Gabapentin is an antiepileptic medication. When given for epilepsy, it is believed to work by reducing the abnormal electrical activity in the brain, thus preventing seizures. It is also used to treat nerve pain where it blocks pain by interfering with pain signals traveling through the damaged nerves and the brain.Gabapentin is known as an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug.
Common side effects of Gabapentin
Dizziness, Fatigue, Fever, Impaired coordination, Nausea, Nystagmus (involuntary eye movement), Peripheral edema, Sleepiness, Viral infection, Vomiting
EXPERT ADVICE FOR GABAPENTIN
Take it at the same time every day, preferably at bedtime, to avoid any dizziness or drowsiness during the day.
Avoid taking antacids 2 hours before or after taking Gabapentin as they make it harder for your body to absorb the medicine.
It may cause sleepiness. Do not drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how it affects you.
Inform your doctor if you develop any unusual changes in mood or behavior, new or worsening depression, or suicidal thoughts or behavior.
Do not stop taking Gabapentin suddenly without talking to your doctor as it may increase the frequency of seizure.
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How to use
Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking gabapentin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. For children, the dosage is also based on weight.
If you are taking the tablets and your doctor directs you to split the tablet in half, take the other half-tablet at your next scheduled dose. Discard half tablets if not used within several days of splitting them. If you are taking the capsules, swallow them whole with plenty of water.
It is very important to follow your doctor's dosing instructions exactly. During the first few days of treatment, 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.
Take this medication regularly 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, take gabapentin at evenly spaced intervals at the same time(s) each day. If you are taking this medication 3 times a day to control seizures, do not let more than 12 hours pass between doses because your seizures may increase.
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 increase.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
Antacids containing aluminum or magnesium may interfere with the absorption of this medication. Therefore, if you are also taking an antacid, it is best to take gabapentin at least 2 hours after taking the antacid.
Different forms of gabapentin (such as immediate-release, sustained-release, enacarbil sustained-release) are absorbed in the body differently. Do not switch from one form to the other without consulting your doctor.