Knowing how long the effects of Gabapentin stay in your system is very important to know. Gabapentin, the generic version of Neurontin, is one of the more popular drugs mainly because of its affordability. It is used to treat and prevent epileptic seizures as well as neuropathic pain or neuropathic pain in layman’s terms. (1)
As Gabapentin is effective in treating neuropathic pains, people have also consumed it for pains outside its official uses. In fact, it has also been found to be an effective treatment for a migraine. With drowsiness as its side effect, people have also claimed that it can treat insomnia. Proof of which is anecdotal evidence of its success against insomnia.
What Is Gabapentin’s Elimination Rate?
Scientists measure the length at which drugs stay inside the body through what they call the elimination half-life. An elimination half-life is the span of time a drug’s quantity or presence in the system lowers down to half the original. (2)
Experts have found that the drug Gabapentin has an elimination half-life of 5-7 hours. The amount taken is said to affect the drug’s half-life. However, the clearance rate can become lower in elderly patients. Meaning the elimination may become higher than the initial estimate. (3)
The possible reason for this is that older people tend to weaker renal functions. Hence, drugs and other medications take longer for the kidney to fully process.
Variations In Gabapentin’s Clearance Rate
The length of time the particles of Gabapentin stay in your system may vary based on factors such as age, diseases, organ impairments, and more. Here are some examples of how these factors can do so: (3)
Adult Persons With Renal Impairment
A study on 60 patients was able to find out that people with compromised renal function take about 6.8-10 hours to eliminate half of their Gabapentin dosage. On the other hand, researchers have not yet conducted a similar study on pediatric patients.
People Undergoing Hemodialysis
A study of anuric adults determined that the elimination half-life of Gabapentin in their body is about 132 hours. However, if taken during dialysis, the elimination rate significantly drops to a minimal 3.8 hours. This data shows that hemodialysis has a significant effect on the elimination half-life of the drug Gabapentin.
Lastly, a study on subjects aged between 20-80 years of age was able to support the notion that age can affect the clearance rate of the Gabapentin drug in the body. The researchers hypothesized that the possible reason for this phenomenon is the impairment of our renal functions as we age.
Why Is The Clearance Rate of Gabapentin Important to Know?
Knowing the span of time a certain drug can stay in your body is important for various reasons. One is that the presence of some drugs can significantly affect the performance of a person who took it. For instance, a person whose job involves mental alertness needs to know when he’ll be able to work properly knowing that Gabapentin commonly causes drowsiness.
Knowing how long Gabapentin stays in the body can also be important for people who need to take a drug test for different reasons. There have been reports that the presence of Gabapentin has caused false positives.