Withdrawal to Gabapentin can become complex when it has been used in conjunction with other substances to enjoy an extreme kind of high. While Gabapentin has its addictive potential, it is also a popular choice of drug which magnifies the euphoria released by other substances such as alcohol and opioids.
Although there are no FDA-approved drugs available at present which help in managing withdrawal symptoms of Gabapentin, a lot of patients have shown positive outcomes after following a medically supervised taper schedule. However, other interventions must be added to the treatment plan when substance addiction has been involved.
How to Safely Detox from Gabapentin
Safety is always the top priority when it comes to withdrawal treatment to any substances. With Gabapentin withdrawal, the following must be taken to avoid fatal complications from happening. Some might have tried and successfully detoxed on their own at home but this is just so risky that experts would always discourage this choice.
Seek Medical Supervision
Medical supervision is important for detox so that you or the patient get medical attention right away. Physicians are most capable of helping ease the discomfort by withdrawal from the substance. On top of that, other fatal conditions of withdrawal can be prevented with their aid.
It is important to note that any illness which Gabapentin has been prescribed can recur as soon as one begins withdrawal. Most likely, the intensity could be worse than the usual episodes. In other words, if you have been prescribed to take the drug for seizures, nerve pain, or a mental disorder, expect these to return at a greater level.
Physicians prescribe certain medications to lessen the discomfort brought by withdrawal. Over-the-counter drugs can help alleviate common symptoms such as headaches and nausea. Magnesium supplements are also great options to ease the pain, however; limited studies have been found to support its effectiveness.
Follow the Prescribed Taper Schedule
The most effective option in managing withdrawal pain is to slowly taper off one’s dose. The taper schedule may last for a week or more. Cases can be different in every person since it all depends on their positive response to the treatment. With medical care, patients are constantly monitored and progress is carefully evaluated, ensuring the quality of treatment.
Several studies have shown that the slower the taper schedule is, the more effective the treatment can be. However, this may take a significant length of time and could be costly. Although Gabapentin is not as potent as opioids and benzodiazepines, a taper schedule similar to what is intended for these substances has shown positive outcomes.
Despite the effectiveness of this method, tapering off the dosage may not solely work among those who have established a strong tolerance towards the drug, specifically those who have a substance use disorder. Addiction is another mental health illness that needs to be treated with a different set of methods in line with withdrawal treatment.
Avoid Quitting Cold Turkey
It is important to work hand in hand with medical experts in designing a treatment plan that can mostly suit the needs of a patient. It is highly discouraged to stop taking the drug abruptly since the severity of the withdrawal symptoms is unpredictable. Nobody can exactly tell when fatal complications will arise.
When a person experiences seizures, difficulty in breathing, as well as psychosis, it is best to take them to an emergency admission right away. Sometimes, the best solution for extreme cases of withdrawal is to return to the usual dosage and then report immediately to one’s physician as soon as things become stable.
Treatment for Gabapentin Withdrawal and Addiction
Substance use disorder (SUD) is a mental health illness that impacts the overall quality of life if left untreated. A person with a history of substance addiction is more likely to be addicted to Gabapentin once the drug is given as a prescription. Usually, when withdrawal to the substance begins, the chances to trigger SUD are high.
On top of that, poly-substance abuse is a common case with Gabapentin and this poses a great potential for serious health risks. Relapse to pre-existing illnesses such as seizures can be intense and fatal. It is best to keep in touch with one’s physician so that a comprehensive treatment plan can be designed to ensure safety and recovery.
Working on a taper schedule for Gabapentin will not be enough for this case. Behavioral interventions and medications are necessary to treat SUD in line with the withdrawal treatment of Gabapentin. Therapies and counseling can effectively strengthen individual coping skills to fight off and overcome substance addiction.
Physicians will recommend inpatient treatment to those who are more susceptible to encountering complex withdrawal symptoms later on. A person, for instance, who suffers from depression must be closely watched over during treatment. The same way applies to those who possess poor physical health such as the elderly or the pregnant.
Apart from the advantage of getting immediate medical attention in inpatient care, patients are also engaged in group and individual therapies where they could identify personal triggers to their substance abuse and heal themselves. They can also have a space to reflect on the experiences of others and understand themselves better.
An intensive and longer treatment is required with addiction involved. Typically, it takes about 10 days to complete withdrawal treatment, however, some symptoms may persist for months and this is known as post-acute withdrawal. Withdrawal effects must not be taken lightly since it can kill someone.
It may be common to suffer from depression during withdrawal and this is a serious condition because it can lead to suicidal ideations. However, it is important to note that interactions between Gabapentin and antidepressants may pose life-threatening outcomes that is why this is never a good option to take. This interaction can trigger cardiovascular health risks.
During detox treatment, it would be very helpful to be keen about the body’s response to the treatment plan and keep the doctor informed of any changes whether they are positive or negative. This way, interventions can be promptly adjusted depending on the needs of the patients.