Gabapentin and the main characteristics
Gabapentin is a medication that doctors usually prescribe either in cases of epilepsy, when it is used in order to treat and control partial seizures, or in cases of shingles infection, when chronic nerve pain needs to be treated. There are several forms of this medication, but most frequently it is used in the form of a tablet or in a liquid form. As for the mechanism of action of gabapentin, the truth is that it is not really clear, but it is believed that calcium channels in the brain are affected by it.
When it comes to treating epilepsy, the fact is that a number of reasons may cause it, and the most common are various traumas to the head, infection or tumor in the brain, other medical conditions, or even genetics and drug or alcohol abuse. However, good thing about this medication is that it can be combined with other anti-seizure medications, although it should not be combined with alcohol, certain antacids, medications such as naproxen and morphine, and others.
As for the use of gabapentin in cases of postherpetic neuralgia, which is a very common consequence of shingles, the fact is that a number of studies have proven that this medication is more than successful in relieving excruciating and burning pain, which is very often similar to electric jabs. Besides these two conditions, gabapentin is used for off-label reasons in cases of bipolar disorder, Lou Gehrig’s disease, migraines, anxiety disorders, and several other conditions.
How safe is it?
The safety of this medication is implied by the fact that it can be used in cases of children who are older than 7 years. However, it is not excluded that some side effects might occur, since there is practically no medication that might not cause allergic reaction, and the same applies to this one. The most frequently reported problems regarding the use of this medication are dizziness, problems with coordination, fever, vomiting, gas, diarrhea or constipation, and swelling in the legs and feet. A bit less frequent, but a bit more serious are bronchitis, hyperactivity, nervousness, problems with speech, increased blood sugar level and problems with walking. Besides pregnant and breastfeeding women, people who suffer from any type of allergy or kidney disease should be particularly careful about the usage of this medication. It is highly recommended not to use it without previously consulting a doctor.