Gabapentin, also known by the brand name Neurontin, is an FDA approved drug that helps with both seizures and nerve pain. It is available as a capsule, tablet, and extended-release (long-acting) tablets to be taken by mouth.

Take this medication with food as directed by your doctor. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medicine.


Gabapentin is used as an anticonvulsant in patients with epilepsy, and can reduce the frequency of seizures. It is also often prescribed as a treatment for nerve pain, such as in diabetic neuropathy and trigeminal neuralgia.

This drug is not recommended for use during pregnancy, as it may cause harm to the unborn baby. However, if a woman becomes pregnant while taking gabapentin to treat seizures, she should tell her doctor right away. It is important that she is closely monitored for any signs of pregnancy, such as vaginal bleeding, nausea, or vomiting.

Several studies have shown that this drug can be effective in controlling seizures. One placebo -controlled study found that 1200 mg/day and 1800 mg/day gabapentin significantly reduced the rate of refractory partial seizure compared to placebo. The results suggest a dose-dependent effect, with higher doses being more effective.


Another placebo-controlled study found that a combination of 1200 mg/day and 900 mg/day gabapentin and 500 mg/day carbamazepine significantly reduced the frequency of refractory seizures in patients with refractory partial epilepsy compared to placebo and lower doses of these drugs. It is not clear whether gabapentin alone is more effective than the combination, and these findings should be interpreted cautiously.

The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network recommends that gabapentin is offered as adjunctive therapy for the treatment of drug-resistant focal and generalized epilepsy in adults, adolescents, and children, as well as for Panayiotopoulos syndrome, centrotemporal spikes, or late-onset childhood occipital epilepsy (Gastaut type). It is also recommended for the control of seizures associated with other conditions, such as neurofibromatosis.

A recent Cochrane review looked at the safety of gabapentin as monotherapy in pregnancy and its effect on congenital malformations in infants. The study found that the risk of major malformations was similar for gabapentin and a few other antiepileptic medicines, such as lamotrigine, levetiracetam, oxcarbazepine, primidone, and zonisamide.

It is important that you follow your doctor's dosage instructions exactly. Taking too

much can lead to serious side effects, such as respiratory depression and sedation.

Taking gabapentin with certain other medications, such as opioids, can increase the

risk of these side effects. Contact your doctor if you experience severe or persistent side effects, such as slowed breathing, long pauses in breathing, blue colored lips, or difficulty waking up.

Nerve Pain

Gabapentin can be used as an adjunctive therapy in the treatment of many different nerve pain syndromes. It works by inhibiting the influx of calcium into nerve cells and by blocking voltage -gated calcium channels in neurons. This reduces the amplitude of the action potential produced by these cells, and it reduces nerve transmission of pain signals to other cells. It has been shown to improve quality of life, reduce depression and increase the amount of movement that people with nerve pain can do. It can also relieve the burning, shooting pain sensations associated with nerve damage. It is commonly used to treat diabetic neuropathy, peripheral neuropathies and trigeminal neuralgia.

In a controlled trial of breast cancer survivors with anxiety and social phobia, Gabapentin significantly reduced anxiety levels. It also has been found to help patients with fibromyalgia and chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Gabapentin has been used off- label to treat anxiety, resistant depression and mood disorders, essential tremors, bipolar disorder, refractory hot flashes of menopause, neuropathic pain, restless leg syndrome, psychiatric illness, postherpetic neuralgia, shingles, inflammatory bowel disease, epilepsy, generalized tonic-clonic seizures, and pruritus (itching).

While it is unlikely to cause nerve damage itself, it can have side effects, such as dizziness and drowsiness. It is important that patients follow the instructions on their prescription and not take more than prescribed. They should not drive or operate machinery if this is a problem and should avoid alcohol as it can add to the drowsiness caused by gabapentin.

The length of time it takes for patients to feel the effects of Gabapentin can vary. For some, it takes a few weeks for the medication to start working, and for others it may take up to a month or longer. During the titration process, doctors will increase the dose slowly and monitor for side effects. If patients experience dizziness or drowsiness, they will be given the option to return to the previous dose and the titration process can continue.

The risk of Gabapentin- related breathing problems is relatively low, but they should be monitored closely in patients with lung disease or COPD. They should seek medical attention immediately if they experience slow or labored breathing, blue lips, or if they are hard to wake up.


Anxiety can be a real problem and should always be treated by a medical professional. Many people with anxiety don't even realize they have a condition that needs to be addressed, but signs of anxiety include feeling restless or on edge, having trouble concentrating, having tense or jumpy muscles, and difficulty sleeping. There are a variety of treatments for anxiety, including psychotherapy and medication, but Gabapentin is one option that's often used.

Gabapentin works to relieve anxiety by mimicking the inhibitory neurotransmitter

GABA in the body. It slows down nerve impulses in the brain and prevents pain transmission to the nerves, which can help ease anxiety symptoms. It is often prescribed along with antidepressants, which can also be effective in treating anxiety. Antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are very effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety, and they're typically safer than other medications that can be addictive.

As with any drug, it's possible to abuse gabapentin for anxiety by taking too much or abusing it in other ways. However, a person who has a legitimate prescription for the drug should not have any problems using it for this purpose. Abusing the medication can cause severe side effects that require immediate medical attention, such as swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat, and hives.

Typically, doctors who prescribe gabapentin for anxiety will start at a low dose and gradually increase the dosage to determine what works best. As Psycom notes, some people need to take up to 3,600 mg per day to control their anxiety. For this reason, it's important to talk to your doctor before beginning treatment for anxiety with gabapentin.

Medications can offer temporary relief from anxiety, but they won't treat the root causes of the condition. For long -term relief, it's important to learn healthier coping strategies and work with a therapist. For example, spending time with loved ones can reduce stress and promote positive emotions. Whether that's in person or on the phone, it can make a huge difference in your overall outlook. And while it's not a substitute for therapy, there are natural anxiety supplements that can help you feel better without a prescription.

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