Monday, May 20, 2024

Gabapentin Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Safety and Warnings

Gabapentin is an anti-epileptic drug, also known as an anticonvulsant, which affects chemicals and nerves in the body thus treating seizures and pains. It is a prescription drug used by adults to treat neuropathic pain. It comes as an:

  • oral capsule
  • an immediate-release oral tablet
  • an extended-release oral tablet
  • and an oral solution.

Gabapentin oral capsule is available as the brand-name drug Neurontin. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version. In some cases, the brand-name drug and the generic version may be available in different forms and strengths.

Types of Gabapentin:

There are three brands and forms of Gabapentin which doctors prescribe.

  1. The Gralise brand: it is used to treat neuropathic pain only. It is not used for epilepsy.
  2. The Horizant brand: in addition to treating neuropathic pain, is also used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS).
  3. The Neurontin brand: in addition to neuropathic pain, it is also used to treat seizures in adults and children who are at least 3 years old.


Gabapentin oral capsule can be used as a part of a combination therapy, which means you need to take it with other drugs. It is used to treat the following illnesses.

  • Seizures: Gabapentin is used to treat partial seizures. It’s taken together with other seizure medications in adults and in children 3 years of age and older who have epilepsy.
  • Postherpetic neuralgia: This is pain from nerve damage caused by shingles, a painful rash that affects adults. Shingles appear after infection with the varicella-zoster virus. This virus occurs in people who have had chickenpox.

Safety and Warnings:

  • You should not use gabapentin if you are allergic to it.
  • A patient with lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) should first consult their doctor before using it.
  • Do not use Gabapentin if you have kidney disease or if you are on dialysis.
  • Gabapentin is harmful to patients of diabetes; depression, a mood disorder, or suicidal thoughts or actions; a seizure (unless you take gabapentin to treat seizures); liver disease; heart disease; or you are taking an anti-depressant or sedating medication; or for patients with RLSif, you are a day sleeper or work a night shift.
  • Gabapentin doesn’t suit some people as they get suicidal thoughts while taking it so make regular visits to your doctor and people round you must also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
  • 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.


  • Prescription is important to follow directions. Take gabapentin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
  • Both Gralise and Horizant should be taken with food while Neurontin can be taken with or without food, but should be taken with water.
  • 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.
  • Do not stop the medicine suddenly if you feel because it can increase the seizures. Follow your doctor’s advise.
  • Store both tablets and capsules at room temperature away from light and moisture while the liquid medicine should be kept in the refrigerator but do not freeze.

Side effects:

  • viral infection
  • fever
  • nausea and vomiting
  • trouble speaking
  • hostility
  • jerky movements
  • Changes in mood or anxiety.
  • Changes in behavior and thinking, especially in children ages 3 to 12 years.
  • Serious and life-threatening allergic reaction.
Teodora Torrendo
Teodora Torrendo
Teodora Torrendo is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.

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