Gabapentin Capsules or Tablets
What is this medication?
GABAPENTIN (GA ba pen tin) treats nerve pain. It may also be used to prevent and control seizures in people with epilepsy. It works by calming overactive nerves in your body.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Active-PAC with Gabapentin, Gabarone, Gralise, Neurontin
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Alcohol or substance use disorder
- Kidney disease
- Lung or breathing disease
- Suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt; a previous suicide attempt by you or a family member
- An unusual or allergic reaction to gabapentin, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take your medication at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your care team's advice.
If you are directed to break the 600 or 800 mg tablets in half as part of your dose, the extra half tablet should be used for the next dose. If you have not used the extra half tablet within 28 days, it should be thrown away.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While this medication may be prescribed for children as young as 3 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
- Antihistamines for allergy, cough, and cold
- Certain medications for anxiety or sleep
- Certain medications for depression like amitriptyline, fluoxetine, sertraline
- Certain medications for seizures like phenobarbital, primidone
- Certain medications for stomach problems
- General anesthetics like halothane, isoflurane, methoxyflurane, propofol
- Local anesthetics like lidocaine, pramoxine, tetracaine
- Medications that relax muscles for surgery
- Opioid medications for pain
- Phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. You may want to keep a record at home of how you feel your condition is responding to treatment. You may want to share this information with your care team at each visit. You should contact your care team if your seizures get worse or if you have any new types of seizures. Do not stop taking this medication or any of your seizure medications unless instructed by your care team. Stopping your medication suddenly can increase your seizures or their severity.
This medication may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the medication. Contact your care team right away if you notice fevers or flu-like symptoms with a rash. The rash may be red or purple and then turn into blisters or peeling of the skin. Or, you might notice a red rash with swelling of the face, lips or lymph nodes in your neck or under your arms.
Wear a medical identification bracelet or chain if you are taking this medication for seizures. Carry a card that lists all your medications.
This medication may affect your coordination, reaction time, or judgment. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you. Sit up or stand slowly to reduce the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Drinking alcohol with this medication can increase the risk of these side effects.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help.
Watch for new or worsening thoughts of suicide or depression. This includes sudden changes in mood, behaviors, or thoughts. These changes can happen at any time but are more common in the beginning of treatment or after a change in dose. Call your care team right away if you experience these thoughts or worsening depression.
If you become pregnant while using this medication, you may enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry by calling 1-888-233-2334. This registry collects information about the safety of antiepileptic medication use during pregnancy.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions or angioedema—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, arms, or legs, trouble swallowing or breathing
- Rash, fever, and swollen lymph nodes
- Thoughts of suicide or self harm, worsening mood, feelings of depression
- Trouble breathing
- Unusual changes in mood or behavior in children after use such as difficulty concentrating, hostility, or restlessness
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Swelling of ankles, feet, or hands
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.
This medication may cause accidental overdose and death if taken by other adults, children, or pets.
To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:
- Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
- If you cannot return the medication, check the label or package insert to see if the medication should be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. If you are not sure, ask your care team. If it is safe to put it in the trash, empty the medication out of the container. Mix the medication with cat litter, dirt, coffee grounds, or other unwanted substance. Seal the mixture in a bag or container. Put it in the trash.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy