What is the Maximum Daily Dosage of Gabapentin?

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.

Gabapentin dosage for neuropathic pain

Gabapentin is most frequently prescribed off-label to treat nerve pain (neuralgia) due to nerve damage (neuropathy), compression, or irritation.

    • Standard gabapentin dosage for adults: 300 to 1200 mg taken three times per day by mouth.
    • Maximum gabapentin dosage for adults: 3600 mg daily in three divided doses.
    • Renally impaired patients (kidney disease): See dosage for renal impaired patients above

Gabapentin dosage for fibromyalgia

Gabapentin is used off-label to reduce fatigue, provide pain relief, and improve sleep in patients with fibromyalgia.

    • Standard gabapentin dosage for adults: 600 mg twice daily and 1200 mg at bedtime.
    • Maximum gabapentin dosage for adults: 2400 mg daily.
    • Renally impaired patients (kidney disease): See dosage for renal impaired patients above

Gabapentin dosage for alcohol dependence

Gabapentin is widely used off-label to reduce insomnia and cravings in people with alcohol use disorder, particularly those in the maintenance phase of alcohol abstinence.

    • Standard gabapentin dosage for adults: 300 to 600 mg taken three times per day by mouth.
    • Maximum gabapentin dosage for adults: 1800 mg daily in three divided doses.
    • Renally impaired patients (kidney disease): See dosage for renal impaired patients above

Gabapentin dosage for pets

You should not give gabapentin to animals unless a veterinarian has given the animal a prescription for gabapentin. Veterinarians frequently prescribe gabapentin to treat seizures or chronic nerve pain in pets and large animals. The recommended dose is 5-10 mg per kilogram of body weight (2.3-4.5 mg/lb) every 12 hours, but dosing will vary between veterinarians. Gabapentin dosages can vary from 3 to 11 mg per kilogram (1.4 to 5 mg per pound) as an analgesic to 10 to 30 mg mg per kilogram (4.5 to 13.6 per pound) as an anticonvulsant. As with people, the dose may start small and steadily increase until an effective dose is reached.

Gabapentin, Impotence and other Problems?

Unfortunately gabapentin can cause impotence.

Side effects of the Urogenital System:

Infrequent: urinary tract infection, dysuria, impotence, urinary incontinence, vaginal moniliasis, breast pain, menstrual disorder, polyuria, urinary retention

Rare: cystitis, ejaculation abnormal, swollen penis, gynecomastia, nocturia, pyelonephritis, swollen scrotum, urinary frequency, urinary urgency, urine abnormality.

Talk to your doctor about coming off gabapentin and he/she could put you on some other medicine to help the pain. You don’t have to ween off gabapentin but please get your doctor to monitor you once you are off.

 

The Question about this question:

I was just hoping that you might have the answer I am hoping for? I started taking gabapentin 300mg twice a day, then 3 times a day, then 600mg twice a day then 3 times a day, now after 2 to 3 years later 800mg 3 times a day. My doctor says it won’t cause erectile dysfunction but it started very soon after the 300mg 3 times a day.

I tried Viagra and Cialis very little help. My wife is very displeased and sometimes thinks it is something to do with her. I know it has nothing to do with her as she is my bride of 24 years and my soul mate spirit. I have very bad pain that the gabapentin used to help with but it now seems it helps no more.

I would rather have my manhood back and my bride be happy and me than be in pain that just won’t go away. To get to the real question, how slowly should I get off the gabapentin and will I ever be able to get back to normal? I will have to just have to tolerate the pain now that I have my diabetes under control.

I rarely have to take my diabetes medicine but a few times a week because it makes my numbers to low and I black out when they get to low. Usually 82 morning, 92 lunch, and 98 dinner. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Is Gabapentin a Narcotic/Controlled Substance?

The anti-seizure medication gabapentin is not currently considered a narcotic or controlled substance by the federal government, but certain states have enacted legislation so that the medication is treated as one or monitored by the state’s prescription drug monitoring program.

