Gabapentin is used in combination with other medications to prevent and treat seizures. Adults with shingles, a painful rash caused by a herpes zoster infection, may also be treated with it. Gabapentin is a kind of anticonvulsant or antiepileptic medication.
How to take gabapentin orally
When you get a refill of gabapentin from your pharmacist, read the prescription instructions and, if available, the patient information sheet before taking it. Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you may have.
As prescribed by your doctor, take this medicine by mouth with or without food. Your dose will be based on your medical condition and how well you respond to therapy. The dosage for children is also based on weight.
If your doctor has advised you to split the tablet in half while taking the medicine, take the other half at your next regular dose. Throw away the tablet halves if not used within a few days after being split. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water when taking capsules.
It’s important to follow your doctor’s dosage instructions properly. Over the first few days of treatment, your doctor may gradually increase your dose to give your body time to adjust to the medication. Take the first dose at night to minimize side effects.
Take this medication often to receive the most significant advantages from it. This drug works best when the amount of medicine in your body is constant. Take gabapentin at consistent times throughout the day, separated by regular intervals. If you take this medication thrice daily to control seizures, do not wait more than 12 hours between doses. Doing so might make your seizures worse.
Do not increase your dose or use this medication more often without consulting your doctor beforehand. Your condition won’t improve any faster, and there’s a danger that serious side effects might grow more probable.
Do not stop using this medication without first seeing your doctor. The rapid withdrawal of the drug might make several issues worse. You may need to go down on your dose gradually.
If you use antacids that include aluminum or magnesium, this medication cannot be absorbed. Gabapentin should ideally be taken at least two hours after taking an antacid if you are also taking one.
Different gabapentin doses, such as immediate-release, sustained-release, and sustained-release, are metabolized by the body in different ways. Never move between forms without first speaking with your doctor.
Inform your doctor if your condition doesn’t improve or becomes worse.
Possible symptoms include drowsiness, vertigo, fatigue, exhaustion, lack of coordination, blurred or double vision, odd eye movements, or shaking (tremors). Inform your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if any of these side effects persist or worsen.
Remember that your doctor gave you this prescription because they believe it will help you more than harm. According to many users of this medication, there are no overt side effects.
Hand, ankle, or foot swelling is an uncommon but significant adverse effect that must be reported immediately to your doctor.
A tiny percentage of patients using anticonvulsants for any illness (such as epilepsy, bipolar disorder, or pain) may also struggle with depression, suicide ideation or attempts, and other mental health issues. If you or a loved one detect any strange or unexpected changes in your mood, thinking, or behavior, such as depressive symptoms, suicidal thoughts or attempts, or ideas of harming yourself, call your doctor straight once.
If any severe adverse effects, like shallow or difficult breathing, appear, get immediate medical help.
Rarely, this medication might cause a severe allergic response. However, suppose you have serious adverse response symptoms, such as fever, enlarged lymph nodes, rash, itching, swelling (particularly of the face, tongue, or neck), significant disorientation, or difficulty breathing. In that case, you should seek medical attention immediately once.
The list of potential adverse effects is not exhaustive. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any other adverse side effects that weren’t included above.
Call your doctor if you live in the US for medical advice on potential side effects. You may contact the FDA to report adverse side effects by dialing 1-800-FDA-1088 or online at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If you live in Canada, consult your physician for guidance on possible side effects. Dial 1-866-234-2345 to inform Health Canada of any adverse effects.
Your allergies should be declared to your doctor or pharmacist before using gabapentin, including gabapentin enacarbil. The inactive components in this product might result in allergic responses or other issues. For further information, see your pharmacist.
If you have a renal illness, mental or emotional disorders (including depression or suicidal thoughts), a drug or alcohol use disorder, or breathing issues (like COPD), be sure to let your doctor or pharmacist know before taking this medicine.
This medicine may cause drowsiness, blurred vision, or other adverse effects. After ingesting alcohol or marijuana (cannabis), you could feel more tired or lethargic. Wait until you can do so safely before using equipment, running a car, or doing anything else that calls for attention or acute eyesight. Drink only in moderation. If you smoke marijuana (cannabis), speak with your doctor.
Your surgeon or dentist should be informed of every medicine you use, including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal therapies.
Elderly adults may exhibit the adverse effects of this medication more visibly, such as hand, foot, and ankle edema, shallow or sluggish breathing, dizziness, or lack of coordination. The likelihood of falling may be increased by dizziness and poor coordination.
Children may be more susceptible to this medication’s adverse effects, notably behavioral issues (such as aggression, difficulty focusing, and restlessness).
It should only be necessary to take this medicine during pregnancy. Tell your doctor about the advantages and disadvantages.
Breast milk could contain gabapentin. Before breastfeeding, consult your doctor.
Observe the part on how to utilize it as well.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase the risk of severe adverse effects. This text does not provide a complete list of potential drug interactions. Keep a list of all your drugs, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal supplements, and offer it to your doctor and pharmacist. Without consulting your doctor beforehand, never start taking a drug, stop taking a medication, or modify the dose.
A product called orlistat has the potential to interact with this drug.
The likelihood of severe side effects (such as slow/shallow breathing and excessive drowsiness/dizziness) may increase if this medication is used with other substances that may make you sleepy or cause breathing problems. Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you take any other medicines, including opioid painkillers or cough suppressants (like codeine or hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), zolpidem, alprazolam, or lorazepam, muscle relaxants (like carisoprodol or cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (like cetirizine or diphenhydramine).
You should carefully check the labels on all your drugs, including allergy and cold/cough treatments since they can include ingredients that cause drowsiness. Consult your pharmacist for information on how to use certain products safely.
It is not recommended to use this medication with other medicines containing gabapentin, such as gabapentin enacarbil.
This medication may interfere with specific urine protein testing. Make sure the lab staff, as well as all of your doctors, are aware that you take this drug.
Call 911 when you notice significant overdose symptoms, such as fainting or trouble breathing. If not, make immediate contact with a poison control hotline. To reach your local poison control center, if you’re a US citizen, call 1-800-222-1222. Call your local poison control center if you’re a Canadian. Extreme sleepiness, difficulty speaking, and weakness are potential overdose symptoms.
Give this drug only to the patient.
Dosage not taken
When you recall taking a dosage after forgetting to do so, do so right away. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one. Take your subsequent dosage at the scheduled time. Never increase the dosage to catch up. Do not go more than 12 hours between doses if you use gabapentin thrice daily to control your seizures. Consult a physician straight away if this happens.
Items should be stored at room temperature, free from moisture and light. Avoid going to the bathroom. No medications should be accessible to animals or children.
Unless specifically told to, refrain from flushing or pouring drugs down drains. When a product has reached the end of its useful life or expired, dispose of it properly. Consult your pharmacist or the local waste management business.