How Long Does Gabapentin Last? Withdrawal and Treatment

How Long Does Gabapentin Last? Gabapentin would be eliminated from most people’s systems after five to eight half-lives have transpired.

How Long Does Gabapentin Last in Your System?

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant that is sold under the brand name Neurontin. It is used to treat seizure disorders and some types of nerve pain. Gabapentinoids are the name of the type of drug that it is. Most often, it is used to treat epilepsy, restless leg syndrome, hot flashes, and pain that comes from nerves. Most people who abuse Gabapentin are already addicted to opioids or other drugs. People who have taken too much Gabapentin have said it makes them feel calm and happy and gives them a high similar to marijuana.

Gabapentin comes in versions that work immediately and take longer to work. Most of the time, it is taken as a pill. Based on what we know about the drug, the half-life of gabapentin in most people is between 5 and 7 hours. The half-life of a drug is the amount of time it takes for the body to break down the drug to half of how much it was in the bloodstream at the start.

Most people’s bodies would be completely clean of gabapentin after five to eight half-lives have passed. Since gabapentin has an average half-life of about seven hours in most people, it will take about 48 hours for the drug to leave the body. However, this process can be affected by other things. For example, extended-release forms of gabapentin would keep releasing the drug over time, making it easier to find for longer.

How Long Does Gabapentin Withdrawal Last?

Gabapentin withdrawal can vary in duration depending on several factors, such as the dosage, duration of use, and individual differences. Withdrawal symptoms typically peak within the first few days and gradually subside over 1 to 2 weeks. However, some individuals may experience prolonged withdrawal symptoms lasting several weeks or even months.

How Long Does Gabapentin Last for Anxiety?

Gabapentin can help with anxiety for different amounts of time, depending on the person taking it and how it was made. Most of the time, immediate-release gabapentin works for about 6 to 8 hours and then stops working. On the other hand, extended-release formulations can have effects that can last up to 24 hours.

The FDA has not approved gabapentin to treat anxiety disorders. A doctor may prescribe it for anxiety symptoms even though it’s not on the label, but the length of time it works and how well it works for each person may be different. When taking gabapentin or any other medicine for anxiety, it’s always best to do what a doctor tells you.

Gabapentin Drug Fact Sheet

What is Gabapentin?

Drug class: anticonvulsants

Gabapentin treats seizures by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. Gabapentin relieves PHN’s pain by changing how the body senses pain. It is not known exactly how gabapentin works to treat restless legs syndrome.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Gabapentin capsules, tablets, and oral solutions are used with other medications to help control certain types of seizures in people with epilepsy.

Gabapentin capsules, tablets, and oral solution are also used to relieve the pain of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN, the burning, stabbing pain or aches that may last for months or years after an attack of shingles).

Gabapentin extended-release tablets (Horizant) treat restless legs syndrome (RLS, which causes discomfort and a strong urge to move the legs, especially at night and when sitting or lying down).

Other uses for this medicine

Gabapentin is also sometimes used to relieve the pain of diabetic neuropathy (numbness or tingling due to nerve damage in people who have diabetes) and to treat and prevent hot flashes (sudden strong feelings of heat and sweating) in women who are being treated for breast cancer or who have experienced menopause (”change of life”, the end of monthly menstrual periods). Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that serious breathing difficulties may occur in patients using gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant) or pregabalin (Lyrica, Lyrica CR) who have respiratory risk factors.

These include opioid pain medicines and other drugs that depress the central nervous system and conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that reduce lung function. The elderly are also at higher risk.

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Gabapentin Abuse Statistics

Prevalence of gabapentin misuse in the general population was reported to be 1%, 40– 65% among individuals with prescriptions, and between 15–22% within populations of people who abuse opioids. An array of subjective experiences reminiscent of opioids, benzodiazepines, and psychedelics were reported over various doses, including those within clinical recommendations. Gabapentin was primarily misused for recreational purposes, self-medication, or intentional self-harm and was misused alone or in combination with other substances, especially opioids, benzodiazepines, and/or alcohol. Individuals with histories of drug abuse were most often involved in its misuse.


Neuropathic pain affects up to 8% of the population, causing significant distress and morbidity. Gabapentin is one of the recommended mainstays of evidence-based treatment.

