Neurontin for Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Some of us have experienced an injury or a surgery that may have left us in excruciating pain, which then led us to our doctor to prescribe an opiate, such as Vicodin, oxycodone, or hydrocodone to relieve the pain. These prescriptions are prescribed for the short-term because it’s not uncommon for people to become addicted to opiates even after the source of the pain is gone. Neurontin – or its generic form, gabapentin – is currently being tested as a treatment for opiate withdrawal conditions.

Researchers are unsure how the drugs work even though Neurontin or gabapentin have not been FDA approved as an effective treatment for opiate withdrawal. The medication is sometimes prescribed off-label for this reason.

Neurontin for Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Can Neurontin help with opioid withdrawal symptoms?

Neurontin, also known by its generic name gabapentin, is sometimes used off-label to help manage symptoms of opioid withdrawal. While it is not a first-line treatment specifically approved for this use, some clinicians prescribe it due to its effectiveness in alleviating certain withdrawal symptoms. The benefits of Neurontin in opioid withdrawal may include:

Reduction of Withdrawal Symptoms:

  1. Anxiety: Helps reduce anxiety and agitation commonly experienced during withdrawal.
  2. Insomnia: Can aid in improving sleep quality and reducing insomnia.
  3. Restlessness: May alleviate restlessness and the feeling of being on edge.
  4. Muscle Pain: Can reduce muscle aches and pains associated with withdrawal.
  5. Cravings: Might help in reducing cravings for opioids.

Mechanism of Action:

Gabapentin works by modulating the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly by binding to calcium channels and reducing the release of excitatory neurotransmitters. This helps in calming the nervous system, which can be hyperactive during opioid withdrawal.

Usage and Dosage:

The dosage of Neurontin for opioid withdrawal should be determined by a healthcare provider, as it varies based on the individual’s condition, severity of withdrawal symptoms, and other medical factors. It is crucial to follow medical advice and not self-medicate.

Potential Side Effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Coordination problems
  • Blurred vision

Important Considerations:

  • Neurontin should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, which may include other medications and supportive therapies.
  • It is important to taper off Neurontin gradually under medical supervision to avoid withdrawal symptoms from the medication itself.

While Neurontin can be helpful for managing certain symptoms of opioid withdrawal, it should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional to ensure safety and effectiveness.

The Effects of Neurontin on Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Anyone who has tried to stop taking an opiate drug after chronic use, whether prescribed or recreational, knows just how uncomfortable the withdrawal effects can be. The fear of withdrawal symptoms can even keep someone in the addiction cycle. Add to this the euphoric or “high” feelings that opiates cause, and it’s no wonder why these drugs are so addictive. So, it is understandable why a user would continue to use it.

Neurontin helps to relieve pain by slowing down the pain signals that travel through the nerves. Neurontin’s effects on the brain’s neurotransmitter chemicals are the reason for its pain-relieving abilities. These chemical secretions in the brain send pain messages to the body’s nerve pathways. Neurontin is believed to reduce the number of chemicals released in the brain.

What happens when you take Neurontin?

Everyone reacts differently to Neurontin since everyone’s body, and brain chemistry is different. In general, a person may respond to Neurontin treatment in one of four ways:

  1. Some will experience immediate pain relief and an increase in energy levels.
  2. Some will not experience pain relief unless higher doses of Neurontin are administered.
  3. Others will see no improvement whatsoever.
  4. After a certain length of time, Neurontin’s treatment effects may fade for those who benefit from the higher dosages.

Neurontin’s Opiate Tapering Effects

There is a high chance of dependency on opiates after long-term use, so any time you try to cut back, withdrawal symptoms may come on fast and robust. For this reason, many doctors advise patients to taper their opiate usage, which involves a gradual process of decreasing dosage amounts until a person is off the drug. For some people, even small decreases can result in harsh withdrawal effects.

This is where Neurontin can be beneficial because of its ability to mimic opiate effects in the body. This means a person can stop taking opiates without suffering harsh withdrawal effects. Part of Neurontin’s mimicking ability is due to how it affects chemical releases in the brain. Neurontin’s GABA-like effects on the brain also help to reduce the intensity of withdrawals experienced.

Medical Detox for Opioid Dependence

The priority of a detox is to help patients stop using drugs and alcohol safely. But Allure’s Medical detox offers more: a renewed love of life.

The first requirement of a detox center is that it protects the health and safety of its patients.  This is the least that substance abusers and their families should expect from a decent facility.  Without these protections in place, the detox doesn’t serve a purpose in the recovery process.  Patient safety should be an ironclad guarantee.

Patients choose medical detox because it allows them to continue participating in their former lives. This aids in the healing process of recovery and teaches the value of living without drugs and alcohol. And it has been statistically proven that a more extended detox period is more likely to lead to long-term recovery than a shorter period.

For these reasons and many more, patients choose the expert, compassionate care of Allure Detox. We look forward to working with you and your family to get your lives back on track. Contact us around the clock for a confidential assessment, and let’s see if Allure Detox is the right treatment center for yourself or a loved one.

Published on: 2020-08-29
Updated on: 2024-06-05