Does Abilify interact with gabapentin? (+3 interactions)

In this article, we will discuss whether Abilify interacts with gabapentin. We will also mention the possible interactions between Abilify and gabapentin and other relevant information. 

Does Abilify interact with gabapentin? 

Yes, Abilify interacts with gabapentin and the risk and severity of adverse effects are increased when these medications are used together (1). Abilify is the brand name for aripiprazole which is an atypical antipsychotic (2). 

Abilify is utilized in the management of conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autistic disorder (2).

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant medication effective in treating seizures and nerve pain and used for conditions like postherpetic neuralgia, partial onset seizures, and restless leg syndrome (RLS) (3). 

Abilify can be prescribed with gabapentin under some conditions. This decision is made by the healthcare provider and the medications should not be combined without medical oversight. 

Why does Abilify interact with gabapentin?

Abilify interacts with gabapentin because they both affect neurotransmitters in the brain and the combined use can increase the side effects.

Abilify interacts with the receptors like serotonin, dopamine, histamine, and alpha-1 adrenergic receptors. It acts as a partial agonist at some serotonin and dopamine receptors and an antagonist at serotonin 5-HT2A receptors (2). 

The precise mechanism through which gabapentin produces its effects is not known. It has structural similarities with the neurotransmitter GABA but it doesn’t influence GABA in any way (3)

Gabapentin also binds to the alpha-2-delta-1 subunit of voltage-activated calcium channels however, the therapeutic effects of this binding are unknown (3). 

What are the possible interactions between Abilify and gabapentin? 

Abilify and gabapentin when combined increase the risk of CNS, gastrointestinal (GI), psychiatric, and metabolic side effects.

CNS side effects: 

Taking Abilify with gabapentin can increase the risk of CNS side effects including dizziness, sedation, and somnolence (2,4). Clinical studies have demonstrated that Abilify and gabapentin are associated with these side effects (2,4). 

Thus, patients taking these drugs together may experience reduced alertness and cognitive and motor impairment. Abilify and gabapentin combination may also increase the risk of suicidal ideation (2,4). 

Gastrointestinal side effects: 

Abilify is associated with side effects like nausea, vomiting, constipation, dry mouth, and dyspepsia and these side effects are also reported with gabapentin (2,4). Thus, taking Abilify with gabapentin increases the incidence of GI side effects.

Psychiatric side effects: 

Taking Abilify with gabapentin may increase the risk of psychiatric side effects like agitation, restlessness, insomnia, and anxiety as they have been reported as side effects of Abilify and gabapentin (2,4). 

Metabolic side effects: 

Abilify can cause metabolic side effects like an increase in blood glucose levels, dyslipidemia, and an increase in body weight (2). Weight gain and hyperglycemia have also been observed in patients taking gabapentin (4). 

In rare cases, Abilify can cause hyponatremia. The risk of hyponatremia is also present with gabapentin and the risk may increase when the medications are taken together (2,4). Symptoms of hyponatremia include (5):

  • anorexia
  • tiredness
  • nausea
  • headache
  • vomiting
  • agitation
  • muscle cramps 

Can you take Abilify with gabapentin? 

Research indicates that antipsychotic drugs like Abilify and antiepileptic drugs like gabapentin are frequently prescribed together (6).

The combination of Abilify and gabapentin might be used to treat psychiatric disorders or to manage neuropathic pain or seizures that may occur with psychiatric issues. 

Research suggests that gabapentin is effective in managing partially responsive schizophrenia when used along with antipsychotics (7). Thus, Abilify can be used with gabapentin if prescribed by the healthcare provider. 

How to take Abilify with gabapentin? 

Abilify and gabapentin are prescription drugs and should not be taken without medical oversight. Your healthcare provider will decide if taking both drugs is suitable for you. 

Your healthcare provider will make the necessary dose adjustments while prescribing these drugs together. Take the medications exactly as prescribed by the healthcare provider. Both medications can be taken with or without food. 

Do not increase or reduce the dose by yourself. If you feel dizzy and sleepy while taking the medications, avoid driving and operating heavy machinery. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience the symptoms of hyponatremia or suicidal thoughts. 

In my perspective, Abilify and gabapentin interact with each other because they both act on neurotransmitters in the brain. Using them together increases the risk of adverse effects. 

Taking Abilify with gabapentin increases the risk of CNS, GI, metabolic, and psychiatric side effects. Abilify can be prescribed with gabapentin in some conditions.

Contact your healthcare provider if you experience serious adverse effects while taking Abilify with gabapentin. 

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