Gabapentin is Used primarily to Treat Seizures and Neuropathic Pain

Gabapentin is used primarily to treat seizures and neuropathic pain. It is also commonly prescribed for many off-label uses, such as treatment of anxiety disrders, insomnia, and bipolar disorder.

There are, however, concerns regarding the quality of the trials conducted and evidence for som such uses, especially in the case of its use as a mood stabilizer in bipolar disorder.

Seizures

Gabapentin is approved for treatment of focal seizures and mixed seizures. There is insufficient evidence for its use in generalized epilepsy.

Pain

A 2010 European Federation of Neurological Societies task force clinical guideline based on available evidence recommended gabapentin as a first-line treatment for diabetic neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia with its highest level of evidence it also recommended gabapentin as a first-line treatment for central pain but with lower evidence. It also found good evidence that a combination of gabapentin and morphine or oxycodone or nortriptyline worked better than either drug alone; the combination of gabapentin and venlafaxine may be better than gabapentin alone.

A 2017 Cochrane review found evidence of moderate quality showing a reduction in pain by 50% in about 15% of people with postherpetic neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy. Evidence finds little benefit and significant risk in those with chronic low back pain. It is not known if gabapentin can be used to treat other pain conditions, and no difference among various formulations or doses of gabapentin was found.

A 2010 review found that it may be helpful in neuropathic pain due to cancer. It is not effective in HIV-associated sensory neuropathy and does not appear to provide benefit for complex regional pain syndrome.

A 2009 review found gabapentin may reduce opioid use following surgery, but does not help with post-surgery chronic pain. A 2016 review found it does not help with pain following a knee replacement.

It appears to be as effective as pregabalin and costs less.

All doses appear to result in similar pain relief.

Migraine

The American Headache Society (AHS) and American Academy of Neurology (AAN) guidelines classify gabapentin as a drug with “insufficient data to support or refute use for migraine prophylaxis. Furthermore, a 2013 Cochrane review concluded that gabapentin was not useful for the prevention of episodic migraine in adults.

Anxiety Disorders

Gabapentin has been used off-label for the treatment of anxiety disorders. However, there is dispute over whether evidence is sufficient to support it being routinely prescribed for this purpose.

 

Other Uses

Gabapentin may be useful in the treatment of comorbid anxiety in bipolar patients, (however not the bipolar state itself). Gabapentin may be effective in acquired pendular nystagmus and infantile nystagmus, (but not periodic alternating nystagmus). It is effective in hot flashes. It may be effective in reducing pain and spasticity in multiple sclerosis. Gabapentin may reduce symptoms of alcohol withdrawal (but it does not prevent the associated seizures).

There is some evidence for its role in the treatment of alcohol use disorder; the 2015 VA/DoD guideline on substance use disorders lists gabapentin as a “weak for” and is recommended as a second-line agent. Use for smoking cessation has had mixed results. Gabapentin is effective in alleviating itching in kidney failure (uremic pruritus) and itching of other causes. It is an established treatment of restless legs syndrome. Gabapentin may help sleeping problems in people with restless legs syndrome and partial seizures. Gabapentin may be an option in essential or orthostatic tremor.

Gabapentin is not effective alone as a mood-stabilizing treatment for bipolar disorder. There is insufficient evidence to support its use in obsessive compulsive disorder and treatment-resistant depression. Gabapentin does not appear effective for the treatment of tinnitus.

Migraine Headache Treatments and Prevention

Many people around the world suffer from migraine headaches. These headaches can often lead to a large amount of pain which can be debilitating for some people.

Migraines are affecting a huge percentage of people and the causes are usually determined on an individual basis. People often use acupuncture to reduce the severity of the migraine headaches and reduce the frequency that they occur. These alternative therapies can also be used to reduce the side effects of migraines such as sickness, stress, muscle tension and fatigue.

No matter what types of medication you take for migraine headaches they can produce unwanted side effects and symptoms. And unfortunately, they can also increase the intensity of the very pain they were intended to relieve.

There are many migraine headache triggers that will cause migraines and the first step toward eliminating this painful disorder is to determine what these triggers are and then eliminate them. Throbbing head pain is caused when the blood vessels surrounding the brain dilate. Placing a cold compress on the back of the neck can help minimize the flow of blood to the brain, thus relieving the throbbing pain.

