Gabapentin Side Effects
Some side effects of gabapentin may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.
For the Consumer
Applies to gabapentin: oral capsule, oral solution, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction while taking gabapentin: hives; fever; swollen glands; painful sores in or around your eyes or mouth; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
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 a serious side effect such as:
fever, swollen glands, body aches, flu symptoms;
skin rash, easy bruising or bleeding, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
chest pain, irregular heart rhythm, feeling short of breath;
confusion, nausea and vomiting, swelling, rapid weight gain, urinating less than usual or not at all;
new or worsening cough, fever, trouble breathing; or
rapid back and forth movement of your eyes.
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;
trouble concentrating; or
acting restless, hostile, or aggressive.
Less serious side effects of gabapentin may include:
dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, tired feeling;
nausea, diarrhea, constipation;
dry mouth; or
loss of balance or coordination.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to gabapentin: compounding powder, oral capsule, oral solution, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release
Nervous system side effects have been common. Somnolence, dizziness, ataxia, headache, and fatigue have been reported to occur in more than 10% of treated patients. Vertigo, hyperkinesia, paresthesia, decreased or absent reflexes, increased reflexes, anxiety, and hostility have been reported frequently. CNS tumors, syncope, dreaming abnormal, aphasia, hypesthesia, intracranial hemorrhage, hypotonia, dysesthesia, paresis, dystonia, hemiplegia, facial paralysis, stupor, cerebellar dysfunction, positive Babinski sign, decreased position sense, subdural hematoma, apathy, hallucination, decrease or loss of libido, agitation, paranoia, depersonalization, euphoria, feeling high, doped-up sensation, suicide attempt, and psychosis have been reported infrequently. Choreoathetosis, orofacial dyskinesia, encephalopathy, nerve palsy, personality disorder, increased libido, subdued temperament, apraxia, fine motor control disorder, meningismus, local myoclonus, hyperesthesia, hypokinesia, mania, neurosis, hysteria, antisocial reaction, and suicide have been reported rarely. Nystagmus, tremor, nervousness, amnesia, dysarthria and depression have also been reported. A small number of cases of absence status and status epilepticus have occurred in patients taking gabapentin. Cases of delirium tremens have been reported upon gabapentin withdrawal.
Gastrointestinal side effects have been reported in one to three percent of treated patients. Anorexia, flatulence, and gingivitis have been reported frequently. Glossitis, gum hemorrhage, thirst, stomatitis, increased salivation, gastroenteritis, hemorrhoids, bloody stools, and fecal incontinence have been reported infrequently. Dysphagia, eructation, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer, colitis, blisters in mouth, tooth discolor, perlèche, salivary gland enlarged, lip hemorrhage, esophagitis, hiatal hernia, hematemesis, proctitis, irritable bowel syndrome, rectal hemorrhage, and esophageal spasm have been reported rarely. Dyspepsia, dry mouth, constipation, dental abnormalities, flatulence, increased appetite, breast enlargement, and weight gain have also been reported.
Other side effects have been reported to include withdrawal effects. Withdrawal of gabapentin therapy has been reported to cause the following effects in less than 2% of treated patients: somnolence, ataxia, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.
Hearing loss, earache, tinnitus, inner ear infection, otitis, taste loss, unusual taste, ear fullness, perforated ear drum, sensitivity to noise, eustachian tube dysfunction, otitis externa, odd smell, and labyrinthitis have also been reported.
Other side effects reported postmarketing have included angioedema, blood glucose fluctuation, breast enlargement, elevated creatine kinase, elevated liver function tests, erythema multiforme, fever, hyponatremia, jaundice, movement disorder, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
The patients reported to have decreased white blood cell counts were also taking carbamazepine.
Hematologic side effects have frequently been reported to include purpura. Anemia, thrombocytopenia, and lymphadenopathy have been reported infrequently. Increased WBC count, lymphocytosis, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and increased bleeding time have been reported rarely. Isolated cases of decreased white blood cell counts have also been reported.
