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Available under various brand names, Gabapentin is an anti-convulsant that helps treat partial seizures. It is a first-line treatment option for treating neuropathic pain caused by health issues such as diabetic neuropathy. You need to take the medicine as per your doctor’s advice.
It belongs to a class of medications called anticonvulsants. It is used to treat certain types of seizures for people with epilepsy. This medicine is available in the form of tablets, capsules, and oral solutions, and is often used along with other medications. Gabapentin is also used for providing relief against moderate to severe pain caused by postherpetic neuralgia, characterized by burning, stabbing, and aching pain that lasts for months or years after getting shingles. It is also available in extended-release tablets and capsules administered for treating restless legs syndrome. In this condition, patients have an uncontrollable urge to move their legs while sleeping, sitting, or lying down.
It is used for treating:
Seizures: It is used for treating partial (focal) seizures, and is often prescribed with other seizure medications to adults and children of 3 years and above with epilepsy.
Postherpetic neuralgia: It is used to treat the pain caused by nerve damage due to singles. It appears to people after a varicella-zoster virus infection. It usually occurs in patients who have chicken pox.
Peripheral diabetic neuropathy: A type of nerve pain in the feet of diabetes patients.
Restless leg syndrome: A frequent and uncontrollable urge to move legs due to an uncomfortable sensation.
How to take Gabapentin?
Take the medicine as prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor will usually start with a low dosage and increase it over time.
Various factors your doctor will consider will suggest Gabapentin dose includes:
- Your age
- The type and severity of the condition
- The form of Gabapentin: tablets, capsules, or oral (standard or ER)
- Your medical history
The following information mentions commonly prescribed dosages. However, you should only take the dosage prescribed by your doctor. This is only for information purposes and not for self-medication.
Adult (18-64 years): Take 300mg Gabapentin Australia for the pain of postherpetic neuralgia on day 1, 600mg (300*2) split into 300mg 2 times a day on the second day. On the third day, take 300mg of Gabapentin 3 times a day (900mg total). Make sure to space them evenly i.e. take one tablet every eight hours. Your doctor may increase your dosage after the third day, depending upon your body’s response to the treatment.
The maximum recommended dosage of Gabapentin for postherpetic neuralgia is 1800mg daily (600mg three times daily, taken every eight hours).
The dosage for children below 18 and adults above 65 must be carefully planned by the doctor.
Dosage for partial-onset seizures
Adult (18-64 years): 900mg per day (300mg three times a day taken every 8 hours or as decided by the doctor). Your doctor may increase the dosage up to 2400-3600mg per day based on the severity of the condition.
Children (12-17 years): 900 mg (300mg three times per day every eight hours). The standard maintenance dose is 900-1800mg daily, taken three times daily. The dosage may be increased to 2400-3600 mg per day.
Children (3-11 years): 10-15mg per kg per day, divided into three doses spaced evenly throughout the day. The doctor may increase or decrease the dose per the child’s need.
Dosage for senior patients above age 65 years must be planned carefully after accessing their kidney functions.
Tips to Remember:
- Make sure to take medicine regularly and on time to benefit from it.
- Gabapentin works best when you have a constant amount of the drug in the system. This is why it’s essential to maintain consistency and take medicine at the exact time as prescribed.
- You need to space the intervals carefully. If you take Gabapentin ( Tapentadol )three times a day, you need to take it every eight hours or as directed by your doctor. Never let more than 12 hours pass between doses when taking three daily doses.
- Do not increase your dosage without consulting your doctor, as it would not improve your condition but instead put you at serious risk.
- Please do not stop this medication without consulting your doctor, as it can lead to severe withdrawal syndrome. Your doctor will formulate a plan to taper off the dose gradually without triggering any withdrawal syndromes.
- Taking certain medications with Gabapentin can result in serious side effects. While taking this medicine, you must avoid taking medications such as antihistamines, certain anxiety/sleep pills, certain medicines for depression such as amitriptyline, sertraline, and fluoxetine, certain seizure medications like phenobarbital, and primidone.
- Certain medicines contain aluminum and magnesium, such as antacids can cause stomach problems when taken together with this epilepsy medicine. Always wait at least 2 hours after Gabapentin before taking antacids.
- You should also avoid taking general anesthetics, local anesthetics, and muscle relaxants before surgery while on this medicine.
- Avoid narcotic pain medicines when you are on Gabapentin. Consuming alcohol can also worsen the effects of this epilepsy drug and leads to an increased risk of side effects.
Gabapentin side effects
Common side effects usually subside when the drug gets out of the system. However, if symptoms persist or worsen, you must contact your doctor immediately. Sometimes adjusting the dosage can also help. Talk to your doctor if you are constantly facing these side effects.
Common side effects: drowsiness, dizziness, headache, tiredness/weakness, blurred vision, unsteadiness, anxiety, uncontrollable shakiness, memory issue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dry mouth, heartburn, constipation, weight gain, increased hunger, swelling in hands, feet, ankles or lower legs, back or joint pain, runny nose, sore throat, cough, sneezing, ear pain, redness or itchiness in eyes, and swelling or eye discharge.
Serious side effects: rash, itching, or swelling of the face, lips, eyes, throat, and tongue, hoarseness, seizures, difficulty swallowing or breathing, and difficulty in breathing characterized by bluish-tinged skin, fingernails, or lips.
How to buy Gabapentin?
There are two ways to buy Gabapentin in Australia. You can buy them at your nearest medical store by showing the prescription. Another way is to buy them from a reputable online pharmacy. Most people prefer buying Gabapentin in Australia online as online pharmacies offer better discounts and deliver products to their doorstep.
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