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GENERIC NAME: gabapentin
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM
Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant that is used for preventing seizures and for treating postherpetic neuralgia. The mechanism of action of gabapentin is not known. Gabapentin structurally resembles the neurotransmitter gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). It is possible that this similarity is related to gabapentin's mechanism of action. In animal models used for testing the anticonvulsant and analgesic activity of drugs, gabapentin prevents seizures and reduces pain-related responses. The FDA approved gabapentin in December 1993.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
* Capsules: 100, 300, and 400 mg.
* Tablets: 100, 300, 400, 600, and 800 mg.
* Solution: 250 mg/5 ml
Gabapentin is approved for treating seizure disorders and nerve damage from herpes zoster (shingles, postherpetic neuralgia). There are many non-approved uses for gabapentin. These include alcohol withdrawal, cocaine withdrawal, hiccups, restless leg syndrome, hyperhidrosis, headaches, diabetic neuropathy, hot flashes, and fibromyalgia.
Gabapentin may be taken with or without food. The recommended dose for postherpetic neuralgia is 1800 mg daily in 3 divided doses. The initial dose of 300 mg daily is increased over several days to the recommended daily dose. Seizures are treated with 900-1800 mg/daily in 3 divided doses. Withdrawal of treatment should occur slowly over a week.
Antacids reduce the concentration of gabapentin in blood. Therefore, gabapentin should be administered 2 hours or more after taking antacids. Morphine significantly increases blood concentrations of gabapentin and may increase central nervous system-related adverse events associated with gabapentin.
Gabapentin is used with other medications to help control seizures in adults and children (3 years of age and older). It is also used to relieve nerve pain associated with shingles (herpes zoster) infection in adults.
Gabapentin may also be used to treat other nerve pain conditions (e.g., diabetic neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, trigeminal neuralgia).
HOW TO USE
Take this medication by mouth, with or without food, as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. During the first few days, your doctor may gradually increase your dose so your body can adjust to the medication. To minimize side effects, take the very first dose at bedtime. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. This drug works best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore it is best to take gabapentin at evenly spaced intervals throughout the day and night. Do not take this medication more often or increase your dose without consulting your doctor. Your condition will not improve any faster and the risk of serious side effects may be increased. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions such as seizures may become worse when the drug is abruptly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased. Antacids containing aluminum or magnesium may interfere with the absorption of this medication. Therefore it is best to take gabapentin at least 2 hours after taking an antacid.
Drowsiness, dizziness, unsteadiness, fatigue, vision changes, weight gain, nausea, dry mouth, or constipation may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these serious side effects occur: tremor or shaking, swollen arms/legs. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: loss of coordination, mental/mood changes. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: persistent sore throat/fever/cough, unusual bleeding/bruising, pain/redness of arms or legs, chest pain, trouble breathing, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, hearing loss, stomach/abdominal pain. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Before taking gabapentin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease. This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages as they may worsen these effects. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially swollen arms/legs or loss of coordination. Caution is advised when using this drug in children because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially the mental/mood changes (e.g., hostility). This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Gabapentin passes into breast milk. Because the effects of this drug on the nursing infant are unknown, consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
See also How to Use section. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: antacids containing aluminum or magnesium, morphine. This product can affect the results of certain lab tests for urine protein. Make sure laboratory personnel and your doctors know you use this drug. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their local poison control center directly. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness, slurred speech, or extreme lethargy.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature (77 degrees F or 25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Note : This product information is intended only for residents of the India. Taj Pharmaceuticals Limited, medicines help to treat and prevent a range of conditions—from the most common to the most challenging—for people around the world.