- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: gabapentin
Brand Name: Neurontin, Gralise
Drug Class: Anticonvulsants
What is gabapentin, and what is it used for?
Doctors do not know how gabapentin works (the mechanism of action). Gabapentin structurally resembles the neurotransmitter gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). (Neurotransmitters are drugs that nerves use to communicate with one another.) It is possible that this similarity is related to gabapentin's mechanism of action. In animal models used for testing the anticonvulsant and analgesic (anti-pain) activities of drugs, gabapentin prevents seizures and reduces pain-related responses.
There are many non FDA-approved uses for gabapentin. These include
What are the side effects of gabapentin?
The most common side effects of gabapentin are:
- Fluid retention (edema)
- Difficulty speaking
- Jerky movements
- Unusual eye movements
- Double vision
- Memory loss
Other adverse effects and serious side effects associated with gabapentin include:
Antiepileptic medications have been associated with an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior. Anyone considering the use of antiepileptic drugs must balance this risk of suicide with the clinical need. Patients who are started on therapy should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidal thoughts, or unusual changes in behavior.
What is the dosage for gabapentin?
Gabapentin is available as:
- Capsules: 100, 300, and 400 mg.
- Tablets: 100, 300, 400, 600, and 800 mg.
- Solution: 250 mg/5 ml
Dosage for postherpetic neuralgia and seizures.
- The recommended dose for postherpetic neuralgia is 1800 mg daily in 3 divided doses (Neurontin) or 1800 mg once daily (Gralise). Gralise is not interchangeable with other gabapentin products.
- Seizures are treated with 900-1800 mg/daily in 3 divided doses (Neurontin). Withdrawal of treatment should occur slowly over a week.
Gabapentin may be taken with or without food.
Is gabapentin addictive? Does it have withdrawal symptoms?
Gabapentin is not an opioid narcotic, and it is not classified as a controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). However, this medication does share signs and symptoms associated with drug misuse, addiction, and withdrawal symptoms of opioids like:
There have been reports of patients abusing this drug.
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Which drugs interact with gabapentin?
- Antacids reduce the concentration of gabapentin in blood. Therefore, gabapentin should be administered 2 hours or more after taking antacids.
- Morphine significantly increases blood concentrations of gabapentin and may increase central nervous system-related adverse events associated with gabapentin.
Is gabapentin safe to use if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
What else should I know about this drug?
How should I keep gabapentin stored?
- Tablets and capsules should be stored between 15 C and 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
- Gabapentin solution should be refrigerated between 2 C and 8 C (36 F to 46 F).
When was gabapentin approved by the FDA?
- The FDA approved gabapentin in December 1993.
Gabapentin is a drug prescribed for the treatment of seizure disorders, nerve damage from shingles and postherptic neuralgia. Off label uses of gabapentin include treatment for substance abuse withdrawal, hiccups, RLS (restless legs syndrome), headaches, diabetic neuropathy, hot flashes, and fibromyalgia, hyperhydrosis. Gabapentin is not an opioid narcotic, but it does have signs and symptoms associated with drug misuse, addiction, and withdrawal symptoms of opioids like sweating, anxiety, muscle pain, insomnia, and goosebumps (philoerections).
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Epilepsy and Seizures: How to Treat?
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How Do Seizures Differ From Epilepsy and Convulsion?
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What Are the Different Types of Seizures?
A seizure is a sudden change in the brain's normal electrical activity. During a seizure, brain cells fire uncontrollably than their normal rate, temporarily affecting the way a person behaves, moves, thinks, or feels. Recurrent seizures are called epilepsy. Seizures are usually categorized into three types depending on their onset.
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If you have a seizure, you may feel strange, notice unusual smells, experience tingling, see flashing lights, or start hallucinating.
What Triggers Tonic Seizures?
Tonic seizures may result from a variety of health conditions, such as brain tumors and head injuries. Learn all the potential triggers for epilepsy now.
How Do You Stop Multiple Seizures?
Seizures are a medical emergency. Whether the seizure is a first-time onset or a recurring episode, it is advisable to dial 911 and call for help. A group of drugs called benzodiazepines is usually administered to stop multiple seizures.
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Do Seizures Come in Clusters?
Yes, seizures can come in clusters. The term seizure clusters is used when three or more seizures that occur within 24 hours (or within six hours as defined in some studies).
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Buttock Pain
- Numbness Toes
- Hand and Finger Numbness
- Loss of Temperature Sensation
- Hot Flashes
- Seizure (Epilepsy)
- Panic Attack
- Stiff-Person Syndrome
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
- Postherpetic Neuralgia
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Meralgia Paresthetica
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Febrile Seizure
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
- Fabry Disease
- Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
- Epilepsy: Silencing the Seizures
- Shingles (Herpes Zoster) FAQs
- Alcohol FAQs
- Fibromyalgia FAQs
- Epilepsy and Seizures FAQs
- Back Pain FAQs
- Pain FAQs
- Restless Leg Syndrome RLS FAQs
- Sweating Perspiration FAQs
- What Are the Different Types of Epilepsy?
- Why Remove Half A Brain?
- Seizure Symptoms: How to Assist the Victim
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Medications & Supplements
- gabapentin solution - oral, Neurontin
- gabapentin - oral, Neurontin
- Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Drugs
- Drug Interactions
- Neurontin (gabapentin) Side Effects, Warnings, and Drug Interactions
- erenumab (Aimovig)
- Side Effects of Horizant (gabapentin enacarbil)
- gabapentin enacarbil (Horizant, Gralise, Neurontin)
Prevention & Wellness
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FDA Prescribing Information.
Melton, ST., PharmD. "Has Gabapentin Become a Drug of Abuse?" Updated: June 17, 2014.