Gabapentin (By mouth)

Introduction

Gabapentin (gab-a-PEN-tin)

Treats certain types of seizures, called partial seizures, in people who have epilepsy. Also treats pain caused by shingles (postherpetic neuralgia).

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Neurontin, Gabarone

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to gabapentin.

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule, Liquid, Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • Do not allow more than 12 hours between doses.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Gabapentin may be used together with other seizure medicines. Keep using all of your medicines unless your doctor tells you to stop.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Store the oral liquid in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using hydrocodone (Vicodin®), morphine, or naproxen (Naprosyn®).
  • If you take an antacid (such as Maalox® or Mylanta®), wait at least 2 hours before taking gabapentin.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. Your doctor may want you to join a pregnancy registry for pregnant patients taking seizure medicines.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have kidney disease, or a history of cancer, depression, or mental illness.
  • This medicine may cause some people to be agitated, irritable, or display other abnormal behaviors, such as feeling sad or hopeless, getting upset easily, or feeling nervous or hostile. It may also cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies or to become more depressed. If you, your child, or your caregiver notice any of these side effects, tell your doctor right away.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy, drowsy, or sleepy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Behavior problems, hostility, restlessness, trouble concentrating, or moodiness (especially in children).
  • Clumsiness, problems with coordination, or slurred speech.
  • Extreme tiredness.
  • Feeling sad, depressed, or having an unusual mood or behavior.
  • Fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat, stuffy nose, and body aches (especially in children).
  • Rapid weight gain.
  • Shakiness or tremors.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Uncontrolled eye movements.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Blurred or double vision.
  • Diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting (especially in children).
  • Dizziness.
  • Sleepiness or unusual drowsiness (especially in children).
  • Tiredness or weakness.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
Adam Data Copyright The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only--they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

For information 410.787.4000

© 2013 UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center.  All rights reserved.

301 Hospital Drive, Glen Burnie, MD 21061 | 410-787-4000 | TTY 410-787-4498