Generic Name: gabapentin (GAB-a-PEN-tin)
Brand Name: Neurontin
Gabapentin capsules are used for:
Treating certain types of seizures associated with epilepsy when used along with other medicines. It may also be used for treating nerve pain associated with herpes zoster (shingles) infection (postherpetic neuralgia). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Gabapentin capsules are an anticonvulsant. Exactly how it works to prevent seizures and treat nerve pain is not known.
Do NOT use gabapentin capsules if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in gabapentin capsules
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using gabapentin capsules:
Some medical conditions may interact with gabapentin capsules. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of kidney problems, including if you are on dialysis
- if you have a history of mental or mood problems (eg, depression), or suicidal thoughts or actions
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with gabapentin capsules. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any medicines, especially any of the following:
- Morphine because it may increase the risk of gabapentin capsules's side effects, including drowsiness
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if gabapentin capsules may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use gabapentin capsules:
Use gabapentin capsules as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Gabapentin capsules comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get gabapentin capsules refilled.
- Take gabapentin capsules by mouth with or without food.
- Swallow gabapentin capsules whole with plenty of water. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
- Do not take an antacid containing aluminum or magnesium within 2 hours before you take gabapentin capsules.
- Do not suddenly stop taking gabapentin capsules. Patients taking gabapentin capsules to prevent seizures may have an increased risk of seizures if the medicine is suddenly stopped. If you need to stop gabapentin capsules or add a new medicine, your doctor will gradually lower your dose.
- If you miss a dose of gabapentin capsules, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use gabapentin capsules.
Important safety information:
- Gabapentin capsules may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use gabapentin capsules with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Do not change your dose of gabapentin capsules without checking with your doctor.
- Check with your doctor before you drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using gabapentin capsules; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
- Patients who take gabapentin capsules may be at increased risk for suicidal thoughts or actions. The risk may be greater in patients who have had suicidal thoughts or actions in the past. Watch patients who take gabapentin capsules closely. Contact the doctor at once if new, worsened, or sudden symptoms such as depressed mood; anxious, restless, or irritable behavior; panic attacks; or any unusual change in mood or behavior occur. Contact the doctor right away if any signs of suicidal thoughts or actions occur.
- Gabapentin capsules may cause a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction that may affect your skin or other parts of your body (eg, liver, blood cells). A rash may or may not occur along with this reaction. Contact your doctor right away if you develop symptoms such as rash; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; swollen glands or lymph nodes; swelling of the lip or tongue; yellowing of the skin or eyes; unusual bruising or bleeding; severe tiredness or weakness; unusual muscle pain; or symptoms of infection (eg, fever, chills, sore throat).
- Gabapentin capsules may interfere with certain lab tests, including a certain urine protein test. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking gabapentin capsules.
- Lab tests, including liver function, kidney function, and complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use gabapentin capsules. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use gabapentin capsules with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Gabapentin capsules may cause emotional or behavioral side effects in CHILDREN 3 to 12 years old. If the following side effects occur, notify your doctor immediately: emotional "swings," hostile or aggressive behavior, problems concentrating, decreased performance at school, an increase in restlessness or hyperactivity.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using gabapentin capsules while you are pregnant. Gabapentin capsules are found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use gabapentin capsules, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of gabapentin capsules:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; nausea; tiredness; vomiting; weakness.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); abnormal thoughts; back and forth eye movements; change in school performance; confusion; fever, chills, or sore throat; hyperactivity; loss of coordination; memory loss; new or worsening mental, mood, or behavior changes (eg, depression, agitation, anxiety, panic attacks, aggressiveness, impulsiveness, irritability, hostility, exaggerated feeling of well-being, restlessness, inability to sit still); new or worsening seizures; shortness of breath; signs of kidney problems (eg, unable to pass urine, change in the amount of urine passed, blood in the urine, big weight gain); signs of liver problems (eg, dark urine, tiredness, not hungry, upset stomach, stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, yellow skin or eyes); speech changes or trouble speaking; suicidal thoughts or actions; swelling of the hands, legs, or feet; tremor; trouble concentrating; twitching; vision changes (eg, double or blurred vision).
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of gabapentin capsules:
Store gabapentin capsules between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep gabapentin capsules out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about gabapentin capsules, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Gabapentin capsules are to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take gabapentin capsules or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about gabapentin capsules. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to gabapentin capsules. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using gabapentin capsules.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.