Gabapentin is frequently used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. There are more than 70% patients think Gabapentin is very effective for anxiety.
What Exactly is Gabapentin (Neurontin)?
This particular drug is an anticonvulsant. It is not related chemically to other anti-convulsants or other mood regulating drugs on the market.
What is the Difference Between Gabapentin and Other Mood Stabilizing Medications?
There are two major ways that Gabapentin differs from similar drugs on the market:
- Gabapentin has been proven to be effective for people who have hard-to-treat depression or other mood disorders
- The side effects are relatively minor
How is Gabapentin Different from Valproate and Carbamazepine?
There are claims that Gabapentin was successful in helping with rapid cycling and mixed bipolar states in people who have not received relief from valproate or carbamazepine. It appeared that Gabapentin helped more with anxiety and agitation than the other two drugs. It has also been shown that Gabapentin could aid people with certain types of tardive dyskinesia.
What Types of Mood and Anxiety Disorders Can Best Be Treated with Gabapentin?
Experts say that it is too early to tell which types of disorders will get the best results from Gabapentin. There are not a lot of reports on Gabapentin’s use. Many experts don’t recommend the use of Gabapentin for mood disorders.
There is more data from people who have hard-to-treat bipolar disorder than unipolar depression, although some people with unipolar disorder have gotten good results from Gabapentin. In time, it can be proven that Gabapentin can be used to treat a variety of mood disorders.
Can Gabapentin Be Used for the Treatment of Mixed Bipolar States? Can It Prevent Future Episodes of Mania and Depression?
Right now, there isn’t a lot of evidence that Gabapentin can be used for treating people with bipolar disorder.
How Long Does It Usually Take for Gabapentin to Work?
Some people see improvement in their antigenic and/or anti-depressant symptoms about a week after starting treatment. Others need about a month before they see significant improvement.
How Do You Initiate Gabapentin Therapy?
The therapy will be started with 300 mg once a day, usually in the evening. The dose will then be increased every 3 to 5 days. Some people will see an increase with 600 mg/day, others will see increases up to 4,800 mg/day.
Should a Person Take Any Laboratory Tests Before Taking Gabapentin?
Before a patient starts Gabapentin therapy, they should undergo a thorough medical examination to rule out any medical issues. This includes any blood or urine tests. Medical evaluations are important as issues such as thyroid conditions can undermine the therapy.
Does Gabapentin Interact with Any Other Prescriptions or Over-The-Counter Medications?
There are only a few interaction issues that are known. Antacids have been known to decrease absorption of the drug, as well as lower the blood level by 20%. Gabapentin could also increase the level of concentration of some oral contraceptives by up to 13%. However, these two interaction possibilities are not clinically significant in any way.
Are There Any Interaction Issues Between Gabapentin and Alcohol?
Alcoholic beverages have been known to increase the discomfort of Gabapentin’s side effects.
Is It Safe for a Woman Who Is Pregnant, About to Become Pregnant, or Nursing to Take Gabapentin?
The FDA placed Gabapentin in pregnancy category C. According to studies done on animals, there was harm done to fetuses. However, there have been no studies done on humans. Despite all this, experts believe that the benefits gained from taking Gabapentin may outweigh its risks.
Can Children and Adolescents Safely Take Gabapentin?
In other countries besides the United States, children have been prescribed Gabapentin. However, Gabapentin has only been approved for use in adolescents above the age of 12.
Can Elderly People Use Gabapentin?
The elderly seem to experience similar effects to younger people. There isn’t a lot of precedent with using this drug to treat psychiatric disorders in this population.
Why Do Doctors Prescribe Gabapentin When There Are Other Mood Stabilizing Medications That Have Been Around for Many Years? These Medications Have Been Shown to Be More Effective in Double-Blind Studies That Are Placebo-Controlled.
There are two reasons why physicians prescribe Gabapentin over more established drugs. The first reason is that not everyone improves with the older, more established medications. The second is that some people can’t deal with the side effects of the other drugs.