We’re here to talk about the pain medication, gabapentin, and answer the question, “does gabapentin make you sleepy?”
Anyone who’s ever had the unfortunate luck to experience nerve pain know that conventional pain meds just won’t do; the oft-described as burning and tingling pain can also be remedied by certain medication, like, for example, gabapentin, also sold as Neurontin.
Gabapentin is prescribed to a wide range of patients. It’s used to treat pain linked to nerve damage, not just from an irritated nerve, but also from nerve damage resulting from certain medical conditions such as diabetes, or as a side effect of chemotherapy.
The way gabapentin works is unlike other pain meds. As opposed to blocking the feeling of pain, gabapentin merely changes how our body feels pain. But, because gabapentin is widely available, many doctors are approving the medication for conditions that it was not made specifically for, including but not limited to anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, and even inability to sleep.
You see, the most common effect of taking gabapentin is drowsiness. This is especially true for first-time takers. It’s not unusual for those taking gabapentin for the first time to feel groggy and even fall asleep at the most inopportune of times. But, as the body develops a tolerance and adjusts to the medication, patients will no longer start feeling drowsy or tired from drinking the medication.
If you’re taking gabapentin and you feel like the resulting drowsiness and tiredness have gone on for too long, you may want to consult your doctor. It is possible that you may have been prescribed as too high of a dose, or that you may be taking it too often.
What Are Other Side Effects of Gabapentin?
Studies have shown that it is possible for gabapentin to increase one’s risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. If you start experiencing these kinds of thoughts or feelings, it’s important that you alert your physician right away, or go to a mental health expert.
You should also be careful about drinking gabapentin along with other types of medication. Herbal medication, like ginkbo biloba, has been proven to lessen the effects of gabapentin on the human body. Antacids can also have the same effect on the drug. Be careful about drinking gabapentin along with other types of medication that can cause sedation, such as sleep aids and muscle relaxants, as well as alcohol, as it can lead to a heightened risk of respiratory depression.
It should go without saying that pregnant women or women who are trying to conceive will want to talk to their physician first about taking gabapentin.
Many people take gabapentin to help them fall asleep at night. It’s not unusual for people to sleep better after taking gabapentin. However, taking it too often can lead to a dependency on the drug. As a result, the withdrawal can be particularly difficult. It can make insomnia a lot worse, and it can take months if not years for one’s body to fully adjust to not taking gabapentin prior to falling asleep.