Gabapentin Drug Information

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Gabapentin for dogs

What is Gabapentin? What is Gabapentin used for?

Gabapentin is a Generic name for prescription drug that is used as an antiepileptic for controlling seizures. It is indicated for the treatment of partial seizures in adults and in children who are 3 years or older. Gabapentin can be also used for the treatment of nerve pain that can be caused by a shingles infection, as well as restless legs syndrome. Gabapentin is available in following dosage forms and doses: immediate-release tablet, an extended-release tablet in doses of 300, 600 and 800 mg, capsule 100, 300 and 400 mg, and a solution in dose of 250 mg/5 ml. All these forms are taken by mouth. Most common Brand names on the market for this drug are: Gralise, Neurontin, Horizant, Gabarone. It is approved from FDA since 1993. One study from 2013 showed that gabapentin may be helpful for anxiety symptoms among patients who are about to have surgery. It is well tolerated in most patients, generally causes mild side effect, it passes unmetabolized through the body, does not bind to proteins and doesn’t possess the usual drug interactions

How Gabapentin works in the body?

Gabapentin works by interacting with voltage-sensitive calcium channels of cortical neurons. Gabapentin increases concentration of neurotransmitter GABA in neural synapses, and also increases GABA responses at non-synaptic places in neuronal tissues, and reduces the release of mono-amine neurotransmitters.

Gabapentin uses in dogs

gabapentin for dogs arthritis

Gabapentin is used in dogs as a anticonvulsant and pain reliever and is intended for neuropathy and nerve pain relief. Gabapentin can be also used for the seizures treatment, but not as a first line treatment.

Gabapentin side effects in humans and dogs

Common side effects that gabapentin can be cause in humans are following:

·         Sleepiness

·         Fatigue

·         Dizziness

·         Clumsiness while walking

·         Tremor

·         Visual changes, including double vision

·         Runny nose

·         Indigestion or nausea

·         Nervousness

·         Weight gain

·         Muscle ache

·         Memory loss

·         Dry mouth or sore throat

·         Headache

·         Diarrhea or constipation

·         Unusual thoughts

·         Swelling of hands or feet

·         Fever

·         Itchy eyes

Serious side effects that can occur in human are following:

·         Severe rash

·         Fever or swelling of lymph nodes

·         Thoughts of suicide or harming yourself

·         Swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

·         Difficulty breathing or swallowing

·         Seizure

Side effects in dogs:

·         Sedation

·         Diarrhea

·         Bulging eyes

·         Loss of coordination

·         Sleeping for unusually long periods

·         Vomiting

By using a low initial dose high level of sedation may be avoided. In cases of overdose severe sedation and loss of coordination can be caused.

Gabapentin can cause calcium, vitamin B1, vitamin D and folate deficiencies. This can make your dog unwell, and it can also put a dent in recovery because vitamins D and B1 are needed for nerve repair. To prevent this, multivitamins should be given to a dog that contains all mentioned vitamins and minerals.

Gabapentin doses for dogs

Pain Relief treatment:

A dose of 1.5 – 5 mg/lb should be given once per day but over time the frequency of dosing should be increased to two or three times a day, because in most dogs tolerance can be built after sustained periods of treatment and standard dose may become ineffective. Many vets administer to all sizes of dogs fixed daily dose of 75 mg. But, in most cases the dosage should be started on the lower ones and then gradually increased until symptoms are relieved.

Seizure Treatment:

For recurrent seizure attacks 5 – 13.6 mg/lb should be administered  2-3 times a day, with a maximum dose of 1200 mg on every 8 hours. Owners should be alert that treatment can get quite expensive and its limited benefits may not warrant the expense. It appears that some dogs have more favorable responses than others when gabapentin is used as an anticonvulsant.  One study showed that some dogs reduced their frequent seizures to no seizures once Gabapentin was added to their treatment regimen.  Like in humans, Gabapentin responses are likely subject to significant individual variation.Vet may alter the dosage depending on dog’s reaction to the drug and symptoms improvement. Owners should not abrupt the treatment suddenly, as this can may provoke rebound effects of severe seizure attack or pain depending on what gabapentin was used for. Doses should be gradually reduced over a period of three weeks.

Is Gabapentin for dogs the same as for humans?

Gabapentin safety of use in dogs: Gabapentin is considered to be safe for use in dogs and apart from ataxia and sedation; it appears to cause few more side effects even when it is overdosed. However, studies showed increased incidence of pancreatic cancer in mice after long-term treatment, so caution is needed when treating dogs such as Airedale terriers, Boxers and Spaniels as they can be more susceptible. Gabapentin is eliminated thorough kidneys so it should be avoided in dogs with kidney diseases. Reduced dose can be used depending on the severity of impairment.

