The drug gabapentin was invented and approved to use in the fight against epileptic conditions, namely, to weaken and control seizures. Also, the instructions on how to use the medication indicate that its active substance helps people suffering from neuropathic pain, having an analgesic effect.
Why psychiatrists prescribe gabapentin for anxiety?
How did it happen that this anticonvulsant is used to treat anxiety disorders and depression? This has been identified through appropriate testing in this field. Since gabapentin has a mechanism of action similar to standard anti-anxiety medications, many psychiatrists are not afraid to benefit from this circumstance and prescribe gabapentin for anxiety treatment.
Doctors are forced to take this step also by the fact that anxiety is a complex disease that is relatively difficult to treat. Not all specially approved medications give a positive effect on the treatment of generalized anxiety disorders. There is a number of objective reasons for this:
- Anxiety disorder is very often burdened with other mental illnesses and the patient needs a complex, comprehensive treatment;
- A person does not respond well to standard anxiety treatment methods;
- A patient has an individual drug intolerance and it is very difficult to choose the right medication;
- Existing standard preparations to treat anxiety, in the vast majority, cause a wide range of side effects;
- A person cannot be prescribed a special medication to treat anxiety, due to the potential interaction with other drugs that the person is applying.
How long does it take for gabapentin to work for anxiety?
Based on the data available on the use of gabapentin for anxiety, it can be concluded that the onset of the drug action begins after one week of daily treatment with the medication. But, there is a remark: the medical care of mental disorders for each patient is individual since the nature of the disease and its severity directly affects greatly the results of therapy and its duration.
There are few cases when treatment with gabapentin for anxiety began to give results only after 4 weeks of daily treatment with the medicine. In most cases, the doctor prescribes a course of cure for a period of 6 weeks. If during this period there is no positive dynamics, naturally, the psychiatrist replaces it with another.
You should never forget about the safety of your health, the drug gabapentin should be taken only if prescribed and under the supervision of a doctor. Trying to self-medicate and to take gabapentin for anxiety as needed is unacceptable and dangerous.
Gabapentin dosage for anxiety
There is no officially approved dosage of gabapentin for anxiety treatment, so don’t let it bother you when you open the instructions on how to apply the drug. But, the beneficial effect of gabapentin on patients who suffer from this disorder has been proven in practice, there is relevant evidence of research.
According to these studies, the initial gabapentin dose for anxiety is considered to be 300 mg. At the beginning of therapy, this dose is taken once a day. Further, every 5-7 days, the doctor adjusts the medication rate and the number of intakes per day. Normally, it is 900 mg of the active substance divided into three to four times of application. The actual daily dosage is always under a doctor’s control.
Gabapentin for anxiety side effects
Like any other medicine, gabapentin for anxiety has side effects. This should not scare and mislead those who are going to take it by the doctor’s prescription. The risk of the appearance of these negative phenomena for the human body is minimal. Also, if the side effects, nevertheless, manifest themselves, they are expressed mildly and pass after adjusting the dosage of the drug by themselves, no additional action is necessary.
But, if the negative effects are severe and do not pass for a sufficient period of time already, the patient urgently needs to see a doctor to solve this problem. Among the side effects that can occur, the most typical are the following:
- involuntary eye movement
- fluid retention
- memory loss
- Those people who have problems with the health of such organs like the liver, kidneys, stomach, or heart, must inform their psychiatrist about this so that he can correctly adjust the medicine gabapentin dosage for anxiety without harming the body. The medication gabapentin should be used only as prescribed by the doctor.