Is Gabapentin Safe To Take With Ashwagandha?
In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses the safety of combining ashwagandha and gabapentin.
Can I take ashwagandha and gabapentin together?
Answered by Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff
Last updated Mar 13, 2023
- While gabapentin and ashwagandha don't appear to affect one another directly, there is a risk of additive side effects, such as sedation.
Thanks for reaching out! This is an interaction we have detailed on one of our 'drug-herbal interaction' pages, but I'll provide a brief overview here as well for you.
Both ashwagandha and gabapentin are used for a variety of purposes.
Gabapentin, for example, can be used as an anticonvulsant, to prevent migraines, and for neuropathic pain, just to name a few indications.
Ashwagandha is primarily used as a natural supplement to help alleviate stress and anxiety. It is often referred to as an 'adaptogen', helping the body adapt to things like stress, anxiety, fatigue, etc...
Our interaction page details the theoretical interaction between gabapentin and ashwagandha and that interaction is based on the fact that both gabapentin and ashwagandha can have sedative effects.
So, the concern is essentially additive sedative effects. Aside from this, this is no indication that ashwagandha and gabapentin affect the other in any clinically significant way.
Watch For Additive Sedation
Caution is always recommended taken with combining sedative drugs to the risk of additive effects. However, some drug combinations are certainly riskier than others, such as a combination of opioids and benzodiazepines.
While ashwagandha and gabapentin may have sedative effects together, there is no evidence to suggest that the combination poses any more risk than that. There does not appear to be a risk of anything potentially life-threatening, like respiratory depression (which can happen with certain drug combinations).
Also, it is worth noting that research suggests that ashwagandha may have an effect on GABA receptors in the body, receptors where gabapentin has activity also. This may be why there is the potential for an additive sedative effect.
Overall, this potential interaction is important to be aware of, since sedation can affect our ability to perform daily activities.
However, this combination may not affect everyone the same way, and there are certainly plenty of reports and studies where ashwagandha and gabapentin have been taken together with no adverse effects.
I want to thank you for reaching out and I encourage you to do so again if anything comes up!
- Comparative behavioural profile of newer antianxiety drugs on different mazes, PubMed
- An investigation into the stress-relieving and pharmacological actions of an ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, PubMed
- Pharmacotherapy of Anxiety Disorders: Current and Emerging Treatment Options, PubMed
- Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD
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