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?
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.
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 Banyan rehab in Gilman, Illinois believes that opioid treatment is crucial for long-term recovery from oxycodone addiction.
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 gabapentin and oxycodone include:
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.
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 pain killers to provide relief.
On the other hand, some people mix oxycodone and gabapentin simply to get high. Like 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 at the moment, 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 mental disorder.
While doctors may combine certain medications to alleviate their patients’ 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 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 they need to get and stay sober for the rest of their lives.