This combination medication is used to treat tension headaches. Codeine is an opioid (narcotic) pain reliever that acts on certain centers in the brain to give you pain relief. Acetaminophen helps to decrease the pain from the headache. Caffeine helps increase the effects of acetaminophen. Butalbital is a sedative which helps to decrease anxiety and cause sleepiness and relaxation.
You can buy Affordable Fioricet(Butalbital APAP Caffeine) online and save a lot of money over time. There are several different online pharmacies in business, but they’re not all equal in terms of service or the quality of the products they offer. Make sure you’re buying from a reputable business and that you’re getting the products you want.
Before taking acetaminophen, Butalbital, Caffeine,
tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to acetaminophen, butalbital, caffeine, or any other drugs.
tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin), antidepressants, antihistamines, pain medications, sedatives, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, and vitamins. Many nonprescription pain relievers contain acetaminophen. Too much of this drug can be harmful.
tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease, porphyria, or depression.
tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, call your doctor.
you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
The good online pharmacies will offer the same selections, oftentimes more, than are offered at regular pharmacies. Make sure that you order the correct dosage for your medication. even though possible, you can buy ahead and save yourself the trouble of ordering for a while.
When you find Affordable Fioricet (Butalbital APAP Caffeine) online, make sure that the drugstore catalog shows the pills in the dosages you’re used to. There are some pharmacies out there that are fly-by-night operations that may not sell you the right products. There are some things, however, that you can look for to make sure that you’re buying from a real drugstore. The first and most telling thing is that they insist on having your doctor send in your prescription before selling to you. even though they don’t require this, it’s likely that you’re not going to get any medication for the money you send them.
Any online drugstore that allows you to buy Affordable Fioricet(Butalbital APAP Caffeine) will have secure ordering systems. This is indicated, in most browsers, in the URL bar or in the bottom right hand corner of the browser screen. even though you’re ready to put your credit card info in but aren’t on a secure server, take this as a warning sign. A secure server ensures that your information is not intercepted in transit. Without this security measure, there’s no way to guarantee that your credit card information is safe and, unfortunately, an unsecured connection is generally a sign of a scam business.
Remember to order before you run out of medication, however, so that you always have some on hand. As long as your prescription is current, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting your order to your house online. The shipping company will require you to sign for the package because it is a controlled substance. Remember to be home or, if you cannot be home, to have it shipped somewhere that you’ll be available to sign for the package so that you don’t miss your shipment of Affordable Fioricet (Butalbital APAP Caffeine)!
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to acetaminophen, caffeine, codeine, or butalbital; or to other barbiturates (e.g., phenobarbital), xanthine derivatives (e.g., theophylline) or opioid pain medications (e.g., morphine); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: a certain enzyme disorder (porphyria), brain disorders (e.g., seizures, head injury, tumor, increased intracranial pressure), breathing problems (e.g., asthma, sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD), disease of the pancreas (e.g., pancreatitis), heart disease (e.g., irregular heartbeat, recent heart attack), liver disease, kidney disease, a certain spinal problem (kyphoscoliosis), gallbladder disease, personal or family history of a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol), mental/mood disorders, obesity, stomach/intestinal problems (such as blockage, constipation, diarrhea due to infection, paralytic ileus, stomach ulcer, colitis), adrenal gland problem (e.g., Addison’s disease), difficulty urinating (e.g., due to enlarged prostate or urethral stricture), underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), recent bowel/abdominal surgery.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Before having surgery or certain medical procedures (such as a heart stress test or a procedure to restore a normal heart rhythm if you have an unusually fast heartbeat), tell your doctor or dentist that you use this medication and about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Some children may be more sensitive to very serious side effects of the codeine in this product, such as extreme sleepiness, confusion, or slow/shallow/noisy breathing. (See also Warning section.) Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, slow/shallow breathing, and trouble falling asleep. Confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, and trouble falling asleep can increase the risk of falling.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant, such as unusual sleepiness, difficulty feeding, trouble breathing, or unusual limpness. Breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Fioricet is the brand name for a combination medication that contains acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine.
Butalbital chemical structure is similar to other barbiturates and it has similar effects. Butalbital alone is a Schedule III controlled medication as classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Schedule III medications have the potential for abuse. Fioricet, however, is not scheduled federally and falls under exemption rules by the DEA.
People who suffer from tension-type headaches that do not respond to over-the-counter (OTC) medications may find relief with combination drugs that include butalbital.
Commonly prescribed as Fioricet (butalbital/acetaminophen/caffeine) or Fiorinal (butalbital/aspirin/caffeine), butalbital is a sedative in the barbiturate class of medicines. While the drug causes intense relaxation and eases the pain of a tension headache, it is not without risks.
The most common type of headache disorder, a tension headache occurs when neck and scalp muscles become tense, or contract, meaning they squeeze down. This causes pain, often described as a rubber-band-around-the-head feeling or a pressure sensation, on both sides of the head.
Tension headaches can be triggered by a number of factors including stress, hunger, lack of sleep, anxiety, and temperature changes. They may occur at any age but are most common in adults and older teens. Some people are more prone or vulnerable to developing tension headaches than others, although the reason behind this is not very clear.
The good news is that most tension headaches are mild in pain and can be easily alleviated with rest, fluids, removal of the trigger, and/or an over-the-counter medication like Motrin (ibuprofen) or Tylenol (acetaminophen). Behavioral therapies too can be effective like physical therapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy.
When recurring tension headaches do not respond to other treatments, your doctor may prescribe Fiorinal or Fioricet. Codeine may also be added to this combination of medicine. While this medication is very effective in the short-term, there are some things to watch out for.