Morphine, hydrocodone and antacids can all interact with gabapentin. Caution is needed and vets counseling when these drugs are administered. Gabapentin is not yet FDA-approved for use in dogs for the management of seizures and nerve pain but it is still commonly prescribed by vets.

Gabapentin during pregnancy and breastfeeding in dogs

Gabapentin should be avoided in pregnant and nursing animals unless the benefits outweigh the risks. Gabapentin has lyophilic structure and it can pass into milk easily thus may cause fatal damage if it is taken in high amounts

Gabapentin safe guideline in dogs

Following guidelines are recommended:

  • Multivitamins should be given during gabapentin treatment to prevent vitamin deficiency
  • Owners should tell their vets if their dog has any disease such as liver or kidney disease
  • Tell the vet about other medicines/supplements you are giving your pet
  • Gabapentin use should never be stopped suddenly
  • Avoid the use of liquid formulations that contain xylitol.
  • Avoid giving your dog antacids for at least 2 hours before and after each dose of gabapentin.

What if I miss to give a gabapentin dose to my dog?

If a Gabapentin dose is missed, give the dose as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular schedule. Do not give two doses at one time. Gabapentin should be always given with veterinarian’s instructions.  The dose may be adjusted if it is necessary only by veterinarian opinion depending on the response to the treatment.

How should I store gabapentin?

Gabapentin should be stored between 68oF and 77oF (20-25°C). Store out of children’s reach.

Could Gabapentin cause Lichen sclerosus?

Could gabapentin cause lichen sclerosus

Ggabapentin lichen sclerosus

Lichen sclerosis is found among people who take gabapentin, especially patients who are female, 50-60 age group, old, who also take medication lorazepam and have high blood pressure. Lichen sclerosis is a long term problem of the skin. It affects the genitals and anal area. It appears on the upper body parts, breasts and upper arms. Doctor doesn’t know the exact cause of lichen sclerosis, but in some conditions, it is caused because of gabapentin. It is caused due to more active immune system and hormone problems may play a role. You can put gabapentin creams on the skin patches every day for several weeks. This will relieve itching. This cream causes redness and thinning of the skin and even stretch marks where this cream is applied.

What are the side effects of gabapentin?
Can gabapentin be used for gout?

Can gabapentin be used for gout

Does gabapentin work for your gout

Gout is an inflammatory disorder which affects one or more joints. The symptoms associated with Gout are joint pain and stiffness, which worsen with age. The common type of gout is rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Moderate to severe pain occurs in gout. Chronic pain leads to psychological problems such as depression, social problems, and functional problems like decreased activity or disability. Mixed combination of drugs is prescribed in arthritis. Gabapentin can be used for gout, which is used to treat depression and chronic pain.  Gabapentin is an analog of gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter which decreases the nerve cell activity in the brain.

Gabapentin and diabetes

Gabapentin and diabetes

Can gabapentin be used as symptomatic treatment for painful neuropathy in patients with diabetes mellitus?

Pain is the most disturbing symptom of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Around 45% of patient with diabetes mellitus develop peripheral neuropathy. A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of gabapentin monotherapy on pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, eight week trial was conducted in 165 patients. Results showed that gabapentin treated patients mean daily pain score at the study end point was significantly lower as compared to the placebo treated patient. Gabapentin monotherapy appeared to be efficacious for the treatment of pain and sleep interference associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy and exhibits positive effects on mood and quality of life.

Gabapentin dosage for diabetic neuropathic pain

An analysis was conducted which includes four placebo controlled trials of gabapentin with a dose of 900 mg to 3600 mg for treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy. The result showed that 64% of patients improved on gabapentin as compared with placebo controlled. A recent crossover design study compared nortriptyline, gabapentin and combination of both in 56 patients with painful diabetic neuropathy. Patients administered each treatment for six weeks, followed by one week taper and one week washout phase. Pain scores were significantly lowered during combination phase than for either treatment alone. Gabapentin monotherapy and nortriptyline monotherapy were significantly effective. Drowsiness and low concentration are the side effects of combination drugs that is gabapentin and nortriptyline.

Is gabapentin safe while breastfeeding?

