do this on their own. You should have a physician’s supervision anytime you’re trying to stop using opiates or using any prescription medications. A doctor will need to determine if gabapentin and Xanax for opiate withdrawal is right for you, and what doses you should be taking, as well as how long you should be taking it.
If you’re someone who’s at risk for addiction, doctor’s supervision is important with both Xanax and gabapentin because of their recreational uses.
To try and go through opiate withdrawal, particularly when prescription medicines are involved, without medical supervision is extremely dangerous and can be deadly.
Have more questions about Xanax abuse?Read the most frequently asked questions
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