Taking Vicodin With Gabapentin

In our latest question and answer, our pharmacist discusses the interaction between gabapentin and hydrocodone.

Question

Can gabapentin be taken 3 hours after Vicodin?

Asked by Sarah On Dec 08, 2017

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Dec 09, 2017

There is a moderate interaction between gabapentin and Vicodin (hydrocodone and acetaminophen) and caution is advised when taking them together. While taking them 3 hours apart may lessen the chance of an adverse reaction, the risk still remains.


There are two potential issues when taking gabapentin with Vicodin.


Gababentin Interacting With Hydrocodone

Studies show that taking gabapentin with Vicodin can potentially decrease the effect of hydrocodone by lowering the maximum concentration hydrocodone reaches in the blood. Hydrocodone levels can be reduced by up to 22% with co-administration. Note that this figure was attained when both medications were taken at the same time, not 3 hours apart.


Sedation

There is also a risk of additive sedation when taking gabapentin with Vicodin. Both can cause CNS (central nervous system) depression, drowsiness, confusion, and poor concentration. Taking both together may potentiate these effects.


In terms of taking gabapentin 3 hours after Vicodin, the chance of adverse reactions are certainly lessened, but there is still a risk. Each dose of gabapentin lasts about 4 to 12 hours in most people. A three hour difference in administration time would most likely not be enough time to completely clear gabapentin.


Now, there certainly are cases in which gabapentin and Vicodin can be taken together. They work by different mechanisms and are often used for different kinds of pain (hydrocodone for routine analgesia and gabapentin for nerve type pain). It is not uncommon for them to be prescribed and used together. It is just important to be aware of the risks. Below, is some additional information about the two drugs.


Vicodin is a combination narcotic used to treat moderate to severe pain. It works on the opioid receptors in the central nervous system, adjusting how one's brain responds to the feelings of pain.


Gabapentin is an anti-convulsant that works directly on nerves. It affects chemicals and nerves in the body to treat seizures and certain types of pain like nerve pain like diabetic neuropathy or post-herpetic pain caused by the herpes or shingles virus (herpes zoster). Gabapentin also is used to treat restless leg syndrome and seizures in those at least 3 years old. Gabapentin is likely to cause dizziness and drowsiness.


Speak to your physician about your concerns or if you are feeling off taking these medications. It is important as well to remember not to drive or drink alcohol while taking these. 

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Stacy Holcroft

Stacy Holcroft is retail pharmacist specializing in diabetes, heart disease, and oncology. Up to date with new drugs and research in these fields and others.

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