In this article, I’m going to educate you on the combination of gabapentin and Suboxone. Many people have gotten mixed answers from doctors and articles on the internet about using gabapentin and Suboxone together.
Thus, I decided this would be a good subject to write about and end the confusion by bringing clarity to the topic.
So…can you take gabapentin and Suboxone together?
I’ll answer this question and provide you with reasons to back up my claims that come from:
- Years of Research
- Client Testimonials
- Drug Pharmacology
Most medications have black and white answers when it comes to their combinations. However, with gabapentin and Suboxone, it’s a gray area.
I’ll do my best to explain this in a simple way that makes sense.
To begin, let’s start with a brief overview of Suboxone, then I’ll provide an overview of gabapentin.
And after covering the basics on gabapentin and Suboxone, I’ll teach you about the interactions of these two drugs, and why some doctors say it’s dangerous, while other doctors commonly prescribe the two together.
Table of Contents
Gabapentin and Suboxone – Suboxone Overview
Suboxone is a brand name medication consisting of two drugs – buprenorphine, and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a controlled substance and semisynthetic opioid derivative of thebaine.
Buprenorphine attaches and binds to the same opioid receptors in the brain and other parts of the body that drugs like heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and other opioids bind to. Once it attaches to these receptors, it mimics the effects that opioid drugs produce (though it’s not as powerful).
For this reason, buprenorphine is known as a “partial opioid agonist.”
The other opiate drugs I just mentioned are known as “full opioid agonists,” because they activate the receptors in a stronger and more complete way than buprenorphine. See the illustration below.
Naloxone is the other compound present in Suboxone. Naloxone is a pure opioid antagonist. It’s the drug given to people that overdose because an injection of naloxone puts the opioid-user into instant withdrawal, thus saving them from health issues and death.
Naloxone was put into the Suboxone formulation to deter people from injecting it, which would lead to precipitated withdrawal. Taken orally, naloxone isn’t bioavailable. A common misconception is that naloxone blocks the opiates.
This is false.
The truth is that buprenorphine binds so strongly to the opioid receptors that it’s actually the buprenorphine which blocks opioids.
Gabapentin and Suboxone – Gabapentin Overview
Gabapentin, sold under the brand names Neurontin among others, is a prescription medication that was designed by chemists at Parke-Davis to be an analog of the neurotransmitter GABA that could more easily cross the blood-brain barrier, thus making the effects in the brain very significant.
GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that acts as a mental relaxant. I often to refer to GABA as the “brain’s natural Valium.”
Gabapentin is commonly prescribed for the treatment of:
- Hot Flashes
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Neuropathic Pain
Gabapentin is also commonly prescribed for many off-label uses, such as the treatment of:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Anxiety Disorders
Gabapentin For Opiate Withdrawal
In addition to gabapentin being useful in the disorders mentioned above, multiple studies have shown significant benefits from using gabapentin for opiate withdrawal.
In fact, whenever I have coaching clients that have consultations with me, I always ask them if they have the ability to get gabapentin as it’s one of my favorite opiate withdrawal medications out of dozens I’ve studied.
Gabapentin and Suboxone Taken Together
So now we’ve arrived at the section on using gabapentin and Suboxone together. To provide you with the best answer, I’m going to quote a passage from what I believe to be the most reliable source on the internet…Drugs.com.
Here is what this authority website states on the combination of gabapentin and Suboxone:
Using buprenorphine together with other medications that also cause central nervous system depression can lead to serious side effects such as respiratory distress, coma, and even death. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not interact, or you may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring to safely use both medications.”
Gabapentin and buprenorphine are both central nervous system (CNS) depressants. Gabapentin and Suboxone by themselves can both cause respiratory depression and used together, this results in synergy.
Gabapentin/Suboxone synergy is when the combined effect is greater than the sum of the effects of these two CNS depressants.
When you combine two CNS depressants, in this case, gabapentin and Suboxone, this significantly increases the chances of respiratory depression and can ultimately lead to death from your body not breathing anymore.
However, it can be safe to use gabapentin and Suboxone together.
Because your doctor can adjust your doses of medication and frequently monitor you to make sure your body does okay with the combination of gabapentin and Suboxone.
Gabapentin and Suboxone – Final Thoughts
Now you’ve been educated on the combination of gabapentin and Suboxone. Drugs.com states that there is a “Major” interaction between these two drugs.
However, the website also states “Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not interact, or you may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring to safely use both medications.”
As long as you’re under the care of a competent doctor, using gabapentin and Suboxone together can be totally safe. Always listen to your body and start off on low dosages then work your way up when combining gabapentin and Suboxone.
If you have any comments or questions on using gabapentin and Suboxone together, please post them in the comment box below. Take care, and be safe.