Alcohol abuse is a disease associated with dangerous drinking habits. It can generally affect anyone whose drinking has become problematic and can be treated through medication treatment such as the prescription of gabapentin (Neurontin). This drug is categorized as anticonvulsant and is commonly used to treat seizures or as a post-operation analgesic.
What are the symptoms of alcohol abuse?
Symptoms that indicate when a person’s drinking has become excessive include:
- Neglecting work, school and family responsibilities due to drinking
- Mixing alcohol with other prescription drugs
- Facing legal issues like driving under the influence of alcohol
- Engaging in binge drinking even if it ruins relationships
- Drinking to relieve stress or avoid problems
How does gabapentin work?
Gabapentin is an FDA-approved drug used to treat alcoholism. People suffering from alcohol addiction have low levels of GABA in their system, making them crave the substance, as its consumption increases GABA levels. As a result, gabapentin is used as part of an alcohol treatment program because it reduces alcohol cravings.
According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, gabapentin proved to be successful in lessening alcohol intake only in rats dependent on alcohol, as compared to their non-alcohol dependent counterparts.
The study has shown that gabapentin, when used for treating alcohol addiction can help reduce the cravings by feeding the “hunger” of the GABA-deprived body.
What are the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal?
Deciding to quit alcohol following dependence can result in severe withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Gastrointestinal problems (stomach cramps, diarrhea)
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid or irregular heartbeats
More severe symptoms can include:
How does gabapentin treat alcoholism?
Gabapentin is among the medications prescribed to treat alcohol abuse or alcoholism. The properties found in this drug have been proven to be safe due to its mild side effects, which are easily acquired with a prescription and has proven effective. As well, gabapentin is not as addictive as other drugs and is less prone to be abused.