Gabapentin

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Gabapentin is a prescription drug classified as an anticonvulsant, and it helps control some seizures in epilepsy patients by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. In patients with shingles, gabapentin is used to relieve the pain of postherpetic neuralgia by changing the way the body senses pain.[1]

In addition, gabapentin extended-release tablets are used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS), a condition where patients feel discomfort and a strong urge to move the legs or get up and walk, especially at night. It is unknown how gabapentin works when used for RLS. Patients who suffer chronic idiopathic singultus (hiccups) may be prescribed gabapentin to control the condition.[2]

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Brand name Fanatrex®, Gabarone®, Gralise®, Horizant®, Neurontin®, Nupentin®
Manufacturer Various, including Blenheim Pharmacal, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline LLC, McKesson Corporation, Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., Parke-Davis Div of Pfizer Inc.[3]
Generic available? Yes
Uses Epilepsy, postherpetic neuralgia (PHN, shingles,) restless legs syndrome (RLS), chronic hiccups.[1]
Common side effects Drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body, vision changes, unsteadiness, anxiety, memory problems, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, increased appetite or weight gain, swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs, back or joint pain, flu-like symptoms, ear pain, red, itchy eyes[1]
Major side effects Seizures, hoarse throat[1]
Warnings Patients who have had kidney disease or who are taking hydrocodone, morphine, and naproxen, or medications that cause dizziness or drowsiness may be unable to take gabapentin. A small number of patients (about 1 in 500) experience a change in mental health and suicidal thoughts.[1]
Disclaimer The information provided by PharmacyDrugGuide.com is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not take any action based on the information on this page without consulting a physician.
Author Selena Robinson
 
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Contents

Gabapentin Overview

Gabapentin is available as a tablet, a capsule, an extended-release tablet, and as an oral liquid. It can be taken with or without food, except for the extended-release tablet which is taken with food in the late afternoon. Taking gabapentin with food may help increase the absorption rate. Regular gabapentin tablets or capsules cannot be substituted for the extended-release tablet.[1] [4]

While gabapentin helps to control seizures in patients with epilepsy, it is not a cure. The seizures will be controlled only as long as the patient continues to take gabapentin, and seizures may not go away completely even while taking this medicine.[1]


Gabapentin Abuse

Gabapentin is not a controlled substance and it is not commonly abused. Some cases of gabapentin overdose have been reported after patients ingested massive oral doses. Symptoms of overdose include double vision, slurred speech, drowsiness, lethargy and diarrhea. Overdose patients may be placed on hemodialysis if necessary. No known fatal overdoses have been reported, according to drug manufacturer Pfizer.[5] [4]

Gabapentin Side Effects

Common side effects of gabapentin include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness or unsteadiness
  • Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
  • Vision changes
  • Anxiety
  • Memory problems
  • Unwanted eye movements
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Increased appetite or weight gain
  • Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Back or joint pain
  • Fever
  • Runny nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat, or flu-like symptoms,
  • Ear pain
  • Red, itchy, or swollen eyes[1] [5]
  • In rare instances, gabapentin can cause a serious or even fatal allergic reaction. Symptoms of such a reaction include rashy skin, hives, high temperature, persistent swollen glands, weakness, exhaustion, jaundice, bruising, bleeding or muscle pain.[5]
  • Since gabapentin comes in different formulas, some patients may inadvertently take more than one drug containing this ingredient, which may lead to overdose.[1]
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages on gabapentin can result in excessive drowsiness.[1]
  • Gabapentin, like other anti-epileptic drugs, occasionally causes suicidal thoughts; warning signs include preoccupation with death or giving away favorite possessions.[1]
  • Gabapentin can react with a number of other drugs, including hydrocodone, naproxen (in Aleve® and other OTC brands), antacids, birth control pills, and more.[5]
  • Children who take gabapentin may exhibit unusual behaviors or moods, such as hostility, grumpiness, aggression or hyperactivity. They may also have trouble concentrating and lose coordination.[1]
  • Taking two or more doses of gabapentin at once can be dangerous, even if the patient is making up for a missed previous dose.[1]
  • Antacids such as Maalox® and Mylanta® can affect gabapentin if used within two hours prior to taking the drug.


Prescription Drugs

Information about prescription drugs such as gabapentin
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Also See: Gabapentin Coupons, Gabapentin Side Effects, Neurontin Side Effects, Depakote, Depakote Side Effects, Keppra Side Effects, Lyrica Coupons, Lyrica Side Effects, Marijuana and Epilepsy, Lamictal Free Samples

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References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a694007.html
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17360149
  3. http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/search.cfm?startswith=Gabapentin&x=0&y=0
  4. 4.0 4.1 http://labeling.pfizer.com/ShowLabeling.aspx?id=630
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?id=21920