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What is Gabapentin and What It Is Used For ?

Gabapentin belongs to a class of drugs known as anticonvulsants, used to help control seizures in the treatment of epilepsy. Neurontin will only be able to control seizures for as long as you take it. It can’t cure epilepsy. The following step after being diagnosed is to work with your doctor in choosing the best treatment options for you. Gabapentin capsules, tablets, and oral solution are used to help control certain types of seizures in people who have epilepsy.

Gabapentin capsules, tablets, and oral solution are also used to relieve the pain of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN; the burning, stabbing pain or aches that may last for months or years after an attack of shingles). Gabapentin extended-release tablets (Horizant) are used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS; a condition that causes discomfort in the legs and a strong urge to move the legs, especially at night and when sitting or lying down). Gabapentin is in a class of medications called anticonvulsants.

Gabapentin is a medication that was originally developed to treat epilepsy, but it is also commonly prescribed to relieve neuropathic pain. Here are some key points about Gabapentin:

  1. Uses:
    • Epilepsy: Gabapentin is used as an adjunctive therapy for the treatment of partial seizures.
    • Neuropathic Pain: It is often prescribed for conditions such as diabetic neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia (pain following shingles), and other types of nerve pain.
    • Off-Label Uses: Gabapentin is sometimes used off-label for conditions such as anxiety disorders, insomnia, and bipolar disorder.
  2. Mechanism of Action:
    • Gabapentin is structurally similar to the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), but it does not act on the GABA receptors. Instead, it binds to the alpha-2-delta subunit of voltage-gated calcium channels in the central nervous system, which helps to reduce the release of excitatory neurotransmitters and modulate neuronal excitability.
  3. Formulations:
    • Gabapentin is available in various forms including capsules, tablets, and an oral solution.
  4. Side Effects:
    • Common side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, peripheral edema (swelling of the extremities), and ataxia (lack of coordination).
    • Serious side effects can include mood changes, depression, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
  5. Dosage:
    • The dosage of Gabapentin varies depending on the condition being treated and the patient’s response to the medication. It is usually started at a low dose and gradually increased.
    • It is typically taken three times a day, but the exact dosing schedule may vary.
  6. Precautions and Interactions:
    • Gabapentin should be used with caution in patients with renal impairment because it is excreted by the kidneys.
    • It can interact with other medications, including certain antacids, which can reduce its absorption.
    • Abrupt discontinuation of Gabapentin can lead to withdrawal symptoms, so it should be tapered off gradually under medical supervision.

Gabapentin is a versatile medication, but like all medications, it should be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider to ensure its safety and efficacy for the individual’s specific health needs.

Gabapentin 800 mg Tab-IVA Gabapentin treats seizures by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. Gabapentin relieves the pain of PHN by changing the way the body senses pain. It is not known exactly how gabapentin works to treat restless legs syndrome.

Gabapentin is also sometimes used to relieve the pain of diabetic neuropathy (numbness or tingling due to nerve damage in people who have diabetes), and to treat and prevent hot flashes (sudden strong feelings of heat and sweating) in women who are being treated for breast cancer or who have experienced menopause (”change of life”, the end of monthly menstrual periods). Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.

Pregabalin (Lyrica), a drug similar to gabapentin, was the first medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat fibromyalgia. While gabapentin hasn’t been approved by the FDA for the treatment of fibromyalgia, some doctors may prescribe it off-label for such use.

Gabapentin and pregabalin were originally approved to treat certain types of epilepsy and nerve pain. Both drugs work by limiting the release of pain-communicating chemicals by nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The most common side effects of both drugs are dizziness and drowsiness.

It is also used to control pain associated with shingles and has been evaluated for pain conditions, including migraine, as its pain-modulating properties may regulate the perception of pain.

Anticonvulsant drugs, such as gabapentin, are becoming increasingly popular for migraine prevention.

Gabapentin for Depression, Mania and Anxiety

Right now, Gabapentin is approved in the United States to treat seizures. There are not a lot of comprehensive studies that look at Gabapentin as a way to treat anxiety, mood disorders or tardive dyskinesia. Even though there are studies in the works, what experts know about Gabapentin for the purpose of controlling anxiety and mood disorders and tardive dyskinesia mostly comes from faulty case reports. There have been double-blind studies done, but they have not proved that Gabapentin works as a mood stabilizer.

Many experts don’t recommend the use of Gabapentin for mood disorders. There is more data from people who have hard-to-treat bipolar disorder than unipolar depression, although some people with unipolar disorder have gotten good results from Gabapentin. In time, it can be proven that Gabapentin can be used to treat a variety of mood disorders.



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