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All About Gabapentin

Starting a new prescription can be stressful. Experts will tell you that it’s important to understand why you are taking a medication, which drug was prescribed, what the side effects could be, etc. If you have been prescribed gabapentin, here is what you need to know.

What is Gabapentin?

Gabapentin (pronounced GA ba PEN tin) is a generic anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug. It is used with other medications to prevent and control seizures. It is also used to relieve nerve pain caused by shingles in adults and to treat restless leg syndrome (RLS).

In addition, gabapentin is being investigated as a possible treatment for hard-to-treat mood and anxiety disorders .

Gabapentin does have interactions with both over-the-counter drugs and other prescription medications. Please discuss all the medications, including vitamins and herbal supplements, you are currently taking with your doctor or pharmacist before starting gabapentin.

Common Brand Names for Gabapentin

The two most common brand names for gabapentin are:

  • Neurontin – Typically used to treat seizures in adults and children who are at least 3 years old
  • Horizant – Typically used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS)

Other brand names include Gralise and Gabarone.

Side Effects

Gabapentin side effects may include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Tiredness
  • Blurred/double vision
  • Unusual eye movements
  • Shaking (tremor)

If you experience any side effects from any medication, it is important to discuss them with your pharmacist and/or your prescribing physician. Children may be more sensitive to some side effects of this drug , particularly mood/behavior changes.

Get medical help immediately if you experience any of the following rare, but serious side effects:

  • Swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet
  • Depression, suicidal thoughts, or any other sudden changes in mood
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Symptoms of an allergic reaction, including fever, swollen lymph nodes, rash, itching/swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all gabapentin side effects. Always refer to the prescription drug label and your pharmacist for complete information.

Is Gabapentin Addictive?

Gabapentin is considered to have “ low addictive potential ” and is not a controlled substance in the United States. However, it is important to note that gabapentin does have some history of misuse by patients. Typically, patients who abuse anticonvulsants like gabapentin describe feeling:

  • Euphoria
  • Enhanced sociability
  • A state of relaxation, but also “zombie-like” effects
  • A sedative/opiate-like buzz with no discernible comedown
  • Psychedelic/MDMA-like effects

Are There Any Discounts for Gabapentin Prescriptions?

Brand name Neurontin is a Pfizer product, so eligible patients may qualify for the Pfizer RxPathways program or other patient savings offers. There is also a manufacturer’s coupon available for Horizant.

As with any medication, it is always important to compare prices across different pharmacies . Then, use your free Rx Discount Card from FamilyWize to receive your prescription drugs at the reduced rate.

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