Source: NCBI


The prevalence of gabapentin abuse in the general population was reported to be 1%,

Source: SAMHSA


40–65% among individuals with prescriptions and between 15–22% within populations of people
who abuses opioids also abuses gabapentin

Source: SAMHSA

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How Does Gabapentin Work?

The neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is thought to be involved in the therapeutic effects of gabapentin. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that dampens neural activity and lessens the impact of painful stimuli. Gabapentin works by binding to alpha-2-delta subunits of specific receptors in the brain that play a role in the release of excitatory neurotransmitters. Inhibiting the release of glutamate and other neurotransmitters that have been linked to epileptic seizures and neuropathic pain, gabapentin binds to these receptors.

The effectiveness of gabapentin in treating epilepsy, neuropathic pain, and possibly other conditions is attributed, in part, to this mechanism of action. However, more study is needed to determine precisely how gabapentin works.

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Dangers of Gabapentin Abuse

Abusing gabapentin is dangerous and can cause some bad things to happen. Some possible risks of taking too much gabapentin are:

  • Dependence and addiction: Gabapentin is not a controlled substance but can still be addicting if used incorrectly. People who abuse gabapentin may become physically and mentally dependent on it, making it hard to stop.
  • Respiratory Depression can happen if you take too much gabapentin or combine it with other drugs like opioids or benzodiazepines. This severe condition causes people to breathe slowly or shallowly, which can be life-threatening.
  • Overdose: You can have an overdose if you take too much gabapentin. If you take too much gabapentin, you might feel sleepy, confused, dizzy, have a slower heart rate, or even lose consciousness. An overdose can be fatal in the worst cases.
  • Cognitive Impairment: Taking too much gabapentin has been linked to problems with memory, concentrating, and making good decisions. These effects can make it hard to do everyday things and make accidents more likely.
  • Gabapentin can interact with other medicines, especially those that affect the central nervous system. When you mix gabapentin with other drugs, like alcohol or sedatives, the sedative effects can increase, and the risk of side effects increases.
  • Effects on mental health: Abusing gabapentin can make some people’s mental health problems worse, such as more anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts.

Does Gabapentin Make You Last Longer in Bed?

Gabapentin is mainly used to stop seizures and ease nerve pain. It is not meant to improve sexual performance or help with problems like ejaculating too soon or being unable to get an erection. Some people may notice changes in their sexual function as a side effect of gabapentin. Still, talk to a healthcare professional or doctor specializing in sexual health for personalized advice and treatment options for any sexual concerns.

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Treatment Options for Gabapentin Abuse

At We Level Up, we have many ways to help people who are addicted to Gabapentin beat their addiction and take back control of their lives. Our treatment plans are made to fit the needs of each individual, and they may include:

  • Medical Detox: If someone is very dependent on gabapentin, a medically supervised detox process may be needed to help with withdrawal symptoms and make sure they are safe. Healthcare professionals can slowly lower the dose to make the withdrawal process less painful.
  • Behavioral Therapies: Behavioral therapies, like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can treat people who abuse gabapentin. These therapies help people figure out why they use drugs, learn how to deal with their problems and change their behavior for the better.
  • Support Groups: Joining a support group like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or another group for people recovering from addiction can help people connect with people who understand their struggles. While getting better, these groups offer help, support, and a sense of belonging.
  • Individual counseling: Talking to a therapist or counselor one-on-one can help a person figure out how their thoughts, feelings, and actions are connected to their abuse of gabapentin. This therapy can help people find ways to stop cravings, deal with triggers, and avoid relapse.
  • Dual Diagnosis Treatment: If a person abuses gabapentin and has a mental health disorder, they may need a treatment plan for both conditions. To get the best results, dual diagnosis treatment combines treatment for substance abuse with help for mental health.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment: Healthcare professionals may sometimes suggest medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help with cravings and withdrawal symptoms. As part of a whole treatment plan, medicines like buprenorphine or naltrexone may be used.

Our team of experienced professionals is committed to helping people through recovery and giving them the tools they need to stay sober. If you or someone you care about is abusing Gabapentin, contact We Level Up to learn about treatment options and get started on a healthier, drug-free life.

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