Why is this medication prescribed?
Gabapentin is used in adults to treat certain types of seizures in the treatment of epilepsy.
It is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Gabapentin comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is taken three times a day. To minimize side
effects, take the very first dose at bedtime. Then take this medication at evenly spaced times throughout the day and night to ensure a constant level of gabapentin in your body. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take gabapentin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Continue to take gabapentin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking gabapentin without talking to your doctor, especially if you have taken large doses for a long time. Abruptly stopping the drug can cause seizures. Your doctor probably will decrease your dose gradually. This drug must be taken regularly for a few weeks before its full effect is felt.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking gabapentin,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to gabapentin or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially antacids such as Mylanta or Maalox, cimetidine (Tagamet), oral contraceptives, and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking gabapentin, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking gabapentin.
- you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Although side effects from gabapentin are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- blurred vision
- irregular eye movements
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- skin rash
- difficulty moving or breathing
- flu-like symptoms
- irregular, pounding, or fast heartbeat
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature, away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison controlcenter at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsedor is not breathing, call local emergency services at911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to gabapentin.
Call your doctor if you continue to have seizures or convulsions while taking this medication.
Wear identification (Medic Alert) indicating medication use and epilepsy.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.