There are other effective home remedies that can help reduce pain. Massaging tight muscles can aid in relaxation and the best spots for massage are the muscles of the neck, shoulders, face, and head. Be sure to use the pads of your fingers or thumbs and rub your muscles gently, but firmly. Another migraine treatment that has shown good results is taking niacin, also known as vitamin B3. If taken in sufficient amounts it can cause a person’s body to flush, or turn red. Before beginning a proper treatment for migraine headaches relief, it isn’t uncommon for sufferers to wind up in an emergency room because of the unendurable pain. Constrictions of blood vessels that supply the brain with blood are the likely root cause of migraines.

Migraines are a medical condition that impairs millions of people each year. While migraines differ in severity, common symptoms include altered perceptions, severe headaches, and nausea. Preventative migraine headache treatment options are used to prevent – or reduce – the number of migraines a person suffers from. Treatment usually is in the form of a medication or patch. Trigger management migraine treatments are aimed at identifying what causes migraines. Triggers can include a change of weather, air pressure, bright lights, glare, fluorescent light, fumes, and foods.

General pain management for migraine headache treatment can be used to treat non-life threatening migraines. Treatment options include the use of narcotic analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and simple analgesics. As someone who has the unfortunate task of dealing with migraines you will surely be seeking some kind of migraine headache treatment to relieve yourself of the agony and pain that migraines come bearing when they do attack.

This option as it suggests should offer you more pleasant results compared to medicine. There are a number of techniques that have been researched by many migraine sufferers like applying heat or cold to the affected area and many more.

Fioricet is supplied in hard-gelatin capsule form for oral administration.

Each capsule contains the following active ingredients:

Butalbital, USP……………………50 mg
Acetaminophen, USP…………….300 mg
Caffeine, USP……………………..40 mg

Inactive Ingredients: sodium lauryl sulfate, talc, microcrystalline cellulose, stearic acid, FD&C red # 40, titanium dioxide, FD&C blue # 1,FD&C yellow # 6, gelatin.

Butalbital (5-allyl-5-isobutylbarbituric acid), is a short to intermediate-acting barbiturate. It has the following structural formula:

Butalbital SF

Acetaminophen (4´-hydroxyacetanilide), is a non-opiate, non-salicylate analgesic and antipyretic. It has the following structural formula:

Acetaminophen SF

Caffeine (1,3,7-trimethylxanthine), is a central nervous system stimulant. It has the following structural formula:

Caffeine SF

Not all migraine cases are the same. One way to distinguish them is to determine whether or not you experience an aura.

So-called “complicated” migraine attacks begin with an aura. These can be visual distortions such as dots, wavy lines, or zig zags. Some people experience numbness or tingling across one side of the body. If they accompany headaches, auras usually appear about an hour earlier. If they do not, these auras are called “ocular migraines.”

About a quarter of people diagnosed with migraine (“migraineurs”) have this type. For those who do not, their condition is known by professionals as “common migraine.” Even without aura, you may experience light sensitivity, nausea, and other symptoms.

Gabapentin for the Prophylaxis of Episodic Migraine in Adults

Am Fam Physician. 2014 May 1;89(9):714-715.

Author disclosure: No relevant financial affiliations.

Clinical Question

Does gabapentin (Neurontin) help prevent episodic migraine?

Evidence-Based Answer

Gabapentin does not decrease the frequency of migraine headaches and is not recommended for prophylactic therapy. (Strength of Recommendation: B, based on inconsistent or limited-quality patient-oriented evidence.)

Practice Pointers

Worldwide, migraine has a lifetime prevalence of 18% in women and 10% in men.1 Therapeutic options are usually divided into prophylactic and abortive. Avoidance of triggers may be beneficial. Effective prophylaxis can range from acupuncture to medications such as propranolol, topiramate (Topamax), and valproic acid (Depakene), all of which have shown consistent positive benefit in systematic reviews.25

Previously published systematic reviews by these same authors gave cautious support for the use of gabapentin for migraine prophylaxis based on poor-quality evidence. However, new data from not-yet-published industry-sponsored trials of gabapentin for migraine have come to light during litigation against the drug manufacturer. These data have led the authors to change their conclusion based on the results of five studies involving 1,009 patients.