Is gabapentin safe while breastfeeding

Gabapentin use while Breastfeeding

Gabapentin is an older anticonvulsant used primarily for partial seizures with or without secondary generalization. In a study of five mother infant pairs receiving 900-3200 mg gabapentin per day, the mean milk/ plasma ratio ranged from 0.7 to 1.2 from two weeks to three months postpartum. At 2-3 weeks, two out of five infants had detectable concentration of gabapentin (1.3 & 1.5) and one infant was undetectable. These levels were far below the normal plasma levels in the mothers (11-45). Assuming a daily milk intake of 150/mL/day/kg, the infant dose of gabapentin was estimated to be 0.2-1.3 mL/day/kg, which is equivalent to 1.3-3.8 % of the weight normalized dose received by the mother. The plasma levels of gabapentin collected after 3 months of breastfeeding in another infant were 1.9. Thus, result from the study concluded that the plasma levels were low and no adverse effects were reported in the infants.

Can gabapentin be taken during pregnancy?

Can gabapentin be taken during pregnancy

Is gabapentin safe during pregnancy

Before taking gabapentin during pregnancy, pregnant women should take advice from their doctor. Gabapentin has been assigned to pregnancy category ‘C’. Animal studies have revealed evidences of fetotoxicity involving delayed ossification in several bones of the skull, vertebrae, forelimbs and hind limbs. Hydroureter and hydronephrosis has been reported in the animal studies. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy. Gabapentin should only be given during pregnancy when benefits outweigh risk. In pregnant women who took gabapentin, the major indications were pain and epilepsy, the remainder were for other indications, mainly psychiatric. Gabapentin use in pregnancy does not appear to increase the risk for major malfunctions.

Gabapentin for hot flashes in 420 women with breast cancer

Gabapentin for breast cancer

Gabapentin for breast cancer pain

Most women receiving systemic therapy mainly gabapentin for breast cancer, experience hot flashes, a complex symptom that includes a collection of vasomotor symptoms such as a sudden feeling of warmth and redness which begins in the chest and spreads to the neck and face, accompanied by sweating, palpitation and anxiety. To prove the efficacy of gabapentin, a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi institutional trial is done to determine the efficacy of gabapentin in controlling hot flashes in women with breast cancer. Results showed that gabapentin is effective in the control of hot flashes at a dose of 900 mg/day, but not at a dose of 300 mg/ day. Therefore, gabapentin should be considered for the treatment of hot flashes in women with breast cancer.

Can you take gabapentin and xanax together?

Can you take gabapentin and xanax together

Xanax and gabapentin (lyrica) interaction

Xanax also called as alprazolam and which belongs to a class of benzodiazepine, is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. When gabapentin is taken with Xanax, there is an increase in side effects such as drowsiness, sleep, fatigue and nausea. Mild to moderate drug interaction occurs, if gabapentin and xanax are taken together. Xanax decreases the effectiveness of gabapentin, if both were taken at the same time. Xanax inhibited the pharmacological effect of gabapentin. Therefore, care must be taken before taking them together. The person should avoid alcohol consumption because it aggravates side effects. You must consult your doctor about the side effect occurred.

Does gabapentin cause acid reflux?

Can gabapentin cause acid reflux

Does gabapentin cause acid reflux

Acid reflux, in which stomach acid rises, has been reported by people with high blood pressure, depression, gastroesophageal reflux disease, high blood cholesterol and osteoporosis. Acid reflux was found amongst people who took gabapentin, especially in people who were female, 60 plus, old and have been taking the drug for the past 1- 3 months along with aspirin and antidepressant. A study has been carried out among 37,022 people who have side effects while taking gabapentin. Among them, 44 out of 37,022 have acid reflux. Medications that can increase acid reflux and worsen gastroesophageal reflux disorder are benzodiazepine such as Xanax, diazepam and tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline.

Is it safe to take gabapentin with alcohol?

Can gabapentin be taken with alcohol

Gabapentin and alcohol

Drowsiness is the major side effect of gabapentin; therefore person should avoid alcohol consumption as it aggravates the side effects. Thus, gabapentin cannot be taken with alcohol. Gabapentin has been evaluated as an alternative to benzodiazepine in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal. The clinical laboratory study has been conducted to evaluate the safety and tolerability of the anticonvulsant gabapentin in alcoholic subjects. There was no overall effect of gabapentin on drinking or craving. This study provides initial evidences that gabapentin is safe if used in conjunction with alcohol consumption in alcoholic individuals. Further study is needed with this and other lab model to determine the utility and safety of gabapentin in the treatment of alcoholism.

Can stopping gabapentin cause headaches?

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