Gabapentin 779
Photo by: Leah-Anne Thompson


Gabapentin is an anti-seizure medication. It is sold in the United States under the trade name Neurontin.


Gabapentin is used in combination with other antiseizure (anticonvulsant) drugs to manage partial seizures with or without generalization in individuals over the age of 12. Gabapentin can also be used to treat partial seizures in children between the ages of three and 12. Off-label uses (legal uses not specifically approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration [FDA]) include treatment of severe, chronic pain caused by nerve damage (such as occurs in shingles, diabetic neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, or post-herpetic neuralgia). Studies are also looking at using gabapentin to treat bipolar disorder (also known as manic-depressive disorder).


Brain cells normally transmit nerve impulses from one cell to another by secreting chemicals known as neurotransmitters .

Gabapentin is chemically related to a naturally occurring neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid). The actual mechanism of action by which gabapentin acts in the brain to control seizures and treat pain is not known, although it appears to alter the action of nerve cells.

Gabapentin was approved for use in the United States in 1993. A liquid formulation was approved for use in 2000. Use in children ages three to 12 was also approved by the FDA in 2000.

Gabapentin is available in 100-, 300-, and 400-mg capsules; in 600- and 800-mg tablets; and in a liquid solution containing 250 mg per 5 ml.

Recommended dosage

People over the age of 12 should be started on 300 mg gabapentin taken three times a day. The dose can be increased up to a total of 1,800 mg per day. In some instances, doses of up to 3,600 mg per day have been tolerated.

Children should receive a dosage of 10–15 mg per kg of body weight per day, divided into three equal doses.

Chronic pain may be treated with 300–3,600 mg per day, divided into three equal doses.

When gabapentin is used for bipolar disorder, the starting dose is usually 300 mg taken at bedtime. Depending on the patient's response, the dose can be increased every four to seven days. Many people receive maximum therapeutic benefit at 600 mg per day, although some people have required up to 4,800 mg per day.


Women who are breast-feeding and people who have decreased kidney functioning should discuss the risks and benefits of this drug with their physician. Women who are or wish to become pregnant will also require a careful assessment of the risks and benefits of gabapentin.

Patients should not suddenly discontinue gabapentin, as this can result in an increased risk of seizures. If the medication needs to be discontinued, the dosage should be reduced gradually over a week.

Until an individual understands the effects that gabapentin may have, he or she should avoid driving, operating dangerous machinery, or participating in hazardous activities. Alcohol should be avoided while taking gabapentin.

Side effects

Patients who experience the following side effects of gabapentin should check with their doctor immediately. These include more common side effects, such as unsteadiness, clumsiness, and uncontrollable back-and-forth eye movements or eye rolling. Less common side effects include depression, irritability, other mood changes or changes in thinking, and decreased memory. Rare side effects include pain in the lower back or side, difficulty urinating, fever and/or chills, cough, or hoarseness.

Children under age 12 who have the following more common side effects should also check with their doctor immediately: aggressive behavior, irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating and paying attention, crying, depression, mood swings, increased emotionality, hyperactivity, suspiciousness or distrust.

Multiple side effects often occur when a patient starts taking gabapentin. While these side effects usually go away on their own, if they last or are particularly troublesome, the patient should consult a doctor. More common side effects that occur when first starting to take gabapentin include blurred or double vision, muscle weakness or pain, swollen hand, feet, or legs, trembling or shaking, and increased fatigue or weakness. Less common side effects that occur when initiating gabapentin treatment include back pain, constipation, decreased sexual drive, diarrhea, dry mouth and eyes, frequent urination, headache, indigestion, low blood pressure, nausea, ringing in the ears, runny nose, slurred speech, difficulty thinking and sleeping, weight gain, twitching, nausea and/or vomiting, weakness.


Antacids can decrease gabapentin levels in the blood. They should be taken at least two hours before taking gabapentin.



Ellsworth, Allan J. Mosby's Medical Drug Reference. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, Incorporated, 1999.

Mosby's Drug Consult. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, Incorporated, 2002.

Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, M.D.

