Taking muscle relaxers with Gabapentin can cause moderate to severe interactions in the users, thus elevating the risk of experiencing side effects. Common side effects are dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and depression.
One in every five adults in the USA suffers from body pain . Thus, potentially raising the prescription use of muscle relaxers in the country. A study evaluating the average visit to a physician in the USA states that the prescription use of skeletal muscle relaxers doubled between 2005 and 2016 . This displays a remarkable solicitude for abuse and the adverse effects of long-term use.
The use of a muscle relaxer with Gabapentin is a growing concern among physicians for its high abuse potential and significant health risk resulting from these interactions.
This extensive study on "Can you take gabapentin and muscle relaxers together?" is a depiction of pharmacodynamic effects and the safety profile and of combining muscle relaxers with Gabapentin.
Gabapentin and muscle relaxers: On overview
Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant medication (used to prevent or control seizures) that is primarily prescribed for treating neuropathic pain and partial seizures. It is also the first line of treatment for diabetic neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia .
Muscle relaxers are medications that affect skeletal muscle function and decrease muscle tone. They are commonly used for alleviating symptoms of muscle spasms and pain. They are centrally acting and help by blocking pain stimulation from reaching the brain from the affected part of the body.
Off-label uses of Gabapentin:
Apart from its medical uses for neuropathic pain and local seizures, the off-label benefits of taking Gabapentin are for treating bipolar disorder, non-neuropathic pain, and anxiety disorder.
Off-label uses of Muscle relaxers:
Muscle relaxers such as the Soma pill can help anxiety, neuropathic pain, temporomandibular disorder, and chronic noncancer pain.
The common muscle relaxers that physicians often prescribe are Carisoprodol (Soma pill), Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), Metaxalone (Skelaxin), Methocarbamol (Robaxin), etc.
Pharmacodynamic influence of Gabapentin and muscle relaxers interaction
When we talk about the Interaction of muscle relaxers with Gabapentin, it cannot be epitomized in a line or two. Several prevalent muscle relaxers in the market today have individual pharmacodynamic characteristics, thus reacting differently with Gabapentin. So, we have synopsized the Gabapentin drug interaction with some commonly prescribed muscle relaxers.
Gabapentin and Flexeril
Mixing Cyclobenzaprine with Gabapentin may increase the risk of side effects such as confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Elderly people may experience impairment in judgment, motor coordination, and thinking.
People taking Gabapentin with Flexeril must avoid activities requiring mental alertness, such as operating heavy machinery and driving .
Carisoprodol and Gabapentin
Taking Carisoprodol with Gabapentin may increase the possibility of side effects such as drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, confusion, and dizziness. Such people must also limit their alcohol consumption while taking these medications.
Older people are more likely to suffer from thinking and judgment impairments. Such patients must be monitored for prolonged CNS and respiratory depression .
Robaxin and Gabapentin
Taking Robaxin and Gabapentin together can result in moderate drug interaction, causing depression, intense drowsiness, confusion, suicidal thoughts, lack of focus, and increased risk for injury. It is not advisable for elderly people to take Gabapentin and Robaxin together, and they must be administered after consulting a doctor.
Baclofen and Gabapentin
Baclofen is a skeletal muscle relaxant that aids in relieving nerve discomfort.
A clinical study evaluating the effects of exposure to Baclofen and Gabapentin shows that they are taken together for misuse, and cases of abuse have been accelerating in the United States since 2013. Proper risk analysis must be taken into confederation before co-administering baclofen and Gabapentin.
These drug interactions may cause difficulty concentrating, dizziness, and drowsiness in users. It may also cause impairment of your thinking and decision-making abilities.
Gabapentin interaction with other medications
Apart from muscle relaxers that are other classes of drugs can interact with Gabapentin to increase the risk of side effects. These medications must be taken along with Gabapentin only under the supervision of a doctor.
Gabapentin and Vicodin
The interaction between Gabapentin and Vicodin may cause significant health risks in people. It causes central nervous system depression, thus leading to serious respiratory depression, coma, and death in severe cases. Consult a doctor before taking Vicodin as an alternative medication.
Xanax and Gabapentin
Mixing Xanax and Gabapentin can increase CNS and respiratory depression in patients. It also causes drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, unusual eye movement, jerky movements, difficulty speaking, nausea, and palpitation. Avoiding driving and operating heavy machinery is advisable as such interactions lower mental alertness.
Gabapentin With Opioids
Gabapentin is a CNS depressant known to slow down some of the processes and functions of the brain. On the other hand, opioid pain medications are also classified as CNS depressants. Therefore, taking opioid analgesics with Gabapentin may increase the risk of abuse, sedation, and respiratory depression. Some opioid pain medications that should not be taken with Gabapentin are Tapenatdol, Tramadol, oxycodone, and hydrocodone .
