Gabapentin Medication for Chronic Pain
What is Gabapentin
Gabapentin is traditionally an anti-epileptic medication (also called anticonvulsant) which is also used for certain types of pain relief. Gabapentin has been shown to be most effective in treating nerve pain caused by the shingles virus.
Gabapentin comes in pill or liquid form, and in three major brands: Gralise, Horizant, and Neurontin. Horizant cannot be taken during the day or without food (best time is around 5:00pm), however Gralise and Neurotin can be taken at any time, and patients taking Neurotin can take the drug without food. If you miss a dose, it is okay to take it as soon as you remember, but not if it’s close to your next dosage time.
Common Side Effects
Typical side effects include dizziness, drowsiness and headache. Children are more likely to see additional side effects including changes in behavior, memory, concentration issues, and aggressive behavior. These side effects should be reported to your doctor. In any case, if you or your child experiences seizures, severe weakness, upper stomach pain, chest pain, rapid movement of the eyes, kidney problems, or a severe skin reaction, you should seek medical attention immediately.
It is very important to take the gabapentin brand that you have been prescribed. Changes in brand may require a change in dosage to prevent negative side effects. Side effects are generally minor in most cases and will not require too much change to your lifestyle.
Doctors advise caution while driving or performing other tasks that require you to be alert. Avoid taking any antacids within two hours of taking your medication. Antacids have been shown to make it harder for the body to absorb the medication.