In people with epilepsy, gabapentin is used to control seizures. Postherpetic neuralgia, a chronic pain condition in people with shingles, is also treated with this drug.
While gabapentin has not been fully explained, it reduces unusual brain activity for people with seizures and improves pain control by altering how the body perceives pain.
There are also several off-label uses for gabapentin, such as diabetic neuropathy, trigeminal neuralgia, generalised anxiety disorder, hot flashes, and chronic lower back pain.
Although gabapentin is effective for treating various conditions and types of pain, it can also have unpleasant side effects in some people. Aside from weight gain and sexual dysfunction, mood changes are common side effects.
Suicidal thoughts and hallucinations are also possible side effects of this medication.
You might want to look for safer medications if you suffer from side effects from gabapentin. I'll discuss gabapentin alternatives, precautions before switching, and side effects to watch out for in this article. In addition, I'll tell you when you should see a doctor.
The mechanism of action of gabapentin alternatives is usually similar to that of prescription drugs.
The prescription-only drug pregabalin (Lyrica) is closely related to gabapentin. Children under the age of 65 should not take this medication. It is only appropriate for adults (under age 65). Epilepsy, nerve pain, and anxiety disorders can be treated with it.
By preventing your brain from releasing chemicals that cause anxiety, pregabalin treats seizures in epilepsy and seizures in epilepsy. Pain signals are altered in your brain when you take this medicine, resulting in relief from nerve pain.
A capsule, tablet, or liquid form of pregabalin is available. With or without food, Pregabalin is usually 150-600 mg daily.
Don't stop taking this medication if you don't see results immediately. It can take up to a few weeks for this medication to work. Pregabalin can cause seizures if you miss a dose if you're taking it for epilepsy. Gabapentin and pregabalin have similar side effects.
Tiredness, dry mouth, dizziness, anxiety, and bloating are common side effects of pregabalin. In rare cases, side effects may include double vision, wheezing, difficulty breathing, chest pains, muscle pains, and swollen eyes, noses, mouths, and necks.
In addition to treating neuropathic pain, postherpetic neuralgia (burning, stabbing pains after a shingles infection that may last for months or years) is also treated with amitriptyline (Elavil).
Tablets are available for amitriptyline. Your doctor may treat nerve pain with a low dose of 10-25 mg daily. The full effects of amitriptyline may not be felt for up to eight weeks.
Constipation, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, and changes in the sexual drive are common side effects. Seizures, hallucinations, and suicidal thoughts are some of the more severe side effects. Symptoms of these conditions require immediate medical attention.
The anticonvulsant carbamazepine (Carbatrol) treats seizures in people with epilepsy. Restless legs syndrome and trigeminal neuralgia can also be treated with it.
As a result of reducing abnormal electrical activity in the brain, carbamazepine helps treat seizures. It depends on why you're taking carbamazepine. Depending on the severity of epilepsy, doctors may start with 200 mg twice daily and adjust the dose accordingly.
Among carbamazepine's side effects are dizziness, uncontrollable shaking, and constipation. A life-threatening allergic reaction called Stevens-Johnson syndrome occurs when the medication causes dark urine and breathing difficulties and dark urine.
Trigeminal neuralgia and seizures are treated with phenytoin (Epanutin). Chewable tablets and prescriptions are available. The recommended dose of phenytoin for epilepsy is 200-500 mg daily, taken as a single or twice daily.
It is recommended that children between the ages of 12 and 17 take 300-400 mg twice a day. Children under 12 should be given a dosage based on their weight. Phenytoin commonly causes nausea, dizziness, constipation, and headaches.
In Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which causes the top layer of skin to die, there are more severe but less common side effects.
Epilepsy and partial seizures are treated with valproate (Depakote). For epilepsy, tablets are prescribed at 10-60 mg per kg of body weight per day. You will be advised on the best dosage by your doctor.
It treats pain caused by diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage that occurs in diabetics) and fibromyalgia (a condition caused by muscle pain, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping) in adults and children 13 years and older. Duloxetine (Cymbalta) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).
Taking 60 mg once a day, with or without food, is recommended as a starting and maintenance dose. This medication can cause heartburn, constipation, dry mouth, vomiting, and increased urination as side effects.
Seizures, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, and abnormal bruising or bleeding are other side effects.
Benzodiazepines, such as clonazepam (Klonopin), relieve panic attacks and control seizures. An oral dose of clonazepam can be taken as a regular or fast-dissolving tablet.
Epilepsy is treated with a dose of 1 mg taken at night. Depending on your needs, your doctor may gradually increase this dose. Depending on their age, children can also be prescribed it.
Some side effects are associated with clonazepam, such as dizziness, increased salivation, changes in sex drive, and frequent urination. Aside from breathing problems and swelling of the face and eyes, other side effects include difficulty swallowing.
Lamotrigine (Lamictal) is a seizure treatment for people with epilepsy. Orally disintegrating tablets, chewable tablets, and tablets that dissolve in the mouth are available for lamotrigine.
In addition to being used alone, tablets can be combined with other medications. One or two doses of 100-700 mg daily are usually prescribed for adults and children over 12 with epilepsy.
Their weight determines a child's dose if they are younger than 12 years old. Some side effects are drowsiness, constipation, weight loss, and uncontrollable shaking. It can also cause rashes, irregular heartbeats, and seizures.
Known as Keppra, levetiracetam (Levetiracetam) is an anticonvulsant medication that treats seizures and epilepsy in adults and children. It is recommended that adults and children over 12 take 250-3000 mg daily in one or two doses.
A child's weight determines how much levetiracetam they need. Aside from weakness and aggression, constipation and vomiting are also side effects. Aside from seizures, swelling of the face, tongue, and eyes are other side effects.
Several types of seizures can be treated with topiramate (Topamax). Migraine headaches can also be prevented with it. Epilepsy patients take 100-200 mg daily in two doses, though your doctor may start you off with a lower amount.
Some side effects include constipation, numbness, weakness, loss of weight, unusual bleeding, and uncontrollable eye movements. Seizures, memory problems, and vision loss are severe side effects people experience.
Talk to your healthcare provider before switching to another medication if gabapentin isn't working for you. You will be advised on the best alternative and how to switch to another medication safely.
If you suddenly stop taking gabapentin, your seizures may worsen. The new alternative should be introduced gradually under the guidance of your healthcare provider rather than switching from gabapentin to it.
Stopping gabapentin may cause withdrawal symptoms. After stopping gabapentin, you may experience symptoms within 12 hours to a week.
Here are some symptoms to watch out for:
A person who abruptly stops taking gabapentin for seizures may experience worsened and, in some cases, uncontrollable seizures.
Avoid switching from gabapentin to other alternatives on your own. You can choose an option to take gabapentin with your doctor before you stop taking it. To help you transition from gabapentin safely, your doctor will tell you the correct dosage for your new medication.
Symptoms that make you uncomfortable should also be reported to your doctor. Depending on how serious it is, they can help you.
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1- Does gabapentin have an over-the-counter equivalent?
No. No over-the-counter equivalents exist for gabapentin, which is a controlled substance. All gabapentin alternatives are prescription medications.
2- Is there a good tablet for nerve pain?
The primary medicines recommended for nerve pain are amitriptyline, duloxetine, gabapentin, and pregabalin.
3- Which is better for pain, gabapentin or amitriptyline?
One study showed that gabapentin had better results for pain when compared with amitriptyline.