User Contributions:

guy hall
I have been taking Gabapentin for three weeks and my pain is no better. I have pain in my right hand,the thumb,first finger, second finger, and third finger. I have had weight gain,confusion,loss of balance and difficulty thinking. I had an MRI that showed damage to C4-C5 and the surgeon,instead of going by my signs and symptoms,removed that disc,but the numbness and pain continued to get worse. I was started on Gabapentin to see if it would work. I haven't seen any improvement yet.On my last appointment the surgeon said that those three digits were controlled by nerves in C6-C7.Thats when he started me on Gabapentin nothing else was done on that visit.I received a call from a testing facility stating that the Doctor had requested that I have another MRI.This has been scheduled. It seems to me that the surgeon missed his mark.. Thank you, Guy
I just started taking this for chronic migraine headaches. Initial dosage is 400mg twice daily - then 400mg three times daily.

Initially I went 4 days without a single migrane (remarkable for me, a chronic migraine sufferer). On the 5th day I got a moderate migraine, however after taking my gabapentin, the migraine subsided.

From what I see, the medication is taken every 8 hours, however I believe it to be more effective every 6 hours (4x daily). Rather than increase the amount per dose, I am trying to increase the daily intake by taking it 4 times instead of 3.

Hopefully just 1600mg will be sufficient to rid the pain for good!
For Gloria,Her M.D. is afraid of her becoming addicted to narcotic
pain medicine---while she is suffering. My M..D. gives
me what I need to function. Did you ever read: Fibromyalia Advocate by Devin Staranyl,M.D. He says if you M.D.
feels that way---get another doctor.
Just prescribed this drug for shingles on top of my head pain was on the left side and unbearable. Worked for about 8 hrs first time. Second pill about 12 hours. Not an immediate pain relief medication by any stretch but seems to be helping manage the pain, you can tell its doing something to your system. Minimal side effects so far only been two days, can let you more later. Helped the neuropathy in my feet also as I am diabetic, nice side effect.
I have fibromyalgia (diagnosed after about 15 years of chronic unexplained leg and foot pain) Gababpentin helps tremendously. I take 600 mg/4 times a day so a total of 2,400 mg a day. If I miss more than one dose I seem to feel it a few days later, not a few hours later, which is strange.

