Gabapentin oral capsule comes with several warnings. Call your doctor if you start having more seizures or a different kind of seizure while taking this drug.
If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or hurting another person:
• Call 911 or your local emergency number.
• Stay with the person until help arrives.
• Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
• Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Gabapentin can slow your thinking and motor skills and cause drowsiness and dizziness. It’s not known how long these effects last. You should not drive or use heavy machinery while taking this drug until you know how it affects you.
Using this drug increases your risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Talk to your doctor if you feel depressed or notice any changes in your mood or behavior. Also talk to your doctor if you are having thoughts of harming yourself, including suicide.
Multiorgan hypersensitivity/DRESS warning
This medication can cause multiorgan hypersensitivity. This is also known as a drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS). This syndrome can be life-threatening. Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms such as a rash, a fever, or swollen lymph nodes.
Gabapentin can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:
- trouble breathing
- swelling of your throat or tongue
Don’t take this drug again if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it before. Taking it a second time after any allergic reaction to it could be fatal (cause death).
Alcohol interaction warning
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking gabapentin. Gabapentin can cause sleepiness, and drinking alcohol can make you even more sleepy. Alcohol can also make you more likely to feel dizzy and have trouble concentrating.
Warnings for people with certain health conditions
For people with epilepsy: Don’t stop taking gabapentin suddenly. Doing this can increase your risk of having a condition called status epilepticus. This is a medical emergency during which short or long seizures occur for 30 minutes or more.
Gabapentin can cause problems in children aged 3–12 years who have epilepsy. It raises their risk of thought problems as well as behavioral problems, such as being hyper and acting hostile or restless.
For people with kidney problems: Your body processes this drug more slowly than normal. This may cause the drug to increase to dangerous levels in your body. Talk to your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you.
Warnings for other groups
For pregnant women: The use of gabapentin has not been studied in humans during pregnancy. Research in animals has shown negative effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug. However, animal studies don’t always predict the way humans would respond.
Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking this drug.
If your doctor prescribes gabapentin for you while you’re pregnant, ask about the NAAED Pregnancy Registry. This registry tracks the effects of anti-seizure drugs on pregnancy. Information can be found at aedpregnancyregistry.org.
For women who are breastfeeding: Gabapentin may pass into breast milk and cause serious side effects in a breastfeeding child. Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. You should decide together if you should stop taking this drug or stop breastfeeding.
For seniors: Kidney function may decrease with age. You may process this drug more slowly than younger people. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose so that too much of this drug does not build up in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be dangerous.
For children: Gabapentin has not been studied in children for the management of postherpetic neuralgia. It should not be used in people younger than 18 years. This drug should not be used to treat partial seizures in children younger than 3 years.