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Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant medication that helps control seizures in people with epilepsy. Some forms of gabapentin can also treat restless legs syndrome or certain types of nerve pain. Gabapentin appears to work by altering electrical activity in the brain and influencing the activity of chemicals called neurotransmitters, which send messages between nerve cells.
Brand names for gabapentin include Horizant, Gralise, and Neurontin. The medication is available in capsule, tablet, or liquid form. In this article, we describe the uses, dosages, and side effects of gabapentin. We also look into the associated risks and other safety considerations.
It works by calming down nerve activity to reduce seizure intensity or occurrence. Children and adults can take the drug. The Neurontin brand can treat one form of epilepsy in children as young as 3 years old. Gabapentin can also help reduce post-herpetic neuralgia, a burning or stabbing nerve pain that is a common complication of shingles. According to a revieworal gabapentin, at a minimum daily dosage of 1, milligrams, can reduce moderate or severe nerve pain that from shingles or diabetes. Extended-release gabapentin Horizant tablets can treat restless legs syndrome RLSa condition characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs and a strong or irresistible urge to move the lower limbs.
A study from suggests that gabapentin combined with oxycontin, an opioid painkiller, can control pain and increase the quality of life for people with severe cancer pain. However, doctors do not typically prescribe gabapentin for this purpose.
The of daily doses, the hours that should pass between the doses, and the length of time that a person takes gabapentin will vary among individuals. Anyone prescribed the Horizant brand of gabapentin for RLS should take it only The drug gabapentin side effects the evening or at night. Some brands or dosages require a person to break the tablets in half. Always use the other half with the next dose, or as soon as possible. It is vital to take only the recommended dose of gabapentin and not to continue using it for longer than prescribed. If a person misses a dose, they should follow The drug gabapentin side effects instructions on labeling or call a pharmacist for advice.
Gabapentin can cause side effects. According to a reviewthese effects were slightly more common in people taking gabapentin than a placebo. Children and older adults may be most susceptible to adverse reactions to gabapentin. Possible side effects include:. Individuals taking gabapentin should talk to their doctors about any side effects that occur, especially if they are severe, ongoing, or get worse. Seek emergency medical treatment if symptoms of a severe or allergic reaction occur.
These include:. Some people experience thoughts of suicide or exhibit suicidal behavior when taking gabapentin or other anticonvulsants. If a person or their loved one notices changes in mood or behavior, they should contact a doctor immediately. Gabapentin can interact with other prescription or over-the-counter medications, vitaminsand herbal supplements. Be sure to give the doctor a full list of current medications and supplements before taking gabapentin. of a review suggest that the following are the main substances that interact with the drug:.
If gabapentin causes sleepiness, speak to the doctor before taking other medications that can also cause drowsiness, including:. To ensure that gabapentin is safe to take, a person should tell their doctor if they currently have or have ever experienced:. People who are pregnant, or intend to become pregnant, should tell their doctor before taking gabapentin. Pregnant women should only take the drug if it is absolutely necessary. However, it is also essential to control seizures while pregnant. Do not start or stop taking gabapentin for seizure control before talking to the doctor, who will assess the potential risks and benefits.
Gabapentin passes into breast milk, but its effects on babies are unknown. It is best to discuss this issue with a doctor before breastfeeding. Also, the medication may contain other ingredients that can trigger allergy symptoms in some people. Discuss all drug and food allergies with a doctor before taking gabapentin. Because gabapentin can cause drowsiness, anyone taking the drug should exercise caution while driving or using machinery. People should also avoid alcohol or limit their intake while on gabapentin because there is a risk of adverse reactions.
Several types of gabapentin are available, and different forms can treat The drug gabapentin side effects medical issues. The right dosage will vary, depending on the condition and other factors. A doctor can best advise about drug interactions and other safety considerations. Although gabapentin has the potential to cause several adverse The drug gabapentin side effects, many people experience no serious side effects.
Learn about restless legs syndrome, including common causes, treatments, and home remedies. This article contains the best tips on relieving symptoms. Simple partial seizures are a form of seizure where a person does not lose consciousness. Learn about the symptoms, causes, and treatment options here.
Focal seizures, also called partial seizures, happen when a seizure affects only one part of the brain. Focal seizures differ from generalized…. The radial nerve is prone to injury, even from minor incidents, such as sleeping on the arm. Radial nerve injury is also common after breaking the arm. Epilepsy is a condition in which the nervous system becomes disrupted by electrical als. What are the causes of epilepsy and can natural…. Uses Dosage Side effects Safety and risks Takeaway Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant medication that helps control seizures in people with epilepsy.
Share on Pinterest Gabapentin can prevent or control seizures. Side effects. Share on Pinterest Side effects of gabapentin can include dizziness and feeling sleepy. Image credit: Rachel Demsick, Safety and risks. Share on Pinterest Pregnant women should only take gabapentin if it is unavoidable.
Medically reviewed by Lindsay Slowiczek, Pharm. Climate change and toxic pollution: Which countries are most at risk? Related Coverage. Everything you need to know about restless legs syndrome. Medically reviewed by University of Illinois. What are simple partial seizures? Can natural treatments help with epilepsy?
Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.The drug gabapentin side effects
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Gabapentin: What to know