What is Gabapentin ?
Gabapentin belongs to the class of medications known as anticonvulsants used to treat epileptic seizures in combination with other drugs. It is also used for relieving the pain of postherpetic neuralgia (PNH) and restless leg syndrome. It is available in capsules, tablets and oral solutions that can only be purchased through a valid prescription.
What Gabapentin for?
Gabapentin is a prescription medicine also known as a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA analogue). It reduces the overcharged nerve cells (neurons) in the brain that plays a significant role in seizures and sending pain signals in the body. Gabapentin works by mirroring the GABA effects by calming the over-excited neurons.
Gabapentin is available under the brand name (Hornizant, Gralise and Neurontin) and generic alternative (same chemical composition but cheaper).
Gabapentin is approved for the treatment of:
Seizures: It is used for preventing and controlling partial seizures in adults and children.
Nerve pain for shingles (PHN): Shingles is a painful rash developed after chickenpox. The chickenpox-causing virus remains dormant in the spinal nerve root known as the dorsal root ganglion. Sometimes the dormant virus becomes reactivated, causing shingles rashes.
Restless legs syndrome: Gabapentin is used for treating moderate to severe restless legs syndrome.
The brand name Neurontin and Gralise is currently only approved for partial seizures and PHN, while Horizant is approved for treating restless legs syndrome and PHN.
Gabapentin for dogs
Gabapentin is often used in combination with other medications such as opioids or NSAIDs to treat pain in dogs.
Gabapentin for cats
Gabapentin helps treat neuropathic pain in cats in combination with other analgesic agents like NSAIDs. It is also prescribed for pain for chronic arthritis and malignancy in cats.
Although not labelled for treating anxiety, some veterinarians also prescribe Gabapentin for treating stress-based fear and anxiety in cats.
Gabapentin is available in capsules, tablets and oral solutions. The capsules come in 100 mg, 300 mg and 400 mg strength, while the tablets are available in 600 mg and 800 mg. The oral solution is available in 250 mg per 5 ml (50mg per ml).
You must take Gabapentin as prescribed by your doctor. Make sure to follow all directions and take the dosage strictly as prescribed. Do not take more or less than recommended. Do not discontinue the dosage in the middle even if you feel better without your doctor’s permission. Stopping the medicine suddenly can increase of chances of seizures. You must taper the dosage gradually, as your doctor says.
You can take Gralise and Horizant with food, while you can take Neurontin with or without food.
If you take only half of the tablet, take the other half as the next dose. Any tablet broken should be consumed as soon as possible within a few days.
Swallow the capsule or tablet without crushing, chewing or opening it. If you use the oral dosage, use a dosing syringe or measuring device to measure the dose rather than using a kitchen spoon.
Side effects of Gabapentin
Some common side effects of Gabapentin include tiredness, blurred vision, shaking, loss of coordination, drowsiness and dizziness. Contact your doctor if symptoms does not go away or worsen.
Some severe side-effects of Gabapentin requiring immediate medical help include swelling (hands, ankles or feet), depression, suicidal thoughts, mental/mood disorders, and self-harming behaviours. Also, look out for severe allergic reactions, including fever, swollen lymph nodes, rashes, itching or swelling (face, tongue, & throat), severe dizziness or troubled breathing.
Some patients may develop a physical dependence on Gabapentin within 12 hours to seven days after quitting the medication that can last up to 10 days. The symptoms include nausea, headache, insomnia, anxiety and dizziness.
Side effects of Gabapentin in dogs
Some dogs may experience mild side effects with Gabapentin, such as lethargy, sedation or wobbliness. Some severe side effects such as vomiting, oversleeping, diarrhea, bulging eyes, depression, and loss of coordination among dogs can also be noticed in rare cases.
Overdosing of Gabapentin among dogs is usually non-life-threatening, but it can make the symptoms more severe.
Don’t discontinue the medication suddenly, as it can worsen the seizure and withdrawal symptoms.
Gabapentin side effects for cats
The most common side effects of Gabapentin among cats include incoordination, sleepiness and mild diarrhea. Cat with chronic kidney diseases may experience sedation when prescribed Gabapentin in higher doses. Start with a smaller dose and then increase it gradually over time. The drug can also increase the protein reading of cats in protein tests.
Gabapentin has a highly satisfactory rating of 7.1 out of 10 on drugs.com from 2309 ratings. More than 65 per cent of reviewers experience positive effects after taking the drug, while 20 per cent of users do not find it as effective. The highest positive rating ranging between 8-9 points are patients who find Gabapentin helpful for their anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, insomnia, Hyperhidrosis, Bipolar Disorder, migraine and certain types of neuralgia. The rating is satisfactory for diseases such as seizure, Postherpetic Neuralgia and restless legs syndrome.
Buy Gabapentin Online
You can buy Gabapentin online in Australia with a valid prescription from a certified medical practitioner. We are a reputed online pharmacy delivering genuine name brand medicines and their generic alternatives procured directly from manufacturers. We offer free and faster shipment throughout Australia, Canada, the USA, the UK, and certain parts of Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
How long should I take Gabapentin for nerve pain?
As per WHO, the efficacy and safety of Gabapentin have not been studied in clinical studies beyond five months. However, patients can take the drug longer than five months if prescribed by their physician. However, taking higher doses of Gabapentin or taking it for a longer duration can increase the severity of
What strengths does Gabapentin come in?
Gabapentin comes in different strengths, such as 100, 300, 400, 600 and 800 mg. The usual dosage ranges between 1800-5400 mg per day but may vary depending on your disease, body’s response, and tolerance to the medication. As long a specific dose works, you don’t need to increase it.
How much Gabapentin should I take for nerve pain?
The starting dose of Gabapentin for nerve pain in adults is 300 mg as a single dose in the evening. However, the dose should not increase by more than 1800 mg per day.
Is Gabapentin a strong painkiller?
Although Gabapentin is used for treating some form of nerve pain, it is classified as an anticonvulsant. It is not an opioid or NSAID.
How long does it take for Gabapentin to start working for nerve pain?
Studies show Gabapentin to start showing results within one week and reach its maximum effect within four weeks.
Points to Remember
1) Please talk with your doctor if you have a breathing disorder before taking Gabapentin, as it can slow down your breathing or make you extremely tired.
2) If you have a history of mental illness or self-harming behaviour, you should avoid taking Gabapentin as it can aggravate suicidal thoughts or behavioural changes.
3) Avoid driving or handling heavy machinery as Gabapentin can cause dizziness or drowsiness.
4) Inform your doctor if you have lung disease (COPD), diabetes, drug addiction, kidney disease, seizure, liver disease, or heart disease before taking gabapentin.
5) Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to get pregnant or breastfeeding.
6) Gabapentin may interact with drugs such as orlistat, opioid painkillers, muscle relaxants, sleeping or anxiety- related medications, or anti-histamines.
7) Avoid taking Gabapentin with alcohol or marijuana (consult your doctor).