What Are The Serious Side Effects Of Gabapentin
If you have any of these symptoms, call your healthcare provider right away:
- Signs of an allergic reaction: If you have a skin rash, hives, itching or swollen, blistered or peeling skin with or without fever contact your healthcare provider. You should also contact your provider if you have trouble breathing or swallowing, wheezing or swelling of your face, lips, throat, eyes, mouth or tongue
- Changes in mood or behavior: Call your provider for any suicidal thoughts or thoughts about dying, suicide attempts, new or worsening depression, anxiety, irritability or feelings of agitation or restlessness. You should also call your provider for trouble sleeping, panic attacks, feelings of aggression or anger, impulsive behavior, extreme increase in activity or talking and other changes in mood or behavior, confusion, inability to focus or memory problems as these can be side effects of your medication.
- Signs of liver abnormalities: Yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes, dark urine, light-colored stools, vomiting, unusual bleeding or bruising.
- Signs of kidney abnormalities: Trouble urinating, a change in how much urine is passed, blood in your urine, or weight gain and swelling of legs and feet from retaining fluid.
- Other concerning abnormalities: Change in color of your skin to a bluish color on your lips, nail beds, fingers, or toes along with severe fatigue or weakness and unexpected muscle pain.
Precautions Before Starting Gabapentin
- Have you had any psychotic episodes?
- Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Are you taking any other medicines? This includes any medicines you buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines and medicines for pain relief.
If so, its important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist before you start gabapentin. Sometimes a medicine isnt suitable for a person with certain conditions, or it can only be used with extra care.
What Is Gabapentin Approved For
Gabapentin is used to:
- Prevent and control partial seizures. Gabapentin can be used in adults and children age 3 and older who have partial seizures.
- Relieve nerve pain following shingles in adults.Shingles is a painful rash that develops many years after you’ve had chickenpox. The virus that causes chickenpox stays dormant in a portion of your spinal nerve root called the dorsal root ganglion. For whatever reason, this otherwise dormant virus gets reactivated usually by stress causing a shingles rash. Nerve pain following a case of shingles is called postherpetic neuralgia .
- Treat moderate-too-severe primary restless legs syndrome.
The branded gabapentin products Neurontin and Gralise are approved for partial seizures and PHN. The branded gabapentin enacarbil product Horizant is approved for restless legs syndrome and PHN.
Don’t Miss: Pain In Knee When Straightened
How Do I Take It
Gabapentin comes as a capsule, tablet or liquid. You may start on a dose as small as 100 milligrams 3 times a day, Dr. Arora says.
Gabapentin reaches its peak concentration in your body about 8 hours after you take it, Dr. Arora says. But the action may start even within 2 hours after you take it.
It can take about 2 weeks for the full effects of gabapentin to kick in. You have to let it build up, and you need to be patient. The key is to keep taking it, Dr. Arora says.
Be sure that you keep to a consistent schedule your doctor will tell you how many times a day you need to take a dose. For consistent pain relief, you need to take the medication every 8 or 12 hours, Dr. Arora says. Many people stay on gabapentin long term and take it every day.
What Do People Use Gabapentin For
Gabapentins primary use is to prevent or control seizures. It works by calming nerve activity to reduce seizure intensity or occurrence.
Children and adults can take this drug. The brand-name drug Neurontin can treat one form of epilepsy in children as young as 3 years old. Some people take other medications with gabapentin to control epilepsy symptoms.
Gabapentin can also help reduce post-herpetic neuralgia, which refers to a burning or stabbing nerve pain that is a common complication of shingles.
According to one 2017 review, oral gabapentin can reduce moderate or severe nerve pain that results from shingles or diabetes at a minimum daily dosage of 1,200 milligrams.
Extended-release gabapentin tablets can treat RLS, which is a condition characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs and a strong or irresistible urge to move the lower limbs.
Individuals taking gabapentin should talk with a doctor about any problems they experience while doing so, especially if they are severe, ongoing, or getting worse.
People taking gabapentin should be aware of the following serious safety concerns.
Also Check: Kailo Pain Patch Where To Buy
How To Take Gabapentin
- Timing: Take gabapentin at the same times each day. You can take gabapentin with or without food. Try taking gabapentin with food if it makes you feel sick .
- Swallow the capsules whole, with a glass of water: If you have problems swallowing the capsule, you can open it and mix the contents with apple sauce or orange juice, just before taking it. The capsule contents have an unpleasant taste.
