What is this medicine?
GABAPENTIN (GA ba pen tin) is used to control seizures in certain types of epilepsy. It is also used to treat certain types of nerve pain.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Neurontin
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- history of drug abuse or alcohol abuse problem
- 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 medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth. Carefully measure the dose needed. Use a specially marked spoon or dropper to measure your medicine. Tell your pharmacist if you do not have one. Household spoons are not accurate. If this medicine upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed.
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 pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug 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 medicine?
This medicine may interact with the following medications:
- antihistamines for allergy, cough, and cold
- certain medicines for anxiety or sleep
- certain medicines for depression like amitriptyline, fluoxetine, sertraline
- certain medicines for seizures like phenobarbital, primidone
- certain medicines for stomach problems
- general anesthetics like halothane, isoflurane, methoxyflurane, propofol
- local anesthetics like lidocaine, pramoxine, tetracaine
- medicines that relax muscles for surgery
- narcotic medicines 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 medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care provider 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 doctor or health care provider at each visit. You should contact your doctor or health care provider if your seizures get worse or if you have any new types of seizures. Do not stop taking this medicine or any of your seizure medicines unless instructed by your doctor or health care provider. Stopping your medicine suddenly can increase your seizures or their severity.
This medicine may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the medicine. Contact your health care provider 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 medicine for seizures, and carry a card that lists all your medications.
You may get drowsy, dizzy, or have blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. To reduce dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can increase drowsiness and dizziness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water will help.
The use of this medicine may increase the chance of suicidal thoughts or actions. Pay special attention to how you are responding while on this medicine. Any worsening of mood, or thoughts of suicide or dying should be reported to your health care provider right away.
Women who become pregnant while using this medicine 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 drug use during pregnancy.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- breathing problems
- rash, fever, and swollen lymph nodes
- redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- suicidal thoughts, mood changes
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- nausea, vomiting
- swelling of ankles, feet, 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 medicine?
Keep out of reach of children.
This medicine may cause accidental overdose and death if it taken by other adults, children, or pets. Mix any unused medicine with a substance like cat litter or coffee grounds. Then throw the medicine away in a sealed container like a sealed bag or a coffee can with a lid. Do not use the medicine after the expiration date.
Store in the refrigerator, between 2 and 8 degrees C (36 and 46 degrees F). Do not freeze.
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.