The use of a controlled substance is regulated by the federal government to prevent abuse or misuse. Prescription drug monitoring programs track prescriptions of certain medications to flag individuals who may be misusing them and at risk of an overdose.

In addition to preventing seizures in individuals with epilepsy, gabapentin may be prescribed to treat nerve or neuropathic pain caused by herpes virus or shingles in adults.

Gabapentin may be considered as an alternative to opioids, which can be highly addictive and result in overdoses and death. Often prescribed to treat pain, opioids are a controlled substance. Gabapentin is known as an opioid potentiate because it can increase the high felt with opioids such as fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine and even the street drug heroin.

As a result, gabapentin has potential for misuse or abuse. The combination of opioids and gabapentin may increase the risk of dying from an overdose likely due to depressed breathing. Individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and the elderly are at greatest risk of dying from this combination.

How Long Does Gabapentin Withdrawal Last?

Case reports have shown that gabapentin withdrawal can last for up to 5 days or longer, but the duration has not been well established in human studies.

The symptoms and how long they last depend on how much of the drug you are taking and for how long you’ve been taking it.

Gabapentin withdrawal is not a common problem unless you are abusing the drug.

Abuse means taking gabapentin in higher than prescribed amounts and taking it for reasons not intended by your doctor.

A study on gabapentin abuse from 1993 through 2015 showed that people who experienced withdrawal were taking an average of 3,000 mg (600 to 8,000 mg) of gabapentin per day, but some case reports mention withdrawal symptoms at 400 mg per day.

What happens when you suddenly stop taking gabapentin?

If you are taking gabapentin at a normal dose prescribed by your doctor and you don’t have a history of substance abuse, you are less likely to have withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it.

Higher doses and a history of substance problems pose more risk for abuse. You can start to build up a tolerance to the drug, and you may need to take even more of it to get the desired effect. This is called physical dependence.

Your brain cells (neurons) become dependent on a high dose of the drug for normal functioning. When the drug is stopped, your brain becomes temporarily disorganized. If you start to feel that you need more of the drug to function, stopping suddenly is more likely to lead to withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms may start within 12 hours or take up to 7 days to begin after stopping suddenly. Symptoms commonly include:

  • Restlessness (agitation)
  • Disorientation
  • Confusion

Various case reports describe these other symptoms of gabapentin withdrawal:

  • Headache
  • Body/stomach pain
  • Anxiety
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Muscle twitching
  • Light sensitivity
  • Restless limb movements
  • Nervousness

What is the treatment for gabapentin withdrawal?

There are no approved medications to treat gabapentin withdrawal. The only reliable treatment is to slowly taper the drug under the supervision of your doctor, usually a substance abuse specialist. Sometimes gabapentin is restarted to ease withdrawal symptoms before tapering off.

There is no evidence to show that other drugs or supplements — such as magnesium or CBD oil — are helpful in treating withdrawal symptoms.

Most case reports show that withdrawal patients went back onto gabapentin to relieve their symptoms. But there may be unreported cases of gabapentin withdrawal, as not everyone seeks treatment.

How can I avoid gabapentin withdrawal?

The best way to avoid gabapentin withdrawal is to only take the drug in the dose prescribed by your doctor for its approved uses.

Gabapentin is a prescription medication approved to treat certain types of seizures and nerve pain that follows a herpes infection (postherpetic neuralgia). A long-acting form is used to treat restless legs syndrome. The most common brand name is Neurontin.

Gabapentin is also prescribed and used for unapproved reasons. These are called off-label uses. Off-label uses for gabapentin include:

  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Migraine headaches
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Mental health disorders
  • Insomnia

People with a history of drug or alcohol abuse may be at increased risk for:

  • Tolerance
  • Self-dose escalation
  • Drug-seeking behavior
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Does Gabapentin Cause Weight Gain?

Gabapentin may cause weight gain, but it is a rare side effect. Studies have shown that a small number of people taking gabapentin, a drug used to treat epilepsy and postherpetic neuralgia, experienced weight gain. People who do gain weight may gain about 5 pounds after 6 weeks of use.

