Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant drug which is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of epilepsy and post herpetic pains. It is sometimes prescribed for other disorders such as mood swing, anxiety, pain syndrome, alcohol withdrawal and other related conditions. Post marketing reports do not find gabapentin as a controlled substance. Although some cases were reported, but they were irrelevant.

Chemical structure of gabapentin

Gabapentin is an analog of GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid, it is a neurotransmitter). Its chemical structure consists of the addition of the Cyclo – hexyl group to gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA).

Mode of action:

Gabapentin decreases frequency of seizures, as it aids in controlling seizures, which occurs in epilepsy. In animals, gabapentin shows tremendous activity in controlling seizures. As its mechanism of action is not recognized, some researchers suggested that gabapentin interact with voltage-dependent calcium channels in neurons. It decreases release of monoamine and augment axon excitability in hippocampus region. It is also found out in some study that it can cross the lipid membrane barrier.

Onset action

Gabapentin mostly comes in 100-800mg capsule dose. Doctors mostly prescribe 300mg dose to a patient. Gabapentin has a slow onset of action. This drug shows effect in 3-4 hrs. Gabapentin recreational dose is somewhere in between 900-5000mg, which is a much higher dose, whereas other drug like methamphetamine, benzodiazepines or pregabalin have one third recreational dose than gabapentin.

Half-life of gabapentin

The half-life of gabapentin is 5-7 hours, means it has a short duration of action. It is the period of time required for the concentration of drug in the body to be reduced by half. Shorter half time related to more severe withdrawal symptoms.

Side effect of gabapentin

There are some common side-effect shown by the gabapentin, which are as follows;

Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, tiredness, blurred vision/ double vision, hearing impairment, loss of coordination (shaking of part of the body), unusual eye movement, headache, constipation, anxiety, depression, dry mouth, joint pain.

Is gabapentin a controlled substance?

Gabapentin is not a controlled substance, but it makes you feel better. Some people defined its effects like marijuana, sense of peace and relaxation. It will not lead to physiological dependence, but can surely lead to psychological dependence. Gabapentin is a prescription only drug and no lethal dose has been defined yet. But if you take it without medical supervision, can lead to death.

Gabapentin withdrawal symptoms

Gabapentin shows withdrawal symptoms, which you will face while quitting it. Some of the symptoms are based on what the individual experiences during their withdrawal process are anxiety, appetite changes, dizziness, insomnia, muscle pain and seizure which is one of the dangerous symptoms associated with gabapentin withdrawal. This occurs, when you try to stop gabapentin suddenly. This symptom is reported to occur, even if you try to quit smaller dose.

Considering, gabapentin a controlled substance, is totally untrue because it is not in schedule C. Gabapentin is not drug of concern because the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) clearly stated that gabapentin is not related to abuse.

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