Gabapentin (By mouth)

Introduction

Gabapentin (gab-a-PEN-tin)

Treats certain types of seizures. Also treats Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) and pain caused by shingles (postherpetic neuralgia).

Brand Name(s)

FusePaq Fanatrex, Gabarone, Gralise, Neurontin, Therapentin-60, Therapentin-90

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

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

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule, Liquid, Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • If you have epilepsy and take gabapentin 3 times per day, do not allow more than 12 hours to pass between any 2 doses. The medicine works best if a constant amount is in the blood.
  • You may break the scored Neurontin® tablets into 2 pieces, but make sure you use the second half of the tablet as the next dose. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Swallow the Gralise® tablet or the Horizant® extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it. The Gralise® tablet should be taken with the evening meal. The Horizant® extended-release tablet should be taken with food at about 5 PM.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Gabapentin may be used together with other seizure medicines. Do not stop using any of your medicines unless your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose. Horizant® extended-release tablets: If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

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 Neurontin® oral liquid in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you have kidney problems or a history of cancer or tumors, depression, or mental illness. Tell your doctor if you are receiving kidney dialysis.
  • This medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourself. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you, especially if they are new or getting worse quickly. Let the doctor know if you or anyone in your family has a mental illness or has tried to commit suicide.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.Your seizures may return or occur more often if you stop this medicine suddenly.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you develop a fever, rash, swollen or tender lymph glands, unusual bleeding or bruising, or yellow eyes or skin. These may be symptoms of a serious and life-threatening reaction to this medicine.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy, drowsy, or sleepy. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.

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 also use hydrocodone (Vicodin®), morphine, or naproxen (Naprosyn®). Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol regularly.
  • If you take an antacid (such as Di-Gel®, Gaviscon®, Gelusil®, Maalox®, or Mylanta®), wait at least 2 hours before you take gabapentin.
  • Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol or if you are using any medicine that makes you sleepy, such as allergy medicine or narcotic pain medicine.

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, moodiness (especially in children)
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
  • Blood in the urine, back or side pain
  • Clumsiness, problems with coordination, shakiness, tremors
  • Depression, thoughts of hurting yourself
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat, stuffy nose, and body aches
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Swollen or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
  • Uncontrolled eye movements
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Yellow skin or eyes

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

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Unusual sleepiness, drowsiness, 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: March 4, 2014
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.
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