With OTC Medications
Administration of OTC medicines with Gabapentin for pain and allergy is considered safe. However, such practices should not be done without consulting a doctor. It is critical to be cautious while taking OTC medications such as Unisom, which may cause drowsiness in users.
Is it safe to take gabapentin and Benadryl together?
Gabapentin and Benadryl can cause moderate drug interaction resulting in dizziness, impaired thinking ability, and drowsiness. It is hazardous to perform any activity that requires one to be mentally alert, including driving and operating heavy machinery.
Ask the experts: Can you take muscle relaxers with gabapentin?
Now that we have a brief insight into the Gabapentin interactions with muscle relaxers, here is a synopsis of the recommendations by physicians on co-administering these analgesics.
Taking Gabapentin and muscle relaxers together can result in sedation and decreased coordination. Its intake of muscle relaxers such as Flexeril and Soma pill can cause weakness, drowsiness, and respiratory depression that can be monitored in patients. However, people with small cell carcinoma (lung tissue cancer) may have a higher health risk and should check with a physician before taking Gabapentin and muscle relaxers.
Gabapentin Interaction: Why do people take muscle relaxers with Gabapentin?
Combining Gabapentin with muscle relaxers for abuse is not common, but it does exist. Both these compounds work on the CNS, thus helping to slow down the brain’s reaction to any form of stimulation.
The significant factors contributing to people taking muscle relaxers with Gabapentin are-
- For better and faster relief from body pain
- Sedative effect
- Better sleep
The other key factors responsible for such interactions are-
- Ease and availability of muscle relaxers and other medication online without prescription.
- The low price of the Soma pill makes Carisoprodol a common choice for abuse.
- Lack of awareness.
- Gabapentin has effects similar to Amphetamine rush that may cause a euphoric effect in the user.
Side effects of taking muscle relaxers with Gabapentin
The adverse effects of administering Gabapentin and muscle relaxers together are listed below. The severity and conditions may vary in people as the biochemical activity of drugs varies in people.
- Swollen throat
- Shortness of breathing
- Eyes turning yellow
- Skin rash
- Swollen face
Warnings of mixing muscle relaxers with Gabapentin
Elderly people often suffer from renal disorders that may make it difficult for them able to metabolize the compound. Co-administering Gabapentin and muscle relaxers together will make it difficult for such people to process the medication. Thus, people over 65 must take Gabapentin and muscle relaxers only after consulting a doctor.
Gabapentin interaction may often result in depressive thoughts. If not given the right attention, it may result in suicidal thoughts.
The use of alcoholic beverages with Gabapentin or muscle relaxers is not advisable. Such interactions may cause dizziness and drowsiness, further causing alcohol dependency in users.
Gabapentin interactions often cause allergic reactions in the patient. It may result in itching and rash.
Epileptic patients must not discontinue the use of Gabapentin immediately after seeing improved results. They must consult a doctor before ceasing the use of the medication.
Using Gabapentin with muscle relaxers and other medications may cause CNS depression resulting in breathing disorder.
Affects the kidney-
The elimination of Gabapentin is much longer than other analgesics. When co-administered with muscle relaxers such as Carisoprodol and Flexeril, it may remain in the body for much longer. Since the renal system assists in eliminating the compound, its prolonged half-life may affect the normal functioning of the kidney.
What muscle relaxers can you take with gabapentin?
Using any form of muscle relaxer is not safe or advisable with Gabapentin. However, people with severe body pain can combine other pain medications after consulting a doctor.
Analgesics such as ibuprofen, paracetamol, and aspirin are assumed to be safe with no severe interactions or possibility of side effects .
Can you take a muscle relaxer with Gabapentin- Our Final Thought
Now that we have meticulously discussed the outcome of mixing muscle relaxers with Gabapentin, let us have a brief rundown.
To deal with severe acute and chronic pain, most people take muscle relaxers such as Soma with Gabapentin for faster relief from pain. And other times, it is mainly done for the pure sense of abuse. Irrespective of the factor contributing to such interactions, the intake of muscle relaxers with Gabapentin is unsafe and is not recommended by most physicians.
Health Hazards of Gabapentin and muscle relaxers interaction in a nutshell-
- It can affect the CNS to cause respiratory depression, dizziness, and drowsiness. Patients with lung cancer are at a higher risk of experiencing severe adverse effects.
- The psychedelic and sedative effects of Gabapentin may elevate when taken in conjugation with muscle relaxers and other medications.
- Its use is not advisable in people over 65 years.