Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to gabapentin: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Seek medical treatment if you have a skin rash with symptoms of a serious allergic reaction that can affect other parts of your body, including: fever, dark urine, blood in your urine, swollen glands, sore throat, extreme weakness or tiredness, unusual bruising or bleeding, muscle pain, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, depression, or if you feel agitated, hostile, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- increased seizures;
- severe weakness or tiredness;
- upper stomach pain;
- chest pain, new or worsening cough with fever, trouble breathing;
- severe tingling or numbness;
- rapid back and forth movement of your eyes;
- kidney problems–little or no urination, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath; or
- severe skin reaction–fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Some side effects are more likely in children taking gabapentin. Contact your doctor if the child taking this medication has any of the following side effects:
- changes in behavior;
- memory problems;
- trouble concentrating; or
- acting restless, hostile, or aggressive.
Common gabapentin side effects may include:
- dizziness, drowsiness; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Take gabapentin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
The Horizant brand of gabapentin should not be taken during the day. For best results, take Horizant with food at about 5:00 in the evening.
Both Gralise and Horizant should be taken with food.
Neurontin can be taken with or without food.
If you break a Neurontin tablet and take only half of it, take the other half at your next dose. Any tablet that has been broken should be used as soon as possible or within a few days.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
If your doctor changes your brand, strength, or type of gabapentin, your dosage needs may change.Ask your pharmacist if you have any questions about the new kind of gabapentin you receive at the pharmacy.
Do not stop using gabapentin suddenly, even if you feel fine. Stopping suddenly may cause increased seizures. Follow your doctor’s instructions about tapering your dose.
Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take gabapentin. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you take seizure medication.
Gabapentin can cause you to have a false positive urine protein screening test. If you provide a urine sample for testing, tell the laboratory staff that you are taking gabapentin.
Store tablets and capsules at room temperature away from light and moisture.
Store the liquid medicine in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
You should not use gabapentin if you are allergic to it.
To make sure gabapentin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
- epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
- liver disease;
- a history of depression, mood disorder, drug abuse, or suicidal thoughts or actions;
- heart disease; or
- (for patients with RLS) if you are a day sleeper or work a night shift.
Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking this medicine. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using gabapentin. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Gabapentin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.
Indigestion remedies (antacids) containing aluminium or magnesium may reduce the absorption of gabapentin from the gut. Indigestion remedies should therefore not be taken at the same time as a dose of gabapentin, or in the two hours before a dose.
It is recommended that people who are taking any antiepileptic medicines should avoid taking the herbal remedy St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum). This is because St John’s wort may affect the level of antiepileptic medicines in the blood and could increase the risk of seizures.
This medicine is not known to interact significantly with other medicines. However, if it makes you feel sleepy or dizzy, this effect is likely to be increased if you take it in combination with other medicines that can cause drowsiness, in particular morphine, or with alcohol. If you are prescribed morphine in combination with gabapentin you should let your doctor know if it makes you feel sleepy, or if any drowsiness gets worse.
This medicine does not affect hormonal contraceptives such as the pill.
Other medicines containing the same active ingredient
Gabapentin tablets and capsules are also available without a brand name, ie as thegeneric medicine.
Gabapentin has been recommended as a possible treatment for migraines by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), but recent research has suggested it may not be effective in preventing attacks and concerns have been raised about the quality of earlier research into the medication.