Gabapentin

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Gabapentin is an anti-epileptic medication used to treat seizure disorders caused by epilepsy and nerve damage caused by postherpetic neuralgia. This drug belongs to a class of medications called anti-convulsants. This medicine may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.

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What is Gabapentin?

This is an anticonvulsant drug used for the treatment of seizures and fits. It is also administered for nerve pains triggered by neuropathy among people living with diabetes. The drug has the needful approval for managing focal seizures.

These types of seizures are also called localised seizure and partial seizure. This condition affects only one part of your brain or a portion of the lobe. Gabapentin is considered as part of primary-line for treating nerve pains of the chronic type.

Active chemicals of gabapentin function by suppressing pain-centric messages. This suppression aids in decrease of neuro pain. Owing to this, your system responds in a passive manner to pains.

In order to manage episodes of focal or localised seizure, essential ingredients of gabapentin are known to change the concentration levels of calcium, and also its effects on your system. It is a key thing to understand a reduced calcium presence may trigger the onset of seizures and partial convulsions. You can buy it from drugstores. You can also buy gabapentin online if you have a prescription from a certified caregiver.

What is Gabapentin used for?

Gabapentin is an anti-epileptic medication used to treat seizure disorders caused by epilepsy and nerve damage caused by postherpetic neuralgia. This drug belongs to a class of medications called anti-convulsants. This medicine may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.

How long does it take Gabapentin to work?

Research done on its efficacy show that gabapentin may take a few weeks’ time to achieve its complete potential to offer needful remedy. However, the duration varies depending on your nerve condition.

The duration of treatment may vary on how your system reacts to the first few dosages of the anticonvulsant drug. As no two individuals may respond to the dosages in the same fashion, the dosage plan solely rests upon your treating doctor’s assessment of your condition.

Above all, your medication plan and the strength of dosages exert considerable influence on the duration it takes for gabapentin to function to its full potential. Typical doses vary from 150 milligrams (mg) to a maximum of 1,500 mg per day. You can buy gabapentin online and also to refill your dosage plan.

The caregiving team will commence your plan with a low level of dosage strength. If your body does not react adversely or start developing any adverse side effects, strength of doses is gradually enhanced. These safety measures i.e., starting at low doses, are also contribute to lengthening the time taken for this drug to function.

If you are advised to take this med to manage nerve pains, the early doses are often offered at lower than 300 mg. On understanding how these first few offerings trigger side effects and allergic reactions – if any, a gradual increase in dosages is offered in the upcoming days of your medication plan.

You need to remember that an efficient dosage of this drug to treat nerve pain hovers at 600 milligrams (mg). At this dosage level, you tend to witness some remedies by the start of the second week of the plan. Studies done on treatment plan also confirm the possibilities of such remedial outcomes. Once the remedial outcomes start showing up, you are most likely to experience maximum relief from pains over to 6 to 7-week horizon.

Caveat – Information shared here are of supplementary nature. Information listed here does not substitute a qualified healthcare service provider’s guidance. It is not being suggested here that intake of this med is safe for all and is appropriate. It is highly recommended to consult with your treating physician prior to taking this anticonvulsant drug.

What is the recommended dosage of Gabapentin?

The dosage of Gabapentin prescribed to each patient will vary. Always follow your physician’s instructions and/or the directions on the prescription drug label.

Gabapentin can be taken with or without food.

What if you miss a dose of Gabapentin?

If your physician has instructed or directed you to take Gabapentin medication in a regular schedule and you have missed a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, then skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the doses unless otherwise directed.

What if you overdose on Gabapentin?

Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Gabapentin, seek medical attention immediately.

How long does Gabapentin last?

Gabapentin may take 3 – 4 hours’ time to reach optimum level of concentration in the bloodstream. Your treating doctor will recommend you to consume the doses for at least 2 weeks to obtain needful remedy from pains. The doses are commenced at fairly lesser strengths. As the plan progresses, your caregiver will boost the strength based on how your system reacts to the lower doses.

