Side Effects

Though it is often said that GABA is free from any side effects, this theory has not been completely proven true. This is because some users have noted changes in their physical state which can be considered as side effects of GABA.

Possible GABA Side Effects

Some people using GABA have a tickly and itchy sensation on the face and around the neck right after the ingestion of GABA. Some others have noted a change in the way of breathing (either too fast or too slow) and a throbbing heart. But the side effects are not the same for everyone; one might experience an effect, while someone eels might not. These after effects last for a brief period and cause no harm.

It is better to follow a doctor’s advice before taking GABA, depending on your health condition. A person’s medical condition, which includes any severe disorders like diabetes, asthma, HBP, insomnia, anxiety, needs to be verified before using the GABA supplement.

As GABA is a form of amino acid it can be legally used as an aid, but the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) have stated that GCH and other compounds related to it can have adverse effects on human health and well being. These drugs have not been approved and are not safe to be used. They can cause seizures and other ill effects.

GABA is sedative and can cause drowsiness, it is better to ingest GABA at night, before retiring to bed. However, some distributors now combine GABA and B6, which allegedly negates the drowsiness and provides calm, relaxed, energetic feelings.

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36 thoughts on “Side Effects

  1. Jeff Felderman

    I have been taking anti-depppressants for a long time and GABA has been working fine with them. I am especially working on easing muscle tension and decreasing negative thoughts.

  2. pearlkala

    i am on Zopiclone for insomnia.
    I also have a few compressed nerves in the lumber area
    and the doctor has prescribed Pregabalin.
    Is it safe to combine Zopiclone and Pregabalin?

    1. Donna

      Pregabalin is not the same thing as GABA. It’s brand name is Lyrica, it is a prescription, and usually prescribed for Fibromyalgia/other uses are possible, like for Restless Legs Syndrome, but the jury is out on that one, so far. as far as using it in combination with other meds, you MUST ask your doctor or pharmacist.

  3. CR

    I am taking the anti-depressant citalopram and am taking GABA at night, I am also taking stress B-complex during the day and plan on taking magnesium as well. The anti-depressant, GABA and stress B-complex work together very well in my case, so I would say it is safe to take with anti-depressants. But of course, you should double check with your doctor/notify them that you are taking it.

  4. vince

    i HAVE BEEN INTRODUCED TO GABA by the use of neurontin. I take the pill for neuropthy of feet. When off the pill i have a bad reaction mentally. It is asking me for more. Do not to take more. Any sugestions on how to live with the drug. I must have neurontin to survive. the name of the drug is gabapentin. Thanks vince

    1. Cory Himmelman

      I was taking Gabapentin for my fybromyalgia but then stopped taking it. I am in extreme pain so my chiropractor told me GABA is what is produced in the body from taking Gabapentin. She takes GABA & now I am trying it too; however my heart is flying out of control just after taking GABA, I never had this side effect with Gabapentin.

  5. Eric F

    I have bi polar,insomnia ,anxiety with panic,and on occasion hear voices I mentioned GABA to my doctor she said as long as I don’t go over the recomened amout but is it safe I want a second opinion before I start. How long do I take it before bed.

    1. blue

      My brother has same symptoms as you, except for hearing voices & on my advice takes 500mg GABA & 500mg magnesium 30mins before sleep and it works very well. He says he hs not slept like this since childhood: 7h+ straight every night. Recommend you read the Mood Cure for more info.

    2. Renee

      If you haven’t already started it, try 250-500 and see what it does. I am not a dr, but it supposedly is safe and calms one down and quiets your mind by reducing your neurons from firing too quick. You can take it like 1/2 our before bed or anytime really. Of course it affects people differently.

  6. BethD

    I suffered with anxiety and bi-polar type 2 depression for a long time. I tried many of the antidepressants on the market, to no avail. I started taking Gaba 100 mg twice a day and worked my way up to 500mg an hour before bed. I was eventually able to get completely off of all medication and was quite stable on the Gaba 500 at bedtime. However; after several years of taking it, I began having allergic type symptoms. Itching all over, feelings of needle pricks all over when out in the sun and Chills. I stopped the Gaba and had withdrawl symptoms of depression. I am at this moment looking for another manufacturer that doesn’t include B-6 in their Gaba and start once again. Taking nothing , for me may be worse than the side effects.

  7. Jadedfairy

    My mental health provider mentioned trying GABA, Im currently take medication for a small tumor on my pituitary glad, aswell as bipolar, anxiety, depression & methadone for server pain! I have read through all of the info on this page, the many many uses for GABA, Have to say I’m impressed that 1 natural vitamin can work so well in so many ways! I’M wondering, if it wld be safe fit me to take it as I take so many, medications that do help & unfortunately the side effect of some are drowsiness, but there are so many things that I’ve Read that GABA could help w/I’m wondering if it’s worth a try? To see if it would help w/out having to take more prescription drugs..? Maybe a DR’s advise would be advisable..TY all for you’re helpful info ..

  8. Eric G

    I have battled anxiety for many years and wanted to try Gaba so I started taking it once in a while. I noticed that I was getting a flushed feeling in my face with tingling around my lips, neck and eyes. A few time I couldn’t control my breathing and heart rate (which can make you feel panicky)… I took one a few days ago and had the same reaction to the point where I had to sit and calm down and focus on breathing slowly… I just took one an hour ago and already feel it hitting me. At least I know that it’s the Gaba causing it. I don’t think I need this to deal with anxiety and panic.

