Gabapentin Dosage Chart, Gabapentin Dosage for Adults and Gabapentin Dosage for Children

Gabapentin is a generic prescription drug that is FDA-approved as an add-on treatment with other medications for partial seizures in those with epilepsy.

It can also be used to treat nerve pain from postherpetic neuralgia (a complication of shingles). Gabapentin is frequently prescribed off-label for many other conditions, such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy, fibromyalgia, and alcohol dependence.

Gabapentin is typically prescribed as a generic, but the drug is also available under the brand names Neurontin and Gralise. Some patients may be prescribed drugs very similar to gabapentin—such as Horizant (gabapentin enacarbil) or Lyrica (pregabalin)—instead of gabapentin.

Gabapentin is taken as a tablet, capsule, or oral liquid. Dosing will depend on the condition being treated, age of the person being treated, and kidney function. The usual dose for epilepsy starts at 300 mg on the first day. The dose can then be increased until an effective dose is reached, which is usually 300 to 600mg taken three times per day.

Gabapentin dosage forms and strengths

 

Gabapentin is taken by mouth as a tablet, capsule, or oral solution.

    • Tablets: 600 or 800 mg per tablet
    • Capsules: 100, 300, or 400 mg per capsule
    • Liquid: 250 mg per 5 milliliters (ml) oral liquid

Gabapentin dosage for adults

For adults, the gabapentin dosage can vary widely depending on the condition being treated. Upon starting treatment with gabapentin, the starting dose may be 100 to 300 mg per day and steadily increase until an effective dose is reached. The maximum dosage will depend on the condition being treated.

  • Standard gabapentin dosage for adults: 300-600 mg taken three times per day.
  • Maximum gabapentin dosage for adults: 1200 mg taken three times per day for a maximum daily dose of 3600 mg.

Gabapentin dosage for children

Gabapentin is FDA approved as a secondary treatment for partial seizures in children 3 years or older with epilepsy. The use of gabapentin in children for any other medical condition is not FDA-approved. Dosing will be determined by both the child’s age and weight.

by both the child’s age and weight.

Gabapentin dosage by age for children older than 3 years
Age (yr) Recommended dosage
3-4 yrs 40 mg per kg (18.2 mg/lb) of body weight divided into three dosesMaximum: 50 mg per kg (22.7 mg/lb) of body weight daily
5-11 yrs 20-35 mg per kg (9.1-15.9 mg/lb) of body weight divided into three dosesMaximum: 50 mg per kg (22.7 mg/lb) of body weight daily
12 yrs or older 300-600 mg taken three times per dayMaximum: 3600 mg per day

 

 

Gabapentin dosage chart
Indication Age Standard dosage Maximum dosage
Partial seizures
12 years and older 300-600 mg three times per day 3600 mg per day
5-11 years 25-35 mg/kg (11.4-15.9 mg/lb) per day divided into three daily doses 50 mg/kg (22.7 mg/lb) per day
3-4 years 40 mg/kg (18.2 mg/lb) per day divided into three daily doses 50 mg/kg (22.7 mg/lb) per day
Postherpetic neuralgia 18 years and older 300 mg on day 1, 300 mg twice daily on day 2, then 300 mg three times daily on day 3; dosage may be further increased after day 3 to 600 mg three times per day 1800 mg per day
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy 18 years and older 300-1200 mg three times per day (off-label) 3600 mg per day
Fibromyalgia 18 years and older 600 mg twice daily and 1200 mg at bedtime (off-label) 2400 mg per day
Alcohol dependence 18 years and older 300-600 mg three times per day (off-label) 1800 mg per day

Gabapentin dosage for partial seizures

Gabapentin is FDA approved as adjunctive therapy for partial seizures in adults and children 3 years of age or older.

  • Standard gabapentin dosage for adults: 300 to 600 mg taken three times per day by mouth.
  • Maximum gabapentin dosage for adults: 3600 mg daily in three divided doses.
  • Renally impaired patients (kidney disease)—dose amount and dose frequency adjustment:
    1. Creatinine clearance of 30-59 ml/min: 200 to 700 mg twice per day
    2. Creatinine clearance of 16-29 ml/min: 200 to 700 mg once per day
    3. Creatinine clearance of 15 ml/min or less: 100 to 300 mg once per day decreased proportionately (1/15 per whole number value) for each decrease in creatinine clearance
    4. Hemodialysis: dose is dependent on estimated creatinine clearance; a supplemental dose of 125 to 350 mg is given after dialysis

Gabapentin dosage for nerve pain due to shingles (postherpetic neuralgia)

Gabapentin is FDA approved to treat postherpetic neuralgia, that is, neuropathic pain due to shingles (herpes zoster).