  • In people with epilepsy, weight gain occurred in 3% of people older than 12 years of age who were taking gabapentin (compared to 2% of people taking the placebo). Weight gain was also seen at a similar rate in pediatric epilepsy patients who were 3 to 12 years old.
  • In people with postherpetic neuralgia, 2% of patients taking gabapentin experienced weight gain. No weight gain was found among people taking the placebo.

The cause of weight gain with gabapentin is likely due to increased appetite. You may be hungry more often. In some cases, weight gain may be due to fluid retention, another side effect of gabapentin. Another possible cause is not getting enough exercise if gabapentin is causing fatigue.

Some ways to avoid weight gain include:

  • Eating a healthy and balanced diet
  • Eating smaller portion sizes
  • Avoiding high-calorie snacks and desserts like chips, pastries and sweets
  • Eating low-calorie snacks like fruits and vegetables to manage hunger
  • Getting regular exercise

Swelling from fluid retention may be reduced by:

  • Sitting with your feet raised
  • Avoiding standing for long periods of time

If gabapentin is causing you to gain weight, do not stop taking this drug on your own. Stopping the drug suddenly can lead to serious problems, especially if you are taking gabapentin for seizures. Abruptly stopping a seizure medicine can cause seizures that won’t stop.

Weight gain is one of many possible side effects. The most common side effects with gabapentin include:

  • Clumsiness
  • Viral infection
  • Sleepiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Speaking difficulties
  • Tremor
  • Swelling, usually involving the legs and feet
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Movements that are jerky
  • Coordination difficulties
  • Double vision
  • Unusual eye movement

Lyrica vs Gabapentin: What’s the difference?

Both Lyrica and gabapentin are used as anti-epileptic medications and to treat nerve pain. But there are several differences between them. The main differences between Lyrica and gabapentin are:

  • Lyrica is a brand name for pregabalin. Gabapentin is the generic name for gabapentin. Gabapentin is not the same as pregabalin, even though they both belong to the same class of medicine, called gabapentinoids, and work similarly
  • Lyrica and Lyrica CR are the only brands of pregabalin. Brand names for gabapentin include Gralise, Horizant, and Neurontin
  • Lyrica and gabapentin are not interchangeable (you cannot switch between them without your doctor’s advice). Even some brands of gabapentin are not interchangeable, for example, gabapentin enacarbil (brand name Horizant) is not interchangeable with Gralise
  • Lyrica may also be used to treat neuropathic (nerve) pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy or postherpetic neuralgia, spinal cord injury, and fibromyalgia. Gabapentin may also be used to treat nerve pain caused by shingles (herpes zoster) and gabapentin enacarbil, brand name Horizant, is also approved for restless legs syndrome (RLS). Gabapentin may also be used for off-label conditions as well
  • Lyrica is more likely than gabapentin to cause side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, swelling (edema), breast enlargement, or weight gain
  • Gabapentin is more likely than Lyrica to cause side effects such as difficulty speaking, fever, an increased risk of viral infections, unusual eye movements, or jerky movements
  • Lyrica is absorbed faster and starts working more quickly than gabapentin. Lyrica reaches its peak concentrations within an hour of being taken, whereas it takes 3 to 4 hours for gabapentin to reach its peak concentration
  • There is some evidence that Lyrica may have a higher addiction potential than gabapentin due to its faster absorption and onset of action
  • Although both drugs have similar interactions, gabapentin may also interact with NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and diclofenac.

Because Lyrica and gabapentin belong to the same class of medicine (gabapentinoids), they have many similarities, for example:

  • A shared mechanism of action (way they work), although experts are not exactly what this is but suggest it is through binding to certain pathways in the nervous system. Even though both are structurally like gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), they do not bind to GABA or benzodiazepine receptors
  • Both Lyrica and gabapentin have been associated with misuse and in some countries are classified as controlled substances (but not in the U.S.)
  • Some side effects, such as dizziness, drowsiness, loss of balance or coordination, problems with memory or concentration, tremors, and vision problems (blurred vision or double vision) have been reported with both medicines
  • Both Lyrica and gabapentin have been associated with withdrawal syndromes on discontinuation.