As long as I take it regularly, its wonderful for pain.
I was prescribed Gababpentin on 8-18-08 for Shingles also. I do not know if this medicine is working yet but, I will post again in a few days with my results. I also have Corhns Disease for the past 11 years.
I was prescribed this drug for unexplained chronic hip/leg/foot pain. I was previously unable to sleep due to the pain. I take only 300mg a few hours before bed and can usually get to sleep and sleep most of the night. I noticed increased apetite when I wake up. So far, so good although I've gained some weight.
Sherry Riggenbach
Jo, If you are in that much pain and on that many meds, maybe you should try the chronic pain rehabilitation program at the Cleveland Clinic. I am currently enrolled in the program just finishing my 2nd week. The program tries to find ways to help the pain without the sedating medications through physical therapy, occupational therapy, individual and group counseling, nutrition counseling, and yes some meds. I am responding very well and I encourage anyone with chronic pain to give it a try and get your life back! It is billed to insurance as all medical so should be covered by insurance. Good luck. Sorry so late to respond.
alison packwood
i was recently prescribed gabapentin for the effects of the severe brain damage suffered in a car accident a year ago. i had damage to the 'ponds' of my brain and have since lost most sensation in my left side, but have been told this is not nerve damage. gabapentin was prescribed with the thought that it would increase sensation, balance and hot/cold recognition. i was taking 200mg a day for a fortnite and suffered extreme mood changes and depression.i was subsequently taken off the medication.
I have been taking this drug for 8 years for cronic muscle pain (fibromylgia).This is a wonderful drug for me.I take 600mg 2 times daily.I have been in recovery for 20 years this month for drug addiction so I was so happy to find something safe I could take.This drug works better than all those pain pills did 20 years ago!
I take 600mg four times a day for headachs and migraines. Does anyone know if this is to much or safe.
I take 600 mg of gabapentin twice daily, have been doing so for about 3 weeks. It has helped some with my nerve pain (fibro)but i am concerned as i recently read about it causing pancreantitis and also cancer of the pancreas. Has anyone else heard this?
Michelle S
I hate taking all these dugs , just as long as this works on my leg, foot and hip pain I will be happy . I am soo looking forward to sleep, I will be a new person . My doc belives these are side effects of taking Humira for RA
I was prescribe Gabapentin 100mg for burning feet. It has helped but I feel so grogy. and sluggish. I belive I am gaining weight because of the drug. The doctor said after a week take two pills a day. I tried that but I couldn't take the sleepy feeling. I will go to doctor this week.
I was prescribed Gabapentin 300mg 3 times a day for low back pain (MRI has shown disc prssing on nerves, have had surgery once before). I also have hip, knee,ankle and foot pain. I can't sleep good and I take advil pm & ambien. I can't stand, sit or lay very long at a just hurts alot.
But my main questions are has anyone had increased pain and I've been on it for 4 months and this month I got my script and I've been nauseated, walk unsteady. Why would that start now? My pharmacist said it sounds unrelated to her. Thanks.
I've been on Gabapentin for 8 months (300mg 3 times a day). I was put on it for seizures and neurapathy due to alcohol. It seems to be working for the seizures (I haven't one in 8 months) but it does nothing for the chronic pain I have in my lower legs and feet. Any other ideas for the pain due to the neurapathy??? Thanks Shelly
I am a gun shot victim. I was shot in my face. After reconstructive surgery, months after I still have severe pain in my face. I took one 300mg of Gabapentin and I still had the pain plus the gabapentin knocked me off my feet
I was unable to function for 24 hrs. Gabapentin did take away my pain and will knock a horse out.
I was put on GABAPENTIN for the pain and nerve pinches in my back and neck,Well I haven't taken it YET!! I am worried about the side effects!! Has anyone had any severe side effects from this medication?? Please if anyone has any info please share with me.I am in pain BUT I am more worried of side effects.Do I want to die or do I want the pain to go away,Never could understand the side effects on medicine.They are worse then what the medicine was given for........
Today I was also given a prescription for Gabapentin 300mg, 1/day in evening. I am worried about the side affects as well. I don't need to gain weight (I have lost 185 lbs with the help of gastric bypass)and have been 185 lbs down for 5 1/2 years!!!! I don't want to be tired, I'm 54 years old and need all the energy I can muster up! I also don't want swelling of hands and feet. I would like to get rid of my sciatica. I have had shots in back 1/month the last three months. Two in joints and third in epidura which was last Thursday and the pain seems better, but pain is still there. I think I will wait before taking this med tonight. If pain doesn't get better, then I will have to rethink. I also have a primary care doctor appointment in two days and I will ask him also about my concerns.
I have been to see my Doctor today and he prescribed Gabapentin to be taken twice a day an increase to 3 times a day for twitching crawling in my groin down to my feet which is going on to 4 years, have tried so much . Read about the drug and do not like the side effects but will try as this crawling has effected my sleep and am on sleeping pills. Will try and hope for the best, Marge
Gabapentin was prescribed for my mysterious cough by an ENT. I'm a professional singer, and was diagnosed with laryngeal sensory neuropathy. Evidently, the nerve that supplies the vocal chords can be temporarily damaged by a virus or by breathing fumes. Symptoms of a damaged nerve are coughing after laughing or exhaling rapidly, and difficulty swallowing. I have a mild case that is only evident when I sing, so I was told to take 100mg Gabapentin one hour before I sing. I took it for the first time today and had no difficulty singing! I noticed no side effects.
