What is Gabapentin?
Gabapentin is the medication prescribed to patients who have epilepsy and are prone to having seizures. It helps to slow down the abnormal movement of the brain, thus avoiding seizure attacks. Besides this, it is also used to relieve people of the pain caused due to post herpetic neuralgia. This is one of the most common complications which arise due to shingles.
Patients may experience a sharp burning or stabbing ache in this condition, which goes on for months or even years, making it unbearable. The medication changes the way the body perceives pain. Gabapentin extended-release tablets or more popularly called Horizant, are much demanded in the market. It is effective in treating RLS or Restless Leg Syndrome.
People who suffer from this condition have this compulsive need for leg movement, and the chances of it occurring are usually more during nighttime or when they are sitting or lying down.
How is the medication used?
Gabapentin comes in many forms, such as capsules, tablets, and extended-release tablets. The pills and capsules are generally administered in the body through a glassful of water, around 8 ounces for three times a day. It can be taken with or without food. You should evenly manage the period between these doses. A maximum of 12 hours is allowed. In extended-release tablets, the medicine should be taken around the afternoon at approximately 5 pm daily. Some patients have a habit of chewing and crushing tablets but do not make this mistake in extended-release tablets. Always swallow the tablets for best results. Make sure to consult a doctor for specific use and follow their instructions accordingly.
What happens if you stop taking Gabapentin suddenly?
Gabapentin medicine only assists in keeping your condition stable and is not a permanent solution. You should not stop taking medications even on days you feel completely well. You might experience specific side effects like behavioral or mood fluctuations. However, these are some of the most common side effects, and it is nothing to be skeptical about. Thus, make sure not to stop the medications all of a sudden without consulting your doctor, as this will have severe consequences.
On sudden stoppage of Gabapentin doses, you will experience withdrawal symptoms, including pain, anxiety, and trouble falling and staying asleep, nausea, sweating, and etcetera. If you are a patient suffering from seizures, sudden stoppage of the drug will lead to increased seizure attacks. If needed, your doctor will recommend a dose decrease gradually over time.
What measures should you take if you forgot your daily dose?
If you forgot to take your daily dose of Gabapentin, make sure to take the medication on remembering immediately. However, it may sometimes happen that you have come to the realization very late, and it is time for your next scheduled dose. In that case, make sure to skip the missed dose instead of taking two doses with such a minimal time gap. The same goes if you have missed taking the extended-release tablet.
What are the side effects of this medication?
Gabapentin has many common side effects. Some of the common side effects are mentioned below:
1. A common side effect includes feeling drowsy and exhausted the following day of administering the drug to your body.
2. You might have migraines for a specific period. It is accompanied by weak and blurry vision.
3. Your body movements might be unsteady, and the body temperature might rise.
4. Memory issues, nausea, vomiting, and heartburn are some of the most common after-effects.
5. Your body parts such as the lower leg, ankles, and hands may swell. There are also chances of weight gain and increased appetite.
6. You might show symptoms of a viral infection such as sore throat, cough, and runny nose.
7. Other side effects are uncontrollable shaking of body parts, confusing thoughts, feeling weak and dry mouth.
However, certain side effects such as rash, itching, Face, throat, lips, tongue, eye swelling, breathing difficulties, seizures, and hoarseness imply that it is serious. A doctor needs to be consulted immediately. Some other severe side effects include difficulty swallowing, skin, lips, or fingernails turning blue, feeling extremely sleepy and confused.
Where to store Gabapentin capsules?
Before purchasing, make sure to verify that the medication comes in a tight and closed container. The ideal temperature for storing Painkiller Tablets, capsules, and extended-release tablets is room temperature without excessive moisture or heat. Thus, it should be nowhere near your bathroom. Make sure to keep it out of children’s reach.
It is essential to keep the medication out of children’s reach as many are not childproof and thus can be opened easily. This, in turn, makes them prone to poisoning, so please make sure to close the container caps and place them at a location that is far from the sight of children.