Is Pregabalin the Same as Gabapentin? Patients suffering from spinal cord injury (SCI) find difficulty leading their normal lives. There can be certain reasons for SCI such as anxiety disorders, depression, and sleeping disorders and these factors have severe effects on your daily life. Pregabalin and Gabapentin turn out to be the best cure for neuropathic pain, however, they both vary in their effectiveness.
What are Pregabalin and Gabapentin?
Neuropathic pains (pain from damaged nerves) caused by postherpetic neuralgia and diabetic peripheral neuropathy have an intense impact on a human’s life, so far Pregabalin and Gabapentin are found to be the first-rate treatment for such cases.
Both Pregabalin and Gabapentin are primarily anticonvulsant drugs (or convulsant is a sudden, harsh, uncontrollable movement of the body caused by involuntary contraction of muscles, which is linked with brain disorders like epilepsy may be in the presence of certain body toxins. Besides treating neuropathic pains, these drugs are also used for treating low back pain, sciatica, and migraine.
Here, we will understand what pregabalin and gabapentin are and determine Is Pregabalin the Same as Gabapentin?
Uses of Pregabalin and Gabapentin
Pregabalin and Gabapentin help the patient cure neuropathic pain that creates burning, stabbing aches that may persist for months or years after attacks of shingles that may occur in your arms, hands, fingers, feet, legs, and toes. The drug comes in three forms, capsules, oral or a liquid solution, and extended-release or long-lasting tablets.
An oral form or a capsule form is used for relieving pains that occur due to spinal cord injury and curing pregabalin capsules and oral solutions are also used to relieve neuropathic pain that can occur after a spinal cord injury and cure fibromyalgia (a long-lasting illness that may cause ache, muscle stiffness, tenderness, tiredness, and difficulty at sleeping).
The capsules and oral solutions treat various types of seizures in adults and children of 1 month of age and older.
These medicines help decrease or suppress the pain signals released by damaged nerves in the body.
Is Pregabalin the same as Gabapentin? Well, the functioning of the two drugs is the same, however, if there is any difference, we will know this further.
How does Pregabalin Different from Gabapentin?
Is Pregabalin the Same as Gabapentin? GABA orgamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the amino acid source of Pregabalin and Gabapentin. Pregabalin is an active S-enantiomer of 3-aminomethyl-5-methyl-hexonic acid and has similar pharmacological functioning as Gabapentin. These drugs belong to a class resembling alpha-2-delta protein in the CNS. Also, they have the same effectiveness in neuropathic disorders.
Though Paragabalin shows equivalent efficacy to Gabapentin, between these two, Pregabalin has only got approval from the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for the management of diabetic peripheral neuropathy and post-herpetic neuralgia.
Besides this, Pregabalin can work at a lower dosage on neuropathic pains. The reason is, that a low dosage of this drug has much higher bioavailability (around 90%, while Gabapentin has only 33-60%) and gets rapidly absorbed in a maximum of 1 hour.
Including this, Pergabalin increases plasma concentrations in your body with the increasing dose, which is not true with Gabapentin, as it takes 3-4 long hours post-dose to get it absorbed in the body. Talking about plasma concentrations, Gabapentin shows a non-linear relationship to increasing doses.
Other than the above advantages, Pergabalin shows distinguishing merits over Gabapentin which is:
Pregabalin shows greater potency in pain and seizure disorders and greater analgesic activity in rodent models of neuropathic pains (as per a study done by Fehrenbacher et al). The study done by M. Vera-Llonch et al concluded that Pregabalin provides better analgesic outcomes than Gabapentin in a 12- weeks period only.
Further, D. Wesche et al studied that pregabalin has more plasma concentrations than gabapentin and is 2.5 times more potential than Gabapentin.
As per pharmacokinetic terms, pregabalin has distinguishing advantages over gabapentin.
Side Effects of Pregabalin and Gabapentin
You need to make sure the side effects before starting your treatment with Pregabalin and Gabapentin:
- Drowsiness or lightheadedness
- Involuntary moving of the body parts
- Blurred vision
- Anxiety, stress
- Memory illness – difficulty in remembering things
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Lack of balance
- Lack of coordination
- Unusual thoughts
- Vomiting and nausea
- Uncontrollable eye movements
- Indigestion and Diarrhea
- Dryness in mouth
- Obesity and fatigues
- Swelling of hands, feet, lower legs
- Back pains
- Pain in joints
- Slurred speech
- High or elevated mood
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Flu-like signs
- Ear pain
- Runny nose, sneezing,
- Cough, sore throat
- Flu-like symptoms
Warnings and Precautions
When getting surgery like dental surgery, inform your doctor about taking Pregabalin or Gabapentin.
Avoid taking alcohol while taking these medications, as there can be drug interaction and cause drowsiness.
If you are on medication for mental illness or epilepsy, inform your doctor if there are side effects. Pregabalin and Gabapentin may have unexpected changes on your mental health such as suicidal ideations or suicidal attempts.
If you are going to start the Pregabalin course, you must mention the following medicines (if you are taking one of them already):
- Sleeping pills or tranquilizers
Key Takeaways on Pregabalin and Gabapentin
Is Pregabalin the Same as Gabapentin?
Pregabalin and Gabapentin are effective for related pain disorders other than shingles and diabetes. Consult your doctor before taking them as a painkiller.
Around 40% of the patients suffering from post-herpetic neuralgia or diabetic peripheral neuropathy find 50% improvement in their health with these drugs when taken 8 weeks or longer.
When consulting a doctor regarding the course of Pregabalin or Gabapentin, it is advised to discuss your medical history, such as already taking medicine or illnesses with your doctor.
Taking these neuropathic drugs you may feel dizzy, drowsy, or may get peripheral oedema, or gait disturbance. If the situation continues, discuss this with your doctor. If the situation worsens, stop the medicine immediately and consult your doctor.
If you are already taking opioid drugs such as narcotine, and codeine, taking pregabalin and gabapentin is prohibited, as the drug interaction causes death.