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Can You Take Gabapentin and Oxycodone?

Can You Take Gabapentin with Oxycodone?

Gabapentin and oxycodone are two different types of prescription drugs that are used to treat a variety of conditions, including seizures and nerve pain.

Individually, these drugs are prescribed by doctors at a certain dose and frequency to treat the patient’s symptoms while ensuring their safety. However, many people combine these medications to either alleviate their symptoms or to get high. But can you take gabapentin with oxycodone? What happens if you do? Our Illinois rehabs are here to explain.

What Is Gabapentin?

Otherwise known by its brand names Gralise, Horizant, and Nueraptine, gabapentin is an anticonvulsant and nerve pain medication that’s used to treat seizures and pain caused by shingles. It falls into the drug class of GABA analog, meaning it alleviates pain and prevents seizures by increasing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels to reduce nerve activity.

While these medications may alleviate pain when used as prescribed, gabapentin and other similar drugs - such as benzodiazepines - can also produce a euphoric and sedative high when abused. Most, if not all, drugs that affect neurotransmitter levels in the brain have a high potential for abuse and addiction, and gabapentin is no exception.

While the pain relief and relaxation that patients feel when taking prescription gabapentin are normal and controlled, when higher doses are taken or when it's taken more frequently than recommended, this drug can produce euphoria and an extreme sense of relaxation and sedation. Because the gabapentin high is so pleasurable, people who abuse this drug may continue to do so and eventually find themselves unable to quit.

What Is Oxycodone?

Like many other opioids, oxycodone is a prescription narcotic used to treat moderate to severe pain. Generally, opioids are prescribed depending on the severity of the patient’s symptoms. Because these drugs are addictive, they’re often the last resort option for treatment, or they’re only prescribed for a certain length of time.

Additionally, unlike gabapentin, oxycodone is a controlled substance, meaning that while it serves a medical purpose, it also has a high potential for abuse and addiction. And considering the current opioid epidemic, the need for control is understandable.

Opioids like oxycodone attach themselves to opioid receptors present on the surface of nerve cells to block pain signaling from the body, alleviating the person’s discomfort. However, when abused, opioids can also produce a strong sense of euphoria, sedation, and pleasure.

Additionally, oxycodone can activate the brain’s reward center, in which it feels rewarded by the drug and, therefore, encourages further drug-taking behavior. This is why opioids are addictive and why our Heartland Treatment Center believes that opioid treatment is crucial for long-term recovery from oxycodone addiction.

Can You Take Gabapentin and Oxycodone Together?

So, can you take gabapentin with oxycodone? What happens if you do? To make it clear, no, you cannot take oxycodone and gabapentin together for a variety of reasons.

Side effects of mixing oxycodone and gabapentin include:

  • Extreme sedation and dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Impaired judgment
  • Impaired motor control and movement
  • Loss of coordination
  • Respiratory depression (slow or shallow breathing)
  • Low blood pressure
  • Fainting
  • Coma
  • Death

Opioids can slow down your gastrointestinal tract, allowing your body to absorb more gabapentin. As a result, this can change how your body reacts to oxycodone. The amount of gabapentin in your blood may also increase, causing more severe side effects than expected.

Additionally, another reason why you shouldn’t mix the two is that they’re both sedatives or central nervous system depressants. Depressants are substances that depress or reduce nerve activity in the brain and spinal cord. As a result, your heart rate may slow down, and you may feel sedated or sleepy.

Depressants also reduce other important physiological functions, like breathing and heart rate. A gabapentin and oxycodone interaction can result in an overdose, elevating the side effects of one to the point where the situation is life-threatening.

Of their side effects, a life-threatening side effect of a gabapentin and oxycodone interaction is respiratory depression. The term refers to slow, shallow, or ineffective breathing in which a person isn’t getting enough oxygen in their system. In people who chronically abuse opioids like oxycodone and other depressants, it’s the most common cause of death.

Why Do People Mix Gabapentin and Oxycodone?

