What is Neurontin® (gabapentin) used for?
Neurontin® is an anti-epileptic medication, also called an anticonvulsant. Gabapentin affects chemicals and nerves in the body that are involved in the cause of seizures and some types of pain.
Neurontin® is used in adults to treat nerve pain caused by herpes virus or shingles (herpes zoster).
Neurontin® is also used to treat seizures in adults and children who are at least 3 years old.
How should I take Neurontin® (gabapentin)?
Take Neurontin® exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Neurontin® can be taken with or without food.
If you break a Neurontin® tablet and take only half of it, take the other half at your next dose. Any tablet that has been broken should be used as soon as possible or within a few days.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Do not stop using Neurontin® suddenly, even if you feel fine. Stopping suddenly may cause increased seizures. Follow your doctor’s instructions about tapering your dose.
Neurontin® can cause you to have a false positive urine protein screening test. If you provide a urine sample for testing, tell the laboratory staff that you are taking Neurontin®.
How do I store Neurontin® (gabapentin)?
Neurontin® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Neurontin® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Neurontin® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush Neurontin® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Neurontin® (gabapentin)?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Neurontin® or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking this medicine. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using Neurontin®. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Neurontin® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Neurontin®. Neurontin® is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk
- B=No risk in some studies
- C=There may be some risk
- D=Positive evidence of risk
What side effects can occur from Neurontin® (gabapentin)?
Common side effects may include:
Some side effects are more likely in children taking Neurontin®. Contact your doctor if the child taking this medication has any of the following side effects:
- Changes in behavior
- Memory problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Acting restless, hostile, or aggressive
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- Increased seizures
- Severe weakness or tiredness
- Upper stomach pain
- Chest pain, new or worsening cough with fever, trouble breathing
- Severe tingling or numbness
- Rapid back and forth movement of your eyes
- Kidney problems – little or no urination, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath
- Severe skin reaction – fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling
- Mood or behavior changes, anxiety, depression
- Feel agitated, hostile, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself
Seek medical treatment if you have a skin rash with symptoms of a serious allergic reaction that can affect other parts of your body, including fever, dark urine, blood in your urine, swollen glands, sore throat, extreme weakness or tiredness, unusual bruising or bleeding, muscle pain, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Neurontin®: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with Neurontin® (gabapentin)?
Neurontin® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Does food or alcohol interact with Neurontin® (gabapentin)?
Neurontin® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with Neurontin® (gabapentin)?
Neurontin® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:
- Kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis)
- Epilepsy or other seizure disorder
- Liver disease
- A history of depression, mood disorder, drug abuse, or suicidal thoughts or actions
- Heart disease
- (for patients with RLS) if you are a day sleeper or work a night shift
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Neurontin® (gabapentin).
What is the dose of Neurontin® (gabapentin) for an adult?
The dose may be initiated on Day 1 as a single 300 mg dose, on Day 2 as 600 mg/day (300 mg two times a day), and on Day 3 as 900 mg/day (300 mg three times a day).
The dose can subsequently be titrated up as needed for pain relief to a dose of 1800 mg/day (600 mg three times a day).
Epilepsy with Partial Onset Seizures
Patients 12 years of age and above:
- The starting dose is 300 mg three times a day.
- The recommended maintenance dose is 300 mg to 600 mg three times a day. Dosages up to 2400 mg/day have been well tolerated in long-term clinical studies.
- Doses of 3600 mg/day have also been administered to a small number of patients for a relatively short duration, and have been well tolerated.
- Administer Neurontin® three times a day using 300 mg or 400 mg capsules, or 600 mg or 800 mg tablets.
- The maximum time between doses should not exceed 12 hours.
Pediatric Patients Age 3 to 11 years:
- The starting dose range is 10 mg/kg/day to 15 mg/kg/day, given in three divided doses, and the recommended maintenance dose reached by upward titration over a period of approximately 3 days.
- The recommended maintenance dose in patients 3 to 4 years of age is 40 mg/kg/day, given in three divided doses.
- The recommended maintenance dose in patients 5 to 11 years of age is 25 mg/kg/day to 35 mg/kg/day, given in three divided doses.
- Neurontin® may be administered as the oral solution, capsule, or tablet, or using combinations of these formulations. Dosages up to 50 mg/kg/day have been well tolerated in a long-term clinical study.
- The maximum time interval between doses should not exceed 12 hours.
What is the dose of Neurontin® (gabapentin) for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is Neurontin® (gabapentin) available?
Neurontin® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Capsules, tablets, oral solution gabapentin 100mg
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Neurontin®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
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