Butalbital is a barbiturate, which means that it helps to slow down the central nervous system and relax the muscle tension believed to be associated with tension headaches.
Before taking medication containing butalbital, tell your doctor if you:
are allergic to any ingredients in the medication, such as acetaminophen or aspirin.
are currently taking blood thinners, antidepressants, antihistamines, or other sedatives such as sleeping pills or tranquilizers
have or previously had liver disease, porphyria, or depression
are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are currently breastfeeding
Fioricet contains enough acetaminophen that it is not considered to have high abuse potential. Despite this limitation, some states still classify it as a scheduled medication. Fioricet is a scheduled medication in:
Fioricet Street Names and Brand Names
The Fioricet generic name is acetaminophen/butalbital/caffeine. Fioricet does not have many known street names if any at all. However, butalbital goes by a few street names:
Different brand names for butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine include:
What Is Fioricet Used For?
Fioricet is used for tension headaches. A tension headache is mild to moderate pain in the head that can be located in the front, back or the sides. People describe having a tension headache as feeling like they have a tight band around their head.
Tension headaches are the most common types of headaches, but Fioricet is not commonly prescribed for them because there are safer options to use.
Tension headaches can last for minutes, or they can last for days. Some people experience more than 15 days of headaches in a month. When that many headaches are experienced it’s identified as a chronic tension headache.
Each of the ingredients in Fioricet works to help with the managing headaches:
Acetaminophen: Stops the production of a chemical in cells called prostaglandin. Prostaglandin tells brain cells to fire pain signals. Blocking prostaglandin stops or lowers the experience of pain.
Butalbital: Attaches to GABA receptors in brain cell membranes. Butalbital increases levels of GABA in the brain, which slow down pain signals. The ingredient causes drowsiness and sleepiness.
Caffeine: A stimulant for the central nervous system (CNS). When blood pressure is too low in the brain, blood vessels expand and push on adjacent brain cell tissue. Caffeine causes vessels to tighten, or constrict, which helps decrease pain from headaches.
How Addictive Is Fioricet?
Is Fioricet addictive? It could be, but it’s likely not very addictive in the Fioricet combination pill form.
Butalbital — one of the ingredients in Fioricet — is combined with other medications to reduce its abuse potential. The DEA classifies butalbital as a Schedule III substance, so it has the potential to be abused when it’s on its own. Fioricet has a low potential for abuse but is not commonly prescribed.
Do not use Fioricet if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.
You should not use Fioricet if you are allergic to acetaminophen, butalbital, or caffeine, if you have porphyria, or if you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or other narcotic medications.
To make sure Fioricet is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
liver disease, cirrhosis, a history of alcoholism or drug addiction, or if you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day;
asthma, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorder;
stomach ulcer or bleeding;
a history of skin rash caused by any medication;
a history of mental illness or suicidal thoughts; or
if you use medicine to prevent blood clots.
It is not known whether Fioricet will harm an unborn baby. If you use butalbital while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
What should I avoid while taking Fioricet?
This medication can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage while taking acetaminophen.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, allergy, pain, or sleep medication. Acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as APAP) is contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much acetaminophen which can lead to a fatal overdose. Check the label to see if a medicine contains acetaminophen or APAP.
While you are taking this medication, avoid taking diet pills, caffeine pills, or other stimulants (such as ADHD medications) without your doctor’s advice.
Gabapentin capsules, tablets, and oral solution are used to help control certain types of seizures in people who have epilepsy. Gabapentin capsules, tablets, and oral solution are also used to relieve the pain of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN; the burning, stabbing pain or aches that may last for months or years after an attack of shingles).
Gabapentin extended-release tablets (Horizant) are used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS; a condition that causes discomfort in the legs and a strong urge to move the legs, especially at night and when sitting or lying down). Gabapentin is in a class of medications called anticonvulsants. Gabapentin treats seizures by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. Gabapentin relieves the pain of PHN by changing the way the body senses pain. It is not known exactly how gabapentin works to treat restless legs syndrome.
What side effects can Fioricet cause?
Acetaminophen, Butalbital, Caffeine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Fioricet Brand names
Brand names of combination products
Esgic® Plus (containing Acetaminophen, Butalbital, Caffeine, Codeine)
Fioricet® with Codeine (containing Acetaminophen, Butalbital, Caffeine, Codeine)
Phrenilin® with Caffeine and Codeine (containing Acetaminophen, Butalbital, Caffeine, Codeine)
Butalbital-containing medications can be habit-forming and may lead to addiction and other problems. Risks of taking Fioricet and Fiorinal include:
Butalbital slows the central nervous system, leading to lack of coordination, problems with thinking and memory, slowness of speech, disinhibition, and emotional disturbances. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery while taking medicines containing butalbital.
Medication Overuse Headache
Medication overuse headaches, a type of headache disorder that occurs when a person takes medication too frequently to treat their headaches, are common in patients who take butalbital medications.
With Fioricet or Fiorinal, a medication overuse headache or rebound headache can occur from taking it three times a week or 10 or more days a month.
In addition, medication overuse headaches are often not responsive to preventive headache medications. This lack of response to other medications is often a clue to doctors that a medication overuse headache has developed.
Medications containing butalbital should be limited to two days per week to avoid this rebound effect.
When taking butalbital, you may experience withdrawal symptoms 8 to 36 hours after the last dose. Withdrawal symptoms may include anxiety, muscle twitching, tremor, weakness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, weight loss, and even seizures when the medication is discontinued.