Four trials with a total of 351 patients compared gabapentin in a dosage of 900 to 2,400 mg per day with placebo. The meta-analysis found no significant reduction in the frequency of migraine headache (mean difference in the number of headaches = −0.44; 95% confidence interval, −1.43 to 0.56). Pooled results of two studies with 235 patients comparing the proportion of responders (at least 50% improvement in frequency of headaches) between those treated with up to 2,400 mg of gabapentin vs. placebo failed to show a difference (odds ratio = 1.59; 95% confidence interval, 0.57 to 4.46). One study analyzed prophylactic use of the prodrug gabapentin enacarbil (Horizant) titrated up to 3,000 mg daily and failed to find any benefit.

Patients taking gabapentin often reported adverse effects, most commonly dizziness (number needed to harm [NNH] = 7), drowsiness (NNH = 9), and abnormal thinking (NNH = 20).

According to the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society, prophylaxis should be offered to anyone whose daily activities are severely impaired, or when acute drug treatment is inadequate. The antiepileptic drugs topiramate and valproic acid are considered first-line prophylactic agents. However, the guidelines state that the evidence is inadequate to recommend the use of gabapentin for migraine prevention.6 Because gabapentin is not effective and commonly causes adverse effects, family physicians should consider alternatives when offering prophylaxis for migraine headache.

Author disclosure: No relevant financial affiliations.

 

What is Gabapentin and Where can I buy Gabapentin and Fioricet ?

Why is Gabapentin prescribed?

Gabapentin capsules, tablets, and oral solution are used along with other medications to help control certain types of seizures in people who have epilepsy.

Gabapentin capsules, tablets, and oral solution are also used to relieve the pain of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN; the burning, stabbing pain or aches that may last for months or years after an attack of shingles). Gabapentin extended-release tablets (Horizant) are used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS; a condition that causes discomfort in the legs and a strong urge to move the legs, especially at night and when sitting or lying down).

Gabapentin is in a class of medications called anticonvulsants. Gabapentin treats seizures by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. Gabapentin relieves the pain of PHN by changing the way the body senses pain. It is not known exactly how gabapentin works to treat restless legs syndrome.

How should this medicine be used?

Gabapentin comes as a capsule, a tablet, an extended-release (long-acting) tablet, and an oral solution (liquid) to take by mouth. Gabapentin capsules, tablets, and oral solution are usually taken with a full glass of water (8 ounces [240 milliliters]), with or without food, three times a day.

These medications should be taken at evenly spaced times throughout the day and night; no more than 12 hours should pass between doses. The extended-release tablet (Horizant) is taken with food once daily at about 5 PM. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take gabapentin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Gabapentin extended-release tablets cannot be substituted for another type of gabapentin product. Be sure that you receive only the type of gabapentin that was prescribed by your doctor. Ask your pharmacist if you have any questions about the type of gabapentin you were given.

Swallow the extended-release tablets whole; do not cut, chew, or crush them.

If your doctor tells you to take one-half of a regular tablet as part of your dose, carefully split the tablet along the score mark. Use the other half-tablet as part of your next dose. Properly dispose of any half-tablets that you have not used within several days of breaking them.

If you are taking gabapentin to control seizures or PHN, your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of gabapentin and gradually increase your dose as needed to treat your condition. If you are taking gabapentin to treat PHN, tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve during your treatment.

Gabapentin may help to control your condition but will not cure it. Continue to take gabapentin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking gabapentin without talking to your doctor, even if you experience side effects such as unusual changes in behavior or mood. If you suddenly stop taking gabapentin tablets, capsules, or oral solution, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, nausea, pain, and sweating. If you are taking gabapentin to treat seizures and you suddenly stop taking the medication, you may experience seizures more often. Your doctor may decrease your dose gradually over at least a week.

Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer’s patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with gabapentin and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs) or the manufacturer’s website to obtain the Medication Guide.

