What are the alternatives to gabapentin

US-based drug governing agency – food and drug administration (FDA) – has cleared a handful of meds for the treatment of nerve-related problems. Such drugs are termed as anticonvulsant meds / antiepileptic medications. The active chemicals these drugs contain assist in relaxing your nerves. As a result of such relaxing spells, you get treated for fits, convulsions or seizures. Gabapentin is a commonly administered drug in this genre. But what are the alternatives to gabapentin? It is useful to know more details on safe alternatives to this antiepileptic drug.

Nerve pains and / or similar discomforts occur when you sustain injuries in your spinal section. Not stopping with injuries or damages, a few autoimmune conditions such as diabetes mellitus can also cause nerve pains. In this light, infections like shingles may trigger nerve problems like pains. Meds that form part of a category called anticonvulsants are widely administered.

What is gabapentin?

This medication is taken to reduce the intensity of seizures or fits; it is also taken for preventing such spells. It is an important member of a family of meds called anticonvulsants. This med is sold as a branded variant and as a generic drug. Other forms of this med include an immediately released variant and an extended / sustained release version. The form prescribed to you varies based on how acute is your nerve condition.

In general, gabapentin is prescribed for treating a wide-spectrum of nerve problems; these are painful nerves (clinically referred to as neuralgia), fits, seizures, nerve-problems due to incidence of infections (like shingles), etc. The key ingredients of gabapentin are known to numb your pain; its chemicals are also known to change the calcium constitution of your system. An optimal level of calcium is needed to prevent episodes of convulsions / fits.

Gabapentin may work well to treat pains in people who live with autoimmune problems; in this light, it suppresses pain among people with diabetes and in those who have abnormal sugar levels. Patients who consume gabapentin may observe a noteworthy reduction in weakness. You may also notice deeper sleeping patterns; thanks to a well-regulated wake / sleep cycle.

What are the alternatives to gabapentin?

Among some users, gabapentin may cause a few adverse reactions and side effects; these include being depressed, having suicidal instincts and respiratory conditions like wheezing, gasping or panting. Upon sensing any of these risks, your doctor may prescribe a safer alternative. Thankfully, alternatives to gabapentin are widely available.

Alternatives include drugs like duloxetine, carbamazepine, phenytoin, amitriptyline, pregabalin, etc. Of these, duloxetine is one of the commonly prescribed meds (brand name: Cymbalta). This medication aids in treating conditions like nerve pain – a clinical condition known as neuropathy, fibromyalgia as well as musculoskeletal pains.

The standard dose of duloxetine ranges at 60 milligrams (mg) per day; it is offered for a period of 6 weeks. Gabapentin versus Cymbalta (duloxetine): Both these meds must not be stopped abruptly. A sudden discontinuation of either of these meds can cause withdrawal symptoms. You may encounter discomforts such as headaches, dizziness, vomiting / nausea, skin conditions like itchiness and irritation.

Apart from duloxetine, your caregiving team may prescribe alternatives such as carbamazepine (resolves nerve pains and convulsions), phenytoin (mainly for reducing spells of fits and seizures), clonazepam, pregabalin (for neuropathic discomforts like pain, fits and fibromyalgia), etc.

None of these alternatives to gabapentin is taken through OTC route. It is a safe practice to talk to your doctor prior to taking any of these alternatives. Also, tapering-off of the last doses may help prevent withdrawal symptoms. In order to have more details about how to safely use alternatives to gabapentin, talk to your caregiver / pharmacist.


Information provided here are only of supplementary nature. Information shared here does not substitute a qualified doctor’s advice. This website is not suggesting intake of this drug as safe or appropriate. Hence it is advised to talk to your doctor before consuming this med or any other drug.

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