Due to the risk of seizures with a withdrawal from butalbital, medical treatment in a monitored setting under the care of a physician is indicated.
Tolerance and Addiction
Tolerance and addiction may also occur with butalbital. Tolerance means that a person needs more of the medication to achieve headache relief. Addiction to butalbital is characterized by persistent behaviors, like compulsions, to take a butalbital-containing medication.
These behaviors impair their life in some way, negatively impacting relationships and/or everyday functioning.
Do not take Fioricet along with other medications that contain acetaminophen as it can be toxic to the liver.
What other drugs will affect Fioricet?
Taking this medicine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous or life-threatening side effects. Ask your doctor before taking Fioricet with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Other drugs may interact with acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
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Gabapentin is used to control the symptoms of seizures and works by reducing the abnormal electrical activity in the brain, but exactly how it does this is not fully understood. Gabapentin is also used to treat certain types of long-lasting pain caused by damage to nerves.
Gabapentin belongs to a group of medicines known as anti-epileptic medicines, although it is prescribed for the treatment of several different conditions. You may have been prescribed it for the treatment of partial seizures, which are a type of epilepsy. A seizure is a short episode of symptoms which is caused by a burst of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. With a partial seizure, the burst of electrical activity stays in one part of the brain. Therefore, you tend to have localised or ‘focal’ symptoms. Gabapentin is used to control the symptoms of seizures and works by reducing the abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Exactly how it does this is not fully understood.
Gabapentin is also prescribed to treat certain types of long-lasting pain caused by damage to nerves. This type of pain, called neuropathic pain, can be caused by a number of different diseases. These include diabetes (where it is called diabetic neuropathy) and shingles (where it is called postherpetic neuralgia).
Although gabapentin is only licensed for use in epilepsy and neuropathic pain, it is also prescribed to help to prevent attacks of migraine. If you have been given it for this reason then you should speak with your doctor if you have any questions about your treatment.
Before taking gabapentin
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking gabapentin it is important that your doctor knows:
If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
If you have any problems with the way your kidneys work.
If you have diabetes.
If you have ever had a mental health problem known as psychosis.
If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
Gabapentin Mechanism of action
The mechanism of the anticonvulsant action of gabapentin has not been fully described. Several possible mechanisms for pain improvement have been discussed.
Though similar in structure to the endogenous neurotransmitter GABA, gabapentin has not been shown to bind to GABA receptors at concentrations at or below 1 mM. Gabapentin modulates the action of glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) and branched chain aminotransferase (BCAT), two enzymes involved in GABA biosynthesis. In human and rat studies, gabapentin was found to increase GABA biosynthesis, and to increase non-synaptic GABA neurotransmission in vitro.
Gabapentin has been shown to bind to the α2δ-1 subunit of voltage gated calcium ion channels, which contributes to its pain attenuation effects in diabetic neuropathy and post-herpetic neuralgia. Other neurophysiological findings indicate that gabapentin also interacts with NMDA receptors, protein kinase C, and inflammatory cytokines.
What is gabapentin mostly used for?
Gabapentin is an antiepileptic or anticonvulsant treatment originally designed to prevent seizures, but which is now also used to manage certain types of pain and in a variety of other uses.
The medication is also used in veterinary medicine. Note that tablets, capsules or oral solutions designed for human consumption often contain sweeteners which may be poisonous to some species; be sure to buy Gabapentin in veterinary formulations for use in animals.
The medication comes in capsules, which may be opened and mixed into a beverage or soft foods that do not require chewing, though it is difficult to mask its bitter taste.
Gabapentin is most commonly prescribed to prevent certain types of seizures:
As a preventive treatment, Gabapentin may be used in children as young as 3, but is most often prescribed to people 12 years old and up.
The medication is typically taken 3 times per day, and treatment is usually long-term. Patients are usually started on smaller doses which are then increased if needed. The average dose for adults is 900 to 1800 mg per day.
Daily doses are usually divided into 3 smaller doses, taken morning, afternoon, and at bedtime. Doses should be taken at least 4 hours apart, but not more than 12 hours apart.
It may take several weeks for the medication to become noticeably effective. When working, seizures should occur with significantly less frequency or be eliminated entirely. It does not work on all seizures and is not effective for all patients; if effects are not significant after several weeks of use, speak with doctor about alternative options rather than continuing to buy Gabapentin.
Ending treatment abruptly may cause an increase in seizures; speak with a doctor about tapering off the medication.
Patients planning to buy Gabapentin for pain relief should understand that it only works on very specific types of pain; namely neuropathic pain, or pain caused by damage to the somatosensory system, including:
Central neuropathic pain
When given for pain, treatment may last just a few days for flare-ups or weeks or months in cases of chronic pain. Dosage rarely exceeds 1800 mg a day; greater amounts may be taken, but rarely produce additional relief.
Some individuals notice effects within the first day or two of treatment, but it may take several weeks to provide consistent pain relief in chronic conditions.
While some patients find Gabapentin tremendously helpful, others find it has little effect, even when treating the same condition. Speak with a doctor about other options if it is not providing significant relief.
Gabapentin is used in a wide range of other conditions, though it is not always the most effective option for certain ailments:
Uremic pruritus in liver failure
Restless leg syndrome
Many of this product’s off-label uses are somewhat controversial, as some claim there is no evidence the medication provides any benefit in some of the above conditions, while others claim it produces good results for some individuals.
In other cases the medication is recognized as being effective, but is not typically the preferred treatment; in these situations Gabapentin may be given when first-line treatments are ill-advised for some reason.
Patients are not advised to buy Gabapentin for off-label use without doctor collaboration, particularly if there are any preexisting major medical conditions.