The half-life period of this med is ~ 6 hours. In your urine, the drug may stay for nearly 48 hours from the time of your final dose. In fluids like saliva, you may see traces of the drug for more than 35 hours. In general, the drug may require about 37 hours to flush out all its traces. This is mainly influenced by its half-life timespan of 6 hours. It takes nearly 5.5 to 6 cycles of half-lives for most of its active chemicals to be eliminated from your body.

What other drugs could interact with Gabapentin?

It may be noted that drugs other than those listed above may also interact with Gabapentin.

Usually drug interactions occur when it is taken with another drug or with food. Before you take a medication for a particular ailment, you should inform the health expert about intake of any other medications including non-prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines that may increase the effect of Gabapentin, and dietary supplements like vitamins, minerals and herbal, so that the doctor can warn you of any possible drug interactions.

Do let your doctor know if you smoke, consume alcohol or caffeinated drinks, or use illegal drugs as these may interfere with the action of your medication. Make sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions you may have, or any family history of medical problems. Do not start or stop using any medicine without consulting your doctor.

How much Gabapentin can I take?

Optimum dosage of gabapentin varies depending on intensity of nerve pain. Doses range starting from 300 mg and can reach up to 1800 mg within a 24-hour timeline. Users who took this med in dosages exceeding 1800 mg each day for a week or more will require added precautions. Added safety measures are required when you are at the end of your medication plan.

Some people may be prescribed with a liquid or a suspended form of this med. You need to know that 2 ml of the liquid is equivalent to 100 mg of the capsule or pill form. It is highly recommended to check with your caregiver or pharmacist prior to taking the liquid version of this anticonvulsant drug. Those who have been prescribed to take the liquid version, can buy gabapentin online as well as from physical stores.

Adults are offered a dose of 900 mg to 3000 mg – divided into 3 or 4 doses per day. This dosage plan works for managing epilepsy / seizures. In case of children aged between 7 to 12 years, dosage varies depending on your child’s body weight.

It is dangerous to chew or bite the pill in your mouth. The best way to take this med is to swallow it with a glass of water. You can take the med either before or after a meal. However, the best way to take the doses is to take them at the same timeslot every day, all through your medication plan. Those who use the liquid form must never use a spoon from your kitchen. Instead, seek a measuring cup or a spoon from your pharmacist. You can buy gabapentin online or from drugstores with a valid prescription.

In general, users who consumed this med in excess of 2000 mg per day – for more than 2 weeks – are more likely to develop signs of withdrawal. These signs may persist for a few days from the time of your last dosage. But, if such signs continue to show up for more than a week’s time, consult your treating physician with immediate effect.

Those who are living in US can call 911 or each out to the helpdesk of the food and drug administration (FDA). It is essential to know that FDA has its own helplines to address problems users face while taking any of the drugs the agency approves. If you are living in a Canadian province, call Health Canada or establish quick contact with a poison control unit working closer to where you live.

Some research findings substantiate the use of this drug for the sake of alcohol withdrawal. But intensive studies show that this drug needs to be taken along with a few other meds for better case management of alcohol withdrawal. There is however ample evidence to substantiate gabapentin may suppress your cravings for alcohol or alcoholic beverages. 300 mg, 400 mg, 600 mg of this drug works well if taken during the initial phases of withdrawal.

In the same light, some studies show that 600 mg – 900 mg doses can reduce cravings for drinking and may also decrease anxieties linked during periods of abstinence. Standard doses of this medication may also help avoid likely relapse of alcohol dependency. Essential ingredients of this anticonvulsant med are believed to enhance sleeping patterns, regulate mental wellbeing and minimise mood shifts. Caregivers resort to doses of this med when other drugs fail to yield needful outcomes.

In a few people, gabapentin has developed dependencies and habit formation (addiction). Likely risks of dependencies become highly pronounced in users who take this med with opioids or alcohol. It is hence unsafe to take alcohol while using this antiseizure med. Research further reveals that users who consumed opioids face much higher risks as a combination of gabapentin (with alcohol or opioids) tend to increase the sense of euphoria or feeling “high”.

You can sense the risks of a possible addiction to this med by the following signs: consuming extra dosages of the med, longing to consume this drug, talking to doctors / caregivers in order to obtain more prescriptions to buy this drug, facing difficulties while stopping to take this drug, etc.

