Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant medication that helps control seizures in people with epilepsy. Some forms of gabapentin can also treat restless legs syndrome or certain types of nerve pain.
Gabapentin appears to work by altering electrical activity in the brain and influencing the activity of chemicals called neurotransmitters, which send messages between nerve cells.
Brand names for gabapentin include Horizant, Gralise, and Neurontin. The medication is available in capsule, tablet, or liquid form.
In this article, we describe the uses, dosages, and side effects of gabapentin. We also look into the associated risks and other safety considerations.
Gabapentin's primary use is to prevent or control seizures. It works by calming down nerve activity to reduce seizure intensity or occurrence.
Children and adults can take the drug. The Neurontin brand can treat one form of epilepsy in children as young as 3 years old.
Some people take other medications with gabapentin to control epilepsy symptoms.
Gabapentin can also help reduce post-herpetic neuralgia, a burning or stabbing nerve pain that is a common complication of shingles.
According to a 2017 review, oral gabapentin, at a minimum daily dosage of 1,200 milligrams, can reduce moderate or severe nerve pain that results from shingles or diabetes.
Extended-release gabapentin (Horizant) tablets can treat restless legs syndrome (RLS), a condition characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs and a strong or irresistible urge to move the lower limbs.
A study from 2016 suggests that gabapentin combined with oxycontin, an opioid painkiller, can control pain and increase the quality of life for people with severe cancer pain. However, doctors do not typically prescribe gabapentin for this purpose.
The number of daily doses, the hours that should pass between the doses, and the length of time that a person takes gabapentin will vary among individuals.
A person should take some forms of gabapentin with food, but for other forms it is unnecessary.
Anyone prescribed the Horizant brand of gabapentin for RLS should take it only in the evening or at night.
Some brands or dosages require a person to break the tablets in half. Always use the other half with the next dose, or as soon as possible.
Never break or chew extended-release gabapentin tablets — always swallow them whole.
It is vital to take only the recommended dose of gabapentin and not to continue using it for longer than prescribed. If a person misses a dose, they should follow the instructions on labeling or call a pharmacist for advice.
Gabapentin can cause side effects. According to a 2017 review, these effects were slightly more common in people taking gabapentin than a placebo.
Serious side effects were not common and were the same in those taking the placebo.
Individuals taking gabapentin should talk to their doctors about any side effects that occur, especially if they are severe, ongoing, or get worse.
Source: Shared by Katalay.net - Gabapentin: What To Know
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