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What is gabapentin?

Gabapentin is an anti-epileptic medicine. It belongs to a class of anticonvulsants that comes in three types: capsules, tablets, and an oral solution. It helps to control seizures in patients with epilepsy by reducing the abnormal excitement levels in the brain. Gabapentin gives relief from nerve pain. It also reduces the burning sensation caused by shingles, a painful side effect of the herpes zoster infection. Gabapentin extended-release tablets also treat the discomfort caused by restless leg syndrome.

What are the uses of gabapentin?

Gabapentin is a prescription painkiller. Here are its uses:

  • It prevents and controls seizures resulting from epilepsy.
  • It treats the aches and pains in postherpetic neuralgia resulting from shingles by altering the pain sensation in our body.
  • It reduces the discomfort caused by restless leg syndrome, especially while sleeping or sitting.
  • Gabapentin relieves the pain and tingling sensation caused by nerve damage in diabetics.
  • It gives respite from hot flashes to menopausal women and women undergoing breast cancer treatment.
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What are the side effects of gabapentin?

It is very important to follow the doctor? instructions while taking gabapentin. They will thoroughly check if the benefits outweigh the risks before prescribing it to you. If you notice any of the following side effects, inform your doctor at the earliest so that they can change the dosage:

  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of coordination
  • Tremors
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness

The following are some of the psychological side effects of the medicine that you must never ignore:

  • Depression
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Forgetfulness

To get all your medicinal queries answered and for advice on pain management, consult our experts at Yashoda Hospitals.

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FAQ's

1. How long should I take gabapentin for nerve pain?

Doctors prescribe gabapentin to reduce nerve pain and the tingling sensation experienced by patients with diabetes. Usually, they recommend taking gabapentin for one to two weeks to treat the pain. If it does not lessen with the prescribed dosage, consult the doctor before extending the dose.

2. Can gabapentin cause insomnia?

No, the case is the opposite. Besides being an anticonvulsant that treats seizures, gabapentin is also prescribed for patients with insomnia. As per studies, this drug improves sleep quality and reduces the chances of waking up after the onset of sleep. It helps patients with primary insomnia by improving slow-wave sleep.

3. Does gabapentin increase weight?

Yes, this is possible. One of the rare side effects of gabapentin is weight gain, although not every patient may experience it on consuming this drug. You may observe an overall increase in weight because of its various other side effects, such as an increase in appetite, fatigue, or fluid retention.

4. Does gabapentin help with depression?

No. According to studies, gabapentin is not very effective on depression. It reduces symptoms of anxiety in those suffering from depression or bipolar disorder. It does help where standard antidepressants fail to improve the condition in patients suffering from depression or generalized anxiety disorder.

5. Does gabapentin relieve pain?

Gabapentin is a prescription painkiller. It treats pain where normal painkillers do not work. Often, it is combined with other painkillers for pain relief. Doctors prescribe this drug for patients suffering from moderate to severe pain due to postherpetic neuralgia or shingles. It also treats nerve pain caused by nerve damage in diabetics.

6. How much gabapentin can lead to an overdose?

49 grams or more of gabapentin can lead to an overdose. Furthermore, if taken along with other drugs such as anti-anxiety drugs or muscle relaxants, it can result in a sense of uncontrolled euphoria. However, if you take it as per the prescription, there is a very low chance of overdosing.

7. Is gabapentin a sedative?

Gabapentin relieves pain and controls seizures in patients with epilepsy. One of its side effects is sleepiness. If this drug interacts with other drugs ?such as cough relievers, anti-anxiety medications, or morphine ?that already cause dizziness or sleepiness, it can have an overarching sedative effect.

8. Does gabapentin make you sleepy?

Yes, gabapentin can make you sleepy. It treats primary insomnia as it improves sleep quality. Moreover, excessive and untimely sleepiness and tiredness are some of the side effects of this drug. But these side effects aren? serious or common when your doctor prescribes this drug at an appropriate dosage.

9. Does gabapentin calm you down?

Yes, gabapentin has a calming effect. Patients with generalized anxiety disorder are recommended this drug for relieving anxiety. It helps in reducing irritation and depression, encourages better sleep, and is effective in reducing panic attacks.

10. Why is gabapentin bad?

Doctors prescribe gabapentin for controlling seizures and treating nerve pain caused by nerve damage and postherpetic neuralgia. The drug is considered safe when taken as per prescription. However, large doses of the drug taken for a long duration are potentially fatal and cause kidney disease, respiratory failure, and memory loss. Consult our medical experts at Yashoda Hospitals for advice on effective pain management.

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