Gabapentin

Description

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant which is used in the treatment of epilepsy and postherpetic neuralgia. It is recommended to start with a small dosage and increase gradually. Do not stop abruptly taking this medicine as it may cause withdrawal symptoms like convulsions.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Gabapentin

  • Dizziness
  • Uncontrolled eye movements
  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Unusual tiredness and weakness
  • Irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Lower back pain
  • Tremors
  • Increased appetite
  • Change in vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Weight gain

Uses of Gabapentin

What is it prescribed for?

  • Epilepsy
  • Postherpetic Neuralgia
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The effect of this medicine can be observed in 2 to 3 hours.
  • Duration of effect
    The effect of this medicine lasts for an average duration of 15 to 21 hours.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Consumption of alcohol with this medicine is not recommended as it increases the risk of side effects like dizziness, difficulty in concentration. Do not perform activities that require mental alertness like driving or operating machinery.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit forming tendency has been reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for pregnant women unless necessary. The benefits and risks should be discussed with the doctor before taking this medicine.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is known to excreted through the breast milk. It is not recommended in breastfeeding women unless necessary. Monitoring of drowsiness and body weight is necessary.

Allergy

Not recommended in patients with known allergy to Gabapentin.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for pregnant women unless necessary. The benefits and risks should be discussed with the doctor before taking this medicine.

Breast-feeding

This medicine is known to excreted through the breast milk. It is not recommended in breastfeeding women unless necessary. Monitoring of drowsiness and body weight is necessary.
General warnings

Suicidal thoughts

This medicine may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts in the first week of the treatment. Therefore this medicine should be used with caution and prescription size should be limited in patients with depression or suicidal tendencies.

Skin reactions

Gabapentin may cause skin reaction like Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS). The treatment should be discontinued if any symptoms appear of skin rash appear

Sedation

Gabapentin is known to cause sedation and dizziness. Therefore, patients receiving this medicine should b counseled about these effects and advised to avoid operating heavy machinery or driving vehicle. Inform the doctor if the symptoms persist.

Pediatric use

This medicine is known to cause central nervous system effects like behavior changes, difficulty in concentration and restlessness. It should be used with caution in children aged between 3 to 12 years. The treatment should be discontinued if any symptoms appear.

Withdrawal symptoms

Gabapentin should not be stopped immediately without informing the doctor due to the risk of increasing seizure frequency. Gradual dose reduction should be made based on the outcomes in the patient.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of Gabapentin, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not double your dose to make up for the missed dose.

Overdose

Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Concomitant use of alcohol with central nervous system active agents may potentiate the central nervous system depression and respiratory depression.

Instructions

Consumption of alcohol with this medicine is not recommended as it increases the risk of side effects like dizziness, difficulty in concentration. Do not perform activities that require mental alertness like driving or operating machinery.
Interaction with Medicine

Duloxetine

Buprenorphine

Disease interactions

Impaired kidney function

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with kidney impairment. Monitoring of kidney function is necessary. Dose adjustments are to be made based on CrCl.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Take Gabapentin as instructed by your doctor. Do not take in larger amounts than prescribed due to the risk of sedation. Take this medicine at the same time every day. Do not stop taking without consulting your doctor as it may cause withdrawal symptoms.
Miscelleneous

Can be taken with or without food, as advised by your doctor

To be taken as instructed by doctor

May cause sleepiness

How it works
It works by reducing the hyperexcitability of the brain cells to treat convulsions. It relieves the pain in neuralgia by altering the way the body senses the pain.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Gamma-aminobutyric acid analogs

Schedule

Gabapentin

[Internet]. 2017 [cited 9 May 2017]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/24645

Gabapentin: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Medlineplus.gov. 2017 [cited 9 May 2017]. Available from:

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a694007.html

DailyMed - Gabapentin capsule [Internet]. Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2017 [cited 9 May 2017]. Available from:

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=0936a88f-b569-49c4-951b-14e8f6273b53

Gabapentin - DrugBank [Internet]. Drugbank.ca. 2017 [cited 9 May 2017]. Available from:

https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB00996

Prescribing medicines in pregnancy database [Internet]. Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). 2017 [cited 9 May 2017]. Available from:

https://www.tga.gov.au/prescribing-medicines-pregnancy-database#searchname

[Internet]. Toxnet.nlm.nih.gov. 2017 [cited 9 May 2017]. Available from:

https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search2

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Information on this page was last updated on 16 Nov 2017

Disclaimer

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