Does Gabapentin Make You Sleepy?

does gabapentin make you sleepy
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Scientists say an average adult should get enough sleep of 7 hours. An ordinary person feels refreshed and active with complete rest. To better understand it thoroughly, we can call it optimized sleep.

It’s 2022, and with immense technological advancement and medical field development, do you get an optimized sleep to keep your other day-active?

As sleep is the main theme here, Insomnia is a sub part of it. It is a sleep deprivation disorder. Sleeplessness occurs from many reasons like Anxiety, unscheduled days, eating habits, workaholic nature, etc. Many medicines are developed to cope with this. One of them is Gabapentin but as an off label use.

It is an anticonvulsant  invented to treat seizures and postherpetic neuralgia. It is an anti-seizure medicine that is also used for Insomnia/ Sleeplessness. Thus Gabapentin Makes You Sleepy (Kelly, W.E., Kelly, K.E. and Clanton, R.C., 2001).

Gabapentin (Neurontin) And Sleep Connection

Clearly and straightforwardly, Gabapentin makes you sleepy due to its working mechanism. It works on the neurotransmitters called GABA and alters the pain signals sent to the brain; in the course, the brain changes its way of feeling the pain. 

Side effects are better to avoid. Gabapentin has side effects, and there is one side effect that helps in Sleep Deprivation problems, i.e The drowsy effect puts the user in Slow Wave Sleep.

It often happens in the medical world that one of the side effects can help in other issues. As this medicine has a drowsy and sedative effect; it makes the person feel sleepy. However, for Insomnia, it is an off Label defined by experts. Insomnia can happen due to anxiety and Gabapentin is used for anxiety (Foldvary‐Schaefer, N., De Leon Sanchez, I., Karafa, M., Mascha, E., Dinner, D. and Morris, H.H., 2002).

What Is Slow Wave Sleep?

Slow wave sleep is called deep sleep, which consists of 4 stages of Non-Rapid Eye Movement sleep. This sleep stage lasts about 70 to 100 mins and generally occurs in the first hours of the night. Non-rapid eye movement sleep consists of tiny to no eye movement. Rapid eye movement includes hallucinatory and fearful scenarios. People usually sleepwalk in these situations. The muscles get tightened in this scenario (Maquet, P., Degueldre, C., Delfiore, G., Aerts, J., Péters, J.M., Luxen, A. and Franck, G., 1997).

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Sleep Induced By Gabapentin (Neurontin) Is A Threat?

We should avoid side effects, but as discussed above, they can be helpful in another issue. Pain killer medicine works on CNS and GABA or neurotransmitters. They can use the sedative method to treat primary Insomnia or sleep deprivation. Sleepiness due to the sedation and drowsy effect is used to drop the pain.

Foreg: Pain caused by muscles, anxiety, etc., can affect the sleep cycle. Hence One can use it to have a good sleep and decrease the pain.

There are also studies made to explain whether the sleepy effect is beneficial or not. One of the studies of Epilepsia created to found out Slow wave sleep due yo gabapentin in which 20-46 years of adults treated gabapentin and 30-45 year of adult got another controlled medicine.

There are also studies made to explain whether the sleepy effect is beneficial or not. The results were positive, and it helped people get to rest. Hence we cannot say sleep induced by Gabapentin is a threat (Foldvary‐Schaefer, N., De Leon Sanchez, I., Karafa, M., Mascha, E., Dinner, D. and Morris, H.H., 2002).

Gabapentin/ Neurontin For Sleep?- Why Is It Prescribed Off Label?

Gabapentin is an anti-seizure medicine used for neuralgia and seizure. So as the research carried out on various causes, it was found that these  meds can be utilized in primary Insomnia or sleeplessness. Though it was made for one purpose, many other uses were found. Hence those prescriptions are termed as off Label uses. So it is a prescribed Off Label medicine for Insomnia.

What Will Be The Dosage Of Gabapentin For Insomnia/Sleep?

The usual dose of Gabapentin lies between 300 mg to 1800 mg. Above 1800mg is not prescribed. For sleep deprivation or Insomnia, doctors can commonly prescribe 100 to 400 mg. However, it would be good to consult with your expert as it is an off-label use. One should take care of it.

How Long Gabapentin Makes You Sleepy?

Gabapentin can help you to get the required amount of sleep without any awakenings or disturbances in between the sleep. A Reddit user posted that he got 14 hours of sleep from 600mg. The drowsy effect depends upon the amount of medicine you consume. As an average dose, it can provide 9 hours of sleep.

Hence there is possibility for you to get sleep quicker and in the required amount as per the strength of it.

Note: Excessive use of Gabapentin is also harmful. It will create heavy dizziness and drowsiness (Foldvary‐Schaefer, N., De Leon Sanchez, I., Karafa, M., Mascha, E., Dinner, D. and Morris, H.H., 2002).

Other Reasons That Disturbs Your Peaceful Sleep Cycle

  • Using Mobiles late at night with a bright screen
  • TV screens and lights are kept on for the long term while sleeping.
  • Working Late at nights
  • Alcohol, caffeine, aerated drinks, etc

Conclusion

A medicine invented for one purpose also has other uses, termed as off-label use. The side effect of Gabapentin is helpful for Insomnia patients. However, it is better to use it under the guidance of a doctor, whether it is an on-label use for seizures/ post neuralgia or off-label use for sleep. With that, we can conclude Gabapentin makes you sleepy.

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