Author: Charles Frank

Gabapentin: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Warnings

what is a lethal dose of gabapentin

Of the 58,362 overdose deaths with toxicology results in 2019 and 2020, 5,687 (9.7%) showed positive results for gabapentin. The likelihood of an overdose increases when you abuse gabapentin with other drugs like opioids and alcohol. There is a heightened risk of fatal overdose in people who are prescribed a high dosage or receive a high number of prescriptions. This can vary depending on body composition, tolerance, method of use, and the use of other drugs with heroin. Heroin is sometimes cut with fentanyl, which can increase the overdose risk.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you don’t have pain relief within a couple of weeks after starting treatment. In recent years, the number of gabapentin prescriptions has increased as the number of opioid prescriptions has decreased. It is possible that the potential for gabapentin misuse and abuse had previously been underestimated. Like any medication, gabapentin can cause a variety of unintentional side effects. These can develop or become more pronounced any time the dose is increased or if you start taking gabapentin after stopping for a while. Most side effects of a gabapentin overdose will be related to an overall deceleration of the body’s systems.

What Happens If You Take A Lethal Dose Of A Drug?

Gabapentin can slow or stop your breathing, especially if you have recently used an opioid medication or alcohol. A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up. The exact way that gabapentin helps with nerve pain is not known, but it may change the way the body senses and reacts to pain. For neuralgia or nerve pain, gabapentin is often started at 300 mg daily and increased by 300 mg per day until pain relief is achieved.

  1. Wiffen, PJ; et al. “Gabapentin for chronic neuropathic pain in adults.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, June 9, 2017.
  2. If needed, your healthcare provider may increase your dose to a maximum of 1800 milligrams per day.
  3. Some examples include narcotic opioids, anti-anxiety medicines, antidepressants, and antihistamines.
  4. Serious breathing problems can happen if you take gabapentin with drugs that cause severe sleepiness or decreased awareness.
  5. Never “double up” to catch your gabapentin dose up as this can lead to serious side effects or accidental overdose.

Gabapentin seems to slow signaling between the brain and the body, but its exact mechanism for preventing seizures is not known. Typically, gabapentin is started at 300 mg three times per day for this use and slowly increases. Over the long term, doses totaling up to 2400 mg per day have been well tolerated. For short periods, as much as 3600 mg divided throughout the day has been used. Used in combination with other medications, gabapentin is sometimes helpful for anxiety. While there is limited information for this use, there are some examples where it has been helpful.

What Is Gabapentin and How Does It Work?

Your child’s dose may change if the child gains or loses weight. Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how gabapentin will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

In the absence of another drug, gabapentin overdose treatment is limited to supportive care. Drinking caffeinated products is unlikely to have severely toxic effects in the average person. However, the estimated lethal dose for caffeine is about 10 grams.

When taken together, the effect is even more pronounced than each substance separately, and this combination can lead to overdose. If you take gabapentin and alcohol together, you may feel especially drowsy or dizzy and may be at increased risk for seizures. In 2019, the FDA issued a warning that the risk of respiratory depression is higher with certain risk factors, including if mixed with depressants such as alcohol. Despite the well-known withdrawal side effects, it’s difficult to overdose on gabapentin.

For this reason, it’s important to only use gabapentin as prescribed and avoid taking it with other substances, especially illicit drugs. Although gabapentin is not a controlled substance at the federal level, the drug still carries the risk of abuse and overdose. Gabapentin overdose can be dangerous or even fatal in some cases, especially when taken with other drugs.

what is a lethal dose of gabapentin

Although there is no well-known treatment for a gabapentin overdose, there are ways to help get it out of your system. The vast majority of overdoses in the United States each year are non-fatal. Non-fatal overdose may result in temporary or permanent health consequences.

Lethal Doses Of Drugs: How Much Does It Take To Cause A Fatal Overdose?

This dose is unlikely to be realistically achieved by swallowing, vaping, or smoking the drug due to marijuana’s high margin of safety. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the active ingredient in cannabis, also known as marijuana, pot, or weed. Marijuana is considered one of the least toxic of all recreational drugs.

Gabapentin Dosage for Nerve Pain

Nerve pain results from damage or illnesses that impact the somatosensory system. Gabapentin is structurally similar to the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical in the brain. Wiffen, PJ; et al. “Gabapentin for chronic neuropathic pain in adults.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, June 9, 2017. While some adverse effects are minor, others, such as oxygen deprivation and seizures, may be deadly and cause irreversible damage.

Does gabapentin cause withdrawal symptoms?

For this reason, talk to your healthcare provider as soon as you know you are pregnant. You and your healthcare provider will determine if you should take gabapentin during your pregnancy or change to a different medication. Gabapentin is a prescription medication known as a gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) analogue.

If you or someone you love is taking gabapentin, it is important to make sure the medication is being used safely. The drugs listed above are unlikely to cause fatal overdose when taken alone. Combined with other drugs, such as alcohol or opioids, these drugs may become lethally toxic in high doses. provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Data sources include Micromedex (updated 3 Mar 2024), Cerner Multum™ (updated 4 Mar 2024), ASHP (updated 12 Feb 2024) and others.