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Use only the brand and form of gabapentin that your doctor has prescribed. Check your medicine each time you get a refill at the pharmacy, to make sure you have received the correct form of this medication. Do not stop taking Gabapentin unless your doctor tells you to. If your treatment is stopped it should be done gradually over a minimum of 1 week. If you stop taking gabapentin suddenly or before your doctor tells you, there is an increased risk of seizures.
Patients should be aware of the therapeutic dosing for neuropathic pain to establish realistic expectations and improve compliance and likelihood of remaining on therapy.
The conversation may be as follows: “Gabapentin may reduce nerve pain at 600 mg 3 times a day but patients usually start on a low dose to make sure they tolerate it and is then increased slowly to give the body a chance to get used to it.
If dose increases along the titration cause intolerable side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness, this can often be overcome by reducing back to the previous dose and escalating more slowly over a longer period of time.” Patients should be encouraged to follow-up with their prescriber for continued titration.
How to take gabapentin
Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer’s printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about gabapentin and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
Take gabapentin exactly as your doctor tells you to. There are several different strengths of gabapentin tablets and capsules available, and you could be prescribed more than one strength.
You will be advised to take a low dose when you first start taking gabapentin, and then to increase the dose over a few days. This is to allow your body to get used to it. Most people take three doses a day once they are on a regular maintenance dose. Your doctor will explain all this to you, and the dosing directions will be printed on the label of the pack. If you are still unsure about how to take your doses, ask your pharmacist to advise you.
You can take gabapentin before or after food. Swallow the tablets/capsules with a drink of water. If you have been supplied with oral liquid medicine, see the instructions below for using the oral dosing syringe.
Once you are taking a regular amount of gabapentin, try to take your doses at the same times each day. This will help you avoid missing doses.
If you do forget to take a dose, take one as soon as you remember. Try to take the correct number of doses each day, but do not take two doses at the same time.
If you need to take an antacid or indigestion remedy, do not take it during the two hours before or the two hours after you take gabapentin. This is because antacids reduce the amount of gabapentin that your body absorbs.
Instructions for using the dosing syringe with Gabapentin Rosemont Oral Solution
Remove the bottle cap, and push the syringe adaptor into the top of the open bottle.
Insert the syringe into the adapter.
Turn the bottle (with the syringe connected to it) upside down.
Gently pull out the plunger of the syringe so that the solution fills the syringe to the mark which corresponds to your dose.
Turn the bottle the correct way up again, and remove the syringe from the bottle.
Put the tip of the syringe into your mouth, and gently push the plunger so that the liquid is released into your mouth.
Replace the bottle cap. Wash the syringe with water after each use.
Getting the most from your treatment
Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
When you first start a new treatment for epilepsy there may be a change in the number or type of seizures you experience. Your doctor will advise you about this. If you are a woman and want to have a family, make sure that you discuss this with your doctor before you become pregnant. This is so that you can be given advice about your treatment from a specialist.
People with epilepsy must stop driving. Your doctor will advise you about when it may be possible for you to start driving again. This will usually be after a year free of seizures.
A small number of people have developed mood changes or thoughts about suicide whilst being treated with anti-epileptics. If this happens to you, you must tell your doctor about it straightaway.
If you buy any medicines, always check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with your other medicines.
You must take gabapentin regularly every day. Stopping treatment suddenly can cause problems. If it becomes necessary for the treatment to stop, your doctor will want you to reduce your dose over a few days.
How to Store Gabapentin
Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Once a bottle of Gabapentin Rosemont Oral Solution has been opened it will keep for one month. Do not use it after this time, and make sure you have a fresh supply.
Gabapentin Side Effects
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, depression, or if you feel agitated, hostile, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
severe weakness or tiredness;
upper stomach pain;
chest pain, new or worsening cough with fever, trouble breathing;
severe tingling or numbness;
rapid back and forth movement of your eyes;
kidney problems–little or no urination, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath; or
severe skin reaction–fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
How to treat the Side Effects caused by gabapentin?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with gabapentin. You will find a full list in the manufacturer’s information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
Common gabapentin side-effects
What can I do if I experience this?
Feeling sleepy, tired, unsteady or dizzy; blurred vision and other eyesight problems
Do not drive or use tools or machines
Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller
Feeling or being sick, indigestion, stomach ache
Stick to simple foods – avoid rich or spicy meals
Drink plenty of water to replace the lost fluids
Try to eat a well-balanced diet and drink several glasses of water each day
Try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free sweets
Infections, flu-like symptoms, increased appetite, flushing,
increased blood pressure, changes in weight, changes in emotions or mood, fits, movement difficulties, feeling shaky, difficulties sleeping, breathing difficulties, cough, gum changes, bruises, muscle or joint pains, impotence, and swollen feet or ankles
If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor for advice
Important: gabapentin has been associated with a number of unwanted effects which affect the blood, pancreas and liver. Although these occur less commonly than the side-effects listed above, you must let your doctor know straightaway if you notice any of the following as they could be serious:
Persistent stomach pain with sickness (these could be symptoms of an inflamed pancreas).
A skin rash, or any swelling of your mouth or face (these could be symptoms of an allergic reaction).
Any yellowing of your skin or of the whites of your eyes (these could be symptoms of jaundice).
Any unusual bruising or bleeding (these could be symptoms of a blood disorder).
