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Gabapentin (GA-buh-PEN-tin)A substance that is being studied as a treatment for relieving hot flashes in women with breast cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called anticonvulsants.Also used to treat neuropathy

Information about Gabapentin

Gabapentin is a unique anticonvulsant that is used as adjunctive therapy in management of epilepsy and for neuropathic pain syndromes. 


Liver safety of Gabapentin

Therapy with gabapentin is not associated with serum aminotransferase elevations, but several cases of clinically apparent liver injury from gabapentin have been reported. 

Mechanism of action of Gabapentin

Gabapentin (gab" a pen' tin) is a structural analogue of gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA), but demonstrates little or no interaction with GABA receptors and does not appear to alter GABA uptake, synthesis or metabolism.  While initially believed to act on the GABA-ergic neurotransmitter system, the actual mechanism of action of gabapentin as an anticonvulsant and agent for neuropathy is unknown. 

FDA approval information for Gabapentin

Gabapentin was approved for use in the United States in 1993 and is a widely used medication with more than 18 million prescriptions filled yearly. 

Clinical use of Gabapentin

Current indications include add-on therapy for partial seizures which do not have adequate control with other anticonvulsants, and to reduce neuropathic pain from diabetic and postherpetic neuropathy. 

Dosage and administration for Gabapentin

Gabapentin is available as capsules or tablets of 100, 300, 400, 600 and 800 mg and in oral solution for pediatric use generically and under the brand names Neurontin and Gabarone.  The recommended initial dose for adults is 300 mg three times daily increasing as needed to a maximum dose of 1800 mg daily. 

Side effects of Gabapentin

The most common side effects of gabapentin are dose related and include dizziness, somnolence, tremor, ataxia, blurred vision, anxiety, and gastrointestinal upset or nausea.  Rare, but potentially severe adverse events include hypersensitivity reactions such as angioneurotic edema, drug rash with eosinophilia with systemic manifestations (DRESS syndrome) and Stevens Johnson syndrome.

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