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Guidelines for the Use of Gabapentin

Type of Drug:

Anticonvulsant; drug used to treat epilepsy and seizures.

How the Gabapentin Product Works:

It is not known how gabapentin works to prevent seizures.

Uses of The Gabapentin :

Used in combination with other anticonvulsant therapy in the treatment of partial seizures with and without secondary generalization in patients older than 12 years of age with epilepsy.

Used in combination with other therapy in the treatment of partial seizures in patients 3 to 12 years of age.

Unlabeled Uses: Occasionally doctors may prescribe gabapentin for neuropathic pain, tremors associated with multiple sclerosis, bipolar disorder, and migraine prophylaxis.

Precautions:

Pregnancy: There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Use only if clearly needed and the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the possible hazards to the fetus.

Breastfeeding: Gabapentin appears in breast milk. Consult your doctor before you begin breastfeeding.

Children: Safety and effectiveness in children younger than 3 years of age have not been established.

Elderly: Use with caution. Dosage may need to be adjusted.

Drug Interactions:

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or if you are planning to take any over-the-counter or prescription medications or dietary supplements while taking gabapentin. Doses of one or both drugs may need to be modified or a different drug may need to be prescribed, Ant acids (eg, Maalox) interact with gabapentin.

Side Effects:

Every drug is capable of producing side effects. Many gabapentin users experience no, or minor, side effects. The frequency and severity of side effects depend on many factors including dose, duration of therapy, and individual susceptibility. Possible side effects include:

Digestive Tract: Appetite changes; gas; indigestion; constipation; gum inflammation; nausea; vomiting.

Nervous System: Abnormal skin sensations; hyperactivity; change in reflexes; anxiety; nervousness; tremor; hostility; amnesia; vertigo (feeling of whirling motion); depresSion; abnormal thinking; twitching; drowsiness; dizziness; in coordination; fatigue; emotional liability; concentration problems; difficulty speaking.

Respiratory System: Pneumonia; sore throat; cough; respiratory infection; bronchitis; runny nose.

Skin: Abrasion; itching; bruise-like spots under the skin.

Other: Abnormal vision; joint, back, or muscle pain; weakness; general body discomfort; impotence; high blood pressure; face edema (fluid retention); dry throat or mouth; rapid eye movement; involuntary muscle movements; weight gain; worsening of seizures; abnormal urine tests; viral infection; fever; swelling of the arms or legs; dental abnormalities; abnormal blood counts; bone fracture.

Guidelines for Use:

  • Dosage is individualized. Take exactly as prescribed.

  • Do not change the dose or stop taking, unless advised by your doctor.

  • Take without regard to food.

  • Use a dosing spoon or syringe to measure and administer oral solution.

  • Convulsions may return or worsen if gabapentin is stopped suddenly.

  • Maximum time between doses should not exceed 12 hours.

  • If a dose is missed, take it as Soon as possible. If several hours have passed or if it is nearing time for the next dose, do not double the dose to catch up, unless advised by your doctor. If more than one dose is missed or it is necessary to establish a new dosage schedule, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Small doses are generally used when starting therapy. The dose is then gradually increased as tolerated until an effective dose level is reached.

  • Adjust dosage for patients with kidney disease or those undergoing hendiadys.

  • May cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. Use with caution while driving or performing other tasks requiring alertness, Coordination, and physical dexterity.

  • Do not take gabapentin until at least two hours after taking an antacid.

  • Carry Medic Alert identification indicating that you have epilepsy and the drugs that you are taking.

  • Store tablets and capsules at controlled room temperature (59 to 86 F).

  • Store oral solution under refrigeration (36 to 46 F).

 


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