Uses Of Gabapentin:
Gabapentin is used with other medications to prevent and control seizures. It’s also used to ease nerve pain following shingles (a painful rash due to herpes zoster disease ) in adults.
Gabapentin is called an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug.
How to use Gabapentin:
Read the Medication Guide and, if accessible, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking gabapentin and every time you get a refill. In case you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without meals as directed by your doctor. For children, the dosage is also based on weight.
If you’re taking the tablets and your doctor directs you to split the tablet in half, then take the other half-tablet in another scheduled dose.
Discard half tablets if not used within a few days of splitting them. If you are taking the capsules, swallow them whole with loads of water.
It’s essential to follow your doctor’s dosing instructions exactly. During the first few days of therapy, your doctor may gradually increase your dose so your body can adjust to the medication.
Minimize side effects:
To minimize side effects, take the very first dose at bedtime.
Take this medication regularly to get the maximum benefit out of it. This drug works best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level.
Thus, take gabapentin at evenly spaced intervals in precisely the exact same time(s) daily.
If you’re taking this medication 3 times a day to control seizures, don’t allow more than 12 hours to pass between doses as the 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.
Don’t stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is abruptly stopped. Your dose may have to be gradually diminished.
Antacids containing magnesium or aluminum may interfere with the absorption of the medication.
Therefore, if you are also taking an antacid, it’s best to take gabapentin at least 2 hours after taking the antacid.
Different kinds of gabapentin (such as immediate-release, sustained-release, enacarbil sustained-release) are absorbed in the body otherwise. Don’t switch from one type to the other without consulting with your doctor.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Side Effects of Gabapentine:
Drowsiness, dizziness, lack of coordination, tiredness, blurred/double eyesight, unusual eye movements, or shaking (tremor) may happen. If any of these effects persist or worsen, then tell your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Don’t forget that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor straight away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: swelling of this hands/ankles/feet.
A few people who take anticonvulsants for any condition (such as seizures, bipolar illness, pain) may experience depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, or other mental/mood problems.
Tell your doctor straight away if you or your family/caregiver detect any unusual/sudden changes in your mood, thoughts, or behavior such as indications of depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, ideas about harming yourself.
Get medical help straight away if you have any very serious side effects, such as slow/shallow breathing.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is uncommon. However, seek medical help straight away if you notice any signs of a serious allergic response, such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, rash, itching/swelling (particularly of this face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This isn’t a comprehensive list of potential side effects. Should you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
From the US –
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
Precautions of Gabapentine:
Prior to taking Gabapentin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you’re allergic to it or to gabapentin enacarbil; even in a case, you have any other allergies.
This item may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Speak to your pharmacist for more information.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or blur your vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that requires alertness or clear vision until you are able to do it securely.
Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk with your doctor if you’re using marijuana (cannabis).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all of the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, particularly swelling of their hands/ankles/feet, slow/shallow breathing, dizziness, or loss of coordination. Dizziness and lack of coordination may increase the risk of falling.
Kids may be more sensitive to the side effects of the drug, especially mental/mood/behavior effects (such as hostility, problems concentrating, restlessness).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed.
Gabapentin passes into breast milk. Ask your doctor prior to breast-feeding.
Interactions of Gabapentine:
See also the How to Use section.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This record does not contain all possible drug interactions.
Maintain a listing of all the products that you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.
Don’t start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.
A product that may interact with this drug is orlistat.
The risk of serious side effects (such as slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness/dizziness) may be increased when this medication is taken along with other products that may also lead to drowsiness or breathing problems.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you’re using other products such as opioid cough or pain relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), drugs for anxiety or sleep (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Consult your pharmacist about using those products safely.
Do not use this medication with other medications that include gabapentin (including gabapentin enacarbil).
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests for urine protein. Make sure laboratory personnel and all of your doctors know you use this drug.
Overdose of Gabapentine:
If someone has overdosed and has serious signs such as passing or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center straight away.
US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include severe nausea, slurred speech, fatigue.
Do not share this medication with others.
Missed Doses of Gabapentin:
If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Take your next dose at the normal time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
If you take gabapentin 3 times every day to control seizures, don’t allow more than 12 hours to pass between doses as your seizures may increase. Seek advice from your doctor straight away if this happens.
Storage of Gabapentin:
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Ask your friends and loved ones for support. If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, consider joining a support group or seeking counseling. Believe in your ability to take control of the pain…
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