Gabapentin is available with medical prescription and it comes in three different forms: as an oral solution, in the form of tablets or in the form of capsules. The drug comes in strengths ranging from 100 mg to 400 mg for capsules, and from 100 mg to 800 mg for tablets. Generally, it is prescribed to those who suffer from epilepsy, although gabapentin can be used to treat pain associated with post-herpetic neuralgia or to treat RLS (acronym for the restless legs syndrome).
How Does It Work
Gabapentin is FDA-approved for the treatment of seizure disorders as well as for treating nerve damage, although the drug is widely used for the treatment of other conditions (non-approved uses). It is used in the treatment of fibromyalgia, hiccups, substance and alcohol withdrawal symptoms or in the treatment of hyperhidrosis.
The precise mechanism of action has not been fully explored, although it is known that this anticonvulsant treats seizures by decreasing the levels of abnormal excitement at the brain level. As a pain reliever, Gabapentin works by changing the way the body perceives pain.
Drug Interactions And Precautions
If you have digestive problems and you follow a treatment with antacids (regardless of their nature) then you should avoid taking gabapentin, as antacids are known to reduce its efficacy. Gabapentin is also known to interact with morphine.
Pregnant or nursing mothers must never use gabapentin as this drug is easily passed into breast milk, thus harming the baby.
How To Take Gabapentin
Patients must take this drug exactly as indicated by their doctor – gabapentin can be take either with or without food, and patients usually start with an initial dose of no more than 300 mg daily – the dose can then be either increased or decreased, based on the outcome of the treatment as well as the occurrence and the intensity of the seizures. Carefully read and follow the instructions on the label.
Potential Adverse Reactions
Antiepileptic treatments can give several unpleasant side effects, although they usually fade within hours and they do not pose a serious threat to your health – even so, they must not be ignored. Fluid retention along with dizziness are amongst the most common symptoms, although they do not necessarily require medical attention unless they persist.
On the other hand, studies have revealed that patients who are on treatment with anticonvulsants have a higher risk of suicidal behavior, this is why all patients must be kept under close medical attention. If you notice any change in your thinking pattern or worsening of your symptoms, contact your doctor as quickly as possible.