- What is gabapentin enacarbil? How is gabapentin enacarbil used?
- What are the side effects of gabapentin enacarbil?
- What is the dosage for gabapentin enacarbil?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with gabapentin enacarbil?
- Is gabapentin enacarbil safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about gabapentin enacarbil?
What is gabapentin enacarbil? How is gabapentin enacarbil used?
Gabapentin enacarbil is used for treating restless leg syndrome (RLS) and postherpetic neuralgia. It is a prodrug of the anticonvulsant gabapentin, which means it is first converted to gabapentin in the body before it can have its effects.
The mechanism of action of gabapentin in treating restless leg syndrome (RLS) or postherpatic neuralgia is not known. Gabapentin structurally resembles the neurotransmitter, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). (A neurotransmitter is a chemical 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 anti-seizure and anti-pain (analgesic) activities of drugs, gabapentin prevents seizures and reduces pain-related responses. The FDA approved gabapentin enacarbil in April 2011.
What brand names are available for gabapentin enacarbil?
Horizant, Gralise, Neurontin
Is gabapentin enacarbil available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for gabapentin enacarbil?
What are the side effects of gabapentin enacarbil?
The most common side effects of gabapentin enacarbil are:
Gabapentin enacarbil is converted to gabapentin, which is an anti-seizure medication. Anti-seizure medications have been associated with an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior. Anyone considering the use of anti-seizure 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 enacarbil?
Gabapentin enacarbil should be taken with food. The recommended dose for postherpetic neuralgia is 1200 mg daily. The initial dose of 600 mg daily is increased after three days to the recommended daily dose. Gabapentin enacarbil is not interchangeable with other gabapentin products. Restless leg syndrome is treated with 600 mg once daily.
Which drugs or supplements interact with gabapentin enacarbil?
Alcohol increases the amount of gabapentin enacarbil released into the body. Alcohol should not be used with gabapentin enacarbil. Combining gabapentin enacarbil with morphine significantly increases the occurrence of sedation and dizziness over either drug alone.
Is gabapentin enacarbil safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Safety in pregnancy has not been established.
Gabapentin is secreted in human breast milk. Nursing mothers should only use gabapentin enacarbil if it is necessary.
What else should I know about gabapentin enacarbil?
What preparations of gabapentin enacarbil are available?
Tablets (extended release): 300, 600 mg
How should I keep gabapentin enacarbil stored?
Gabapentin enacarbil should be store between 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
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Gabapentin enacarbil (Horizant) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of nerve damage from herpes zoster (postherpetic neuralgia, shingles), and restless leg syndrome. Side effects, drug interactions, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
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Related Disease Conditions
Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a common cause for painful legs that typically eases with motion, and becomes worse and more noticeable at rest. This characteristic nighttime worsening can frequently lead to insomnia. Treatment of the symptoms of restless leg syndrome is generally with medication as well as treating any underlying condition causing restless leg syndrome.
Fabry disease (Fabry's disease, alpha-galactosidase-A) is a genetic disorder with symptoms such as burning sensations in the hands, small-raised reddish-purplish blemishes on the skin, fever, decreases sweating, and gastrointestinal (GI) difficulties. Fabry disease patients are at increased risk of heart attack, heart disease, kidney failure, and stroke. Symptoms of Fabry disease can be treated with medication.
Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a painful complication of shingles. Symptoms include severe pain, itchy skin, and possible weakness or paralysis of the area. There is no treatment for postherpetic neuralgia that is effective for all patients.
Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which the person has seizures. There are two kinds of seizures, focal and generalized. There are many causes of epilepsy. Treatment of epilepsy (seizures) depends upon the cause and type of seizures experienced.
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Shingles and Pregnancy
Becoming infected with chickenpox during pregnancy could cause birth defects in your unborn child. Likewise, shingles could also cause problems for your unborn child. If you are pregnant and haven't had chickenpox, avoid exposure to infected people. Zostavax, the shingles vaccine, can reduce the incidence of shingles by half. Women should wait at least three months after receiving the vaccine before trying to get pregnant.
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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.