What is gabapentin?

Gabapentin is an anti-epileptic medication, 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 alone or in combination with other medications to treat seizures caused by epilepsy in adults and children who are at least 12 years old. Gabapentin is also used with other medications to treat partial seizures in children who are 3 to 12 years old.

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

Gabapentin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Precautions

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to gabapentin.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication.

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease; or
  • heart disease.

You may have thoughts about suicide while taking this medication. Tell your doctor if you have new or worsening depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several months of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.

Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether gabapentin is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Gabapentin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Gabapentin can cause side effects that may impair your vision or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert and able to see clearly.

Avoid taking an antacid within 2 hours before or after you take gabapentin. Antacids can make it harder for your body to absorb gabapentin.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include blurred vision, drowsiness, weakness, slurred speech, or diarrhea.

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; fever; swollen glands; painful sores in or around your eyes or mouth; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, or if you feel agitated, hostile, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • increased seizures;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • swelling of your ankles or feet;
  • confusion;
  • rapid back and forth movement of your eyes;
  • tremor; or
  • easy bruising.

Some side effects are more likely in children taking gabapentin. Contact your doctor if the child taking this medication has any of the following side effects:

  • changes in behavior;
  • memory problems;
  • trouble concentrating; or
  • acting restless, hostile, or aggressive.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, tired feeling;
  • lack of coordination;
  • blurred vision;
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
  • diarrhea, constipation;
  • dry mouth;
  • runny or stuffy nose, sore throat;
  • headache;
  • sleep problems (insomnia), unusual dreams; or
  • acne, mild skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Interactions

The following drugs can interact with gabapentin. Tell your doctor if you are using any of these:

  • hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin, Vicoprofen, and others);
  • morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Oramorph, and others); or
  • naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve, Anaprox, and others).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with gabapentin. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Neurontin, gabapentin, and Gabarone

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Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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