In the United States, back pain is the primary cause of disability. Choosing a prescription to address your back pain might be difficult due to the overwhelming number of options available.
Gabapentin, an anticonvulsant medicine, maybe an excellent option if your back discomfort is nerve-related. This article will explain how gabapentin works, what it’s used for, and what side effects you can expect, so you can discuss it with your doctor and decide if it’s good for you.
What is Gabapentin and how does it work?
Gabapentin belongs to the anticonvulsants class of medicines, which also includes the drug pregabalin. These drugs are anticonvulsants, which were developed to treat epileptic seizures.
Gabapentin can also be used to treat diabetes-related nerve pain and shingles. They function by preventing calcium from being released, which then prevents specific pain-inducing neurotransmitters from being released.
Gabapentin and pregabalin are commonly taken for a variety of off-label applications not officially authorized by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), including back pain, fibromyalgia muscle pain, anxiety, bipolar disorder, insomnia, migraines, and vertigo. Gabapentin is sold under the brand names Neurontin, Gralise, and Horizant.
When Should Gabapentin Be Used?
Gabapentin is particularly successful at treating neuropathic (nerve-related) pain, despite its multiple uses.
Gabapentin 600 mg is a drug that can be used to treat chronic lower back pain brought on by diabetes or shingles.
Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve pain caused by high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes. Although discomfort in the feet and legs is the most common symptom, it can also affect the hips, buttocks, and thighs. Gabapentin can successfully alleviate this type of neuropathic pain, according to studies.
Postherpetic neuropathy, a searing pain that lasts long after the shingles symptoms have faded, is common in adults over 50. Extended-release gabapentin has been shown in studies to effectively treat post-shingles pain.
When a disc between adjacent spinal vertebrae falls out of place and pinches a nerve, this is known as spinal herniation. Spinal stenosis is a degenerative disorder that produces a narrowing of the lower spinal canal in people over the age of 60. Stenosis compresses the nerves in the same way that a herniated disc does.
Gabapentin 600 treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis resulted in enhanced walking distance and reduced lumbar spine pain in patients using steel braces.
Gabapentin can help with sciatica, which is a severe pain that goes from the lower back to the hips and buttocks along the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is pain on one side of the body caused by a herniated disc or spinal stenosis.
Central sensitization, if not prevented, can cause long-term changes in the body’s experience of pain, including the sensation of pain in response to typically harmless stimuli.
Gabapentin 600mg major use in cases of sciatica is to help reduce short-term severe sciatic pain, in addition to preventing central sensitization.
Special attention is given here.
Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before taking gabapentin.
Only take the medicine if it is really necessary for a pregnant woman. Controlling seizures during pregnancy is critical.
Do not begin or stop using gabapentin for seizure control without first consulting your doctor, who will weigh the risks and benefits.
Gabapentin is excreted in breast milk, although its effects on children are unknown. Before breastfeeding, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about it.
Side Effects and Risks
The use of gabapentin to alleviate back pain is fraught with danger. Before starting gabapentin, tell your doctor about all of your current drugs and any medical or psychological disorders you have.
Other Adverse Consequences
Gabapentin’s side effects include dizziness, weariness, confusion, and visual problems such as double vision. Nausea and vomiting, rapid weight gain, shakiness, and swelling in the hands and feet are all possible side effects.
Gabapentin use may produce or intensify symptoms of mood disorders such as anxiety, panic attacks, and sleeping difficulties. Any changes in your conduct should be reported to your doctor.
If you have an allergic reaction, coordination problems, excessive weariness, jaundice, difficulty breathing, muscle discomfort, or uncontrollable eye movement after taking gabapentin, seek medical help right away.
Gabapentin is an antiepileptic medication that was developed to treat seizures. It’s best for neuropathic back pain from disc herniation and sciatica, as well as spinal stenosis, diabetic neuropathy, and postherpetic neuralgia. It’s useless for treating non-specific chronic pain and arthritis, although it might help with fibromyalgia.
Gabapentin should be used with caution due to the risks and side effects that this medicine might cause. If you’re taking opioids, don’t take gabapentin because it can cause addiction. Any unexpected changes in mood or behavior, as well as evidence of an allergic reaction, should be reported to your doctor.
When using gabapentin, make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter. If your doctor advises you to, don’t raise your medication amount or frequency. Before taking gabapentin, talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have kidney problems.