Cardiovascular side effects including hypertension have been reported to occur in more than one percent of patients taking gabapentin. Hypotension, angina pectoris, peripheral vascular disorder, palpitation, tachycardia, and murmur have been reported infrequently. Atrial fibrillation, heart failure, thrombophlebitis, deep thrombophlebitis, myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accident, pulmonary thrombosis, ventricular extrasystoles, bradycardia, premature atrial contraction, pericardial rub, heart block, pulmonary embolus, hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolemia, pericardial effusion, and pericarditis have been reported rarely. A case of gabapentin induced edema has also been reported.
Ocular side effects including abnormal vision have been reported frequently. Cataract, conjunctivitis, dry eyes, eye pain, visual field defect, photophobia, bilateral or unilateral ptosis, eye hemorrhage, hordeolum, eye twitching, diplopia and blurred vision have been reported infrequently. Eye itching, abnormal accommodation, eye focusing problem, watery eyes, retinopathy, glaucoma, iritis, corneal disorders, lacrimal dysfunction, degenerative eye changes, blindness, retinal degeneration, miosis, chorioretinitis, and strabismus have been reported rarely. A case of oculogyric crisis has also been reported.
Psychiatric side effects including two cases of intolerable aggressive behavior have been reported. One case of hypomania has also been reported.
Dermatologic side effects including alopecia, eczema, dry skin, increased sweating, urticaria, hirsutism, seborrhea, cyst, and herpes simplex have been reported infrequently. Herpes zoster, skin discolor, skin papules, photosensitive reaction, leg ulcer, scalp seborrhea, psoriasis, desquamation, maceration, skin nodules, subcutaneous nodule, melanosis, skin necrosis, and local swelling have been reported rarely. One case of alopecia and one case of leukocytoclastic vasculitis have been reported.
Hypersensitivity side effects including a case of hypersensitivity syndrome have been reported.
Genitourinary side effects including hematuria, dysuria, urination frequency, cystitis, urinary retention, urinary incontinence, vaginal hemorrhage, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia, breast cancer, inability to climax, and abnormal ejaculation have been reported infrequently. Kidney pain, leukorrhea, pruritus genital, renal stone, acute renal failure, anuria, glycosuria, nephrosis, nocturia, pyuria, urination urgency, vaginal pain, breast pain, and testicle pain have been reported rarely.
Musculoskeletal side effects including arthralgia have been reported frequently. Tendinitis, arthritis, joint stiffness, joint swelling, and positive Romberg test have been reported infrequently. Costochondritis, osteoporosis, bursitis, and contracture have been reported rarely. Myoclonus has also been reported.
General side effects have included asthenia, malaise, and facial edema which have been reported frequently. Generalized edema, weight decrease, and chill have been reported infrequently. Lassitude, "strange feelings", alcohol intolerance, and hangover effect have been reported rarely.
Endocrine side effects including hyperthyroid, hypothyroid, swollen testicle, goiter, hypoestrogenism, ovarian failure, epididymitis, and cushingoid appearance have been reported rarely. Endocrine side effects reported postmarketing have included breast enlargement.
Respiratory side effects including pneumonia have been reported frequently. Epistaxis, dyspnea, and apnea have been reported infrequently. Mucositis, aspiration pneumonia, hyperventilation, hiccup, laryngitis, nasal obstruction, snoring, bronchospasm, hypoventilation, and lung edema have been reported rarely.
Hepatic side effects including hepatomegaly have been reported infrequently. Several cases of hepatotoxicity have also been reported.
Male rats receiving doses of gabapentin of up to 2000 mg/kg for 2 years have developed acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas.
Oncologic side effects have been reported in animal studies.
Renal side effects including two cases of marked increase in serum creatinine measurements following the introduction of gabapentin have been reported.
Search for questions
Still looking for answers? Try searching for what you seek or ask your own question.
Posted 5 Aug 2010 • 3 answers
Posted 2 Nov 2010 • 1 answer
Posted 30 Jan 2012 • 1 answer
Posted 25 May 2012 • 2 answers
Posted 26 Jul 2016 • 1 answer