I have been talking gapapentin 300mg capsuels twice a day been takin these since 14th jan this year i feel bad i keep vomiting bad head aches i cant seem to shift i feel very run down and teary burning things i dont feel like this is how i should be cant sleep in and out of bed all night just had enough i suffer with what they call degenerative changes in the bottom of my spine and my kneck there is no cure i no .but i just need to feel comfortable thankyou what could i do about this.
Just started taking gabapentin last night for neuralgia [pain in my face], having read all the side effects I was a little scared. Have taken tregemol retard which I couldnt tolerate at all. Took one 300 mg tablet last night and within the hour felt very very drunk, slurring my words, falling over and couldnt think straight. I slept very well with no pain. This morning I was fine and have had no side effects today at all apart from a slight headache this morning. I was meant to take two tonight but have decided to stick at one to gradually build up the dose to three a day. I have warned the familly I have taken one and am waiting patiently but as yet no side effects at all. I would tell others to definately give it a go, all medication effects people in different ways, no one should have to live with pain... what have you got to lose, most people write about the bad effects but the good effects far out way the bad. Good luck
Hi, I have been taking gabapentin for a few weeks now along with a lot of other medication. i am now up to 400mg 3 times a day. I have been given it to try to see if it helps at all. Im taking it for excrutiating chest pain thats under investigation and ive had it since Feb, at the moment i have and still am undergoing lots of tests. I was wondering what side effects other people are having with this tablet... As i have started a new tablet aswell im not sure which tablet is the one giving me the side effects.
So basically any side effects anyone has had please post :) thank you
I started with 300 mg of gabapentin for 1 week for peripheral neuropathy and side effects (drowsy and increased pain) were so bad that I quit. I have now been on 100 mg for 2 weeks and I have pain in most of my joints and muscles like I have never had before, to the point where I am having difficulty walking. I will be talking to my doctor shortly.
I have pain radiating down my right leg, knees are painful to walk, get up from a seated position, laying down, so my Pain Dr. prescribed gabaoentin 300 mg to try one tablet each nite for the next 7 days. After reading all these reviews, I don't know if I should take it, I have always been sensitive to medications, and I am leary of the side effects. Has anyone else taking this med for nerve pain radiating down there right leg and taking this med?
Was in a high impact collision last december, somebody hit me at an estimated speed of 55-60mph, I was stopped. Was knocked out and woke up in hospital. MRI and Cat scan didnt detected anythink wrong. Severe debilitating headaches have been occuring since accident. Headache originating from base of scull top of spin. Today Dr. prescibed gabapentin and scheduled a steriod injecion at the base of my neck this Friday. Called it a block. Anybody have any comments on this. if it helps the headaches I'm all for it. I'm hoping he is not grasping at straws. Does anybody know if this proceedure works?
Hi, I would like to ask about this medicine, can gabapentin 300mg be prescribed to anybody that has numb in the tip of the fingers,well the problem is carpal tunnel, is this medicine the correct one for this problem?
I am 43 and suffered three strokes (in one week) last year. I have just started on Gabapentin for Post Stroke Neuralgia (severe constant headache, similar to migraine) as three other medications, Ketamine and Lignocaine treatments, have been unsuccessful. I have only been on the drug for three days (200mg, 3 times a day) and have not noticed any bad side effects and have had some reduction in pain. The Pain Management team want to gradually increase the dose to 400mg three times a day. I would like to hear from anyone else who is taking this drug for this problem to hear their experience etc.
I have been prescribed Gabapentin 300mg at bedtime for Fibromyalgia and lupus pain.My days are filled with pain, swelling, and numbness in fingers and toes. I am a little afraid to take the medication because before I had back surgery I was given it and I had very bad mood changes, not thinking clearly, but my doctor say this is what I need. I also take Methotrexate(4 tablets weekly). I will start both on 12/29/10. Please give me some advice on taking these drugs. I do not want to gain weight or loss my hair, but I must think about life over appearance. Please help!
I have been on 4800 mg of gabapentin for many years for painful nuerapathy. Lower doses never gave me any relief at all. I take it in three doses. I had all the side effects for the first year but it was a small price to pay compared to the pain. Gabapentin has given me great relief from the horrific burning in my feet and has greatly improved the quality of my life.
I have just been prescribed Gabapentin 300MG 3 times a day. I have never tried this drug before. I have been prescribed just about every pain medicine known to man and nothing seems to work.I have had 4 major back surgeries and doctors are talking about another one soon. I have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, arachnoiditis, facet disease, degenerative disc disease, arthritis, severe depression, migrain headaches, postoperative seroma and I have a remote hematoma. I have also had carpal tunnel surgery. I have had a laminectomy at L3, L4, L5, S1 because of spinal stenosis and 3 herniated discs. My L3,L4,L5,S1 vertebrae are now fused together. I have had a laminectomy performed at C4,C5,C6 and C7 because of spinal stenosis and 3 more herniated discs. My C4,C5,C6,C7 vertebrae are now fused together. My last surgery was on 12-29-2010. My first follow up appointment was 1-11-2011 and just got the awesome news that my C7-T1 disc is degenerated to the point that I will have to have another surgery on that one soon and also I have severe central canal narrowing at L2,L3 and am looking at another surgery for that as well. I sure hope this drug works because no-work=no-pay, no-disability benefits=no-money, constant severe pain and depression=? soon! can't live like this much longer!
