Gabapentin Tips

The Neurontin brand of gabapentin can be taken with or without food. If you break a 600mg or 800mg Neurontin tablet in half, be sure to take the other half at your next dose or within 28 days.

Gabapentin (Generic Neurontin ) is used to help control partial seizures (convulsions) in the treatment of epilepsy. This medicine cannot cure epilepsy and will only work to control seizures for as long as you continue to take it.

Gabapentin (Generic Neurontin ) is also used to manage a condition called postherpetic neuralgia, which is pain that occurs after shingles. It’s also taken for nerve pain. Nerve pain can be caused by different illnesses, including diabetes and shingles, or it can happen after an injury.

Gabapentin (Generic Neurontin ) works in the brain to prevent seizures and relieve pain for certain conditions in the nervous system. It is not used for routine pain caused by minor injuries or arthritis. Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant.

Occasionally, gabapentin (Generic Neurontin ) is used to prevent migraine headaches. Gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica) are anticonvulsants and nerve pain medicines which have structural similarities to the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA.

Gabapentin (Generic Neurontin ) is available only with your doctor’s prescription.

Gabapentin (Generic Neurontin ) is available in the following dosage forms:
Capsule
Tablet
Tablet, Extended Release, 24 HR
Solution
Suspension

DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS of Gabapentin
Capsules
100 mg: white hard gelatin capsules printed with “PD” on the body and300 mg: yellow hard gelatin capsules printed with “PD” on the body and “Neurontin/300 mg” on the cap
400 mg: orange hard gelatin capsules printed with “PD” on the body and “Neurontin/400 mg” on the cap
Tablets
600 mg: white elliptical film-coated scored tablets debossed with “NT” and “16” on one side
Gabapentin 800 mg: white elliptical film-coated scored tablets debossed with “NT” and “26” on one side
Oral solution: 250 mg per 5 mL (50 mg per mL), clear colorless to slightly yellow solution

Gabapentin (Generic Neurontin ) was developed in 1993 and has indications for shingles (‘postherpetic neuralgia’) and partial-onset seizures. It has had a growing popularity in off-label uses for fibromyalgia, pain from a variety of causes, migraine, cocaine withdrawal, anxiety, and insomnia. A related compound, gabapentin encarbil (Horizant), is approved for shingles and restless leg syndrome. Pregabalin was developed in 2004 and is approved for nerve pain from diabetes and spinal cord injuries, fibromyalgia, and adjunctive treatment of partial-onset seizures. Although prescribed off-label for anxiety in the U.S., it is approved for this purpose in the U.K., where it is sometimes called the ‘new Valium’.

The Gralise brand of gabapentin cannot be substituted for other gabapentin products due to differing administration requirements (once daily versus three times daily for other products).

Gralise should be taken with food at the evening meal. Gralise tablets should be swallowed whole; do not cut, crush, or chew.

Horizant (gabapentin enacarbil) tablets should be swallowed whole and taken with food. For restless leg syndrome, take at roughly 5 PM in the evening. Do not cut, crush, or chew the tablet. Do not interchange Horizant with other gabapentin products.

Use a manufacturer-provided or pharmacist-provided measuring cup calibrated for liquid formulations when measuring liquid doses of gabapentin. Do not use a kitchen measuring device or teaspoon because these may be inaccurate.

For dosage schedules of three times daily do not allow more than 12 hours between doses.

Monitor for mood changes and report any evidence of new or worsening mood or depression to the prescribing doctor.

Do not take gabapentin at the same time as antacids such as Maalox or Gaviscon. Separate administration by at least two hours. Take exactly as directed by your doctor, do not increase or decrease the dose without his or her advice.

Avoid operating machinery, driving, or performing tasks that require mental alertness if gabapentin makes your drowsy or impairs your judgment.

The side effects of gabapentin, such as dizziness or drowsiness, may increase your risk of falling. Remove any fall hazards from your home if possible (such as loose rugs), and be careful when ascending or descending stairs.

Talk to your doctor if you experience any worsening of your mood or if you develop any suicidal thoughts.

Do not stop taking gabapentin without your doctor’s advice as it may precipitate a withdrawal reaction (symptoms include agitation, disorientation, confusion). When the time comes to discontinue gabapentin your doctor will tell you how to taper it off.

Seek urgent medical advice if you develop a rash, fever, difficulty breathing or facial swelling while taking gabapentin.

The drug has been dubbed an “emerging threat” in the opioid epidemic in a national bulletin provided to narcotics officers.

It’s sold under the brand names:

      • Neurontin
      • Gralise
      • Horizant

It’s been available as a generic in the United States since 2004.