Gabapentin: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Warnings

Generic Name: gabapentin (GA ba PEN tin)
Brand Names: Gralise, Horizant, Neurontin, Gabarone

Medically reviewed by Kaci Durbin, MD Last updated on Jun 7, 2020.

What is gabapentin?

Gabapentin is an anti-epileptic drug, also called an anticonvulsant. It affects chemicals and nerves in the body that are involved in the cause of seizures and some types of pain.

Gabapentin is used together with other medicines to treat partial seizures in adults and children at least 3 years old.

Gabapentin is also used to treat neuropathic pain (nerve pain) caused by herpes virus or shingles (herpes zoster) in adults.

Use only the brand and form of gabapentin your doctor has prescribed. Check your medicine each time you get a refill to make sure you receive the correct form.

The Gralise brand of gabapentin is indicated for the management of neuropathic pain only. It is not used for epilepsy.

Horizant is used to treat nerve pain and restless legs syndrome (RLS).

The Neurontin brand is used to treat seizures in adults and children who are at least 3 years old, in addition to neuropathic pain.

Important Information

Gabapentin can cause life-threatening breathing problems, especially in older adults or people with COPD. Seek emergency medical attention if you have very slow breathing.

Some people have thoughts about suicide or behavior changes while taking gabapentin. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how gabapentin will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

Do not stop using gabapentin suddenly, even if you feel fine.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use gabapentin if you are allergic to it.

To make sure gabapentin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking this medicine. Children taking gabapentin may have behavior changes. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Seizure control is very important during pregnancy, and having a seizure could harm both mother and baby. Do not start or stop taking gabapentin for seizures without your doctor’s advice, and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How should I take gabapentin?

Take gabapentin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

If your doctor changes your brand, strength, or type of gabapentin, your dosage needs may change. Ask your pharmacist if you have any questions about the new kind of gabapentin you receive at the pharmacy.

The Horizant brand of gabapentin should not be taken during the day.

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