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|Working||Works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain|
Gabapentin 600 mg
Gabapentin 600 mg is an oral prescription drug that is used to prevent and treat focal (localized) seizures and is also used in the treatment of other painful nerve diseases like diabetic neuropathy. It is available as a tablet and is taken orally. Like all scheduled drugs, it is only available by prescription in most countries.
How does Gabapentin work?
Gabapentin is not a direct channel blocker. Being a ligand of a certain calcium channel subunit (α2δ), it works by disrupting the regulatory function of these proteins and prevents their interaction with other proteins. By doing this, the brain cells are prohibited from working as rapidly as they need to for a seizure to occur, thus helping shut down a seizure just when it is beginning, if not preventing them altogether.
Gabapentin 600 mg is an anticonvulsant medication that is used to treat and prevent focal seizures. Focal seizures are seizures that affect only one hemisphere of the brain, causing various problems. Gabapentin is not effective in treating generalized epilepsy. It is also one of the most commonly prescribed medications for various conditions causing chronic neuropathic pain.
Conditions for which Gabapentin is prescribed include diabetic neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia, among others.
It is also sometimes prescribed for treating anxiety disorder, although this is an off-label prescription by doctors. In addition to this, it is also used by veterinarians as an analgesic for cats, and also as an anxiety-reducing pill for cats before traveling.
Gabapentin is a controlled substance, available only through prescription because taking high doses can induce a sense of euphoria, thus having potential for recreational use and subsequent abuse. It can also cause dependence in some users, and overdose can be fatal.
Gabapentin 600 mg should only be taken on the advice of a licensed medical professional. The dosage prescribed by the physician should be followed exactly, as should the instructions on the label.
It is available as a 600 mg tablet, usually broken in half and 300 mg taken as a single dose on the first day of prescription. Dosage may be gradually increased up to 3 times a day, with single dosages of 300 mg each. For epilepsy, the maximum dosage in a day can go up to 3600 mg, in 12 cycles 300 mg doses each.
For neuropathic pain relief, a maximum of 1800 mg daily, in the form of 600 mg tablets thrice a day should be given only to those patients who do not report any signs of clinical improvement after several weeks of treatment at the usual dosage.
What if I Miss a Dose?
You should not double the dose in case you skip a dose. Take a dose as soon as you remember. You should just simply take the next dose if it is too close to the next dose. You should not immediately stop the usage of the drug, and consult your physician who will lower the dosage and wean you off slowly to avoid withdrawal.
What if I Overdose?
In case of overdose, immediately contact emergency health services. Symptoms of overdose include shallow breathing, muscle stiffness, fast or uneven heartbeat, fainting, or hallucinations.
If you are prescribed Gabapentin 600 mg, you must disclose its usage to all your healthcare providers (other doctors you are seeing, dentists, nurses, etc), because it contains various active ingredients that may react with other prescriptions you may be taking. It can cause rashes, hives, and swelling of the tongue and throat if you are allergic to it, so care must be taken.
If you have a history of kidney disease, respiratory problems, mood disorders, or other mental health conditions, you must discuss these with your physician before starting a course of Gabapentin as it may be unsuitable for you. Gabapentin is also generally not prescribed to older people or children, as they are more susceptible to its side effects. Consumption of alcohol or other recreational drugs is also not advisable, since Gabapentin makes you slightly dizzy, the effects of which can be compounded by these substances.
Pregnant women should use Gabapentin only if necessary. The drug is known to pass into breast milk, so breastfeeding mothers should contact their physicians on how to proceed.
Gabapentin may cause an allergic reaction (swollen glands, hives, difficult breathing, itching, swelling in your throat or face, fever), or a severe skin reaction (red or purple skin rash with peeling and blistering, fever, skin pain, sore throat, burning eyes). In case you experience any of these symptoms, immediately get emergency medical help.
Some serious side effects of the medication include liver and kidney problems, changes in the colour of urine, blood in the urine, inability to urinate, stomach pain, diarrhea, or a sudden increase in weight.
Gabapentin may also cause mood swings and suicidal thoughts in patients who take higher doses. These effects are more severe in patients who have had a history of prior mental illness, and such history should be disclosed to the doctor before beginning a course of Gabapentin.
Other common side effects of Gabapentin include weight gain, blurred vision, dry mouth, muscle or joint pain, memory problems, or twitching of muscles, and trouble controlling body movements.
- Keep the medicine in the airtight container that it came in.
- Store Gabapentin at room temperature, away from moisture and excessive heat.
- Keep out of children’s reach, or those who could potentially abuse the drug.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do the side effects of Gabapentin subside?
Common side effects of Gabapentin include dry mouth, nausea, dizziness, weight changes. These side effects are usually mild and subside as the treatment continues. Contact your doctor immediately in case of serious side effects.
Will Gabapentin affect pregnancy?
Pregnant women should exercise extreme caution in using Gabapentin and must discuss it with their physician. It also passes into breast milk, so breastfeeding mothers should also contact their doctor for advice on how to proceed further.
Is Gabapentin safe for use by children?
Gabapentin is not generally prescribed to children and adolescents due to the increased risk of suicidal ideation.
Can you drink alcohol while taking Gabapentin?
No, the use of alcohol is not advised when taking Gabapentin. It may have an adverse reaction to the medication.