Gabapentin (gaba-PEN-tin)

 

Generic Name: Gabapentin (gaba-PEN-tin)

Used to Treat: epilepsy

Seizure Type: Complex partial

Forms of the medicine:
Pill

Dosing:
900 mg. - 3600 mg.

General Info:
What is Neurontin?
Neurontin (New-RON-tin) is used with other medications to help control seizures in adults and children for partial seizures with or without secondary generalization (spread to become a grand mal seizure). It is available in capsules, tablets, and liquid. It is generically known as gabapentin.

How do I take Neurontin?
Take this medication exactly as it is prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts or longer than recommended by your doctor. Do not change your dosage without your doctor's advice. Tell your doctor if the medication does not seem to work in treating your condition.

Neurontin can be taken with food or on an empty stomach. However, try to take it the same way each day as food may change the time it takes to be absorbed. Do not take antacids within 2 to 3 hours of taking Neurontin. These medicines can also affect how well the medication is absorbed.

Swallow the tablets and capsules whole. Do not crush, chew, break, or open the tablet or capsule as it is specially made to release medicine slowly throughout the body. Shake the syrup well just before measuring a dose. To be sure you ingest the correct dose, measure the liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup. Do not use a regular table spoon. Ask your pharmacist to provide you with one if you do not have a dose-measuring device.

What if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take an extra dose, unless prescribed by your doctor.

What if I experience side effects?
Various side effects may occur in taking this medicine. Most side effects are not serious and may disappear naturally. Call your doctor if you have any questions concerning your possible side effects. However, do not stop taking your medication without advice from your doctor. They will discuss and recommend possible options. At times it is necessary to continue taking your medication despite these side effects.

There are other side effects that may be serious and indicate that your body is not tolerating the drug properly. Call a doctor right away if these side effects become severe or cause considerable problems in your daily functions. If you experience a change in seizures, severe rash, or allergic reaction contact your doctor immediately as these may indicate potentially life threatening problems.

Contact your physician immediately if you experience any of the following side effects:

  • Severe allergic reactions (rash, hives, difficulty breathing / swallowing, etc)
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Signs of infection (fever, sore throat, etc)
  • Mental / mood changes
  • Depression
  • Swelling of hands, feet, legs; tremor
  • Twitching

Storage
Keep this medication in its original container, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store your prescription at room temperature, away from excess heat and moisture (i.e. not the bathroom). Do not freeze the liquid. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

Recommendation for women
Safety in pregnancy has not been established. Women who are taking this medication and who wish to become pregnant should discuss treatment options with their physicians before the pregnancy begins. Neurontin passes into breast milk and it is not known whether the medication will affect a nursing infant. Do not take Neurontin without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Other helpful information
Besides controlling seizures, Neurontin may be helpful for some kinds of pain such as the pain of diabetic neuropathy, the pain that follows the "shingles", the pain of peripheral neuropathy, and the pain of trigeminal neuralgia. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication for your condition.

Side Effects

Sleepiness, Clumsiness, Twitching, Fatigue, Dizziness, Weight gain, Nausea, Dry mouth, Vomiting, Upset stomach, Drowsiness