The lethal dose of gabapentin has not been determined. In an FDA study, no lethal dose was found in mice and rats receiving doses as high as 8,000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg).
A regular dosage of gabapentin for children aged 3 to 11 years is up to 50 mg/kg per day. In those ages 12 years and above, it’s 300 mg to 600 mg three times a day.
Learn more about the lethal doses of commonly abused drugs.
Determining The Toxicity Of Gabapentin
Gabapentin, known by the brand name Neurontin, belongs to a class of medications called anticonvulsants, which serve to calm hyperactivity in the brain.
It’s most often used to control seizures in those who have epilepsy, but it has a range of uses, such as treating patients with chronic kidney disease and pain caused by shingles.
Gabapentin is generally regarded as a safe medication with rare incidents of overdose.
However, a 2010 study found that notable gabapentin toxicity was found in chronic kidney disease patients. Researchers suggest that this is an under-recognized area of study.
How Likely Is A Gabapentin Overdose?
It is difficult to overdose on gabapentin and highly unlikely to die from taking an excess of gabapentin. There are comparatively few known deaths from gabapentin toxicity.
In one case, a 62-year-old woman intentionally ingested an excess of gabapentin. Another known death was a 47-year-old woman who took 26 tablets of 600 mg gabapentin.
However, while gabapentin alone rarely causes an overdose, the medication is increasingly implicated in overdose deaths.
According to the CDC, gabapentin has been detected in nearly one out of 10 overdose deaths. Also, of the overdose deaths where gabapentin is implicated, 90% of those involved opioids.
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Recognizing The Signs Of A Gabapentin Overdose
There have been reports of negative effects of gabapentin even when taken at the correct dosage.
Acute oral overdose of up to 49 grams has been reported.
Be aware of the following signs of overdose if you or a loved one take this medication:
- double vision
- slurred speech
- muscle weakness
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Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
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- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — NEURONTIN (gabapentin)
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Gabapentin
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: PubMed — Gabapentin toxicity in patients with chronic kidney disease: a preventable cause of morbidity
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: PubMed — Suicide by gabapentin overdose
- ResearchGate — An acute gabapentin fatality: a case report with postmortem concentrations
- JAMA Network - Gabapentin Increasingly Implicated in Overdose Deaths
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Notes from the Field: Trends in Gabapentin Detection and Involvement in Drug Overdose Deaths — 23 States and the District of Columbia, 2019–2020