What is gabapentin?
Gabapentin, a medicine with multiple brand names like Neurontin, Gralise, and Horizant, is an anticonvulsant drug that acts on the chemical messengers in the brain and nerves. It is primarily used for treating partial seizures, nerve pain resulting from shingles, and restless leg syndrome. However, each brand of gabapentin has a different FDA approval for various conditions, and it is crucial to use only the prescribed brand and form of the medication.
Gabapentin can be life-threatening, primarily when used by people with a breathing disorder or taking other drugs that can cause drowsiness or slow breathing. It can also cause suicidal thoughts or behavior changes, so it is essential to report any worsening symptoms to a doctor. It can also cause dizziness or drowsiness, leading to accidents or falls, so people must avoid driving or other hazardous activities while using gabapentin. Abruptly stopping the use of gabapentin can lead to increased seizures.
It is crucial to inform a doctor before using gabapentin, especially if someone has a breathing disorder, kidney disease, diabetes, depression, drug addiction, liver disease, heart disease, or suicidal thoughts or actions. Pregnant women should avoid using gabapentin, and those who become pregnant while using the drug must tell their doctor immediately. It is not known whether gabapentin harms an unborn baby or passes into breast milk, so it is vital to consult a doctor before breastfeeding.
People must take gabapentin as prescribed by their doctor, and they should not increase or decrease the dose or stop using the medicine suddenly, even if they feel fine. The dosage may vary based on the brand, strength, or type of gabapentin prescribed, and the doctor may change the dosage after a while. People must swallow the tablet or capsule whole and avoid crushing, chewing, breaking, or opening them. It is crucial to store the medication at room temperature, away from light and moisture.
In conclusion, gabapentin is a powerful drug used to treat various conditions, but it requires careful consideration and monitoring to avoid harmful effects. People must follow their doctor’s instructions and report any changes in symptoms to prevent complications.