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
Gabapentin is an Addiction Treatment Medication
Gabapentin is used to treat cases of addiction in an off-label manner. Different companies, including Parke-Davis, Greenstone, and Teva, manufacture several varieties of the generic drug. Other drugs that have been used to treat the symptoms of addiction withdrawal, for specific substances, include:
Other anticonvulsants, such as Tegretol and Depakote
Methadone and buprenorphine
Available in capsules, tablets, and as an oral liquid, dosages range from 100 mg to 800 mg. The frequency with which a dose is repeated depends on the specific dose, which is usually based on the severity of withdrawal and the client’s weight. The drug’s half-life is around 5-7 hours.
Generally, it is used during medical detox and throughout subsequent treatment modalities to support relapse prevention while clients adjust to their new sober lifestyles.
Treating Substance Abuse
Despite its therapeutic role in neuropathic pain, gabapentin produces psychoactive effects and has an abuse liability. Gabapentin abuse typically involves taking higher doses in a single administration. The median single dose for gabapentin abuse is 3600 mg, which is 3 times the maximum recommended single dose of 1200 mg. Risk factors for gabapentin abuse include current or previous opioid abuse, previous cocaine use, and/or concurrent use of benzodiazepines or cannabis. Alcohol use disorder is not generally a predictor of gabapentin abuse.
According to Medscape, gabapentin can inflict users with suicidal thoughts and abrupt changes in behavior. For this reason, it should only be used under medical supervision. It can also cause elevated blood pressure, fever, sleep problems, appetite changes, and chest pain.
While it has been used to treat addictions to other substances, gabapentin is most often used to treat alcoholism — an addiction some 16.6 million adults suffered from in 2013, per the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
During withdrawal from alcohol abuse or dependency, clients may experience anxiety, tremors, agitation, and irritability. In order to understand how gabapentin works, there must be a basic understanding of how the brain works first. Nervous system activity is partially controlled by GABA neurotransmitters. Gabapentin works by reducing activity among GABA. As a result, signals for pain, agitation, and anxiety are reduced, too.
An American Journal of Psychiatry study showed impressive results during the 16-week treatment of 150 people who were dependent on alcohol, noting better results among those who were treated with both gabapentin and naltrexone than the latter alone. TheJournal of Clinical Psychiatry reported on another study in which individuals treated for alcoholism with gabapentin showed a significant reduction in how much they drank and a greater rate of abstinence than those in the placebo group.
Gabapentin has the same calming effect on individuals who are detoxing from marijuana and benzodiazepines. Despite claims from fans of the plant-based drug, marijuana is indeed addictive. In 2012, 305,560 people checked into rehab citing cannabis as their primary drug of abuse, per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. One Neuropsychopharmacology study that analyzed the use of gabapentin in the treatment of marijuana addiction and withdrawal noted individuals in the gabapentin treatment group used less marijuana, had fewer withdrawal symptoms, and experienced improvements in cognitive functioning, compared to the placebo group.
Gabapentin is used to treat Neuropathic pain
Painful neuropathy is a common and disabling problem in patients with longstanding diabetes mellitus. Tricyclic antidepressant drugs and other chronic analgesics have been beneficial in some patients, but no agent successfully relieves pain in most patients and adverse effects often preclude their use in high doses. Anecdotal reports suggest that gabapentin ameliorates pain associated with neuropathy and other neurological conditions with few side effects.
We conducted a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial to study the effect of low dose gabapentin in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy.
The results of this study suggest that gabapentin is probably ineffective or only minimally effective for the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy at a dosage of 900 mg/day.
The development of neuropathic pain involves several mechanisms including primary and secondary hyperalgesia, peripheral and central sensitisation and wind‐up phenomena.Neurotransmitters play a critical role in the process . Glutaminergic subtypes such as AMPA and neurokinin prime the NMDA receptor by triggering the release of intracellular calcium ions that unblock the magnesium ion plug in the NMDA receptor resulting in the influx of calcium ions into the cell.These calcium ions act as secondary messengers that initiate protein kinase C activation, proto‐oncogene expression (c‐fos, c‐jun) and nitric oxide production. NMDA receptor activation therefore increases the excitability of the nociceptive system.The rationale for the use of anticonvulsant drugs for the treatment of neuropathic pain is based on the similarities in the pathophysiological events observed in epilepsy and neuropathic pain models.
Gabapentin is used to treat Postherpetic Neuralgia
Gabapentin is reported to be efficacious in the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia. In a multicentre, randomised, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled, parallel design, 8‐week study involving 229 subjects with postherpetic neuralgia, Rowbotham et al.
demonstrated the efficacy of gabapentin in the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia. Patients were received gabapentin to a maximum of 3600 mg.day−1 of gabapentin or matching placebo. The study showed a statistically significant (p < 0.001) decrease in pain scores (using an 11‐point Likert scale) from 6.3 to 4.2 for the gabapentin group, compared with 6.5–6.0 in the placebo group.
Secondary measures of pain, as well as sleep interference, were improved with gabapentin (p < 0.001). The NNT for gabapentin was 3.2, compared with a combined analysis of three randomised controlled trials on carbemazepine in postherpetic neuralgia in which the NNT was 2.5 .
Gabapentin is also used to treat Alcohol Withdrawal
I am still on gabapentin. Dose is 600mg three times a day – total 1800mg in a 24 hour period. I had not had a drink “craving” since August 11, 2014 when I quit. (I did this within one week of starting gabapentin). I did have a glass of wine at Christmas, one beer on my birthday, and one glass of wine at Easter. That’s it. I use to have 10 beers a day, and three glasses of wine or gin for bad panic attacks and generalized anxiety. So for me (not everyone) I can have that occasional drink with friends, at party or any social event – then come home and not touch the stuff and WITHOUT ANY CRAVINGS AT ALL – as I had during my 40-year binge. Still, this drug is amazing. AA never worked for me.
