What does Gabapentin use for ?

Gabapentin can be used to treat following health conditions:

  • Alcohol Withdrawal
  • Anxiety
  • Benign Essential Tremor
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Burning Mouth Syndrome
  • Cluster-Tic Syndrome
  • Cough
  • Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Epilepsy
  • Erythromelalgia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hiccups
  • Hot Flashes
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Insomnia
  • Lhermitte’s Sign
  • Migraine
  • Nausea/Vomiting, Chemotherapy Induced
  • Neuropathic Pain
  • Occipital Neuralgia
  • Pain
  • Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Postherpetic Neuralgia
  • Postmenopausal Symptoms
  • Pruritus
  • Pudendal Neuralgia
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome
  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Small Fiber Neuropathy
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Syringomyelia
  • Transverse Myelitis
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Vulvodynia

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant prescription drug that goes by several brand names including, Neurontin, Gralise, Gabarone, and Fanatrex. It was approved by the FDA in December 1993 for the following main uses.

    1. Controlling certain types of seizures in people who have epilepsy
    2. Relieving nerve pain (think: burning, stabbing, or aches) from shingles
    3. Calming restless legs syndrome

 

10 Most Common Questions About Gabapentin

  1. Is there a generic version of gabapentin available?
    Since its manufacturer no longer has patent protection on the drug, there are generic versions on the market. They include Neurontin, Gralise, Gabarone, and Fanatrex.
  2. How much does gabapentin cost?
    According to GoodRx.com, generic Gabapentin can cost between $7-$27 for ninety 100mg or 300mg capsules and between $14-$53 for ninety 400mg capsules.
  3. What is the difference between gabapentin and other mood-stabilizing medications?
    This is kind of a trick question. Technically, even though we hear the term “mood stabilizer” quite often, especially in the context of bipolar disorder, the FDA doesn’t officially recognize the term. Not only that, but even researchers and psychiatrists can’t come with a definition everyone agrees on. That said, lithium (which is probably the drug anyone with bipolar disorder is most familiar with) has significant differences from gabapentin. Lithium is in a class called bipolar disorder agents. Gabapentin is in a class called anticonvulsants. Their chemical structures are not the same and they work differently in the body. In addition to being used for bipolar, both have also been used for epilepsy.
  4. How is gabapentin different from valproate and carbamazepine?
    There are claims that gabapentin was successful in helping with rapid cycling and mixed bipolar states in people who have not received relief from valproate or carbamazepine. It appeared that gabapentin helped more with anxiety and agitation than the other two drugs. Likewise, it has been shown to be beneficial with certain types of tardive dyskinesia.
  5. Are there potential interaction issues for people taking carbamazepine, valproate or lithium?
    No interactions between gabapentin and valproate, carbamazepine or lithium have been reported.
  6. Does gabapentin interact with any other prescriptions or over-the-counter medications, such as MAO inhibitors?
    There are only a few interaction issues that are known. Antacids have been known to decrease absorption of the drug. Gabapentin could also increase the level of concentration of some oral contraceptives by up to 13 percent. As far as MAO’s, this particular combination doesn’t present any special issues, but you should always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the medications you are taking.
  7. Are there any interaction issues between gabapentin and alcohol?
    Alcohol has been known to increase the discomfort of Gabapentin’s side effects.
  8. Is it safe for a woman who is pregnant, about to become pregnant, or nursing to take gabapentin?
    The FDA placed gabapentin in pregnancy category C. According to studies done on animals, there has been evidence of fetal loss. However, there have been no studies done on humans. Despite all this, experts believe that the benefits gained from taking gabapentin may outweigh its risks.
  9. Can children and adolescents safely take gabapentin? What about the elderly?
    Gabapentin may be used to treat seizures in children as young as 3 years old. The dosages will be different from what you’d give an adult, and the doctor may specify a particular brand name, such as Neurontin. Similar to children, the elderly may start on a lower dose.
  10. Why do doctors prescribe gabapentin when there are other mood stabilizing medications that have been around for many years? True, there are medications that have been shown to be more effective in double-blind studies that are placebo controlled. But there are two reasons why physicians prescribe gabapentin over more established drugs. One: not everyone improves with the older, more established medications. Two: some people can’t deal with the side effects of the other drugs.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider.  This article mentions drugs that were FDA-approved and available at the time of publication and may not include all possible drug interactions or all FDA warnings or alerts. The author of this page explicitly does not endorse this drug or any specific treatment method. If you have health questions or concerns about interactions, please check with your physician or go to the FDA site for a comprehensive list of warnings.

Warning: The Food and Drug Administration issued a serious warning about gabapentin in 2019. According to the FDA, breathing difficulties may occur in patients who have underlying respiratory problems (or in the elderly) when gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant) or pregabalin (Lyrica, Lyrica CR) is taken with other medicines that depress the central nervous system. There is evidence of risk with gabapentinoids alone in otherwise healthy people too; though this evidence is not as strong and is still being monitored.

Additionally, note that there are not a lot of comprehensive studies that look at gabapentin as a way to treat anxiety, mood disorders or tardive dyskinesia (uncontrollable movements). As with any medication, always talk to your health care professional if you have any questions or concerns.

Gabapentin dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Epilepsy:

Initial dose: 300 mg orally on day one, 300 mg orally twice a day on day two, then 300 mg orally 3 times a day on day three.

