What is Gabapentin medication used for?

Why did doctors prescribe gabapentin?

Gabapentin medication is mostly used with the other medications. It helps those people who have epilepsy by controlling certain types of seizures in adults and children at least 3 years old. Gabapentin comes under the class of medications known as anticonvulsants or antiepileptic drugs. In the brain, by decreasing abnormal excitement it treats the seizures. In adults, it is also used to relieve nerve pain (neuropathic pain) caused by the herpes virus or shingles (herpes zoster) in adults. It is sold under the brand name Gralise, Horizant, or Neurontin. 

How to use gabapentin?

Gabapentin is available in the form of a tablet such as an extended-release, capsule and an oral liquid solution to take by mouth. Your healthcare professionals will tell you how to take this medication. Usually, it is taken three times a day with food or without the food, with 8 ounces or 240 milliliters glass of water. Before taking this medication you should know that at evenly spaced times throughout the day and night these medications should be taken. The gap between the dose of this medication shouldn’t be more than 12 hours. The dosage for children is also based on weight.

As part of your dose when your doctor tells you to take one-half of a regular gabapentin tablet. You guys have to be very careful at the time of splitting the tablet along the score mark. As part of your next dose use another half After splitting the tablet. And if you didn’t use the other half for several days then you have to dispose of that half of the tablet.

According to the doctor’s prescription, you can take an extended-release tablet (Horizant) once daily with food at around 5 PM. Ensure that all the directions have been followed exactly on your prescription label carefully. The medication can not be used more or less prescribed by your healthcare professionals. The dosage of this medication depends on your medical condition or your response to treatment.

Never try to cut, chew, or crush this medication. You have to swallow the extended-release tablets whole. And don’t change the type of this medication that was prescribed by your doctor. So, be sure to take the exact type of gabapentin medicine because extended-release tablets of gabapentin cannot be substituted for another type of product.

Your treatment will start from a low dose and gradually increase your dose day by day or as needed to treat your condition if you start your treatment with gabapentin to control seizures or PHN. And never use this medication without your healthcare professionals’ permission. You may experience seizures more often when you suddenly stop using this medication for the treatment of seizures and start using it. Your healthcare professional will try to decrease your dose gradually over at least a week.

This medication can not cure the condition, it only helps you in controlling it. do not stop using gabapentin even if you feel well without talking to your healthcare professionals, even If you are facing any unusual changes in behavior or mood or experience other side effects.

You may experience withdrawal symptoms such as asleep, nausea, anxiety, pain, sweating, and difficulty falling asleep or staying when you stop your treatment suddenly with gabapentin tablets, capsules, or oral solution. For the minimum side effects, you can take this medication at bedtime just before sleeping. If you want to get the most benefits from gabapentin then use this medication regularly in order. And always use it at the same time each day. 

And if you feel your condition doesn’t improve then you may contact your healthcare professionals. If you don’t understand any of the parts then ask your healthcare provider to explain all the things again. The most important thing is never to change the form of this medication you are using without consulting your doctor. Because the forms of gabapentin such as immediate-release, enacarbil, sustained-release, sustained-release are absorbed in the body differently. Without consulting your doctor, do not take this medication more often or increase your dose.

Warnings of using gabapentin medication

If you are taking any other types of medications or you already have a breathing disorder then without consulting your healthcare professionals we suggest you don’t use this medication. Because it could be life-threatening breathing problems. If you have very slow breathing then seek emergency medical attention.

At the time you were taking gabapentin, you have thoughts about suicide or behavior changes. So try to alert yourself to changes in your mood or if you have any other symptoms then report to your doctor about them.

Until you know how this medication affects you avoid driving or hazardous activity. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

Without your healthcare professional’s, permission does not stop using gabapentin suddenly, even if you feel fine.

What special precautions could I take?

