Gabapentin

Gabapentin

Generic Name: gabapentin (GA ba PEN tin)
Brand Names: Gralise, Horizant, Neurontin, Gabarone

What is gabapentin?

Gabapentin is an anti-convulsant anti-epileptic medication used to prevent seizures in people with epilepsy and help ease pain and also to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS) it is often prescribed for fibromyalgia.
The issue I have with it are the huge amount of side effects that are listed for this medication, how many of us actually read the leaflet that comes in the packet your doctor has prescribed? I know I never do, I just follow the instructions written on the sticky label on the front of the pack. Would you be shocked to see that the list of side effects associated with taking this medication are a lot worse than the disease you are trying to treat?

Contra-indications

You should tell your doctor if you have:

  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Seizures, unless you are taking gabapentin to treat seizures
  • Mood disorders
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease or if you are on dialysis
  • Liver disease
  • Restless leg syndrome or if you are a day sleeper or work a night shift.

Do not take

You should not take Gabapentin if you are allergic to it.

Avoid

You should avoid:

Alcohol

Taking antacid within two hours before and two hours after taking gabapentin as they can stop it from having an effect.

Take care

You should be careful when:

Driving as gabapentin can affect your ability to drive, gabapentin can impair your reactions and thinking while driving.

Side effects of taking gabapentin

You should call your doctor immediately if you start to experience any of these symptoms while taking gabapentin

  • Suicidal
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Increased seizures
  • Problems with balance or muscle movement
  • Severe weakness or tiredness
  • Changes in behaviour
  • Restlessness
  • Stomach pain
  • Aggravated
  • Chest pain
  • Cough with fever
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble breathing
  • Severe tingling or numbness
  • Rapid eye movement
  • Trouble peeing
  • Drowsiness
  • Memory problems
  • Headache
  • Coordination problems
  • Fever, nausea, vomiting
  • Swelling in your feet, ankles, hands or feet
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Problems with your eyes

One of the other unwanted side effects of gabapentin is weight gain, people taking gabapentin are seeing huge increases of weight in a matter of weeks, supposedly it is because it makes you more hungry but most people are saying they are gaining weight without any changes to their eating habbits.

For a full list of side effects associated with gabapentin see here