The gabapentin is an antiepileptic drug also called an anticonvulsant, is mainly used for the treatment of epilepsy and chronic neuropathic pain, that is that caused by damage to the central nervous system affecting the brain, spinal cord, and nerve endings.

Gabapentin is also used to treat nerve irritation pain after a herpes zoster infection . This medicine, in one of its different presentations, is effective in treating the conditions caused by restless legs syndrome.

Uses and indications of gabapentin

There are different applications of gabapentin, among them the following stand out:

  • Combat neuropathic pain since gabapentin, in its oral solution or tablet forms, is capable of reducing the way the body perceives such pain.
  • Another very common use for the control of seizures of people diagnosed with epilepsy dominating the pathological excitation of the brain.
  • It is also used to treat the well-known restless leg syndrome , which produces a strange and spontaneous sensation of tingling, burning or unpleasant pain that leads to the urgent need to move the legs.
  • Among the less frequent uses and currently discussed for not being approved by various institutions that control the health system, production and market of drugs, are the treatment and prevention of migraine, which has been proven effective.
  • In addition, it is used to treat nystagmus (uncontrolled eye movements) produced by different neurological conditions.

What does gabapentin cure?

Gabapentin is often used in the treatment of neuronal diseases and chronic pain, let’s see this aspect in more detail:

Neural diseases treated with gabapentin

For partial epileptic seizures, gabapentin is used as monotherapy or even as an adjuvant when the patient has resistance to other drugs. It has proven to be an effective and safe drug, reducing seizure recurrence by 50%.

Gabapentin is used effectively for burning, stinging pain and those discomfort that can persist for months or even years after a herpes zoster infection, being one of the most fearsome complications of this disease. In this case, this drug is used more than other medicines because it has fewer side effects and more efficacy.

In other types of neuropathic pain such as those of mixed origin, cancerous and diabetic neuropathy, this drug has a benefit of 30% since it provides a decrease in pain in at least a third of all patients who deserve treatment for these pathologies .

Gabapentin in the treatment of chronic pain

Another disease in which gabapentin is used is restless legs syndrome, since it decreases its incidence and limits the symptoms of this disease, triggering the release of certain substances in the brain, thus producing less discomfort in the limbs. caused by this condition.

Last but not least, this medicine also works by improving premature ejaculation and priapism (prolonged and painful erection), also working in sexual disorders.

Benefits of using gabapentin

As mentioned so far in this article, the benefits that reach the common end are broad, achieving a better quality of life and reducing the morbidity of neuronal pathologies, specifically epilepsy and chronic or neuropathic pain, specifically inhibiting hyper -neuronal response in these pathologies, by way of synthesis we point them out, among the main ones are:

  • They reduce seizures in epileptic patients.
  • It significantly improves the quality of life.
  • It enhances the action of other medications (acting as an adjuvant).
  • Neural radical responses that are impossible to self-control decrease.

How to take gabapentin?

The commercial presentations of gabapentin are lozenges, 300 and 400 mg capsules, 600 and 800 mg coated tablets, long-acting capsules and solution, all of which are for oral administration. The doctor will indicate which is recommended for your particular case.

Gabapentin dosage and recommendations

Gabapentin doses are specific for each type of condition, the doses for its most common uses will be mentioned, among which are:

Gabapentin in epileptic crisis

Its administration is oral, for children aged 3 to 12 years, starting doses of 10-15mg / kg are used, three times a day. For children 5 years and older the doses are 25 mg / kg three times a day. The effective doses in children 12 years and older are 900 to 1800 mg / kg 3 times a day, in some cases, the specialist doctor may increase the doses over time, all according to the degree or level of progression of the illness.

For seizures in adults, the starting doses are 900 mg / kg divided into equal doses three times a day. Generally, the modifications made by the specialist in this type of pathology is gradual and progressive.

Gabapentin in post-herpetic neuralgia and neuropathic pain

For the treatment with gabapentin of post-herpetic therapy there is a specific regimen, the first dose is a single 300mg, the second day of treatment is two 300mg doses and on the third day three 300mg doses, these doses can be increased up to get relief from the pain that generally occurs when doses of 1800mg / day up to 3600mg / day are reached in most cases.

Gabapentin to treat restless legs syndrome

For this pathology, gabapentin is as effective as other treatments, in recommended doses of 300mg and 600mg three times a day, its administration for adults is oral.

Gabapentin to prevent premature ejaculation

The recommended doses with gabapentin to avoid premature ejaculation are 300mg two hours before sexual intercourse, thus allowing its absorption to take place and have its effect in the best way and at the right time.

Gabapentin for priapism

If gabapentin is administered orally, this pathology resolves in 24 hours, taking into account that the doses should be 400mg four times a day for a total of 1600mg, these amounts can be increased to 2400mg if it does not respond adequately, resolving priapism in 24 hours.

Recommendations when taking gabapentin

In patients over 12 years of age with kidney disease undergoing other treatments, the doses should be modified according to the kidney function of each patient.

Before taking gabapentin it should be taken into account if you have any allergies to any medication or any specific component. It is important to inform the doctor if you are following other treatment, vitamins or additional nutritional supplements since with some substances it can cause adverse reactions and active surveillance will be necessary when following the prescribed regimen.

In case of taking antacids, it is advisable to take them two hours before consuming gabapentin in any of its presentations. In case of taking the long-acting tablets it is necessary to ask the doctor if the schedule of sleeping or staying awake each day should be modified.

It is likely that it will be necessary to avoid driving a vehicle or operating any type of machine if it is not known how the consumption of this medicine can affect these actions, since it can cause dizziness, drowsiness, loss of coordination or slow thoughts.

It is advisable to follow all the indications of the specialist doctor at the time of your treatment with gabapentin since the prescribed doses are specific and must be followed to the letter.

What side effects does gabapentin have?

Like all medicines, gabapentin has side effects, some more frequent than others and of different severity, so it is always important to take them into account in their entirety.

Less serious side effects are:

  • Sleeping problems.
  • General weakness and tiredness.
  • Anxiety and mild memory problems
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Strange thoughts
  • Tremors of some part of the body that cannot be controlled
  • Emotional instability
  • Heartburn (heartburn)
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurry vision
  • Increased appetite and weight gain
  • Fever, cold-like symptoms like, runny nose, sneezing, cough, throat irritation.
  • Otalgia (earache)
  • Red eye and inflammation
  • Arthralgia
  • Back pain
  • Swelling of the extremities

Side effects that can be more serious:

  • Itching
  • Swelling of the throat that can cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing
  • Hoarsely
  • Inflammation of the eyeballs and lips.
  • Itch

Contraindications of gabapentin

The most important contraindication of this drug is hypersensitivity to its main component or to another of the substances that compose it, causing certain types of reactions that mainly occur with lymphadenopathy, skin rash (rash) of the face and body as well as fever, it is important to have Take into account if you present any of these manifestations, to suspend the treatment.

The use of gabapentin is contraindicated in pregnant women, although the effects it may cause on the baby is not known, its use during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not recommended.

Conclusion of the use of gabapentin

Gabapentin is an antiepileptic drug that has a much more effective mechanism of action than most other treatments, as it is a new generation drug, it is fully effective as an adjuvant and for people who have become resistant to the most common treatments, it also has many advantages in terms of its fewer adverse reactions and it is a reference medicine for treating pain of neuropathic origin among others.

Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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