Maintenance dose: 900 to 1800 mg orally in 3 divided doses. If necessary, the dose may be increased using 300 mg or 400 mg capsules three times a day up to 1800 mg/day. Dosages up to 2400 mg/day have been well tolerated in long-term clinical studies. Doses of 3600 mg/day have also been administered to a small number of patients for a relatively short duration, and have been well tolerated. The maximum time between doses in the three times a day schedule should not exceed 12 hours.

Gabapentin Dosing Information
Gabapentin Dosing Information

The safety and effectiveness of gabapentin available under the trade name Gralise (R) or Horizant (R) in patients with epilepsy has not been studied.

Usual Adult Dose for Postherpetic Neuralgia:

Initial dose: 300 mg orally on day one, 300 mg orally twice a day on day two, then 300 mg orally 3 times a day on day three.

The dose may be titrated up as needed for pain relief to a daily dose of 1800 mg.
Maintenance dose: 900 to 1800 mg orally in 3 divided doses.

Efficacy was demonstrated in clinical studies over a range of 1800 mg/day to 3600 mg/day. However, no additional benefit was demonstrated from the use of doses over 1800 mg/day.

Gabapentin available under the trade name Gralise (R):

Maintenance dose: Gralise (R) should be titrated to 1800 mg orally once daily with the evening meal.

Recommended titration schedule:
Day 1: 300 mg orally with the evening meal
Day 2: 600 mg orally with the evening meal
Days 3 through 6: 900 mg orally with the evening meal
Days 7 through 10: 1200 mg orally with the evening meal
Days 11 through 14: 1500 mg orally with the evening meal
Day 15: 1800 mg orally with the evening meal

Gralise (R) is not interchangeable with other gabapentin products because of differing pharmacokinetic profiles that affect the frequency of administration.

Gabapentin enacarbil extended release tablets available under the trade name Horizant (R):

The recommended dosage is 600 mg orally twice daily. Therapy should be initiated at a dose of 600 mg orally in the morning for 3 days of therapy, then increased to 600 mg twice daily (1,200 mg/day) on day four.

Gabapentin enacarbil extended release tablets available under the trade name Horizant (R) and gabapentin are not interchangeable.

Usual Adult Dose for Restless Legs Syndrome:

Gabapentin enacarbil available under the trade name Horizant (R):
600 mg orally once daily with food at about 5 PM

Usual Pediatric Dose for Epilepsy:

Less than 3 years: Effectiveness has not been established.

Greater than or equal to 3 and less than 12 years:
Starting Dose: ranges from 10 to 15 mg/kg/day in 3 divided doses.
Effective Dose: reached by upward titration over a period of approximately 3 days. The effective dose of gabapentin in patients 5 years of age and older is 25 to 35 mg/kg/day and given in divided doses (three times a day). The effective dose in pediatric patients ages 3 and 4 years is 40 mg/kg/day and given in divided doses (three times a day). Gabapentin may be administered as the oral solution, capsule, or tablet, or using combinations of these formulations. Dosages up to 50 mg/kg/day have been well tolerated in a long term clinical study. The maximum time interval between doses should not exceed 12 hours.

Greater than 12 years:
Initial dose: 300 mg orally on day one, 300 mg orally twice a day on day two, then 300 mg orally 3 times a day on day three.
Maintenance dose: 900 to 1800 mg orally in 3 divided doses. If necessary, the dose may be increased using 300 mg or 400 mg capsules three times a day up to 1800 mg/day. Dosages up to 2400 mg/day have been well tolerated in long term clinical studies. Doses of 3600 mg/day have also been administered to a small number of patients for a relatively short duration, and have been well tolerated. The maximum time between doses in the three times a day schedule should not exceed 12 hours.

What other drugs will affect gabapentin?

Taking this medicine with other drugs that make you sleepy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before taking gabapentin with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Other drugs may interact with gabapentin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

What is gabapentin?

Gabapentin is an anti-epileptic medication, also called an anticonvulsant. It affects chemicals and nerves in the body that are involved in the cause of seizures and some types of pain.

Gabapentin is used in adults to treat nerve pain caused by herpes virus or shingles (herpes zoster).

Gabapentin 800 mg Tab-IVA

The Horizant brand of gabapentin is also used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS).

The Neurontin brand of gabapentin is also used to treatseizures in adults and children who are at least 3 years old.

Use only the brand and form of gabapentin that your doctor has prescribed. Check your medicine each time you get a refill at the pharmacy, to make sure you have received the correct form of this medication.

Important information

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Gabapentin is not a controlled substance. You can order Gabapentin online with a doctor prescription.

Gabapentin May Increase Your Suicide Thoughts

Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking this medicine. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using Neurontin. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

In 2009 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning of an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in patients taking some anticonvulsant drugs, including gabapentin, modifying the packaging inserts to reflect this.  A 2010 meta analysis confirmed the increased risk of suicide associated with gabapentin use.

Gabapentin can be used for

    • Postmenopausal Symptoms
    • Alcohol Withdrawal
    • Occipital Neuralgia
    • Hot Flashes
    • Trigeminal Neuralgia
    • Bipolar Disorder
    • Migraine
    • Cough
    • Anxiety
    • Restless Legs Syndrome
    • Postherpetic Neuralgia
    • Insomnia
    • Pruritus
    • Benign Essential Tremor
    • Pudendal Neuralgia
    • Transverse Myelitis
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Spondylolisthesis
    • Peripheral Neuropathy
    • Pain
    • Neuropathic Pain
    • Epilepsy
    • Vulvodynia
    • Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
    • Hiccups
    • Syringomyelia
    • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome
    • Burning Mouth Syndrome
    • Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
    • Small Fiber Neuropathy
    • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome