Gabapentin is a medicine that may be used for the treatment of certain seizure disorders or nerve pain.
Experts aren’t sure exactly how gabapentin works, but research has shown that gabapentin binds strongly to a specific site (called the alpha2-delta site) on voltage-gated calcium channels. This action is thought to be the mechanism for its nerve-pain relieving and anti-seizure properties.
Gabapentin enacarbil (brand name Horizant) is a prodrug of gabapentin which has been designed to overcome the limitations of gabapentin, such as poor absorption and a short duration of action. Gabapentin enacarbil is effective for restless legs syndrome (RLS) and postherpetic neuralgia (nerve pain that occurs following Shingles).
Gabapentin belongs to the group of medicines known as anticonvulsants.
- You’ll usually take gabapentin 3 times a day. You can take it with or without food.
- Most people who take gabapentin do not get any side effects. But some people may feel sleepy, tired and dizzy. Common side effects are usually mild and go away by themselves.
- It takes at least a few weeks for gabapentin to work.
- Most people do not have to stay on the same brand of gabapentin as there’s very little difference between brands.
- Some people can become addicted to gabapentin after taking it for a long time. When stopping gabapentin you’ll need to reduce your dose gradually to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
- If you have epilepsy, you are entitled to free prescriptions for all the medicines you take, not just your epilepsy ones. You can get an application form from your doctor’s surgery.