Is gabapentin abuse drug?
Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant and analgesic drug. Gabapentin is a drug which is approved by FDA and shows good pharmacological activity against epilepsy and post herpetic pains. Post marketing reports does not find gabapentin abuse nature. Although some cases were reported which were found to be irrelevant and did not support gabapentin abuse completely.
Chemical structure of gabapentin
Gabapentin is an analog of GABA (gamma amino butyric acid, it is a neurotransmitter). Its chemical structure consists of the addition of the Cyclo – hexyl group to gamma amino butyric acid (GABA).
Mode of action:
Gabapentin decrease 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. There are some common long term side effects.
Gabapentin abuse nature is not proved by mechanism of action theory because it has none affinity for benzodiazepine, cannabis, or opioids receptor sites. These are the sites which are related or responsible for a drug to be addictive.
Evidence related to gabapentin abuse
A 67 year old woman with mood disorders and a history of alcohol abuse was prescribed with gabapentin for post herpetic pain. She was prescribed 4800mg/day due to tolerance, but the dose further increased to 7800mg/day. She requested gabapentin from pharmacies without any prescription and visited various doctor for escalating gabapentin dose. When she was no longer able to get gabapentin, she developed withdrawal symptoms and went for alternative medication. Now she has resumed gabapentin abuse.
Treatment for gabapentin abuse
Gabapentin abuse nature is not proven, but people who are taking it from long time reported that they get dependent on gabapentin. When they tried to quit it, they get withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are very severe and fatal; you need to consult a physician or should take help from a drug rehabilitation centre, about how you can quit this drug. One of the best methods to quit gabapentin is to decrease the dose, as it prevents incoming withdrawal symptoms.
Drug rehabilitation centres also help in quitting gabapentin. They detoxify the patient’s body under medical supervision, called Detoxification process. Once the detoxification process is completed, the patient’s body is free from drug and they can live a drug free life. You can also talk to the therapist about your feelings, symptoms and psychological problems, which you are facing during drug free therapy. You can also try yoga and some physical activity which helps in easing stress from your mind.
Gabapentin pharmacology does not support gabapentin abuse nature. It is not scheduled as a controlled drug, but post marketing studies showed that some people were abusing it. It was related to misuse and abuse in some cases. In cases of abuse, people describe, it’s symptoms as euphoria, excitement, marijuana like high, a sense of peace and relaxation. Gabapentin is not a drug of concern, as very few cases were reported of its abuse. The US Drug Enforcement Administration clearly stated that gabapentin is not related to abuse.