“I went on gabapentin for alcoholism that troubled me for 10 years when nothing including Alcoholics Anonymous barely worked. I read anecdotal information that it helped with alcoholism, went on 600mg twice daily and it was the first thing that helped me. Now I take 1200mg twice daily and find it works great! Afterwards I read a study in the Journal of American Medicine, Gabapentin in Alcohol Dependance, 2014 that confirmed it works well in many people for cravings and binge drinking. This medicine should be further studied to confirm it works well. On this site it is obvious it helps a lot of people struggling with alcoholism which I have, along with Bipolar Disorder. I call Gabapentin my” happy pills” that also takes away my anxiety
I’ve detoxed several times. The last one was really bad. This time My Dr. put me gabapentin 300 mg. 3 times a day and Lithium. I usually suffer withdrawals for 5-7 days. I did have anxiety for two days, but I’m on day 3, no anxiety and no cravings
Important information about all medicines
If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty, so the doctor knows what has been taken.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you. If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Gabapentin for Migraine prevention
There are a number of second-line migraine treatments. The anti-seizure medication gabapentin has been demonstrated to be mildly useful in migraine and tension headache prophylaxis. In a large study on migraine, doses averaged approximately 2,400 mg per day, but lower doses are usually prescribed. Some patients do well with very low doses (200 or 300 mg per day). Sedation and dizziness may be a problem; however, gabapentin does not appear to cause end-organ damage, and weight gain is relatively minimal. Gabapentin can be used as an adjunct to other first-line preventive medications. Pregabalin (Lyrica) has a similar mechanism of action to gabapentin. Lyrica is fairly safe, but sedation and weight gain often occur.
A safe, non-addicting muscle relaxant, tizanidine is useful for migraine and chronic daily headache. Tizanidine may be used on an as-needed basis for milder headaches, or for neck or back pain. Cyclobenzaprine (10 mg) is helpful for sleeping, and helps some with migraine and chronic daily headache.
Opioids, non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antidepressants, and anticonvulsants are used as pharmacological agents to treat pain. However, no single class of drugs has been found to be effective in all types of pain, presumably because pain syndromes involve different mechanisms.
In addition, each of the currently available drugs is associated with adverse effects, some of which are potentially serious or life‐threatening such as idiosyncratic or toxic reactions.
Traditionally, the treatment of neuropathic pain has involved anticonvulsants, such as carbemazepine, valproic acid and phenytoin, and tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline and nortriptyline and doxepin. The main disadvantages of the anticonvulsants are their potential for drug interactions via the induction of hepatic enzymes, or resulting from inhibition of hepatic enzymes by other drugs. Minor side‐effects such as sedation, ataxia, vertigo and diplopia are associated with carbemazepine and phenytoin, whereas, anorexia, nausea, vomiting and tremor are associated with valproic acid. Chronic phenytoin use may cause peripheral neuropathy (30%) and gingival hyperplasia (20%), and fetal hydantoin syndrome if administered during pregnancy. Carbemazepine can cause chronic diarrhoea or the syndrome of inappropriate ADH secretion, and rarely aplastic anaemia, thrombocytopaenia, hepatocellular jaundice and cardiac arrhythmias.
Tricyclic antidepressants also cause side‐effects that can be troublesome or potentially dangerous, such as anticholinergic effects (dry mouth, blurred vision, urinary retention, ileus), sedation, orthostatic hypotension, tachycardia and atrio‐ventricular conduction disturbances. Such adverse effects are likely to reduce the tolerance of this group of drugs in elderly or unwell patients. Some subgroups of patients with painful neuropathy such as diabetes may also have autonomic neuropathy and may not tolerate the orthostatic hypotension associated with tricyclic antidepressants.
With increasing evidence of the efficacy of gabapentin in a wide variety of pain syndromes, especially neuropathic pain, gabapentin may be potentially useful because of its relative freedom from serious adverse effects, its lack of interactions with other drugs and its lack of potential for causing drug dependence.
A comparison of the evidence available of efficacy and toxicity for anticonvulsants (gabapentin, phenytoin and carbemazepine) and antidepressants (tricyclic antidepressants and SSRIs) in patients with diabetic neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia has recently been made by Collins et al.  These two neuropathic pain conditions were chosen according to strict diagnostic criteria. Although two previous systematic reviews of anticonvulsants and antidepressants in diabetic neuropathy showed no significant difference in efficacy or adverse effects between the two drug classes [130, 131], Collins et al. found that when data from randomised controlled trials for both diabetic neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia were pooled, the NNT for at least 50% pain relief was identical for both classes of drugs. When gabapentin was compared with other anticonvulsants, there was no significant difference in efficacy.
The NNT for gabapentin was 3.4 compared with 2.2 for phenytoin/carbemazepine. The number needed to harm (NNH, defined as the number needed to harm one patient from the therapy) for minor adverse effects was 2.7 for both antidepressants and anticonvulsants. Collins et al. used two trials to provide data on minor adverse effects for gabapentin and two trials for phenytoin. The NNH (minor adverse effects) was 2.6 similar to that of gabapentin and 3.2 for phenytoin. The NNH (major adverse effects) for the tricyclic antidepressants was 17, and no significant difference in the incidence of major adverse effects was found between anticonvulsants and placebo.
