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Gabapentin is a medication primarily used to treat seizures, epilepsy and neuropathic pain.

Last Modified: 13 May 2024

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What is Gabapentin? 

Gabapentin is a medication primarily used to treat seizures, epilepsy and neuropathic pain. It is structurally similar to the neurotransmitter GABA but does not act on GABA receptors. 

Gabapentin is synthetically manufactured and is a gamma-aminobutyric acid analog. Its exact mechanism of action is not fully understood but is thought to involve the modulation of specific voltage-gated calcium channels. 

Global Name

Generic name:  Gabapentin 
Brand names: Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant, Gabapentina, Gabaron, Gabenil


What is Gabapentin used for? 

Gabapentin is used to treat: 

  • Partial seizures 
  • Neuropathic pain associated with shingles (postherpetic neuralgia) 
  • It may also be prescribed off-label (not currently indicated or FDA-approved) for conditions such as fibromyalgia, restless legs syndrome, and hot flashes. 

How do you use Gabapentin? 


Gabapentin is available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, and an oral solution. 

Dosage information: 

  • Adults (for seizures): Start with 300 mg three times a day; can be increased up to 600 mg three times daily. 
  • Adults (for postherpetic neuralgia): Starting dose is 300 mg on the first day, 600 mg on the second day, and 900 mg on the third day. The dose may subsequently be titrated up to 1800 mg/day. 
  • Children: Dosage varies by weight and age; consult a pediatrician. 


  • Children: Approved for children aged 3 years and older for seizure treatment. 
  • Adults: Suitable for adults. 
  • Elderlies: Start with a lower dose due to potential renal function decline and polypharmacy (long-term use of more medications for different conditions). 
  • Pregnancy and Lactation: Use only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk after consultation with a medical professional.  

Is there anyone who can’t take Gabapentin? 

  • Children: Not recommended for children under 3 years. 
  • Adults: Should be used with caution in patients with renal impairment. 
  • Individuals with a known hypersensitivity to Gabapentin or its components should avoid this medication. 

Any warnings and precautions : 

Gabapentin should be used with caution in patients with a history of psychotic disorders. Do not discontinue abruptly as it may precipitate seizures. 

Gabapentin may interact with antacids containing aluminum or magnesium. It should be taken at least 2 hours after such antacids. 

Side Effects

Common side effects include dizziness, fatigue, and peripheral edema. Serious side effects may include changes in mood or suicidal thoughts. 

Pharmacist Tips

  • Consistent Use: Take Gabapentin regularly at the same times each day to maintain a steady level in your bloodstream. 
  • Gradual Changes: If you need to stop Gabapentin, your doctor should wean you off slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms. 
  • Renal Function: Kidney function may affect Gabapentin dosing; it may require adjustment based on renal tests. 
  • Storage Information: Store Gabapentin at room temperature, away from light and moisture. 
  • Handling Instructions: Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet; swallow it whole. 


Where is Gabapentin available in Hong Kong?

Gabapentin is a prescription medication that can be prescribed by healthcare providers.


Can Gabapentin be used for anxiety?

It is not FDA-approved for anxiety but may be prescribed off-label for this purpose.

Is Gabapentin a controlled substance?

In Hong Kong it is a Part 1, Schedule 1 & Schedule 3 Poison (sold only on registered premises with a doctor’s prescription) 

Is Gabapentin available for purchase over-the-counter?

No, Gabapentin requires a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider. 

How to stop Gabapentin?

Always follow your doctor's instructions and never stop gabapentin abruptly on your own. Report any withdrawal symptoms and your doctor will guide  your gabentin  dosage adjustment over time. 

How does Gabapentin make you feel?

Gabapentin can affect individuals differently, and responses to the medication can vary widely. The side effects may be mood changes, fatigue, visual disturbances, or gastrointestinal issues like nausea or diarrhea. 

How long should I take Gabapentin for nerve pain?

In some cases, gabapentin is prescribed for short-term pain relief, while in other situations, it may be part of a long-term management plan, especially for chronic conditions. It's not uncommon for gabapentin to be used for extended periods when patients are responding well and not experiencing significant side effects. 

How long does it take Gabapentin to work?

For nerve pain, some people may begin to experience relief within the first week of treatment, but it may take several weeks for others to notice a significant reduction in pain. It's not uncommon for the full effects of gabapentin on neuropathic pain to be felt only after a few weeks of consistent use. 

How long does Gabapentin stay in your system?

Gabapentin would generally take around 25 to 42 hours for the drug to be cleared from the body system of a person with normal renal function.

This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

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