Effect Of Gabapentin On The Brain

Gabapentin is a drug used primarily to treat symptoms like seizures and epilepsies. It has also been approved by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States. The drug has been promoted under the brands Horizant, and Neurontin.

The drug is sometimes used as a pain reliever for neurotic pain caused by some diseases like shingles. However, unlike other pain relievers, Gabapentin is neither an opiate nor a narcotic. Hence, the threat of its abuse or misuse has been disregarded for years.

Nevertheless, drug agencies are starting to get alarmed by reports that this once thought to be harmless drug is starting to become a nationwide problem. Data have shown that there may be a growing trend in the recreational of Gabapentin. (1)

Euphoric Effects Of Gabapentin

Some Gabapentin users have reported that by taking a high dosage of the drug, one can have a similar “high” effect as marijuana. There are also some testimonies that the drug has helped them become more sociable in large groups of people.

Another potential effect of Gabapentin is a sense of relaxation, or sedation which attracts many drug abusers. When used alongside other depressants, a user can experience high levels of sedation. This is not recommended as it may result in deadly side effects such as cardiac arrest if done improperly.

Gabapentin has a low toxicity level compared to other drugs like heroin or morphine. However, there have been instances that people taking the drug for recreational purposes resulted in an overdose.

Why Is the Recreational Use Of Gabapentin Becoming Popular?

Since it was approved as a pain reliever for the pain caused by shingles in 2002, the prescription and purchase of Gabapentin has increased exponentially. Many blame the lack of restrictions on the drug. However, some argue that there may be other factors affecting its popularity among recreational users. (2)

Here are some possible reasons why the drug’s recreational use have been increasing in the past years:

  • Affordability: Gabapentin is significantly cheaper compared to other abused drugs. The average cost of each pill will cost a person merely 60 cents. It can also be bought in varying dosages such as 100 mg, 300 mg, and 400 mg.
  • Drug Withdrawal: Some doctors prescribe Gabapentin to persons undergoing drug rehabilitation to combat some of the withdrawal symptoms that they are experiencing. Sadly, some people end up shifting their addiction to Gabapentin instead. (2)
  • Accessibility: Being non-narcotic Gabapentin is not classified as a controlled substance by the FDA. Thus, anyone can obtain it with a simple prescription from their doctor.
  • Lesser Side Effects:– While Gabapentin may have lesser side effects compared to other drugs, it worth noting that there still have been instances where patients died due to overdose.

Gabapentin is seen as a miracle drug by some people experiencing seizures and epilepsies. Some may have found a recreational use for it; however, it is still highly unadvisable to abuse it. Always consult your doctor before taking this drug, and remember only to take as much as your doctor has prescribed you.


Schifano, F. (2014). Misuse and abuse of pregabalin and gabapentin: cause for concern?

Smith, B. H. (2012). Substance misuse of gabapentin. British Journal of General Practice.