What are the side effects of Gabapentin?

Like other medicines, Gabapentin can cause some side effects. If they do occur, the side effects of Gabapentin are most likely to be minor and temporary. However, some may be serious and may require the individual to inform the doctor or visit the nearest hospital immediately.

It is pertinent to note that side effects of Gabapentin cannot be anticipated. If any side effects of Gabapentin develop or change in intensity, the doctor should be informed as soon as possible.

Gabapentin can cause side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, loss of appetite, and dry mouth. This is not a complete list of all side effects. Do concur with your doctor and follow his directions completely when you are taking Gabapentin.

Those who have prior allergies to anticonvulsant drugs like gabapentin must inform their caregiving team about such conditions. If you notice side effects like breathing problems, hives or other skin conditions, your doctor must be made aware of all such effects on an emergency basis.

A few common side effects of this med are migraine, increase in body temperature, vomiting and nausea. It is highly recommended to stay aware of some severe side effects gabapentin may trigger. If you observe adverse effects like inflammation of lips, tongue, throat or facial organs, lack of coordination or passing out, it is important to seek medical assistance without delay.

Those who live in the US must call 911. People who are living in any of the Canadian provinces must reach out to Health Canada on a top priority basis. In order to avoid such adverse side effects, it is important to know that this is not an OTC drug. It is hence a good practice to consume this med as per the guidance of a certified caregiver and / or a pharmacist. It has become a part of general knowledge that this med is taken for up to 4 weeks’ time to get needful remedy from pains.

It is not recommended to stop using this med in a sudden fashion. People who discontinued the intake of this anticonvulsant med in an abrupt way experienced signs of withdrawal. Common among such symptoms are inability to sleep or insomnia, restlessness, discomforts in your abdomen such as vomiting, pain and nausea. If you have been taking gabapentin for managing focal seizures or convulsions, you run the risk of a relapse of fits, if you stop this med abruptly.

The typical signs of withdrawal are likely to emerge in about 20 hours’ time i.e., from your last dose of gabapentin. You tend to witness adverse signs like becoming anxious, giddiness, drowsiness and dizziness. In a few cases, people have reported of discomforts like vomiting accompanied by headaches. In those who took gabapentin for a month’s time, side effects like acute episodes of migraines, nervousness as well as restlessness have been noticed.

The signs of withdrawal may last for a week’s time or – at times – may stay up to, say 2 weeks’ time. Duration of your medication plan, number of dosages per day and the strength of each dose – all these factors contribute to the intensity of your withdrawal symptoms.

A time-tested and one of the proven approaches to avoid signs of withdrawal is to taper the last few dosages. Research also substantiates that dosage plan brought to a close in a gradual manner – by tapering the last dosages – often tend to cause no / limited extent of discomforts.

What are the Alternatives to Gabapentin?

Gabapentin medicine is an anti-epileptic drug which is prescribed off-label for the treatment of a variety of conditions.

Top 5 gabapentin alternatives are mentioned below:

Cymbalta: Cymbalta is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine which reuptakes inhibitor antidepressant (SNRI). This medicine is approved for the management of depression, neuropathic pain, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and musculoskeletal pain.

Elavil: Elavil medication is a tricyclic antidepressant which is commonly used in place of gabapentin medicine for various types of nerve pain. This is an FDA-approved for the treatment of condition like depression but has an off-label use for neuropathic pain.

Klonopin: Klonopin is a medicine which is a benzodiazepine that is approved for the treatment of seizure and panic disorders in adults and children.

Lidoderm: Lidoderm medicine is a local anesthetic which helps in blocking the nerves in the body to lower the pain. It is used for the treatment of post-shingles which is similar to gabapentin.

Lyrica: Lyrica medication is a controlled substance and anticonvulsant like gabapentin. This medicine is approved for the management of fibromyalgia and nerve pain from condition like diabetes, post-herpetic infection, or spinal cord injury.

How effective is gabapentin for nerve pain?

