Why Is Snorting Gabapentin Not Recommended?

Medically Reviewed by: 

Picture of Dr. Marco M. Zahedi

Dr. Marco M. Zahedi

Medical Director, Compassion Recovery Center

Healthcare Writer

Picture of Dr. Michael Majeski

Dr. Michael Majeski

Licensed Psychologist (LP), Compassion Recovery Center

Table of Contents

Healthcare Writer

Picture of Dr. Michael Majeski

Dr. Michael Majeski

Licensed Psychologist (LP), Compassion Recovery Center

Snorting gabapentin brings adverse physical and mental health effects. If not shunned timely, gabapentin misuse can develop into an addiction, resulting in:

  • Psychological dependence
  • Vision Issues
  • Damage to the brain
  • Damage to the kidneys
  • Respiratory issues

One study shows that about 40-65% of people who are prescribed gabapentin end up misusing it. Understanding how gabapentin changes your normal functioning can help you take measures to abstain from misusing it. 

Whether you have abused prescription medicine intentionally or unintentionally, Compassion Recovery can help you. We provide customized treatment to help our clients begin their journey to recovery. Call us today  877-414-3007.

Gabapentin: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Gabapentin is a prescription medication used to treat pain and mental health issues. Gabapentin comes in capsules, tablets, and oral solutions. Snorting gabapentin is a form of misusing prescription medicine. And is specifically helpful for alleviating the following:

  • Pain in nerves
  • Seizures
  • Leg’s restlessness 
  • Hot flashes
  • Chronic pain

All three of them are a result of your brain being overstimulated. Gabapentin decreases this overstimulation by reducing the signals sent to the brain. It also releases GABA – the calming chemical in the brain. The combination of these effects eases the signs of pain and seizures.

Why Do People Snort Gabapentin?

Due to its pain-relieving effects, gabapentin carries the risk of misuse. One common way of misusing it is snorting gabapentin. Snorted gabapentin produces a certain sense of calm and empathy. Another enticing effect of gabapentin misuse is the high rate that an illicit drug or marijuana would produce. It is because of this high that people crush the capsules and snort gabapentin. Sniffing gabapentin brings a more intense euphoria that an oral intake might not.

What Happens If Gabapentin Is Snorted?

No matter how pleasurable sniffing gabapentin is, you should not misuse the drug. Here are a few effects that gabapentin snort can leave: 

1) Psychological Dependence

When you begin snorting, even 2-3 capsules can give you the needed euphoria. Over time, these 2-3 capsules won’t be enough to get you high. You’d start increasing the gabapentin dose to feel calm and high. This increase in gabapentin dose eventually ends up developing into psychological dependence. You can experience these signs without your daily dose of gabapentin:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Restlessness
  • Panic
  • Aggression

2) Concentration Difficulties

Gabapentin snort rapidly absorbs the drug in your bloodstream. It also increases the amount of GABA – the calming chemical in your system. Unfortunately, too much increase in GABA can result in difficulty concentrating and memory problems.

3) Blurred Vision

Snorting gabapentin can expand the blood vessels of your eyes. This expansion allows more blood to flow to the eyes, changing the color of the eyes. The continuous influx of increased blood can impair the vessels, resulting in blurred vision, leading to:

  • Abnormal eye movements
  • Dilated eye pupil
  • Red eyes

4) Respiratory Infections

Gabapentin snort weakens the cells that protect your respiratory tract against germs (bacteria and viruses) and toxins. With weak cells, your respiratory system becomes susceptible to infections, which can result in either of these signs:

  • Difficult breathing
  • Episodes of coughs
  • Chest pain
  • Rapid breathing

5) Kidney Problems

The rapid absorption of gabapentin into the blood can increase the quantity of the drug in your system beyond its tolerance levels. Gabapentin is removed from the system through the kidneys. With increased gabapentin in your system due to snorting, your kidney has to work harder to remove gabapentin, which can exhaust the kidney, eventually leading to drug toxicity.

6) Allergic Reactions

Taking gabapentin without a prescription, as in the case of snorting gabapentin, can lead to severe allergic reactions. You can encounter one or more of these allergic reactions to snorted gabapentin:

  • Swollen tongue or mouth
  • Skin turning blue or yellowish
  • Breathing issues
  • Skin Rashes

Gabapentin Withdrawal Symptoms

Since snorting gabapentin can develop an addiction, you can expect to experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly try to quit gabapentin. Some of the common gabapentin withdrawal symptoms: 

  • Headache
  • Exhaustion
  • Nausea
  • Chills and fever
  • Sleep issues
  • Muscle pain

If you notice any of these signs, know that this is your time to look around for help. Medical detox can help you quit gabapentin safely so you can avoid these withdrawal symptoms.

Do You Snort Gabapentin? Here Is The Treatment 

If you have snorted gabapentin intentionally or unintentionally, then today is the right time to seek help. Misusing gabapentin puts you at risk of abusing other substances, but reaching out to an addiction treatment center can help you prevent mixing gabapentin with other drugs. Compassion Recovery provides holistic addiction treatment catering to substance misuse, including snorting gabapentin. Call us at 877-414-3007 to know  

Commonly Asked Questions Answering Your Snorting Gabapentin Queries

If you or your loved ones have some concerns relating to gabapentin misuse, then we got you covered. Here are a few answers that can help you understand gabapentin’s use:

Can I Snort Gabapentin Capsules?

No, you shouldn’t snort gabapentin capsules. Snorting gabapentin adversely affects your physical and psychological health, leading to a dependence on gabapentin, which develops into a life-threatening addiction. You should always take your prescription and take gabapentin accordingly. 

Can You Get High Off Of Gabapentin?

Due to its relaxing properties, gabapentin can produce a significant effect when it is misused. However, gabapentin is safe to use when taken according to the prescription.

Is Gabapentin A Controlled Substance?

Gabapentin is an uncontrolled substance. When used according to the prescription, gabapentin does not lead to an addiction. However, misusing it can cause euphoria that eventually develops into physical and psychological dependence. 

How Long Does Gabapentin Stay In Your System?

Gabapentin has an average half-life of 6.5 hours, which means it can take more than 6 hours for half of the gabapentin to leave your body. For a complete elimination of gabapentin from the body, it can take as much as 48 hours. 

Does Gabapentin Cause Euphoria?

When taken according to the prescription, gabapentin does not cause any euphoric effects. 

1. National Center For Biotechnology Center. 2024. Gabapentin


2. National Center For Biotechnology Center. 2023. Physiology, GABA


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