How Long Does It Take For Gabapentin To Work (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1-2 Weeks

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant medication that is used to treat partial seizures and neuropathic pain. The medicine is known under the name of Neurontin. Gabapentin is the first prescribed medicine for ant neuropathic pain. The medicine can be used for pain caused by diabetic neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia, and central pain.

The medicine, however, comes with side effects like sleepiness and dizziness. Long-term risks may include increased risk of suicide, respiratory depression, and allergic reactions to the body. Gabapentin acts in the human body by decreasing the activity of calcium channels. The lower doses of the medicine can be used to treat kidney diseases. The medicine is available in drug stores after a prescription from the doctors.

How Long Does It Take For Gabapentin To Work?

Time TakenDuration
Minimum Time1-2 Week
Maximum Time6-8 Weeks

Gabapentin was first approved in 1993. The medicine has been available since then in stores. According to the statistics, gabapentin is the tenth most prescribed medication within more than 47 million prescriptions. Gabapentin is recommended for neuropathic pain and focal seizures. The medicine is prescribed in countries like UK and US for treating a number of diseases including anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder.

The medicine is commonly used but is only available at proper prescription. It is not effective for generalized epilepsy. Gabapentin can also not be prescribed for trigeminal neuralgia. The best results of the medicine have been seen in the case of health issues like postherpetic neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy. Gabapentin shows moderate effectiveness for neuropathic patients. If the patient has HIV then the medicine is not effective.

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The pain after having a regular dose of gabapentin is shown to improve from the next one to two weeks. The nerve pain starts to decrease. The medicine can, however, take longer for some patients to work effectively. Depending on the body type and health conditions, the effectiveness of the medicine can change. Gabapentin can also be taken mixed with other painkillers for much effective working. Gabapentin is started with a lower dose and the doses are then increased.

Avoid drinking alcohol to minimize the side effects of gabapentin. In case you forget to take the previous dose, take it immediately. If it is time for the next dose already then skip the previous dose. One should never double up the medicine. The medicine should be stopped gradually and not immediately. Pain, anxiety, and insomnia are some of the effects that can happen are you stop taking the medicine immediately. The medicine should only be taken after a proper prescription from the doctor.

Why Does It Take This Long For Gabapentin To Work?

Gabapentin is a drug that takes time to completely affect your body. The medicine might take a number of doses that are too frequently to start working properly. Gabapentin works by changing the way in which nerves send messages to the brain. The nerves work by making you believe that messages are being sent and the pain that has been caused is not really caused. In this way, the brain muscles that get contracted during creating a sensation of pain, do not cause the pain.

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Gabapentin belongs to anticonvulsants. Gabapentin decreases the abnormal activity of the brain called partial-onset seizure. During the treatment of neuralgia, gabapentin reduces the amount of pain by reducing the response to harmful stimuli. It also cures the disease of restless legs. It changes the way nerves send messages to the brain and hence reduces the pain. The medicine needs to be taken properly with water on a full or empty stomach.

The medicine can also take up to 2 months to give a proper effect on the body. If there is no improvement even after that, then it is advised not to stop the medicine immediately. Take the medicine as long as prescribed by the doctor.

Conclusion

Gabapentin can start working from 1-2 weeks. However, depending on the body type of the person it can also take up to 2 months to work properly. The time taken is because the medicines receptive to start working in molding the way message is sent to the nerves. It is advised not to discontinue the medicine on your own because the side effects can be harmful. Dizziness, sleep are some of the most common side effects of the medicine.

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00003495-199346030-00007
  2. https://n.neurology.org/content/59/12/1991.short
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