The results of medicine Gabapentin over the counter shows that 30 to 40% of people taking gabapentin were able to reduce the pain by half or more, compared to 10 to 20% of people consuming the placebo. Although some people might attain significant relief, which others might also have side effects without having any sort of relief of pain.

How long before bed should I take Gabapentin?

You are advised to space out the doses in an even manner. If your plan has a night dosage, take it a few minutes prior to bed time. Those who are taking other medications during the night must talk to their doctor about the risks of combining gabapentin with other drugs (which you already are taking).

Also, if you forget a dose, do not make increase the strength of your next dose. It is unsafe to take two (2) dosages at the same timeslot. Such practices can lead to an overdosed condition. Users who are taking this drug for managing spells of seizures must never skip even a single dose. Forgetting a dose may result in relapse of convulsions or fits.

In some cases, users tend to take more doses without informing their caregiving team. This is an unsafe practice. You may develop adverse effects like discharge of watery stools, indigestion, feeling dizzy, excessive level of sleepiness, passing out, etc. On sensing one or more of these signs, call your physician or pharmacist on an urgent basis.

How much does Gabapentin cost?

Gabapentin price depends on kind of pharmacy you select to procure it. It also matters as to where you reside. In general, gabapentin price is ~ USD 13 – 15 for 30-capsules of the 300 mg dosage strength.

It is helpful to know that internationaldrugmart is one of the price-saving ways to procure this med at cheaper prices. They supply this med to those without insurance at price-points that are quite inexpensive. Gabapentin cost from this pharmacy is quite lesser than those sold at other drugstores and pharmacies – be it physical drugstores or online pharmacies.

Indiadrugmart strives to maintain gabapentin cost at affordable levels to all price-conscious and cost-sensitive purchasers. Hence, if you plan to procure gabapentin without the support of insurance plans, and also aim to save on gabapentin cost, internationaldrugmart is one of the reliable options. You may however search for prices from other pharmacies by using keywords like “gabapentin near me”. The results will show where to buy gabapentin but the prices are likely to be higher than what pharmacies like indiadrugmart offer.

Where can I buy Gabapentin over the counter?

No, you cannot get the medicine Gabapentin over the counter. You will need a proper prescription before one can receive the medication gabapentin or Neurontin. This amazing Gabapentin and Neurontin medicine is not available over the counter and must be prescribed by a licensed doctor only. Gabapentin without prescription is not classified as a controlled substance in most of the states and it can be prescribed online in 43 out of 50 states.

If you plan to buy gabapentin over the counter (OTC), it is not a good practice. This drug is sold only if you have a prescription from a certified healthcare practitioner. But a few other antiseizure meds and anticonvulsant drugs may be procured as OTC i.e., over the counter drugs. The remedial properties of such drugs are not fully validated and at best, may only offer a short-term relief from pains. People who aim to buy gabapentin over the counter may meet with limited success in such attempts.

As a precautionary measure – it is always a good practice to consult with a qualified doctor before procuring gabapentin. Meds relieving nerve pains sold as OTC products seldom replace their prescribed counterparts. In this light, your idea to buy gabapentin over the counter is not a safe thing to do.

Can I buy Gabapentin without a prescription?

Gabapentin medicine is not sold as a Gabapentin over the counter medication. You shall also need \a prescription for gabapentin from your healthcare provider. One shall need to fill the prescription at a pharmacy. Gabapentin without prescription belongs to the family of medicines known as antiepileptic medicine that is used for the treatment of epilepsy (seizures) when other treatments might have not worked.

What are the questions to ask your doctor before taking Gabapentin?

  • Is it possible for me to take Gabapentin with other drugs?
  • Should certain beverages, foods and other products be avoided when I take Gabapentin?
  • What are the possible drug interactions of Gabapentin?
  • How will Gabapentin work in my body?
  • How should Gabapentin be taken?
  • How to reduce the risk of Gabapentin drug interactions and side effects?

Note

The health and medical information provided here is intended to supplement and not substitute for the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacists or other health care professional. It should not be understood to indicate that the use of Gabapentin is safe, appropriate or effective for you. Always consult your health care professional before using this, or any other, drug.