Collins et al. suggested that the difference in the incidence of major adverse effects can be compared by using the ratio between treatment specific benefit and treatment specific harm (defined as the number of patients needed to experience at least 50% benefit for one to experience a major adverse effect that warranted discontinuation of treatment). The ratio for gabapentin was 6 compared with an average of 8 for all anticonvulsants, and 6 for all antidepressants. As adverse data were pooled from both diabetic and postherpetic neuralgia studies, methodological factors and heterogenicity in these data may limit the validity and robustness of these ratios. The spectrum of the pain and short study duration tend to underestimate the treatment effect, whereas the small sample size of the studies overestimate the treatment effect.
The above evidence suggests that gabapentin is as efficacious at treating neuropathic pain with no significant difference in minor adverse effects and a low propensity for serious adverse effects compared with other anticonvulsants and antidepressants. Therefore, gabapentin is a useful agent in the multimodal approach in the management of neuropathic pain.
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
The most common adverse reactions associated with the use of NEURONTIN in adults, not seen at an equivalent frequency among placebo-treated patients, were dizziness, somnolence, and peripheral edema.
In the 2 controlled trials in postherpetic neuralgia, 16% of the 336 patients who received NEURONTIN and 9% of the 227 patients who received placebo discontinued treatment because of an adverse reaction. The adverse reactions that most frequently led to withdrawal in NEURONTIN-treated patients were dizziness, somnolence, and nausea.
Following table lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 1% of NEURONTIN-treated patients with postherpetic neuralgia participating in placebo-controlled trials and that were numerically more frequent in the NEURONTIN group than in the placebo group.
TABLE 3. Adverse Reactions in Pooled Placebo-Controlled Trials in Postherpetic Neuralgia
Reported as blurred vision
Body as a Whole
Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders
Other reactions in more than 1% of patients but equally or more frequent in the placebo group included pain, tremor, neuralgia, back pain, dyspepsia, dyspnea, and flu syndrome.
There were no clinically important differences between men and women in the types and incidence of adverse reactions. Because there were few patients whose race was reported as other than white, there are insufficient data to support a statement regarding the distribution of adverse reactions by race.
A migraine is a severe headache usually followed by symptoms including nausea and vomiting. This would disable you in a few hours or maybe even days. The level at which this happens or even just its frequency varies.
A recent study shows that women have problems with migraines much more than men. Although its exact cause is unknown, birth control devices happen to be one of many culprits.
A good example ofsuch a birth control device is the oral contraceptives. It is because its ingredients alter the woman’s hormonal level and causes the migraine. The causecertainly is too much estrogen which is certainly put into what is already naturally produced by the body.
Besides migraine, oral contraceptives may cause medical abnormalities from uterine fibroids to breast cancer.
Sometimes, the migraine attack may occur before or after taking the oral contraceptive. If this happens regularly, you are advised to try another method of birth control. This could be avoided though if you take it with food or milk. You should take this at the same time daily and stick with the prescribed dosage that was given to you.
Women over the age of 35 and experience migraines as a result of using birth control tablets and other devices are at risk of getting a stroke. This is another reason why some institutions strongly advice females to use another thing if they don’t want to get pregnant.
Those who are diabetic, have high cholesterol levels and blood pressure are advised not to take oral contraceptives.
But there is hope. One of the newest oral contraceptives to date is Seasonal. This tablet was introduced into the market in 2003 and since it makes females only experience a period four times in one year, this means fewer headaches for migraine sufferers.
But this oral contraceptive may not work for everyone.
In case you suffer migraines due to neurological problems, this won’t do any good and you will have to find another birth control device.
Women may still choose to use oral contraceptives.This really is only after they are examined by the doctor and if everything looks good, he or she will prescribe a lower dose of oral contraceptives. Talking to your physician may even prevent a full blown migraine from happening since there’s really no permanent solution to stop this from happening.
But you’ll find some women who experience migraines even before they start using oral contraceptives. In fact, the frequency didn’t increase or decrease once they were around the tablet but complained that the severity of the migraine got worse.
The severity of the migraine will also not go away overnight after you quit using oral contraceptives. Studies show that it will have a few months to your hormonal levels to normalize and only then will you have the ability to see an improvement.
Despite that, migraines will still happen and you will not blame it only on the tablet but due to other factors such as the food you eat, stress at home or in the office, other medications that you may be taking, physical factors and changes in the environment.
So although there is a direct link between oral contraceptives and migraine, you cannot say that it is the only reason why women suffer from it more than men.
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For gabapentin, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to gabapentin or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of gabapentin for treating partial seizures in children. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 3 years of age.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of gabapentin for treating postherpetic neuralgia in children. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of gabapentin in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have unwanted effects (eg, problems with balance or walking, swelling in the feet or legs) and age-related kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving gabapentin.
Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking gabapentin, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using gabapentin with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Using gabapentin with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Aluminum Carbonate, Basic
Dihydroxyaluminum Sodium Carbonate
Morphine Sulfate Liposome
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of gabapentin. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Depression, history of or
Mood or mental changes, history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder of the part of the nervous system that causes an urge to move the legs. Because it usually interferes with sleep, it also is considered a sleep disorder.
Causes of Restless Legs Syndrome
In most cases, doctors do not know the cause of restless legs syndrome; however, they suspect that genes play a role. Nearly half of people with RLS also have a family member with the condition.
Other factors associated with the development or worsening of restless legs syndrome include:
Chronic diseases. Certain chronic diseases and medical conditions, including iron deficiency, Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure,diabetes, and peripheral neuropathy often include symptoms of RLS. Treating these conditions often gives some relief from RLS symptoms.
Medications. Some types of medications, including antinausea drugs, antipsychotic drugs, some antidepressants, and cold and allergymedications containing sedating antihistamines, may worsen symptoms.
