Alcohol and drugs, whether recreational or for medical purposes, are never a good mix. Certain drugs react immediately to alcoholic beverages when taken orally, and some have a rather delayed presentation of adverse effects after. This write-up talks about whether alcohol and Gabapentin will be a good mix.
Gabapentin: Uses and General Information
Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant and antiepileptic drug used for medical purposes such as but not limited to, treating patients with seizures and helping relieve nerve pain for patients who are suffering from shingles. This medication comes in both tablet and capsule form, which is to be taken orally on a full or empty stomach.
Doses to be taken by patients vary considering their age, weight, and possible reaction to the drug, and like many other drugs, it can cause serious health problems when not taken at a proper dosage. Sudden or abrupt stopping of the use of Gabapentin might also cause the conditions of the patient to worsen, which might lead to slowly decreasing the dose as time goes by rather than suddenly removing it from the prescription.
Seizures: What You Need to Know
Seizures are medical conditions that involve the brain and the uncontrolled electrical activity that happens between brain cells (neurons) or the way these brain cells send signals to each other, which then causes temporary abnormal movements like twitching, stiffness, and even limpness as well as abnormal states of awareness, behaviors, and sensations. They can be lasting and recurring, like seizures that are called epilepsy or they can be just a single event that can happen because of an adverse reaction to medications.
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of seizures can be a bit different from case to case. But some of the most common and probably most noted symptoms are unconsciousness, abrupt loss of awareness, involuntary movements such as twitching, some parts of the body all of a sudden becoming stiff, or a combination of both losing consciousness and twitching limbs or also known as convulsions.
Classes of Seizures
In the medical field, there are two known classes of seizures which are focal onset and generalized onset. Focal onset seizures begin at a focal point in the brain, and then the electrical charges spread and spill over into various areas of the brain. Kind of like when a person spills a glass of milk on a table; the spill originates from the area at which the glass is tipped over, and then the liquid spreads slowly.
On the other hand, a generalized onset means that both sides of the brain simultaneously experience seizures. Although there are times when a generalized seizure can present itself as a focal onset at the beginning, then it gradually spreads to both sides of the brain. This kind of seizure often occurs during childhood.
Treatments for seizures include a variety of medications, diets, therapy, and possible surgery or nerve stimulation. Of course, there is no one set of sure-hit treatments for one patient, and treatments will be different for each one depending on how their bodies react to the medications like Gabapentin and such, diets, and nerve stimulation.
Drinking with seizures and while under medication
Okay, right off the bat, there is something wrong with the combination of alcohol, seizures, and being under medication for seizures like Gabapentin. Several medications have serious effects on the body when under treatment and still drinking alcohol examples of some of them are: antidepressants, sleeping pills, antibiotics, muscle relaxants, cholesterol medications, diabetes medications, etc.
Gabapentin works to relax and relieve the nerves from pain, especially for patients that are suffering from epilepsy. Naturally, people with epilepsy are seldom advised to drink alcohol since there can be several complications with that kind of setup.
However, it is not banned for them; then again, it is at the discretion of patients and their doctors. If their doctors say that they can drink alcohol even under medication, then it must mean that they are safe or that alcohol in small amounts won’t present much trouble to the patient.
Generally speaking, if one takes Gabapentin and decides to drink alcohol, it would make him or her sleepy or tired. This, of course, is not because of a very low tolerance for alcohol but a combination of the medication and alcohol, whose effects both make people feel a little relaxed, drowsy, and tired.
Gabapentin is meant to help patients with epilepsy and is meant to calm a person whose neurons are shooting electrical signals that causes some involuntary twitching and muscle stiffness or tension. If a person who suffers from seizures regularly and takes Gabapentin decides to drink just a little to celebrate, let’s say, a certain occasion, some experts say that it won’t affect them too much as the amount is only little and not enough to seriously disrupt an epileptic’s system.
The case is different if the question is if a patient just drank Gabapentin and right after drank a few glasses of wine or a few select bottles of ice-cold beer. The most appropriate answer would be ‘No’ because the purpose of the medication is to figuratively slow things down, and if you add alcohol which has almost the same effect on a person, so, in the end, it might seem like double jeopardy.
Alcohol and Medications
It’s not a myth that there are drugs that do not mix well with alcohol; however, there are also some exceptions to this unwritten law. Here is the low down; some medications are supposed to slow down one individual or are called downers, and these usually have effects like drowsiness, the feeling of being sleepy, and lightheadedness, and drinking alcohol will only magnify these effects.
There are medications as well that contain a plethora of ingredients, and chances are one of the numerous ingredients might react unfavorably with alcohol. In other circumstances, there are drugs or medicines that already contain alcohol in them, and if combined with more alcohol, just might produce a not-so-good result.
Under any situation, it is inadvisable to mix alcohol with drugs because of the harmful effects of it on the human body. So if you plan to drink and you are under any medication, it would be wise to consult your physician first before anything else.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.