Side Effects of Gaba and Xanax

Side effects experienced by one patient may bypass another. Alprazolam, the generic name for Xanax, treats anxiety disorders. Gabapentin, often prescribed under the brand name Neurontin, combats epileptic conditions. Physicians prescribe both drugs to treat Federal Drug Administration-approved conditions and off-label conditions. Gabapentin or alprazolam may encourage physiological and psychological changes. Avoid combining gabapentin and Xanax with contraindicated medications. Pay close attention to reactions experienced after beginning either medication. If you experience an adverse reaction, notify your physician.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects occur in a large subset of the general population. The National Center for Biotechnology Information suggests contacting your physicians if common side effects persist. Knowing what to expect from your medication allows you to take the appropriate precautions. Both gabapentin and Xanax cause drowsiness. Avoid taking either medication before getting behind the wheel. Other shared side effects include dry mouth, weight gain and fatigue. Gabapentin users may experience headaches, tremors, double vision, anxiety, forgetfulness, rapid eye movements, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, edema, back pain, fever, flu symptoms or ear pain. Side effects encounter by Xanax users include talkativeness, light-headedness, increased salivation, difficulty urinating, change in appetite and changes in sex drive.

Serious Side Effects

Side effects with serious ramifications require immediate medical attention. On January 1, 2008, the Food and Drug Administration issued an order requiring all anticonvulsant medications including gabapentin to carry a warning label detailing the possible risk of suicidal thoughts or actions. Gabapentin users experiencing thoughts of suicide should contact their physician immediately. Other serious side effects from gabapentin requiring immediate attention include rash, itching, swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips or eyes, hoarseness and seizures. Uncommon but serious side effects from Xanax include seizures, hallucination, rash, yellowing of the eyes, memory lapse, disorientation and vertigo.


Contraindications occur when medications form an adverse reaction. Absolute contraindications to medications may result in death if ignored. Medications with contraindication to gabapentin include ketorolac, mefloquine and methotrimeprazine. Absolute contraindication exists for people allergic to gabapentin. The Merck Manuals suggest extensive evaluation of any drug combination taken with Xanax. Absolute contraindication to Xanax include pregnancy, ketoconazole, itraconazole or hypersensitivity to alprazolam.


Withdrawal symptoms occur when you end prolonged use of a medication. For Xanax users withdrawal symptoms include panic attacks, headaches, seizures or tremors, vomiting and confusion. Withdrawal from gabapentin may cause dizziness or sudden recurrence of seizures.

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