Doctors prescribe the pharmaceutical drug Gabapentin against seizures and epileptic symptoms. The Federal Drug Administration approved the drug’s use for neuropathic pain, hot flashes, and restless leg syndrome.
Various people have claimed that the drug can effectively treat various types of pain and lessen the effects of anxiety. Hence, experts have conducted many types of research on the drug by different organizations to test these claims.
Can Gabapentin Reduce Pain?
Scientists created Gabapentin to treat seizures. However, researchers and various organizations were able to ascertain that the drug has other uses, one of such is pain relief.
Listed below are the types of pain that various governments internationally have approved Gabapentin can treat:
- Diabetic Neuropathy: the European Federation of Neurological Societies issued a guideline way back in 2010 stating that Gabapentin can be used as a first-line treatment against this type of pain. Diabetic Neuropathy exacerbates the lives of people afflicted with diabetes mellitus. Research showed that those who take the drug to relieve pain could feel a 38% decrease in pain. (1)
- Postherpetic Neuralgia: it was approved the same time as diabetic neuropathy. People with varicella zoster virus or any kind of herpes virus often experience this type of pain. A Cochrane review showed that individuals who took the drug felt a 34% reduction in pain when taking the drug. (2)
- Central Neuropathic Pain: Lastly, the drug is said to be able to treat pain which is caused by damages in the somatosensory system, or the nerves involved in our sense of touch. A 2010 research showed that the drug is very effective for neuropathic pain caused by cancer. (3)
Further studies on the drug implied that the drug could improve the efficacy of morphine or oxycodone if taken together, both of which are opioid pain relievers. However, using too much of any of the drugs may end up in an overdose.
There have been claims that Gabapentin can reduce migraine pain among adults. However, a 2013 Cochrane review concluded that there is no sufficient evidence to say that the drug can cure headaches. The American Head Society also issued a guideline supporting the Cochrane review’s findings.
Can Gabapentin Treat Anxiety?
There have been claims that Gabapentin can treat Anxiety disorders and other mental illness such as bipolar disorder. However, there have been very little to evidence to support this assertion. Post study analyses of studies that yielded positive results have proven that most of these applied faulty variables.
Ironically, overdosing or misusing the drug is known to cause anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. This shows that using the drug beyond its recommended use and without supporting, researchers can result in more damage than cure.
Science has proven that Gabapentin is very effective when used to prevent and control seizures. There may have been claims that it can do treat other things. However, it is best to use other alternatives until a reliable research proves that it can indeed treat this diseases.
Using Gabapentin for purposes not supported by any research can endanger a person’s health. Some of the adverse effects a person may experience may include drowsiness, fatigue, peripheral edema (swelling of extremities), ataxia, tremors, and nystagmus. It is important that you consult your doctor before taking the drug for any reason.