When gabapentin and oxycodone are combined, different reactions arise from treatment requirements as well as, unfortunately, recreational activities. Investigating the causes of this combination shows a complex environment. Here, we examine the two main driving forces: the desire for a euphoric experience and the management of pain. Comprehending these discrete domains is essential to promoting educated dialogues regarding the intricacies of pharmaceutical usage and the possible ramifications that could emerge from the combination of these medications.

Pain Treatment

Gabapentin is often used in conjunction with oxycodone and other opioids to treat chronic or severe pain. Sometimes, people with painful symptoms may be tolerant of or resistant to opioid medications, which is why doctors may mix them with other painkillers to provide relief.

To Get High

On the other hand, some people mix oxycodone and gabapentin simply to get high. As we talked about earlier, because they’re both sedatives, combining them can result in a euphoric, relaxing, and pleasurable high that may numb any physical and emotional pain the person may feel.

Many people turn to drugs or alcohol when they’re suffering from stress, trauma, or mental illness. However, while the relief from these substances may be great, it’s only short-lived. What’s more, individuals who engage in substance abuse with a pre-existing mental illness often end up with both an addiction and a mental disorder.

What Other Drugs Should Not Be Taken With Gabapentin?

Combining drugs can be a complex endeavor, and there may be interactions between gabapentin and other medications when using it. Certain drugs can alter the effects of said substance, potentially causing negative responses or reduced efficacy. It's important to speak with a doctor before taking any new drugs in addition to gabapentin.

Risky Gabapentin drug interactions can include:

  • Alcohol: Central nervous system depression can be brought on by gabapentin and alcohol. Combining them could intensify their sedative effects, resulting in oversleeping and impairment.
  • Antacids containing aluminum and magnesium: Antacids with magnesium and aluminum content: These antacids can lessen gabapentin's body absorption, therefore reducing its efficacy.
  • Morphine and other opioids: Opioids, including morphine, can also have sedative effects on the central nervous system, similar to oxycodone. When gabapentin and opioids are combined, there is a higher chance of respiratory depression and other side effects.
  • Naproxen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Naproxen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs): When used with gabapentin, NSAIDs may raise the risk of specific adverse effects, such as drowsiness and dizziness.
  • Caffeine: High levels of caffeine have the potential to overstimulate by negating the calming effects of gabapentin.
  • Certain antipsychotic medications: There is a chance that taking gabapentin along with some antipsychotics will result in adverse effects such as sleepiness, dizziness, and trouble concentrating.

It's important to remember that not every medicine combination will work for everyone and that reactions to certain combinations may differ. To guarantee the safe and efficient use of drugs, always seek medical advice.

In conclusion, the necessity of following medical advice is underscored by the possible interactions between gabapentin and other medications. By promoting safety and the best possible therapeutic results, people can make more educated decisions about their pharmaceutical regimen with the aid of this understanding of interactions. To discuss the possible dangers and benefits of mixing gabapentin with oxycodone or with any other medicine, depending on your unique health profile, speak with your healthcare professional.

Treatment for Gabapentin and Oxycodone Addiction

While doctors may combine certain medications to alleviate their patient’s symptoms, they do so because they’re professionals in their field and because they know how your body works. Your doctor will only prescribe something to you if they’re sure it will help and not harm you.

However, if you’ve been prescribed gabapentin and oxycodone or any other opioid and you aren’t feeling well or find yourself taking more doses than prescribed, talk to your doctor right away. Both of these drugs are addictive and can lead to dependence if misused.

Moreover, dependence is a repercussion of oxycodone and Gabapentin addiction, which is marked by withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawals may occur when drug use is reduced or ceased and should only be done with the help of medical professionals.

Opioids and benzos can lead to uncomfortable and severe withdrawal symptoms. If you’re addicted to either of them or both and want to quit, you can do so safely with the help of the medically monitored detox offered at our drug rehab in Illinois.

In addition to medical detox, Banyan Treatment Centers Heartland also offers opioid and prescription drug addiction treatment to treat addictions to specific medications. Our goal is to provide patients with the skills and tools to get and stay sober for the rest of their lives.

To learn how our Heartland drug rehab can help you or a loved one overcome addiction, call us today at 888-280-4763, and one of our team members will discuss our inpatient substance abuse treatment in Illinois and the admissions process.

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.