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Wales Drug and Alcohol Helpline

Freephone: 0808 808 2234
Or text DAN to: 81066


Bud, Bud Lite, Gaba, Gabby, Gabbies, Lyrica, Nerontin

What does Gabapentin look like?

Gabapentin is manufactured as either white, yellow or orange Capsules and Tablets.

Gabapentin Capsules

Scientific Names

Gabapentin: 2-[1-(aminomethyl)cyclohexyl]acetic acid

Generic Name

Neurontin (Gabapentin)

Effects Of Gabapentin

Desired Effects:

Euphoria, improved sociability, calmness, relaxation and a Cannabis-like high. However, some users have reported the effects of snorting gabapentin can be similar to taking a Stimulant. The euphoric effects of pregabalin disappear with prolonged use.


Vomiting and feelings of wanting to vomit, flatulence, constipation or diarrhoea, poor muscle control, and visual disturbances. Some users report the following less common effects: swollen hands and feet, headaches, abnormal thoughts, suicidal thoughts, shortness of breath, chest pain, mouth sores, chills, nausea, coughing, tremor, and other cold symptoms.



Drowsiness, unsteadiness & loss of coordination, clumsiness, and vision disturbances. Pregabalin or Gabapentin abuse may be a risk factor for Overdose particularly if used in combination with Alcohol, Opiates and other central nervous system Depressant drugs. Gabapentin is fatal in overdose and there is no antidote.


Insomnia, weight gain. Dependence - stopping abruptly can cause Withdrawal symptoms including insomnia, nausea, headache or diarrhoea. Pregabalin may also cause hallucinations, heart problems (including heart failure), depression, agitation and panic attacks. Fatalities have been attributed or implicated to the use of these drugs.

Reducing Harm

Please view our Reducing Harm page for more information.

How does Gabapentin work?

Central nervous system Depressant. Analgesic, anti-convulsant and anti-anxiety. These drugs act upon neurotransmitters in the brain.

Legal status of Gabapentin

On 1st April 2019, medicines containing gabapentin and pregabalin will be reclassified as Schedule 3 controlled drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, and as Class C drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Medicines containing Pregabalin & Gabapentin can still be prescribed

How Is Gabapentin Taken?

Gabapentin Capsules and Tablets are normally swallowed, but there have been reports of the powder from gabapentin capsules being snorted. Gabapentin capsules and tablets are normally swallowed, but there have been reports of the powder from gabapentin capsules being snorted.


If the drug is snorted - a razor blade will be used to chop it into lines on a hard level surface such as a mirror or a sheet of glass or a tile.

Medical uses of Gabapentin

Pregabalin and Gabapentin are widely prescribed in neurology, primary care and psychiatry for nerve pain, epilepsy and generalised anxiety disorder.

Where does it come from?

There has been an increase in the prescribing and use of these drugs over the last five years, and with a growing black market of these drugs being available without prescriptions through online suppliers.

Helping services

Most areas of the UK have 'street agencies' or projects (sometimes called community drug services or community drug teams) which offer a range of services including information and advice, counselling, and sometimes support groups and complementary therapies such as acupuncture. Some services have extended working hours and may offer weekend support. If use of this substance becomes a problem you can seek help, advice and counselling from a service in your area. GPs can make referrals to specialist drug services. For a description of what the different drug services do, choose helping services from here or the main menu.

Parents & other relatives

Drug agencies also provide lots of advice and support to parents of people using these drugs. Many street agencies can provide relative support groups or counselling for family members, partners etc.

You can view a list of National Drug Agencies.

If you would like to talk about Gabapentin problems then please call the DAN 24/7 Helpline on:

0808 808 2234
Last updated: 02 February 2015