You should have followed all these special precautions carefully while using the gabapentin tablets:

  • If you are allergic to gabapentin, any other medications, or any ingredients of gabapentin then tell your doctor and pharmacist and ask them for all ingredients of gabapentin by which you are allergic.
  • If you are taking any vitamins, nutritional supplements, prescription or non-prescription medication or drugs, any other drug or medicine, herbal products, or planning to take them while using gabapentin then tell your doctor and pharmacist
  • This can be very harmful to your infant because when you breastfeed it can pass into breast milk. So you can not breastfeed while using gabapentin.
  • If you become pregnant or plan to become pregnant while you are using gabapentin then tell your doctor and pharmacist immediately. 
  • Always remember that this medication can add to drowsiness if you are taking alcohol at the time you are using this medication.
  • If you are having surgery, including dental surgery while having this medication then tell your doctor or dentist.
  • At the time you are taking gabapentin tablets, capsules, or solution, if you are taking the antacids such as Maalox or Mylanta then take a break and create a gap of at least 2 hours between both the medications.
  • If you have or have ever had lung or kidney disease then talk to your doctor and pharmacist before having gabapentin tablets.
  • When you will be taking the extended-release tablets. If you stay awake at night and need to take sleep during the day then talk to your doctor and pharmacist 
  • Don’t ever try to drive a car because this medication may make you dizzy or drowsy and may cause loss of coordination or do not operate any machinery until you know how this medication affects you. Your doctor will tell you when you have to start doing these activities. 
  • If you are taking any of these products then tell your doctor and pharmacist: antidepressants, medications that make you feel dizzy or drowsy; medications for mental illness; naproxen such as Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn,  antihistamines, medications for anxiety, opioid such as narcotic, medications for pain such as hydrocodone, medications for seizures, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, morphine such as Avinza, Kadian, MSIR, or oxycodone OxyContin.
  • If you are not taking more than one product that contains gabapentin then don’t forget to ask your doctor if it’s safe or not. Because this product is available in many forms such as tablets, capsules, or solutions.
  • Before giving this medication you should know when your child will take gabapentin medication. It can change your child’s behavior and mental abilities and some other problems he/she can face like having difficulty concentrating, sudden changes in mood, paying attention, becoming hostile or hyperactive, or being drowsy or clumsy. Until you know how this medication affects your child try to avoid some activities he/she is doing like riding a bicycle. They could be very dangerous for them.

What special dietary instructions could I take?

You can continue your normal diet if your healthcare professionals don’t tell you to control anything or follow any dietary instructions.

What are other uses of gabapentin?

And if you want to know some other uses of this medication in detail then contact your healthcare professional and you can ask them for more information or other uses of gabapentin.

What are gabapentin side effects?

A serious drug reaction can affect your whole body parts. Some symptoms may include muscle aches, severe weakness, unusual bruising, skin rash, fever, swollen glands, upper stomach pain, or yellowing of your skin or eyes. In this condition, you have sought medical treatment. Or if you have any signs of an allergic reaction to gabapentin such as hives, swelling of your face. difficult breathing, lips, tongue, or throat.

Report to your doctor if you are having any new or worsening symptoms such as trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, agitated, hostile, aggressive, have thoughts about suicide, hurting yourself, restless, hyperactive, depressed. 

Some common gabapentin side effects in adults and children:

  • Uncontrollable shaking of a part of your body
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Unsteadiness 
  • Anxiety
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Back or joint pain
  • Fever
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Memory problems
  • Strange or unusual thoughts
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Unwanted eye movements
  • Nausea
  • Runny nose, sneezing, flu-like symptoms, cough, sore throat
  • Ear pain
  • Red, itchy eyes 

Some serious gabapentin side effects in adults and children:

If you are facing any unusual changes or experience other side effects then contact your healthcare professionals because this is not the complete list of all side effects. If you are in the United States and you are facing these serious side effects or someone near you then you can contact the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or call at 1-888-463-6332 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

Some symptoms of overdose

If you have took the overdose of this medication then it may cause some side effects such as:

  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Double vision
  • Slurred speech

How to store gabapentin medication?

Store this medication at room temperature and keep them away from light or excessive heat and moisture. And put them away from the reach of the pets and children, we suggest you put that medicine in a tightly closed container in which they came because there are as many containers like eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers that are not child-resistant and young children or pets can easily open them.

How to dispose of gabapentin medication?

Ensure that this medication shouldn’t be consumed by your children, pets, and other people. All the medication should have been disposed of that is unneeded in a special way. And do not try to flush them or pour them into the drain. You can return unneeded gabapentin medication to the pharmacist or the best way is that you can take back the program for returning your medicines.


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