Gabapentin capsules are available under different trade names and at different strengths. Gabapentin is used most commonly to treat epilepsy and neuropathic, or nerve, pain. The trade names of gabapentin capsules depend on the country in which they are manufactured and the manufacturer. The doctor will prescribe the correct dose of gabapentin according to the clinical indication.
Epilepsy causes seizures. This may be due to a number of different factors, but is essentially caused by abnormally rapid or repetitive electrical signals in the brain. The functioning of the brain is a complex system involving neurotransmitters and nerves, and any interruption thereof may result in disorders such as epilepsy.
GABA is a neurotransmitter that has a calming effect on the brain. Gabapentin capsules mimic this neurotransmitter, and in doing so treat the epilepsy and prevent seizures. They are often used as add-on therapy in epileptic patients who are still having break-through seizures, despite a single drug being used.
Neuropathic pain has numerous causes, including herpes, HIV and diabetes, and may also be a side effect of some medications. It is a debilitating condition that affects the quality of life of those suffering from it. Gabapentin capsules may be used to treat it.
The capsules are available in different strengths. For both the treatment of epilepsy and neuropathic pain, the drug is started at a low dose and titrated up over some days. The dosage schedule and ultimate maintenance dose will be decided by the prescribing doctor according to the condition being treated and the patient's response to the drug.
As with all medications, gabapentin capsules may have adverse effects. Some of the most commonly experienced ones are tiredness, dizziness and headache. Due to the possibility of severe tiredness when taking gabapentin capsules, they should not be taken with other drugs that may cause drowsiness, and driving or operation of heavy machinery should be avoided.
An interaction may occur between gabapentin and other medication, so these should be discussed with the prescribing doctor. Pregnancy, desired pregnancy, lactation and any other medical conditions will also be taken into consideration before the drug is prescribed. Gabapentin is usually taken three times a day, and its absorption is not affected by food, so it may be taken with or without meals.
The dose, and therefore type of gabapentin capsule dispensed, will be determined by the prescribing doctor. If discontinuing therapy, the dose will be slowly decreased to minimize the possibility of withdrawal seizures. In some countries gabapentin is available in a tablet form as well.