What is Gabapentin Enacarbil?

Gabapentin enacarbil is a prescription drug used to treat patients with moderate to severe primary restless leg syndrome (RLS), for managing pain from damage nerves (post herpetic neuralgia) that lead to healing shingles (a painful rash that comes after a herpes zoster infection) and in seizures.

What is the difference between gabapentin and gabapentin enacarbil?

Gabapentin enacarbil is a prodrug of gabapentin, which means it first breaks into gabapentin and then it show pharmacological effect on the site of action.

Mode of action

Its mechanism of action is similar to gabapentin that is, the gabapentin decreases frequency of seizures, as it aids in controlling seizures, which occurs in epilepsy. In animals, gabapentin shows tremendous activity in controlling seizures. As its mechanism of action is not recognized, some researchers suggested that gabapentin interact with voltage-dependent calcium channels in neurons. It decreases release of monoamine and augment axon excitability in hippocampus region. It is also found out in some study that it can cross the lipid membrane barrier. It also reduces the intensity of pain related to post herpetic neuralgia and pain syndrome.

Gabapentin enacarbil Dosage

Gabapentin enacarbil dosage comes in the form of extended-release tablets. The usual dose is 300mg orally q.d for restless leg syndrome (RLS) and post herpetic neuralgia.

When to take gabapentin enacarbil

Gabapentin enacarbil should be taken after meal as prescribed by the doctor. It should not be taken during day time. For best result, one should take it before going to bed. Do not stop medication, even if you feel fine because suddenly stopping can cause seizures.

What if you miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, try to take as soon as possible with food and other dose should be taken at the same scheduled time. In case of overdose, please call the doctor as soon as possible.


Gabapentin enacarbil should be stored at room temperature, away from light and moisture. Keep the medication in the bottle and lid should be tightly closed. In case of expiry, gabapentin enacarbil should be discarded properly with consultation from pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Uses of gabapentin enacarbil

Gabapentin enacarbil is used for treating nerve damage from herpes zoster (shingles, post herpetic neuralgia) and restless leg syndrome (RLS).

Gabapentin enacarbil interaction

Alcohol increases the release of gabapentin enacarbil in the body. Alcohol intake should be avoided with gabapentin enacarbil. If taken along with morphine, dizziness and sedation significantly increases. It should not be taken in pregnancy. As gabapentin, secreted in human breast milk, nursing mothers should use this medication only if necessary. Do not use this medication with other salts of gabapentin. Do not start or stop this medication or change the dosage without consulting your doctor.

Side effects

The common side effects are ataxia, fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness and somnolence. Gabapentin enacarbil significantly caused driving impairment. Adverse effects related to gabapentin enacarbil are joint pain, weight gain, blurred vision, motion sickness and fever.


Do not use gabapentin enacarbil if you are allergic to gabapentin or if you take gabapentin enacarbil for RLS and sleep during the day and stay awake at night, for work.

Information related to gabapentin enacarbil is discussed above. It was approved by the food drug administration (FDA) in 2011.

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