    1. Ann

      I found that when I took a full dose of GABA (750 mg,) I too, got those side effects. I open the capsule and sprinkle half of it on my tongue or if tablets, break them in half. I don’t have side effects with the smaller dose and it still works.

  9. julie

    I have insominia and I started taking Gabba last night so far so good; i slept and i have no side effects but of coursetime will tell i hope it works for me ive tried almost everything anyone have any suggestions maybe there is something i havent tried .. Im so desperate….

    1. Julie s.

      Another julie with insomnia here! I tried at least a dozen different things to help with my insomnia and finally started taking .5 mg of xanax about 3 years ago. It has been perfect for me up until the last month or so. Now i only sleep 4-6 hours/night. Not wanting to increase my dose, i looked into other options (again) and GABA was suggested, which is how i got to this forum. I might give GABA a try, in addition to the xanax, but will talk to my doctor first. I have intense PACs (premature atrial contractions) so the heart-racing side effect concerns me. Good luck. Hope you continue to get some sleep.

  10. Fred

    Gaba definitely helps me achive a more peaceful state of mind. I have had major anxiety issues my whole life (I’m 50) and I first started with the precursor “Lentra” which basically helps the body make Gaba. Unfortunately though it worked very well, it is also very costly. So now I take Gaba by itself. a lot less expensive than lentra but there is a rather disquieting side-effect I’ve noticed. I literally have trouble breathing for a minute or two. I find myself putting my head down as that seems to both alleviate the anxiety of not breathing well and improving air intake somehow.

    Anyhow, if you can get past the shortness of breath periods then Gaba might be for you. Oh no, I sound like one of those commercials for pharmaceuticals that appears so rosey but then at the end says you can die as a side effect…haha

  11. Stan

    I was reducing my Seroquel and started having difficulty sleeping. I tried 5-HTP which converts to Seratonin and Melatonin when sleeping. Seroquel was also causing a lot of shortness of breath that I don’t have nearly as bad now.

    “GABA CALM” (no niacin but has other ingredients) helped me reduce my klonapin because the klonapin withdrawls caused a physical anxiety in the mornings after awakening.

    I’m weaning off the nasty prescription bipolar meds and leaning towards nutritional supplements.

    Lithium carbonate can be switched to very low doses of lithium orotate also. Much less lethal.

    So far, so good!!!

    Best Wishes,
    Stan P.

  12. tammy

    I take GABA due to I have MS, sometimes I feel I cannot sleep well at night due to legs feeling they are crawling around without me! I was wondering if anyone has noticed a stomach upset at all..

  13. SUE

    I take zyprexa and Haldol. I started taking GABA (it also had melatonin and 5-HTP). The first time I slept all night and almost all next day time. And I took only l/3 of the indicated dose (liquid form). I relaxes me but I don’t like to sleep more than 15 hrs a day!

  14. Ron

    I bought 500 mg GABA thinking the extra boost would help. Wrong. Way too drowsy. I now take about 150 mg before bed and I really feel like I am going into a coma I’m so relaxed. I do notice the positive side of GABA concerning the negative thoughts. I seem to be ready every morning not wondering what the negative side of life will hand me. It’s nice to smile a lot. Highly recommend in the 100 to 150 mg range

  15. Ann

    I take 5htp, GABA and melatonin at night to sleep better. I must not be the only one that knows this works, because now I’ve seen two products that contain all three: Dream Water, which I saw at Pavilions and Sleep Please that I found at the 99 cent store.

  16. Imergene

    I have ben taking 500 mg of gaba 2 times aday for 2 days.Get to sleep for a few hours wake up and can’tgo back to sleep.Also feel like my stomach knots up.Taking gaba because I needed something for nerves and to help me sleep better.Don’t lke taking drugs.What am I doing wrong?

  17. chloe

    GABA……anyone hear of seizure as a side effect of GABA?
    and Fred what is the deal with the shortness of breath? that would seem like an adverse reaction.

  18. Jana

    I tried 750mg of GABA and had terrible stomach aches, and also hard to breathe feeling very scary. I cut the 750mg in half and the breathing problems went away but still had terrible stomach problems. Next I bought 3mg melatonin,25mg GABA , valerian I take at 1am when I usually wake up I go back to sleep quickly however I would like to know what milligrams of GABA by itself are less likely to cause side effects since I would like to dis continue the melatonin . I have had sleep problems for the last 20 years I’m 50 .

  19. Genevieve Coulsin

    My husband has been suffering from tinnitus for over a year. He’s been seen by an ENT who hardly looked at him and told him the tinnitus was caused by the one 325mg aspirin he takes daily. He stopped the aspirin-still has tinnitus. He had a hearing exam and has lost somr frequencies due to working in a noisy place for years. I am an RN and found that in some people, the acoustic nerve in the brain trioes to compensate for hearing loss and can cause the tinnitus. He’s been put on nortryptyline – no change, hydrochlorothiazide – no change. Last month I found 10 capsules of Neurontin I had left over. He took 2 and the next day had no ringing. It worked. Unfortunately, we cannot afford the $180.00 it costs to see the MD for a prescription, so I am hoping GABA has a similar effect. The generic of Neurontin is gabapentin. I’m leery about giving him the whole 750mg, so I’ll start out with half.

  20. Angel

    I get the itchy tingling around neck, face and upper arms! Plus, funny taste and hot flashes!! It feels similar to a panic attack when you may pass out plus itching!! This was recommended by a health professional during the Chronic Lyme summit for anxiety associated with this illness. She never mentioned the side effects and it’s taken me a few days to realize the culprit. If you suffer anxiety or panic attacks, this is bad news!


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