Gabapentin for Anxiety – Panic Attacks, Uses & Side Effects

Gabapentin for anxiety, an anticonvulsant drug is used for the treatment of panic attacks. It is beneficial to use this medication that shows minimum side effects.

Anxiety is one of the most common health concern that is slowly eating away the entire society. The present stressful life and irregular sleeping habits are responsible for such increase in anxiety. There are many cure to this slow poison. One of the best proven remedy is the use of Gabapentin for anxiety.

It is one of the unique anticonvulsant drug used mainly for treating seizures, post herpetic neuralgia pain and is also found very effective to treat anxiety and depression.

How effective is Gabapentin for Anxiety 

Gabapentin for Anxiety

Gabapentin gives excellent results within 1 week to 1 month of its use depending on the susceptibility of the individual. It starts its action within 2-3 hours of intake. It is a synthetic product that mimics the natural compound Gamma Amino Butyric Acid or GABA.

How does Gabapentin Make You Feel?

Gabapentin works by relaxing and calming down the brain and simultaneously inducing an euphoric feeling in the individual. The anxious mind is numbed of any anxiety provoking thoughts and lifting the mood to face the reality.

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Does Gabapentin Cause Anxiety?

In general,we know that Gabapentin for anxiety disorders. Generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder is successfully treated with Gabapentin for anxiety. Several panic attacks are also treated with it.

Gabapentin for Anxiety

It is reported that the drug induces newer type of anxiety( rebound anxiety)  in individuals as a side effect which gradually disappears upon completion of the medication course.

Though rare but it is also found that Gabapentin provokes suicidal thoughts upon stoppage of the medicine.

Gabapentin for Anxiety Side Effects

  •  Increased sleep, drowsiness, vision difficulties may be seen in some persons.
  • May pose serious problems to persons suffering from chronic kidney disorders.
  • Gabapentin may cause hair loss in some, also called drug induced hair loss.
  • Weight gain is seen in some after prolonged use of Gabapentin.
  • Increased anger or violent behaviour and irritability.
  • Suicidal thoughts are some of the serious adverse effects of Gabapentin. This is reported in persons who have a tendency to reduce the dose or stop it abruptly in the middle of the treatment, tend to suffer from rebound anxiety and are often inclined towards suicidal behaviour.
  •  One must not use this medication along with alcohol, which increases the risk of harming the body and increasing the tendency to develop dependency.

Doses of Gabapentin for Anxiety

Dose of Gabapentin for anxiety are 600 – 900 mg per day depending upon the severity of the condition. Maximum dose is 2000 mg per day. Starting dose is 100-300 mg which is subsequently increased by the doctor, and is slowly tapered accordingly.

Gabapentin for Anxiety Withdrawal

It can cause withdrawal problems for some, since the euphoric feeling obtained by this is addictive. The drug is reported to develop physical dependence though less than that with opioids. The symptoms may start as early as 12 hours to 7 days of stopping the drug and may last upto 10 days.

Gabapentin for Anxiety

Nausea, dizziness, insomnia, headaches, anxiety, irregular heartbeat, restlessness, increased irritability and sensitivity to light are some of the withdrawal symptoms of Gabapentin. The best way to combat such adverse effects is to tapper the dose according to doctor’s prescription to finally stop it in the similar process.

Gabapentin for Anxiety in Dogs

Gabapentin is used for the treatment of chronic pain and epilepsy in dogs by several vets though it is not approved to use in canines. One must avoid overdosing it to prevent the adverse side effects.

General FAQs

Is Gabapentin safe to use?

Ans. Gabapentin is safe and is approved for its commercial use in anxiety disorders in proper prescribed doses.

How long does Gabapentin take to act on anxiety?

Ans. It takes about 2-3 hours to show make you feel good, but it takes at least 1 week to give its full result. Some also reported about a month.

Is Gabapentin safe for pregnant women?

Ans.  Gabapentin is not recommended for pregnant and lactating women, since it crosses the placenta and is reported to be secreted in breast milk.

Is there any side effects of using Gabapentin for anxiety?

Ans.  It has some very severe side effects like abnormal eye movements, upset stomach or even drowsiness.

 Is it safe to take Gabapentin with alcohol?

Ans. Gabapentin shows severe side effects when combined with alcohol, which is seen by some to feel the extreme euphoria. Such abusing of the drug may pose life threatening side effects.

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