Pregnancy. Some women experience RLS during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester. Symptoms usually go away within a month after delivery.
Other factors, including alcohol use and sleep deprivation, may trigger symptoms or make them worse. Improving sleep or eliminating alcohol use in these cases may relieve symptoms.
Treatment for Restless Legs Syndrome
Treatment for RLS is targeted at easing symptoms. In people with mild to moderate restless legs syndrome, lifestyle changes, such as beginning a regular exercise program, establishing regular sleep patterns, and eliminating or decreasing the use of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco, may be helpful. Treatment of an RLS-associated condition also may provide relief of symptoms.
Other non-drug RLS treatments may include:
Hot baths or heating pads or ice packs applied to the legs
Good sleep habits
A vibrating pad called Relaxis
Medications may be helpful as RLS treatments, but the same drugs are not helpful for everyone. In fact, a drug that relieves symptoms in one person may worsen them in another. In other cases, a drug that works for a while may lose its effectiveness over time.
Drugs used to treat RLS include:
Dopaminergic drugs, which act on the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain.
Mirapex, Neupro, and Requip are FDA-approved for treatment of moderate to severe RLS. Others, such as levodopa, may also be prescribed.
Benzodiazepines, a class of sedative medications, may be used to help with sleep, but they can cause daytime drowsiness.
Narcotic pain relievers may be used for severe pain.
Anticonvulsants, or antiseizure drugs, such as Tegretol, Lyrica, Gabapentin ( Neurontin ), and Horizant.
Although there is no cure for restless legs syndrome, current treatments can help control the condition, decrease symptoms, and improve sleep.
Usual Adult Dose for Restless Legs Syndrome
Gabapentin enacarbil available under the trade name Horizant (R):
600 mg orally once daily with food at about 5 PM
What is Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: A common complication of diabetes mellitus in which nerves are damaged as a result of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels)
Not many people are aware of the medical condition that is known as Diabetic Neuropathy however more and more people are being diagnosed with having it, and if you have been recently diagnosed with Diabetic Neuropathy then you will need to start to take drug to help manage and control that condition.
Causes of Neuropathic Pain
Exposure to drugs, alcohol, toxins Neuropathic Pain Surgical procedures/ Amputation Traumatic Nerve injury/ compression Metabolic disturbance Viral infection Neuropathic pain is a disease, like myocardial infarction is a disease. Myocardial infarction may be caused by smoking, or hypertension, or diabetes. Multiple different things contribute to the cause of myocardial infarction, but myocardial infarction is the disease. Similarly, neuropathic pain is a disease, and this slide shows many of the different conditions that can result in neuropathic pain.
But the pain is nonprotective. It is something that persists and behaves separately as a disease itself. Cancer related (disease or treatment Vascular related neurodegenerative Nutritional deficiency
The best drug you can take is the fast acting Gabapentin and one of the main reasons why many people who do have Diabetic Neuropathy will take that drug is that it is not only fast acting as mentioned but it is also a very low cost drug to purchase too.
Drugs associated with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
If you do want to take Gabapentin to treat diabetic neuropathy then please do be aware there can be some side effects, and before you make a purchase of Gabapentin you will be best advised to find out what the side effect of Gabapentin when taking it to treat diabetic neuropathy, and if at any time you start to experience any of those side effects then please seek the advice of a Doctor or a medical professional.
This months topic will address dangerous headaches. To keep this in perspective, most headaches are NOT dangerous. In fact, tension-type headaches and migraines are very common and remain the focus of most health care providers and patients who suffer from headaches. With that said, its important to discuss the signs and symptoms that might help all of us differentiate between headaches that are safe versus those which are not safe.
The most important factor to consider is when the typical headache is suddenly different. Some of these different symptoms may include slurred speech, difficulty communicating or formulating thought, seizures, fainting or loss of consciousness (even for a few seconds), memory lapses, double or blurred vision, profound dizziness, numbness in the face or half of the body, an alarm should sound off telling you to get this checked ASAP as these symptoms, when they deviate from the norm may be indicative of a more serious condition. This can be challenging as seizures are often related to migraines and might be a common symptom of a migraine headache for some migraine sufferers.
Signs of a dangerous headache include:
1.A headache that starts suddenly, especially if it’s of a severe degree.
2.Headaches that start later in life, especially after the age of 50.
3.A change in the quality of headaches.
4.Visual changes, including double vision or loss of vision.
5.Weakness, numbness, or any other neurological symptoms.
6.Fevers especially of rapid onset.
7.Change in mental status including sleepiness, hallucinations, speech changes or confusion.
If there is ever ANY doubt about a dangerous headache, your physician should be contacted.
Typically, the migraine patient will notice a fairly consistent set of symptoms and even though the headaches can vary in intensity, the sequence of events is fairly consistent. Dangerous headaches are the ones that deviate significantly from that migraine sufferers norm. For example, suppose a patients typical migraine is: aura (bright, flashy lights in the visual field or, a strange odor precedes the migraine about 30 min. before the headache strikes), followed by a gradually increasing pain in half of the head which worsens to a point of nausea and sometimes vomiting if something isnt done to stop it (such as a las vegas chiropractic adjustment and/or some form of medication). If this is that patients usual, IF any of the 8 items previously listed above accompany the headache, it should be further evaluated often requiring an EEG (electroencephalogram) and/or MRI (Magnetic Resonant Image). The EEG will test for any electrical signal changes in the brain and the MRI will show space occupying structures such as tumors, bleeding, infection, aneurism, and if performed with a contrast agents, arterial malformations (that is, abnormal networks of blood vessels).