Gabapentin is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat several types of epilepsy (fits or seizures).
This medicine may also be used to treat peripheral neuropathic pain (pain due to damage of the nerves).
Gabapentin may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Gabapentin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Gabapentin is available as a conventional or extended-release tablet, a capsule or an oral solution.
If you are given the conventional tablet, you may swallow it whole with a glass of water. If necessary, you may divide the conventional tablet into two equal half-tablets along the break line. Half-tablets should be taken soon after dividing the tablet.
If you are given the extended-release tablet or the capsule, swallow it whole with a glass of water without dividing, chewing or crushing it.
If you are given the oral solution, use a measuring device if provided to measure out your prescribed dose.
Do not switch between different brands or dosage forms unless advised by your doctor.
This medicine must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue to take it even when you feel better. Do not stop taking Gabapentin unless instructed otherwise, as stopping it suddenly may worsen your condition. Your doctor will gradually reduce the dose before stopping it or changing it to another medicine.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- history of drug abuse history of mental illness
- kidney disease or undergoing dialysis
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Gabapentin to a child or elderly person. Children and elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are going for any laboratory examination (e.g. urine tests), inform your doctor that you are taking this medicine.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to Gabapentin regularly. You may need to undergo regular checking of your kidney function. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Gabapentin may cause dizziness, drowsiness and balance and coordination problems. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects may include any of the following: tiredness, weakness, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, stomach pain or discomfort, passing wind, changes in appetite, weight changes, jerky movements, tremor, swelling of a limb, unusual eye movements, blurry or double vision, coughs, colds, fever; muscle, joint or back pain.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction e.g. rashes, breathlessness, swollen face
- persistent stomach pain
- thoughts of self-harm
- unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed, agitated, or having compulsive and impulsive behaviour)
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any strong painkiller e.g. morphine, hydrocodone.
Gabapentin should not be taken with antacids as antacids could reduce the effectiveness of this medicine. If you must take antacid, there should be at least 2 hours interval between the antacid and Gabapentin.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
If you are given the conventional or extended-release tablet or a capsule, store it in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
If you are given the oral solution, store it in the refrigerator between 2-8°C.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.