Gabapentin is a prescription medication used to treat a variety of conditions, including:
- Seizures: Gabapentin is used to treat partial seizures, both in adults and children.
- Nerve pain: Gabapentin is used to treat nerve pain caused by a variety of conditions, including shingles, diabetes, and spinal cord injuries.
- Restless legs syndrome: Gabapentin is used to treat restless legs syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes an uncontrollable urge to move the legs.
- Generalized anxiety disorder: Gabapentin is used to treat generalized anxiety disorder, a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by excessive worry and fear.
- Migraine headaches: Gabapentin is used to prevent migraine headaches in adults.
Gabapentin is thought to work by blocking the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that help to transmit signals between nerve cells.
The most common side effects of gabapentin are:
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
Gabapentin can also cause more serious side effects, such as:
- Allergic reactions
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
- Respiratory depression
Gabapentin can interact with a number of other medications, including:
- Antifungal medications
- Certain antibiotics
- Certain heart medications
- Certain pain medications
It is important to tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking before starting gabapentin to avoid any potential interactions.
The dosage of gabapentin varies depending on the individual’s needs and the condition being treated. The starting dosage for adults is typically 300 milligrams (mg) taken three times per day. The dosage can be increased gradually as needed, up to a maximum of 3,600 mg per day.
Gabapentin is a habit-forming medication and can be addictive. It is important to take gabapentin as prescribed by your doctor and to avoid taking more than the recommended dosage.
Gabapentin should not be taken by people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or by people with a history of allergic reactions to gabapentin or other anticonvulsants.
If you are taking gabapentin, it is important to avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how the medication affects you. Gabapentin can also impair your judgment and coordination.
If you are experiencing any of the conditions that gabapentin is used to treat, it is important to talk to your doctor. Gabapentin can be an effective medication for treating a variety of conditions, but it is important to be aware of the potential risks and side effects.
If you have any questions or concerns about gabapentin, talk to your doctor.