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All about: Gabapentin

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Generic Name: Gabapentin Tablets 100 mg, 300 mg, and 400 mg (GAB-a-PEN-tin)
Brand Name: Neurontin

Gabapentin is used for:

Treating seizures associated with epilepsy. It may also be used for treating nerve pain associated with herpes zoster (shingles) infection (postherpetic neuralgia). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant. The exact way that it works to prevent seizures and nerve pain is unknown.

Do NOT use Gabapentin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Gabapentin

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Gabapentin :

Some medical conditions may interact with Gabapentin . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney problems and are on dialysis

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Gabapentin . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Morphine because it may increase the risk of Gabapentin 's side effects, including drowsiness

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Gabapentin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Gabapentin :

Use Gabapentin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Gabapentin by mouth with or without food.
  • Swallow Gabapentin whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
  • Do not take an antacid containing aluminum or magnesium within 2 hours before you take Gabapentin .
  • Do not suddenly stop taking Gabapentin . You may have an increased risk of side effects (eg, seizures). If you need to stop Gabapentin or add a new medicine, your doctor will gradually lower your dose.
  • If you miss a dose of Gabapentin , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Gabapentin .

Important safety information:

  • Gabapentin may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Gabapentin with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Diabetes patients - Gabapentin may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Gabapentin may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking Gabapentin .
  • Lab tests, including liver function, kidney function, and complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use Gabapentin . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Gabapentin with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Gabapentin may cause emotional or behavioral side effects in CHILDREN 3 to 12 years of age. If the following side effects occur, notify your doctor immediately: emotional "swings", hostile or aggressive behavior, problems concentrating, decreased performance at school, an increase in restlessness or hyperactivity.
  • Gabapentin should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 3 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Gabapentin while you are pregnant. Gabapentin is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Gabapentin , check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

If you stop taking Gabapentin suddenly, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms. These may include dizziness, drowsiness, clumsiness, hostility, hyperactivity, mood swings, nausea, tiredness, or vomiting.

Possible side effects of Gabapentin :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Back pain; changes in vision (double or blurred vision); clumsiness; constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; nausea; stomach upset; tiredness; vomiting; weight gain.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); abnormal thoughts; aggressive behavior; back and forth eye movements; behavioral problems; change in school performance; chest pain; confusion; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; hostility; hyperactivity; loss of coordination; memory loss; mood swings; numbness of an arm or leg; one-sided weakness; restlessness; seizures; severe headache or dizziness; shortness of breath; speech changes; swelling of the hands, legs, or feet; tremor; trouble concentrating; twitching.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include diarrhea; double vision; drowsiness; lethargy; slurred speech.

Proper storage of Gabapentin :

Store Gabapentin at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Gabapentin out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Gabapentin , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Gabapentin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Gabapentin . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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