Other uses for this medicine

Gabapentin is also sometimes used to relieve the pain of diabetic neuropathy (numbness or tingling due to nerve damage in people who have diabetes), and to treat and prevent hot flashes (sudden strong feelings of heat and sweating) in women who are being treated for breast cancer or who have experienced menopause (”change of life”, the end of monthly menstrual periods). Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking gabapentin,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to gabapentin, any other medications, or any of the inactive ingredients in the type of gabapentin you plan to take. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the inactive ingredients.
  • you should know that gabapentin is available in different forms that may be prescribed for different uses. Ask your doctor to be sure that you are not taking more than one product that contains gabapentin.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antidepressants; antihistamines; medications for anxiety; medications that make you feel dizzy or drowsy; medications for mental illness; naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn, others); opioid (narcotic) medications for pain such as hydrocodone (in Hydrocet, in Vicodin, others), morphine (Avinza, Kadian, MSIR, others), or oxycodone OxyContin, in Percocet, in Roxicet, others); sedatives; medications for seizures; sleeping pills, and tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • if you are taking antacids such as Maalox or Mylanta, take them at least 2 hours before you take gabapentin tablets, capsules, or solution.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had lung or kidney disease. If you will be taking the extended-release tablets, also tell your doctor if you need to sleep during the day and stay awake at night.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking gabapentin, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking gabapentin.
  • you should know that this medication may make you drowsy or dizzy, may slow your thinking, and may cause loss of coordination. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you, and your doctor agrees that it is safe for you to begin these activities.
  • if you are giving gabapentin to your child, you should know that your child’s behavior and mental abilities may change while he or she is taking gabapentin. Your child may have sudden changes in mood, become hostile or hyperactive, have difficulty concentrating or paying attention, or be drowsy or clumsy. Have your child avoid activities that could be dangerous, such as riding a bicycle, until you know how gabapentin affects him or her.
  • remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication.
  • you should know that your mental health may change in unexpected ways and you may become suicidal (thinking about harming or killing yourself or planning or trying to do so) while you are taking gabapentin for the treatment of epilepsy, mental illness, or other conditions. A small number of adults and children 5 years of age and older (about 1 in 500 people) who took anticonvulsants such as gabapentin to treat various conditions during clinical studies became suicidal during their treatment. Some of these people developed suicidal thoughts and behavior as early as one week after they started taking the medication. There is a risk that you may experience changes in your mental health if you take an anticonvulsant medication such as gabapentin, but there may also be a risk that you will experience changes in your mental health if your condition is not treated. You and your doctor will decide whether the risks of taking an anticonvulsant medication are greater than the risks of not taking the medication. You, your family, or your caregiver should call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: panic attacks; agitation or restlessness; new or worsening irritability, anxiety, or depression; acting on dangerous impulses; difficulty falling or staying asleep; aggressive, angry, or violent behavior; mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood); talking or thinking about wanting to hurt yourself or end your life; withdrawing from friends and family; preoccupation with death and dying; giving away prized possessions; or any other unusual changes in behavior or mood. Be sure that your family or caregiver knows which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take gabapentin capsules, tablets, or oral solution, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose or if you forget to take gabapentin extended-release tablets, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Gabapentin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • drowsiness
  • tiredness or weakness
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • uncontrollable shaking of a part of your body
  • double or blurred vision
  • unsteadiness
  • anxiety
  • memory problems
  • strange or unusual thoughts
  • unwanted eye movements
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • heartburn
  • diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • constipation
  • increased appetite
  • weight gain
  • swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • back or joint pain
  • fever
  • runny nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat, or flu-like symptoms
  • ear pain
  • red, itchy eyes (sometimes with swelling or discharge)

Some side effects may be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • rash
  • itching
  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes
  • hoarseness
  • difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • seizures
  • difficulty breathing; bluish-tinged skin, lips, or fingernails; confusion; or extreme sleepiness

Gabapentin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store the tablets, extended-release tablets, and capsules at room temperature, away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Store the oral solution in the refrigerator.

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include the following:

  • double vision
  • slurred speech
  • drowsiness
  • diarrhea

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking gabapentin.

If you use a dipstick to test your urine for protein, ask your doctor which product you should use while taking this medication.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Gralise®
  • Horizant®
  • Neurontin®

Where can I buy Gabapentin online ?

Can Gabapentin be Used for Anxiety, Depression, and Bipolar Disorder ?

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant prescription drug that goes by several brand names including, Neurontin, Gralise, Gabarone, and Fanatrex.

It was approved by the FDA in December 1993 for the following main uses.

    1. Controlling certain types of seizures in people who have epilepsy
    2. Relieving nerve pain (think: burning, stabbing, or aches) from shingles
    3. Calming restless legs syndrome

But since it’s been available, gabapentin has also been used off-label in psychiatry to treat patients with treatment-resistant mood and anxiety disorders as well as alcohol-withdrawal and post-traumatic stress. It works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain for seizures and changing the way the body senses pain for nerve pain. Researchers don’t know exactly how it works for psychiatric conditions. (*Note: Some states have recently classified gabapentin as a controlled substance due to the potential for it to be abused and contribute to death from overdose.)