- Limit or avoid alcohol while taking gabapentin: Taking gabapentin and alcohol can make your more sleepy, drowsy or dizzy and increase your risk of falls.
- Missed dose: If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. But if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose.
- Pain relief is not immediate: If you are taking gabapentin for pain, it will not relieve pain immediately. It may take a few days before you feel less pain.
- Keep taking gabapentin regularly: If you think gabapentin is not working for you, do not stop taking it suddenly. Stopping treatment suddenly can cause side effects. Talk to your doctor or nurse before stopping. It is usually best to stop gabapentin slowly.
Related: Stat Forecast: Opioids Could Kill Nearly 500000 Americans In The Next Decade
Athens, home to Ohio University, lies in the southeastern corner of the state, which has been ravaged by the opioid epidemic. Despite experience in combating illicit drug use, law enforcement officials and drug counselors say the addition of gabapentin adds a new obstacle. As providers dole out the drug in mass quantities for conditions such as restless legs syndrome and alcoholism, it is being subverted to a drug of abuse. Gabapentin can enhance the euphoria caused by an opioid and stave off drug withdrawals. In addition, it can bypass the blocking effects of medications used for addiction treatment, enabling patients to get high while in recovery.
I dont know if we have a clear picture of the risk, said Joe Gay, executive director of Health Recovery Services, a network of substance abuse recovery centers headquartered in Athens.
Also Check: Endo Pain All The Time
Gabapentin For Nerve Pain: Benefits Side Effects Dosages
Damaged nerves result in neuropathic pain, especially in individuals diagnosed with diabetes.
To treat nerve pain, medical practitioners may prescribe the patient gabapentin.
The medication is normally given to people with depression or epilepsy, but it can also be used to treat nerve pain.
Anyone experiencing nerve pain and wishes to take gabapentin should know what it is, research on the benefits people with nerve pain, does it have any side effects, and what is the recommended dosage.
Dr Howard Samuels Psyd
Founder & CEO The Hills Treatment Centers, Inc.
I have been clean and sober for 32 years from heroin and cocaine addiction. My dedication to recovery and my commitment to making sure that women are afforded a safe, non-judgmental space within which to transform their lives has led to me directly serving on the Board of Directors for Peggy Albrecht Friendly House for it is only from this seat that I feel I have the opportunity to truly make a difference.
Also Check: Femoral Stem Pain After Hip Replacement
Interactions With Other Medications And Substances
Gabapentin can interact with other prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
People should be sure to give a doctor a full list of their current medications and supplements before taking gabapentin.
The results of another suggest that the following are some of the main substances that interact with the drug:
- caffeine, which is present in tea, coffee, and cola
- ethacrynic acid, which is a diuretic
- losartan, which is a medication for high blood pressure
- magnesium oxide, which is a mineral supplement and antacid
- mefloquine, which is an antimalarial drug
- morphine, which is an opioid pain medication
- phenytoin, which is an anti-seizure medication
If gabapentin causes sleepiness, a person should speak with a doctor before taking other medications that can also cause drowsiness, including:
- antianxiety medications
Normal Dosage Of Gabapentin For Nerve Pain
The normal dosage of gabapentin for nerve pain varies from individual to individual. The reason is that different people absorb this drug to different extents. Moreover, the drug cant be given in large quantities at the start. In the case of adults, doctors generally give 300 mg in one dose.
On the first day, only one dose is to be taken, on the second day, two doses, and on the third day, three doses. From then on, the patient should continue three doses a day. They should take these doses in evenly spaced intervals.
In this case, in 8 hours. However, if the patient doesnt get pain relief, doctors can increase the amount of the drug per dosing. The dose increment has to be in blocks of 300 mg. The maximum recommended dose is 1800 mg. This dose is essential to treat nerve pain.
Don’t Miss: Can Sleeping Wrong Cause Back Pain
Gabapentin May Interact With Other Medications
Gabapentin oral capsule can interact with several other medications. Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some can interfere with how well a drug works, while others can cause increased side effects.
Below is a list of medications that can interact with gabapentin. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with gabapentin.
Before taking gabapentin, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.
If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
What Can I Take In Place Of Gabapentin
If gabapentin is not helping with your healthcare needs or is causing adverse reactions with its use, there are several alternative prescription drugs that can be used in its place. These medications may have fewer side effects and may provide more desirable results for the treatment of seizures and neuropathic types of pain. Other options are listed in the table below:
Recommended Reading: Mattress Firmness For Back Pain
Follow These Precautions If You Take Generic Gabapentin
If you are to take any brand containing generic gabapentin then it will only be possible if the doctors give you an approval stating the brand and the dose since gabapentin is a prescription substance. along with this, you will have to remember that the doctors are going to mention ensuring some precautions.