I have now been on Gabapentin for nearly 6 months, my Doctor prescribed it for my Chronic Disabling Pain a lot like many of you but I still feel that I have a combination of Fibromyalgia and also Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was told to increase to 6 tablets a day 3 weeks ago but have found the only side effect is being very lethargic, I have seen a lot of comments by people who havent even taken the medication yet, they are trying me on this medication as I have been on Oxycontin now for over 4 yrs and it is something that after a while doesnt work on a smaller dose and needs increasing.
I think personally if you give it a go and it doesnt work fine, but at least give it a go. Here in Australia, I have to go to the hospital to get the prescription made up as the local Pharmacy would charge me a lot for it.
I suffer compression of disks, left leg pain that keeps me awake all night along with tingling in the left leg and pain going right down the left side of me which can be debilitating most of the time. All medications have some side effects, I did try the larger dose but dont think it is for me. After only being on 2 tablets a day morning and night 300mgs I did notice a small amount of relief, not huge but a small amount. Please if you are in pain and not sure, we are all different I have only ever have had the lethargy from this medication, too much though as I need to have a license and dont want to fall asleep behind the wheel of my car.
Just give the medication a go, it cannot hurt and some of the side effects people are talking about dont even come up on the actual site for the product so am not sure where people are getting their information from.
Enjoy a small amount of relief if you can from one chronic pain sufferer to another
I have been prescribed Gabapentin for my cronic migraines.I have been taking 600 mg in the morning and afternoon and than 1200 mg at night. I have not suffered a migrain in over a month since I have been on this medication however I feel swollen all the time and have notice a weight gain. In the last year I lost 60 lbs and all my life have struggled to lose weight and now I'm becoming depressed because I notice a weigh gain from the medication. I still keep active but find it very hard to lose any weight. I'm seriously thinking about cutting back my dose slowly. Does anyone have any advice for me?
Started taking Gabapentin to help my nerve pain from a bad case of shingles. I am 41 and also have lupus which seemed to help make the pain worse. I was first prescribed a heavy dose of the pain killer percocet. The nausea was unbearable. The Gabapentin made me feel normal again. Thank God. And no nausea.. I now can sleep through the night, and my days are much more comfortable.
I was just diagnosed with neuropathy and the doctor prescribed gabapentin. I was just wondering if anyone is on this and is it helping and what side effects you have had. I have severe pain in my feet and legs and I wake up with pain about 5 times a night. Not sure if I should start taking the pill. Has anyone gone to a chiropractor for this and has it worked.
It looks like I am the only one in this forum that was prescribed Gabapentin for RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome). It is a terrible twitching in my legs that results from an uncontrollable desire to move them. I can't sleep with RLS. My doctor prescribed several other drugs but none of them worked. Finally we tried Gabapentin and it worked wonderfully! The need to move my legs went away and I was able to sleep! Research looks like it can have negative effects in children's brain development, but it works well for me. I only have to take 300mg before bed and I'm able to sleep all night. Still trying to find something that will work for my child's RLS without the side effects.
I been taking Gabapentin for years. I take 300mg, 4 times a day. I also take alot of other meds for the reasons that I lost all my disk in my neck. I been reading over all these replys. I never got high off the drug like some have said. I did have some side affects in the beginning, but I no longer have any of them. With all my other meds I take, 1 is also perocet. I have to say, Gabapentin is the top med that I take that really made a differnet for me. It took all my leg pain away, it helps my fingers in my right hand move alot easyer. I also been on percocets for years also. But if I take the perc at the same time with the Gabapentin, Im mostly free of pain. But keep in mind, before I got on the meds, my pain was 7 times grater then child birth. You may get shakey the first few days on it, but if you stay on it, that will leave and you will feel better as time goes. For me, Gabapenten is a life saver.
Hi, this is my first week on Gabapentin for degenerative low back pain radiating down my legs. This pain has kept me up at night on and off for 8 months. The first pill i took I had complete relief and went to hit golf balls for first time in 8 months. Since then then pain is still there but definitely less. I love that, but I have trouble sleeping, not from pain but my mind wont turn off. I can get 2 or 3 hours at a time. I think it worth the trade and hope the lack of sleep will go away. anybody else
I have MS and been on this for 5 weeks for tingling and prickly hands and torso tightness of the chedt like im being tightly squeed. I worked my way up from 1to 3 a day and noe on 2 per day as i feeling alot better. I do feel tired and emotional at times ive gained weight but not as much as i fid on steroids so i now have breasts after 3 kids woo hoo. But as ive decreased my meds and forgetting to take them on time missing a pill here and there during the last two weeks ive experienced musel weakness on my right side it lasts 2/3mins and bad headaches and really tired like i have dropsey. Thinking of calling my ms nurse to discuse it as im nervous im harming myself as i feel exhaused and loss of appitite weak and i still push myself desoite this its scary.

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