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Is Xanax and Gabapentin a Safe Mixing Combination (How Much?)

Xanax and gabapentin cannot be safely mixed recreationally. Doing so can result in dangerous effects.

Xanax and Gabapentin: The Basics

Xanax and gabapentin belong to two different classes of drugs, but they can have some overlapping effects on the body, which can cause dangerous drug interactions.

Xanax is the trade name for alprazolam, which is a medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.

Alprazolam is in the benzodiazepine class of drugs. It is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for anxiety and panic conditions.

Gabapentin is a medication marketed under the trade name Neurontin. It is used to treat epilepsy and related seizure disorders as well as restless leg syndrome (RLS).

Gabapentin is classified as an anticonvulsant, and it works by decreasing the abnormal excitement in the brain that occurs with these kinds of disorders. It can also relieve certain forms of pain by changing the way the body senses and responds to pain.

rocks balancing

Potential Dangers of Combining Xanax and Gabapentin

Mixing Xanax and gabapentin can result in a dangerous drug interaction, overdose, or death. Drug combinations can have unexpected side effects and can exacerbate the existing side effects for both drugs.

Xanax does have risk of misuse, and as with other benzodiazepines, it can become habit-forming. Xanax has a sedative effect, so the dangers associated with its use include impaired motor skills, inability to drive, oversedation, reduced respiratory rate, and depressed heart rate.

Gabapentin has been thought to have no potential for abuse, but evidence has linked gabapentin to misuse and abuse. Some people who use gabapentin have found that it can trigger feelings of euphoria and relaxation, similar to other habit-forming drugs like benzodiazepines and opioids.

Both Xanax and gabapentin can have relaxing effects, which means that they can interact. These effects can be amplified when taken in combination. With this enhanced relaxation, oversedation becomes a concern.

Oversedation can increase the risk of injury or dangerous behaviors due to loss of motor skills and coordination, particularly while driving a vehicle. The greatest potential danger of oversedation can be respiratory depression and slowed heart rate, which can cause someone to stop breathing and die.

Is There a Safe Amount of Gabapentin and Xanax That Can Be Mixed?

There may be some people for whom Xanax and Gabapentin are both prescribed for different conditions. In these cases, the prescribing physician needs to be aware of all drugs and supplements an individual is taking, so the doctor can make informed recommendations about dosage levels and the timing of ingestion.

There may be levels of safe consumption for some individuals, but there could be adjustments that need to be made by the prescribing doctor in consideration of the individual’s needs. They may recommend taking the medication at different times of the day or adjusting dosages to ensure limited drug interactions.

There is no safe amount of Xanax and gabapentin that can be consumed outside of a doctor’s supervision. These drugs can interact in unpredictable and dangerous ways if the user is not prescribed them for legitimate medical needs.

Furthermore, the risk of counterfeit drugs is a concern when drugs are purchased from illicit markets rather than licensed pharmacies. Counterfeit drugs that are purchased on the street and sold as prescription drugs may have been cut with unknown substances. They could even contain none of the intended drug.

These counterfeit medications could cause serious injury to unsuspecting users who think they are purchasing a prescription medication manufactured by a legitimate source.

To reduce the risk of dangerous drug interactions, only take gabapentin and Xanax as prescribed and only purchase them from a licensed pharmacy.

drug effects

What Are the Short-Term and Long-Term Effects?

Both of these medication come with the risk of side effects, which can escalate and get worse with long-term use. Any individual who takes these medication for a prolonged period of time may develop a tolerance to the drugs, causing their effectiveness to decrease.

Short-term effects of Xanax include the following:

• Drowsiness
• Relaxation
• Headache
• Dizziness
• Dry mouth
• Talkativeness
• Irritability

The following are short-term effects of gabapentin:

• Muscle relaxation
• Pain reduction
• Hallucinations
• Drowsiness
• Feeling drunk or high
• More energy
• Anxiety
• Increased appetite

The longer you take both of these medication, the more likely you will be to experience some of the associated long-term side effects from both. The more serious risks associated with both drugs also increases the longer you take them.

The following are long-term effects of Xanax use:

• Impaired memory
• Weight changes
• Constipation
• Changes in sex drive
• Addiction

The following are long-term effects of gabapentin:

• Tolerance
• Withdrawal symptoms
• Weight gain
• Suicidal ideation

People who have a history of addiction should be careful about taking Xanax and gabapentin, even for prescribed use, because of the potential risk of addiction.

woman sitting from drug use

Can You Overdose on Xanax and Gabapentin?

You can overdose on any combination of drugs, especially if you take them in combination or in any manner other than the prescribed dose and method of ingestion. If you have been prescribed both of these medications, speak with your doctor about the correct timing of the dosages to ensure that the combination is not oversedating you.

The risk of overdose increases if you take combinations of drug that have not been prescribed or if you take more than you have been prescribed. Polysubstance misuse is the most common cause of accidental overdose.

Researchers have focused on prescription drug abuse as an area of concern. Studies have found that prescription drug abuse is a major contributor to increasing overdose death rates. Benzodiazepines such as Xanax are associated with dangerous drug combinations resulting in emergency room visits and related overdose deaths.

Overdose can also happen if individuals consume the drugs in manners other than intended, such as crushing and snorting the drugs. These alternative methods of ingestion can cause the drug to be more rapidly absorbed into the body, amplifying its effects and speeding delivery into the brain.

Overdosing on Xanax and gabapentin could cause respiratory depression. This could result in stopped breathing and even death.

What if I Consume Xanax and Gabapentin Together?

Any time you consume two substances, especially substances with a potential risk of overdose, carefully monitor for symptoms of physiological or psychological distress, as these could indicate more serious problems developing in the body.

If you notice any of the following symptoms, seek medical care immediately:

• Oversedation
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Impaired breathing
• Loss of coordination
• Confusion
• Unconsciousness
• Weak or rapid pulse

These could be signs of a serious overdose. They require evaluation by medical professionals to prevent potential fatalities.

If you have been prescribed both Xanax and Gabapentin, follow dosage and ingestion instructions carefully.

References

Alprazolam. (January 2019). U.S. National Library of Medicine.

A Qualitative Analysis of Gabapentin Misuse and Diversion. (February 2018). Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

A review of Alprazolam Use, Misuse, and Withdrawal. January 2018). Journal of Addiction Medicine.

Benzodiazepines. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Benzodiazepine use, misuse, and abuse: a review. (May 2016). Mental Health Clinician.

Gabapentin. (January 2019) U.S. National Library of Medicine.

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