Gabapentin is used to treat neuropathic pain (nerve pain) caused by damage to the nerves. The nerve damage may be due to conditions such as diabetes (diabetic neuropathy) or shingles (postherpetic neuralgia). Gabapentin works by reducing the amount of pain signals coming from damaged or abnormally functioning nerves.
Generally, side effects tend to occur at the beginning of treatment or when the dose is increased, but should wear off after several days. Common side effects include:
Inform your doctor immediately if the side effects above become severe and bothersome.
There are some potentially serious, but rare side effects that may be experienced:
Stop the medication and inform your doctor immediately if these rare side effects above occur, or if you experience any other side effects and allergic reactions (e.g. rash, swelling of the eyes and lips, difficulty breathing).
Gabapentin is usually taken one to three times a day. The doctor may start you or your child on a low dose and increase the dose gradually over the next few days or weeks.
Gabapentin is to be taken regularly as prescribed, according to the instructions provided. Do not stop taking gabapentin unless you are told to do so by the doctor. It may take several weeks before you or your child feels better.
Swallow the capsule whole with a glass of water. Do not crush or chew the capsule. For those unable to swallow the capsules or for doses less than a full capsule, the capsule can be opened and contents mixed in a small amount of water. Your pharmacist will advise on the amount required to be syringed out according to the dose.
It can be taken with or without food.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the regular scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed one.
Read on for more information on Gabapentin as treatment for complex motor disorders in children.
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