Well, first of all, patients should describe their overall health and the presence of any other disorder if any. If any disorder is currently pursuing also inform the doctors of your treatment modes and pills being taken as of now.
Along with this, remember that you will need to omit taking substances such as alcohol and narcotic drugs from your life. These substances have the highest chances of forming dangerous contraindications and upbringing huge side effects.
If you are a female patient inform me if you are pregnant or if you are planning to have a baby. If you are a breastfeeding mother you will also need to inform about the same.
What Should I Do If I Miss A Dose Of Gabapentin
If you forget to take a dose of gabapentin, take it as soon as you remember. If its just a few hours before its time to take your next dose, take only one dose. Never take more than one dose in an attempt to catch up. If you have any concerns or questions, be sure to call your healthcare provider or pharmacist right away.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/01/2021.
Recommended Reading: Icd 10 Right Hip Pain
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Starting Gabapentin
Tell your healthcare provider if you:
- Have lung or breathing problems.
- Have kidney problems or are on dialysis.
- Have or had mood problems, depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior.
- Have a history of drug abuse or alcohol abuse problems.
- Are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
Inform your providers of all medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter, as well as supplements, vitamins and herbal products.
Benefits Of Using Gabapentin
The best benefit of taking gabapentin is that the substance is quite efficient in healing you to achieve a complete cure from neural pain during its active time. The benefits of taking gabapentin on a course mean that patients will be able to relieve the pain and ensure a normal and peaceful life devoid of any pain.
Recommended Reading: Hip Pain After L4 L5 Surgery
Description Of The Condition
Neuropathic pain is a consequence of a pathological maladaptive response of the nervous system to ‘damage’ from a wide variety of potential causes . It is characterised by pain in the absence of an noxious stimulus, or where minor or moderate nociceptive stimuli evoke exaggerated levels of pain. Neuropathic pain may be spontaneous in its temporal characteristics or be evoked by sensory stimuli .
Neuropathic pain is heterogeneous in etiology, pathophysiology, and clinical appearance. The 2011 International Association for the Study of Pain definition of neuropathic pain is “pain caused by a lesion or disease of the somatosensory system” , based on a definition agreed at an earlier consensus meeting . Neuropathic pain is associated with a variety of sensory loss and sensory gain clinical phenomena, the exact patterns of which vary between people and disease, perhaps reflecting different pain mechanisms operating in an individual person and, therefore, potentially predictive of response to treatment . A new approach of subgrouping people with peripheral neuropathic pain of different etiologies according to intrinsic sensory profiles has generated three profiles that may be related to pathophysiological mechanisms and may be useful in clinical trial design to enrich the study population for treatment responders .
How To Use Gabapentin Oral
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. Take gabapentin at evenly spaced intervals at the same time 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.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Recommended Reading: How Painful Is Wisdom Tooth Removal
How Much Should I Give
Your doctor will work out the amount of Gabapentin that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label.
When you first start giving Gabapentin to your child, you will probably give them a low dose, which may be increased bit by bit over a few days or weeks. This helps your child to get used to the medicine. Your doctor will explain what to do.
It is important that you follow your doctors instructions about how much to give.
What Does Current Guidance Say On This Issue
NICE guidelines on low back pain and sciatica in over-16s state that anticonvulsants should not be offered for managing low back pain. Self-management and exercise programmes are core components of care. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are the recommended drug treatment, with weak opioids considered only if NSAIDs are contraindicated, not tolerated or ineffective.
However, for management of sciatica NICE refer to their Neuropathic pain guidelines, which do recommend gabapentin or pregabalin as initial treatment options for neuropathic pain.
NICE Key Therapeutic Topic guidance notes that âThe use of both gabapentin and pregabalin can lead to dependence and these medicines may be misused or diverted.â
You May Like: Knee Pain When Squatting And Standing Up
How The Intervention Might Work
Gabapentin’s mechanism of action is primarily attributed to its effect on calcium channels located throughout the peripheral and central nervous systems, which modify the release of neurotransmitters and reduce excitability of nerve cells . This mode of action confers antiepileptic, analgesic, and sedative effects. Research also indicates that gabapentin acts by blocking new synapse formation .