How Effective is Gabapentin & What are Its Side Effects?

Strictly adhere to the instructions on your medicine package or label. Inform your doctor if you are allergic to gabapentin and all other medications you are using.

How Gabapentin Works?

Gabapentin works by changing neurotransmitters in the brain and is utilized in treating nerve pain and convulsions. The gabapentin (horizant brand) is also effective in treatment of restless leg syndrome.

How Effective is Gabapentin?

How Effective is Gabapentin?

Gabapentin which is also referred to as anticonvulsant is used as an anti- epileptic medicine. Gabapentin works by inhibiting the functions of nerves and chemicals that causes convulsions and some kind of pain.

Gabapentin is effective in treatment of nerve pains brought by herpes zoster (shingles) or herpes virus.

Gabapentin comes in various brands namely Neurontin and Horizant. Horizant is used in effective treatment of restless legs syndrome. Neurontin brand is utilized in effective treatment of seizures in adults and children above 3 years.

Always make sure that you use the correct brand of gabapentin prescribed by your doctor. Always confirm that the pharmacist gives the right brand when you go for a refill.

  • Gabapentin inhibits convulsion frequency successfully. It is also used to treat nerve pains like post herpetic neuralgia and restless leg syndrome.
  • Gabapentin medicine may be useful in treating continuous hiccups, fibromyalgia, hot flashes and migraine prevention, even though not FDA approved they still have part in therapy.
  • Some types of gabapentin are available in affordable generic formulations.
  • Neurontin brand can be administered with food on empty stomach. When you break an 800 mg or 600 mg, make sure that you take the remaining half in your next dosage.
  • Another brand of gabapentin known as Gralise cannot be used in place of other gabapentin brands because it has a unique intake time which is once per day while the rest are administered thrice in one day. Gralise must also be taken with evening meals. Gralise tablets must also be swallowed whole, dont chew, crush or cut it.
  • Gabapentim enacarbil (Horizant) must be taken with food and swallowed whole. Take it at around 5pm in the evening when treating restless leg syndrome. Do not alternate Horizant with other gabapentin brands. Also dont crush, chew or cut it.
  • You should not use a spoon or a kitchen measuring device. Always utilize pharmacist or manufacture provided measuring device calibrated for liquid types.
  • You should not allow 12 hours span between doses if you are using gabapentin thrice per day.
  • Keenly check your mood changes and inform your doctor if you have a worsening depression or mood change.

The response and effectiveness of gabapentin is excellent. For gabapentin quick- release products, the highest concentrations will be realized within 2 to 3 hours. Clinical nerve pain may last for 7days; however, sleeping challenges arising from nerve pain may get better in 1 week. Gabapentin Horizant seems to treat restless leg syndrome a few days from initial dose.

What are the Side Effects of Gabapentin?

Common side effects of gabapentin includes: headache, dizziness and drowsiness.

Get immediate medical assistance when you get allergic reactions to gabapentin, like breathing difficulty, hives or swellings of your throat, lips, tongue and face.

Seek medical help if you get a skin rash with signs of severe allergic reaction that may your body parts; such as sore throat, dark urine, fever, swollen glands, bloody urine, extreme fatigue or weakness, easy bleeding or bruising, jaundice and muscle pain.

You should tell your doctor of any escalating signs, like anxiety, behavior and mood changes, depression or when you feel restless, agitated, hostile, hyperactive physically or mentally, or when you have suicidal thoughts.

Contact your physician immediately if you have the following severe side effects of gabapentin:

  • Escalating convulsions
  • Serious fatigue and weakness
  • Upper stomach pain
  • Breathing difficulty, chest problems, increased or new cough with fever
  • Serious numbness or tingling
  • Fast movement of your eyes back and forth.
  • Kidney issues such as swelling of your ankles and feet, difficult and painful urination, short breaths, fatigue, minimal or no urinating.
  • Serious skin reaction leading to sore throat, fever, swelling of your tongue or face, burning eyes, painful skin resulting to purple or red skin rash which scatters on the upper body causing peeling and blisters.

Some side effects are likely to appear in children using Gabapentin. Tell your doctor if your child has the following side effects:

  • Lack of concentrations
  • Being restless, aggressive and hostile
  • Behavior changes
  • Memory problems.

Patients between the age of 18 to 60 years, with no other medical conditions and are not using other medications are likely to suffer the following side effects of Gabapentin:

  • Drowsiness and dizziness. Do not operate machinery or drive after using this medication until the degree of effects is established. Do not use alcohol.
  • Gabapentin can escalate the danger of having suicidal thoughts and depression just like other anticonvulsant drugs.
  • Sudden stoppage of this medication may cause side effects such as insomnia, anxiety, pain, nausea and sweating. Follow your doctor’s advice on how to discontinue Gabapentin medication.
  • Your dose of Gabapentin may be altered if you suffer minimized kidney function.
  • Gabapentin is found in various versions and in different brand names. You should use the only specific brand your physician has prescribed.


Gabapentin is effective in treating some types of convulsions and can alleviate nerve pains but it may lead to drowsiness and dizziness in some patients. Gabapentin Horizant has been approved for treatment of restless leg syndrome.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 3, 2017

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