Gabapentin prevents and controls partial seizures moderate-to-serious restless legs syndrome, and relieves postherpetic neuralgia after shingles.

What is Gabapentin?

Gabapentin is a prescription medicine and comes as an oral capsule, an extended-release oral tablet, an immediate-release oral tablet, and an oral solution.

Also, Gabapentin comes in brand names, including Horizant, Gralise, and Neurontin.

Gabapentin belongs to a class of drugs called Anticonvulsants and is available only after a doctor’s prescription.

Apart from this, doctors also prescribe Gabapentin to treat migraine headaches.

Uses of Gabapentin

Gabapentin is recommended to treat the following medical conditions:

  • Prevent and control partial seizures
  • Treat moderate to severe primary restless legs syndrome
  • Relieve nerve pain that follows shingles in adults

Dosage of Gabapentin

Before starting your treatment with Gabapentin, carefully read the patient information leaflet.

If there is any confusion or doubt about medicine or its dosage, then discuss it with the doctor once.

This medicine is taken orally with a glass of total water, with or without food, at least thrice daily.

Gabapentin medication must be taken at evenly spaced times throughout day and night, not more than 12 hours should pass between doses.

While the extended-release tablet is taken with food only once regularly in the evening.

Never take more or less of Gabapentin or take it more often than directed by your doctor.

If a doctor recommends one-half of a regular tablet as part of dose, then always split tablet along score mark.

However, you can use another half-tablet as part of your next dosage.

When you take Gabapentin to control seizures, your doctor might first start treatment with a low dose of Gabapentin.

Gradually, doctor might increase dose as required to treat your condition.

When taking Gabapentin to treat seizures, inform doctor if your symptoms do not improve during treatment.

Remember Gabapentin will only help to control your condition and not cure it. Even if you feel well, continue taking this medicine.

Never stop taking Gabapentin without talking to doctor, even if you experience unusual changes in mood or behavior.

If you suddenly stop taking this medicine then you might experience withdrawal symptoms like nausea, anxiety, and sweating.

When taking gabapentin to treat seizures and you stop this medicine suddenly then seizures might be experienced too often.

Depending upon your condition, doctor might reduce dosage gradually for at least a week.

Antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium might interfere with absorption of this drug.

When taking an antacid, make sure to take gabapentin tablet almost 2 hours after it.

Different forms of Gabapentin like immediate-release and others are absorbed differently in your body.

Never switch from one form to another without discussing it with your doctor.

If you find that your condition does not improve or become worse with time then meet your doctor.

Missed dose

When a dose of Gabapentin is missed, take it as soon as you remember.

Missed dose of this medicine should be skipped, if it's already time for your next dose.

Always take your next dosage at a regular time and do not double the dosage to make up for missed one.

In case, you take gabapentin 3 times a day to control seizures then 12 hours must not pass between doses as seizures might increase.


If you overdose on Gabapentin and you experience serious symptoms like trouble breathing then get emergency medical help.

Precautions and warnings

Do not take Gabapentin, if you are allergic to it or other ingredients present in this medicine.

This medication might contain some inactive ingredients which might make you suffer from allergic reactions.

Before you start treatment with Gabapentin, make sure to inform doctor about your medical history, especially of:

  • Lung disorders
  • Breathing issues
  • Diabetes
  • Mood problems, depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Dialysis or kidney problems
  • History of drug abuse or alcohol abuse issues

This medicine can make you feel dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol intake can make you feel more dizzy.

Do not drive, use heavy machines, or do anything that demands attention unless you can do it safely.

During treatment with Gabapentin, doctors recommend to limit alcohol consumption.

Before undergoing any surgery, inform doctor beforehand about using Gabapentin medication.

During pregnancy, this medicine should be used only when required clearly. Discuss all benefits and risks with doctor.

This medicine also passes into breast milk, so consult a doctor before breast-feeding.

Side effects of Gabapentin

Remember this medicine is prescribed to you because doctor has judged that benefits of Gabapentin are greater than side effects.

Several people using Gabapentin, do not experience any kind of severe side effects.

However, mild side effects of Gabapentin disappear as your body adjusts to this medicine.

Common side effects of Gabapentin include:

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Fever, sore throat, body aches, chills, tiredness
  • Headache
  • Tremors, issues with balance or muscle movement
  • Swelling of your feet and legs
  • Vision disorders, dizziness and drowsiness
  • Difficulty in speaking

Serious side effects of Gabapentin include:

  • Increased seizures
  • Weakness, drowsiness, dizziness
  • Issues with balance or muscle movement

Get emergency medical help, if any of these side effects persist or become worse with time.


Let your doctor know beforehand about all other prescription, non-prescription drugs and herbal supplements you take.

Do not stop, start, or change dosage of any medications without discussing it with your doctor.

Intake of Gabapentin with other drugs can make you suffer from drowsiness, or slow your breathing.

Ask a doctor before taking an opioid pill, a muscle relaxer, a sleeping medication, or drug for seizures or anxiety.


Doctors suggest storing Gabapentin medicine at room temperature away from direct sunlight, moisture, and heat.

Frequently asked questions about Gabapentin

Is Gabapentin addictive?

Though gabapentin is not addictive but this does not mean that medication can’t be abused.

For how long Gabapentin should be taken?

Based on your condition and response to treatment, a doctor will decide duration of Gabapentin.

Can I take Gabapentin for nerve pain?

No, Gabapentin is not a simple pain reliever. Follow your doctor’s advice.