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    Information about Gabapentin

    Gabapentin uses

    Gabapentin is used in the treatment of neuropathic pain and Epilepsy/Seizures.

    How gabapentin works

    Gabapentin is an antiepileptic medication. When given for epilepsy, it is believed to work by reducing the abnormal electrical activity in the brain, thus preventing seizures. It is also used to treat nerve pain where it blocks pain by interfering with pain signals travelling through the damaged nerves and the brain.

    Common side effects of gabapentin

    Dizziness, Fatigue, Fever, Impaired coordination, Nausea, Nystagmus (involuntary eye movement), Peripheral edema, Sleepiness, Viral infection, Vomiting
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Swati Mishra
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Khushbu Goel
    DM, MD
    Last updated on:
    04 Mar 2020 | 03:59 PM (IST)
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    Read Our Editorial Policy

    Available Medicine for Gabapentin

    • ₹109 to ₹384
      Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd
      8 variant(s)
    • ₹73 to ₹251
      Alkem Laboratories Ltd
      3 variant(s)
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      Arinna Lifescience Pvt Ltd
      3 variant(s)
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      La Renon Healthcare Pvt Ltd
      2 variant(s)
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      Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd
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      Primus Pharmaceuticals
      2 variant(s)
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      Alteus Biogenics Pvt Ltd
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      2 variant(s)
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      Crescent Therapeutics Ltd
      2 variant(s)

    Expert advice for Gabapentin

    • You have been prescribed Gabapentin for treating and preventing nerve pain caused by diabetes and shingles.
    • It may also be used for the treatment and prevention of seizures.
    • Take it at the same time every day, preferably at bedtime, to avoid any dizziness or drowsiness during the day.
    • Avoid taking antacids 2 hours before or after taking Gabapentin as they make it harder for your body to absorb the medicine.
    • It may cause sleepiness. Do not drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how it affects you.
    • Inform your doctor if you develop any unusual changes in mood or behavior, new or worsening depression, or suicidal thoughts or behavior.
    • Do not stop taking Gabapentin suddenly without talking to your doctor as it may increase the frequency of seizure.

    Frequently asked questions for Gabapentin


    Q. I have been prescribed Gabapentin for pain. When will I start feeling better?

    It varies from person to person. Some people take about a week or two before noticing relief in pain. Whereas, some people may see an improvement straight away. It is recommended that you take Gabapentin only for nerve pain and as advised by your doctor.

    Q. I think I have gained weight since I started taking Gabapentin. Can this be because of Gabapentin?

    Yes, Gabapentin may cause weight gain because it increases your hunger. Regular physical exercise and a balanced diet with low calorie food may help you maintain a stable weight. Consult a dietitian if you have any further concerns to keep your weight stable.

    Q. For how long do I need to take Gabapentin?

    Your doctor will decide the duration of the treatment based on your condition and your response to the treatment. For instance, if you have been prescribed Gabapentin for epilepsy, you may have to take it for a long time, maybe years even if your seizures are controlled. Whereas, if you are taking it for nerve pain and it has relieved your pain, you may have to take it for several months only.

    Q. What are the serious side effects that may occur while taking Gabapentin?

    Taking Gabapentin may cause yellowing of the skin or eyes (warning signs of jaundice), trouble in breathing or talking and tightness in chest or throat (suggestive of serious allergic skin reactions). It may provoke suicidal thoughts and cause unusual bruises or bleeding which may be due to blood disorder. Other serious side effects may include muscle weakness and pain, fever which could lead to kidney failure, long-lasting stomach pain, nausea and vomiting (suggestive of pancreatitis and rash).

    Q. Is Gabapentin habit forming?

    No, it will not be addictive if you take it as per your doctor’s recommendations. However, physical dependence has been reported in people who had taken more than the recommended dose of Gabapentin or had used Gabapentin for illnesses it is not approved for.

    Q. I am taking Gabapentin for nerve pain. Can I take it off and on?

    No, Gabapentin is not a simple pain reliever. It is important that you follow your doctor’s advice strictly. Taking it off and on may not give you the desired results and may worsen your pain.

    Q. What if somebody takes more than the recommended dose of Gabapentin?

    A higher than the recommended dose of Gabapentin may cause faintness, dizziness, double vision, unclear speech, drowsiness, tiredness and mild diarrhea. The person requires immediate medical attention by a doctor or in a nearby hospital.

    Q. What should I tell my doctor before taking this medicine?

    Inform your doctor if you are taking any other medicines including medicines for epilepsy or seizures, medicines used to thin your blood (e.g., warfarin), birth control pills, medicines to control bacterial infection (e.g., chloramphenicol, metronidazole, and doxycycline), medicines to control viral infection (e.g., nelfinavir), asthma medicines (e.g., theophylline and montelukast), etc. Also, inform your doctor if you are planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding. Further, you should tell the doctor if you have ever had liver problems, kidney problems, lung problems, or porphyria (a rare blood pigment disorder).

    Q. What should I avoid while taking Gabapentin?

    If Gabapentin makes you feel sleepy, avoid driving or operating heavy machinery. Alcohol consumption should be avoided since taking both together may cause excessive sleepiness.

    Q. Does Gabapentin reduce the efficiency of oral birth control pills?

    No, Gabapentin does not have any effect on oral birth control pills.

    Content on this page was last updated on 04 March, 2020, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)