Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a massive problem worldwide, affecting 16 million people and directly causing more than 1 million deaths. In the US alone, it is responsible for 136 deaths every day!
Users who try to quit opioids abruptly may experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, and hallucinations. These symptoms can be quite uncomfortable, causing patients to reuse opioids.
Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant medication that may help ease opioid withdrawal and, as a result, help treat OUD. But is it the best option for you? Let’s break it down.
The Bottom Line
Studies show mixed results regarding gabapentin’s effectiveness in combating opioid withdrawal. Due to its potential for dependency, risk of side effects, and the availability of other medications, we cannot recommend gabapentin for opioid withdrawal.
However, as always, please consult your healthcare professional before taking any medication.
What Is Gabapentin and How Does It Work?
Gabapentin is a gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) analogue. In other words, it reduces the transmission of signals (and excitability) between brain cells, helping to prevent seizures, relieve pain, and reduce symptoms of withdrawal.