24 Aug 2014
I know it's been awhile, but these posts stay up, so here is my two cents. Gabapentin is primarily used to treat epileptic seizures, but it has an application in chronic pain practices. It's supposed to soothe the nerves, thereby causing less pain. The problem for using it for a toothache is that the dose required for it to be effective for nerve pain takes awhile for a person to adjust to. Most doctors start patients on 300 mg a day, increasing the medication every 3-5 days. At 900 mg ( say 1-2 weeks out), you will still be at a sub-therapeutic level insufficient for the medication to do much good. Gabapentin (brand name Neurontin) only becomes effective at higher doses and is usually at its optimal level at about 2400 mg, depending on person, size, and a whole bunch more. This is NOT medical advice, just responsive to the use of the medication for tooth pain.
At that dose, it's possible the neurontin would soothe the trigeminal nerve pain that is likely causing your toothache (esp if you have a headache, too), but the length of time to get to the necessary dose - and the possibility it may not work at all on you depending on your chemistry - means the medication is not appropriate for tooth pain. For tooth pain, the best pain remedy is a dentist, but if you can't get to one immediately, ibuprofen is typically the best pain medication for toothache pain (for some reason it works better than other NSAIDs). And any NSAID will work better than something like Tylenol because of the anti-inflammatory effect. But if all you can take is Tylenol, it's better than nothing. In some cases, a dentist will give a person who cannot take NSAIDs a prescription for an opioid medication for moderate pain following significant dental procedures (complicated root canal, tooth extraction) to help with the pain. Hope this helps.
- Gabapentin Information for Consumers
- Gabapentin Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Gabapentin (detailed)
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