Is gabapentin addictive? Can a person actually get a high from them?

Gabapentin isnt usually a drug of abuse but a person can be psychologically addicted to anything if they make up their minds to be. Keep your meds locked up. If this person is a child or adolescent, they may need help to fight their addiction/addictive personality.

If this person is an adult then you may need to tell them to leave the drugs alone or find another living arrangement and try to get them to seek help for their compulsive need to take this medication.

DzooBaby

It is not a typical drug of abuse but if taken in excess it can cause low BP, dizziness some people like side effects. If your family member is abusing this drug then they are displaying the signs and symptoms of addiction and are likely to be abusing other drugs legal or otherwise. No one can stop an addict from using until they hit a bottom and want to stop. I suggest NARANON, ALANON support for you. They will teach you about the disease and help you to set healthy boundaries and learn to cope with your addict.

Lilmamatj

Does Gabapentin Help Nerve Pain?

Gabapentin is approved to treat the type of nerve pain (neuralgia) that results from nerve damage. Gabapentin is used to treat neuralgia caused by a herpes zoster viral infection, also known as shingles. This pain is called post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), and it can be severe and chronic. Gabapentin is also used to treat pain from diabetic neuropathy, which happens when nerves in the feet damaged by diabetes cause chronic burning pain.

The exact way that gabapentin works to relieve pain is not known. It may change the way the body senses and reacts to pain. Gabapentin is used to manage long-term (chronic) pain, not to be taken for pain as needed. Chronic pain can interfere with sleep and work, and lead to depression.

Studies show that pain relief may start within one week and reach a maximum effect in about 4 weeks. It can take this long because gabapentin is usually started at a low dose and gradually increased over time until it works.

For treating neuralgia, gabapentin is often started at 300 mg per day and gradually raised by 300 mg per day. One 2017 review of 37 studies found that pain relief usually occurs at a dose of 1,200 mg or more.

The same review compared gabapentin to an inactive medicine (placebo) in almost 6,000 adults with chronic pain from PHN or diabetic neuropathy. Study participants were given either gabapentin or a placebo for 4 to at least 12 weeks. The results showed that 30-40% of people taking gabapentin were able to reduce their pain by half or more, compared to 10-20% of people taking the placebo.

Although some people may get significant relief, others may have side effects without relief of pain. More than half of people taking gabapentin did not get significant relief and had side effects from the drug.

According to the review, about 60% of people taking gabapentin had side effects, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Water retention (edema)
  • Clumsiness while walking (ataxia)

It does not typically make pain worse: In trials comparing gabapentin side effects to placebo side effects, only 1% of people reported increased pain, and this was the same for gabapentin and placebo.

Once you find the dose that relieves neuralgia for you, it is important not to stop taking it suddenly. Stopping suddenly can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Sweating

Does Gabapentin Help You Sleep?

Gabapentin is a prescription medication that may help you sleep. That may be why it has been prescribed for people with insomnia, even though it is not approved for that use. However, gabapentin enacarbil (Horizant) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat a sleep disorder called restless legs syndrome (RLS).

Neurontin -400mg
Neurontin -400mg
  • One of the most common side effects of gabapentin is drowsiness.
  • In people taking gabapentin for its approved conditions (certain epileptic seizures and postherpetic neuralgia), 19% of patients older than 12 years of age with epilepsy and 21% of patients with postherpetic neuralgia reported drowsiness as a side effect.

Gabapentin and Sleep

Most studies show that gabapentin improves slow wave sleep (“deep sleep”) and total sleep time.