Treatment with Gabapentin: Important Things to Know Before Taking Gabapentin

Before you start gabapentin therapy, you should have a thorough medical exam to rule out any medical issues. This includes any blood or urine tests. Medical evaluations are important as gabapentin can induce hormonal imbalances. Like any other drug, you should not take gabapentin if you’re allergic to it.

There are side effects—more on that in a minute. But a few of the most important things your doctor will want to find out before prescribing gabapentin is if you have or have had any of the following:

    • Diabetes
    • Drug or alcohol addiction
    • Kidney problems (or if you’re on dialysis)
    • Liver or heart disease
    • Lung disease (see the warning above on respiratory issues)
    • Mood disorders, depression or bipolar; or if you’ve ever thought about suicide or attempted suicide
    • Seizures (unless, of course, you’re taking it for seizures)

You should also know that not enough studies have been done to understand the exact risks of gabapentin if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

How Gabapentin Is Used to Treat Anxiety Mood Disorders Like Depression

Gabapentin isn’t usually used to treat anxiety alone. More often, it’s given to ease anxiety symptoms for someone who also has depression or bipolar disorder. (Anxiety is common comorbid with depression and bipolar.) The reason is that it may not be effective for just anxiety. A close look comparing seven different clinical trials on how successful gabapentin is for anxiety shows that gabapentin may be better than a placebo to treat generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but not much better. Results may be slightly more promising for social anxiety disorder.

The clinical trials for treating depression with gabapentin are also pretty lackluster. To date, there are no scientific studies showing it’s effective—either on its own or as part of some other therapy. Still, there is some anecdotal evidence that it’s helpful, especially with patients who don’t seem to improve with more standard antidepressants.

How Gabapentin Is Used to Treat Mixed Bipolar States

More specifically, can it prevent future episodes of mania and depression? Right now, there is no good evidence that gabapentin can be used for treating people with bipolar disorder. High-quality, randomized controlled studies found that gabapentin was not effective.1,2

Gabapentin and Alcohol Use Disorder

Gabapentin may be helpful in treating alcohol use disorder and withdrawal. Between 2004 and 2010, The Veterans Affairs Department conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized dose-ranging trial of 150 men and women over 18, struggling with alcohol dependence.3 The results of the study showed that gabapentin (particularly the 1800 mg dosage) was effective in safely treating alcohol dependence and relapse-related symptoms including insomnia, dysphoria, and cravings.

Gabapentin for Fibromyalgia

Research suggests that people with fibromyalgia have too much glutamate in certain parts of their brain, so gabapentin has long been prescribed for it. But is it effective? Research is mixed.

Two reviews of the evidence disagree. One released in 2016 found that gabapentin is an effective fibromyalgia treatment,3 while another, published in 2017,4 reported only low-quality evidence.

In studies comparing gabapentin with pregabalin (Lyrica), including one published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, pregabalin appeared to perform better.

Gabapentin Dosage

Gabapentin is usually started at a low dose and then gradually increased. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. A typical dose ranges between 900 mg and 1,800 mg daily, divided into three doses. You shouldn’t stop taking gabapentin suddenly. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the proper weaning procedure for the dose you’re taking.

Gabapentin Side Effects

Like all drugs, gabapentin comes with a risk of side effects.5 Some are potentially dangerous, while others are not. If you have any of the following side effects while taking gabapentin, call your doctor immediately:

  • Severe weakness or tiredness
  • Upper stomach pain
  • Chest pain
  • New or worsening cough along with fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe tingling or numbness
  • Rapid, back-and-forth eye movements
  • Pain or difficulty with urination, or no urination
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Swelling in the face or tongue
  • Burning eyes
  • Rash

Side effects that aren’t cause for immediate concern include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Falling asleep
  • Weight gain

Children taking gabapentin may experience a different set of side effects. Contact your doctor immediately for the following:

  • Changes in behavior
  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Restlessness, hostility, or aggression

Gabapentin may react negatively with other drugs. Be sure your doctor and pharmacist know everything you’re taking.

Is Gabapentin Right for You?

With evidence being weak and mixed, gabapentin has one clear advantage over Lyrica—it’s generic, and therefore much less expensive. Price, however, is far less important than efficacy.

We all react differently to medications. Some people who fail on other drugs, including Lyrica, may find relief from gabapentin. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and drawbacks gabapentin may have for your overall treatment regimen.