Neurontin (Gabapentin) is a prescription anti-epileptic drug. It can also be called an anticonvulsant because it can help the patient treat seizures related to epilepsy. The patient using this drug should be at least 12 years old, and a doctor needs to be consulted before it starts. The medicine works by affecting certain chemicals in the body that may cause serious reactions and pain. There is a chance the doctor may prescribe this medicine for a child from 3 to 12 years old. Another possible use for this medicine is for nerve pain caused by shingles or the herpes virus. You should not be using this medicine if you are allergic to its active ingredient, because the same allergic reaction is likely to occur in you again, and you are not going to be able to benefit from the treatment.
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Before you start the treatment
You will have to discuss your medicine and the way you are going to be taking it with a qualified healthcare professional. This is important to make sure you benefit from taking the medicine and can enjoy the results you expect. Your doctor will need to know if you have kidney disease, liver disease or heart disease. These conditions may affect your treatment unless they are previously discussed with the doctor.
What you need to know about your treatment
Always take Gabapentin as prescribed by your doctor. You can take it with some food or without, but always in the same way. You can break the tablet and take half of it, but make sure you use the second half sooner (within a few days). This medicine can affect the result of certain lab tests you get done. You will need to let your doctor know about it if you are having some tests done for the results of those test to be interpreted correctly. Your doctor will need to see you regularly at the beginning of the treatment, because there is a chance you may get suicidal thoughts when you start the treatment. Therefore, you will have to watch out for any symptoms that seem serious to you, such as anxiety, depression, hostility, mental or physical hyperactivity, mood or behavior changes, restlessness or agitation. Make sure you never stop taking Neurontin unless told so by your doctor, especially if you are taking it for seizures, because there is a risk you may get seizures once you stop. Let your doctor know if you think this medicine is not helping and you have worsened seizures.
Drug interactions to keep in mind
You need to know there are a few medications that should not be combined with this medicine unless otherwise recommended by your doctor. The following ones are known to do that: hydrocodone, morphine or naproxen. These drugs are not the only ones likely to interfere with the effects of this medicine. Therefore, you will need to tell your doctor if there are any other ones you are already using or planning to use.
Neurontin and pregnancy
You need to know that Gabapentin is FDA pregnancy category C. This means there is not enough information on how it can harm an unborn child. There is a chance it may be safe, but there is also a chance it may harm your unborn child if you take it during pregnancy. It is known however, that it can pass into breast milk and may affect your baby in a number of ways. The extent of those effects is difficult to predict.
Side effects you may get
You will need to contact your health care provider right away if you ever get any serious side effects of this medicine that require immediate attention. Your doctor will need to be notified immediately of the following ones: confusion, body aches, swelling of your ankles, flu symptoms, chills, increased seizures, fever and easy bruising. Certain side effects are more likely in kids being administered this treatment. You will need to report the following ones to your health care provider if you notice them in your child: aggressiveness, memory problems, trouble concentrating, restlessness, any changes in behavior or hostility. Mild side effects of Gabapentin can occur in a few patients, especially when the treatment is begun. You will need to keep them in mind and watch them carefully to make sure they go away. The following ones are considered mild as long as they don’t bother you too much: constipation, blurred vision, breast swelling, drowsiness, loss of balance, nausea, weakness, dry mouth, dizziness, headache or diarrhea.
Overdose of Gabapentin
If you ever happen to take too much of the medicine, you will need to let your doctor aright away or seek emergency medical help. You will need to report such possible effects of an overdose as drowsiness, slurred speech, blurred vision, diarrhea or weakness, getting them taken care of the sooner the better.
If you miss a dose
Missing a dose of this medicine gives you a choice of two possible actions: you take the dose you missed, if you remembered soon enough about it, or you skip the dose and carry on with your treatment if the next one is too close. Do not double up to your dose,.