  • Two small studies showed that gabapentin may help people with primary insomnia and occasional sleep disturbance improve total sleep time and wakefulness in the morning.
  • In other studies, it appears that gabapentin may improve sleep in people with other medical conditions that make it more difficult to sleep, such as alcohol dependence, hot flashes and bipolar disorder.

In a large review of 26 studies on gabapentin and sleep in patients with other medical conditions, the average dose taken daily was about 1,800 mg. Although positive sleep outcomes were reported, the researchers noted that gabapentin was not tolerated as well as placebo and some patients stopped taking it. Misuse and abuse of the drug has also been reported.

It takes about 2 to 3 hours for immediate-release gabapentin to reach its fullest effect, and it’s typically taken 3 times per day.

RLS treatment

Gabapentin may also be used to treat RLS, a disorder that makes it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. RLS causes an uncontrollable and uncomfortable urge to move your legs, which is worse at night.

The FDA has approved gabapentin enacarbil (Horizant) — a long-acting gabapentin — as a treatment for RLS.

Side effects of gabapentin

The most common side effects with gabapentin include:

  • Clumsiness
  • Viral infection
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Speaking difficulties
  • Tremor
  • Swelling, usually involving the legs and feet
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Movements that are jerky
  • Coordination difficulties
  • Double vision
  • Unusual eye movement
  • Serious reactions can include:
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Allergic reactions with swelling of the throat or face

What other Drugs will Affect Gabapentin (Neurontin)?

Do not take NEURONTIN if you are allergic to gabapentin or any of the other ingredients in NEURONTIN. See the end of this Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in NEURONTIN.

Gabapentin Side Effects
Gabapentin Side Effects

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin, Vicoprofen, and others);
  • morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Oramorph, and others); or
  • naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve, Anaprox, and others).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with gabapentin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Medications known to interact with gabapentin

A

  • acetaminophen / propoxyphene
  • aspirin / caffeine / propoxyphene
B
  • Balacet (acetaminophen / propoxyphene)
  • Belbuca (buprenorphine)
  • Bunavail (buprenorphine / naloxone)
  • Buprenex (buprenorphine)
  • buprenorphine
  • buprenorphine / naloxone
  • Butrans (buprenorphine)
D
  • Darvocet A500 (acetaminophen / propoxyphene)
  • Darvocet-N 100 (acetaminophen / propoxyphene)
  • Darvocet-N 50 (acetaminophen / propoxyphene)
  • Darvon (propoxyphene)
  • Darvon Compound 32 (aspirin / caffeine / propoxyphene)
  • Darvon Compound-65 (aspirin / caffeine / propoxyphene)
  • Darvon-N (propoxyphene)
L
  • levomethadyl acetate
O
  • Orlaam (levomethadyl acetate)
P
  • PC-CAP (aspirin / caffeine / propoxyphene)
  • PP-Cap (propoxyphene)
  • Propacet 100 (acetaminophen / propoxyphene)
  • propoxyphene
  • Propoxyphene Compound 65 (aspirin / caffeine / propoxyphene)
S
  • sodium oxybate
  • Suboxone (buprenorphine / naloxone)
  • Subutex (buprenorphine)
T
  • Trycet (acetaminophen / propoxyphene)
W
  • Wygesic (acetaminophen / propoxyphene)
X
  • Xyrem (sodium oxybate)
Z
  • Zubsolv (buprenorphine / naloxone)
Gabapentin may interact with other medications

Gabapentin oral capsule can interact with several other medications. Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some can interfere with how well a drug works, while others can cause increased side effects.

Below is a list of medications that can interact with gabapentin. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with gabapentin.

Before taking gabapentin, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Pain drugs

When used with gabapentin, certain pain drugs can increase its side effects, such as tiredness. Examples of these drugs include:

  • morphine

Stomach acid drugs

When used with gabapentin, certain drugs used to treat stomach acid problems can reduce the amount of gabapentin in your body. This can make it less effective. Taking gabapentin 2 hours after taking these drugs can help prevent this problem. Examples of these drugs include:

  • aluminum hydroxide
  • magnesium hydroxide