Is gabapentin a anti inflammatory?

Gabapentin is a drug that has become increasingly popular for its use in the treatment of neurological disorders. However, there have been rumors circulating around it being an anti-inflammatory as well. But is gabapentin a true anti-inflammatory? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

What is Gabapentin?

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant medication used to treat seizures and nerve pain caused by shingles or herpes virus. It was first approved by the FDA in 1993 and since then, numerous studies have shown its efficacy in treating other conditions such as restless leg syndrome and anxiety disorders.

How does Gabapentin work?

This drug works by calming down overactive brain cells which are responsible for transmitting pain signals to the body. It also enhances production of gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), which serves as one of the vital neurotransmitters responsible for promoting relaxation and inhibiting anxiety.

The Science Behind Inflammation

Before delving any further into whether or not gabapentin acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, let’s check some basics on inflammation:

Inflammation refers to how our bodies respond when attacked from harmful foreign substances like bacteria, viruses or toxins.
It causes dilation of blood vessels causing redness and swelling at site(s) where invaders were sensed.
The immune system ‘smartly’ deploys white blood cells in combat mode via releasing cytokines (cell communicating molecules)^1
There are two types: acute inflammation – immediately after injury / pathogen detection lasts up to couple weeks; chronic inflammation – lasting months-to-years^2

Factors contributing towards inflammation consist of lifestyle choices such as diet, injuries or uncertainties if certain organs themselves are functioning optimally alongside diseases examples arthritis/tendonitis etc.^3

But how do we address this reaction happening inside/outside us without depleting our bodies of energy and resources? This is where anti-inflammatory medication comes in!

Anti-Inflammatory Medications

These are drugs used to suppress the body’s immune system by blocking some cell pathways involved with inflammation. As a result, they provide fast relief from symptoms like pain or swelling.

There are different types of anti-inflammatory medications available in the market such as Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) which serve mainly for stuff ranging from fever otherwise headaches to inflammatory infections.^4

Another type includes glucocorticoids such as cortisone and prednisone that get prescribed for treating autoimmune diseases^5

The Relationship between Gabapentin and Inflammation

Now that we have recognized gabapentin functions primarily by regulating neurological activity rather than influencing the immune system, it becomes clear that this drug cannot be classified entirely as an anti-inflammatory medication.

Furthermore, there has been no data showing its effects on cytokines (molecules produced during inflammation), henceforth proposing it contains nothing within its ingredients/mechanism of action directly dealing with expanding/reducing blood vessels’ diameters(vasodilation/vasoconstriction)^6


Research suggests potential benefits when researchers assessed Multiple Sclerosis patients who had shown improvement through reduction of spasticity levels /drug consumption after merging their treatments with gabapentin.
Apart from having beneficial association + tolerance to corticosteroid therapy ^7, It actively interacts along certain channels responsible for preserving calcium cation’s current state among sensory neurons throughout spinal cord/cortex etc; noting other research has observed correlation between increase neural /blood glutamate concentrations leading towards exaggerated sensitivity involving peripheral nociceptors

This would quite possibly imply gabapentin may have some contributions relating to inhibiting glial activation across varied regions(^8) though not being fully confirmed so further clinical trials will be necessary investigating whether incorporating gabapentin in prescribed medication could help address potential harm caused by inflammation.

Gabapentin Side Effects

Whilst gabapentin isn’t an anti-inflammatory drug in itself, its effectivity primarily comes down to how our brains/sensory nerves are transmitting/processing pain signals as discussed earlier. Nevertheless; it’s vital we discuss possible side effects of the drug on people who have taken doses exceeding than what is recommended^ 9

  1. Nausea/Vomiting
  2. Drowsiness / dizziness
  3. Mental confusion ‑ mild personality changes due to miscalibration with other drugs ^10
    4 .Memory loss.
    5.Physical coordination impairment

In conclusion, even though many reports suggest that gabapentin may behave as a skeletal muscle relaxant and can control neuropathic pain resulting from overactive nerve terminals, it cannot be considered as an outright ‘anti-inflammatory’ agent.

That being said, there are certain indications through research suggesting it could potentially play a part alongside traditional therapy- however clinical trials still lack sufficient evidence confirming this outcome in multiples.^11

Nonetheless containing effective properties + reduced addiction dependency compared with lower back-pain medications – this lab product remains at a significant standing thus helping millions across varying ailments feel comfort and hope toward improved well-being!

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