  • Standard gabapentin dosage for adults: 300 to 600 mg taken three times per day by mouth.
  • Maximum gabapentin dosage for adults: 1800 mg daily in three divided doses.
  • Renally impaired patients (kidney disease): See dosage for renal impaired patients above

Gabapentin dosage for neuropathic pain

Gabapentin is most frequently prescribed off-label to treat nerve pain (neuralgia) due to nerve damage (neuropathy), compression, or irritation.

  • Standard gabapentin dosage for adults: 300 to 1200 mg taken three times per day by mouth.
  • Maximum gabapentin dosage for adults: 3600 mg daily in three divided doses.
  • Renally impaired patients (kidney disease): See dosage for renal impaired patients above

Gabapentin dosage for fibromyalgia

Gabapentin is used off-label to reduce fatigue, provide pain relief, and improve sleep in patients with fibromyalgia.

  • Standard gabapentin dosage for adults: 600 mg twice daily and 1200 mg at bedtime.
  • Maximum gabapentin dosage for adults: 2400 mg daily.
  • Renally impaired patients (kidney disease): See dosage for renal impaired patients above

Gabapentin dosage for alcohol dependence

Gabapentin is widely used off-label to reduce insomnia and cravings in people with alcohol use disorder, particularly those in the maintenance phase of alcohol abstinence.

  • Standard gabapentin dosage for adults: 300 to 600 mg taken three times per day by mouth.
  • Maximum gabapentin dosage for adults: 1800 mg daily in three divided doses.
  • Renally impaired patients (kidney disease): See dosage for renal impaired patients above

Gabapentin dosage for pets

You should not give gabapentin to animals unless a veterinarian has given the animal a prescription for gabapentin. Veterinarians frequently prescribe gabapentin to treat seizures or chronic nerve pain in pets and large animals. The recommended dose is 5-10 mg per kilogram of body weight (2.3-4.5 mg/lb) every 12 hours, but dosing will vary between veterinarians. Gabapentin dosages can vary from 3 to 11 mg per kilogram (1.4 to 5 mg per pound) as an analgesic to 10 to 30 mg mg per kilogram (4.5 to 13.6 per pound) as an anticonvulsant. As with people, the dose may start small and steadily increase until an effective dose is reached.

Gabapentin Dosing for Neuropathic Pain

First, we must consider the different neuropathic pain types. Neuropathic pain can be diverse in nature, encompassing a wide range of pain types, including post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), and painful cancer-related neuropathies.

Gabapentin has been shown to be beneficial in treating several types of neuropathic pain; however, the mechanism of action by which gabapentin exerts its analgesic effect is still unknown.

It is suggested that gabapentin may block the calcium channel alpha(2)delta (a2d)-1 receptor in the brain. This protein-modulated receptor is involved in excitatory synapse formation. Therefore, the therapeutic effects of gabapentin may be attributed to prevention of new synapse formations.

Gabapentin was shown to offer substantial improvement in neuropathic pain with side effects that were similar to those on placebo.

Even with sufficient data supporting the use of gabapentin in the treatment of various neuropathic pain conditions, gabapentin only has Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for PHN. Dosing recommendations for off-label use of gabapentin can be somewhat ambiguous, if a recommendation exists at all. Therefore, several studies further investigate dosing regimens specific to other neuropathic pain syndromes.

Gabapentin Dosing Considerations

Three gabapentin products are FDA approved to treat PHN. The different formulations cannot be interchanged and each has its own dosing schedule.

    • For immediate-release gabapentin (Neurontin), dosing may be initiated with 300 mg on day 1, doubled on day 2 (300 mg twice a day), and tripled on day 3 (300 mg 3 times a day). The dose can then be titrated up as needed for pain relief to a maximum dose of 1,800 mg daily (divided into 3 daily doses). Clinical studies referenced in the package insert state that efficacy for a range of doses from 1,800 mg/day to 3,600 mg/day were observed; however, there was no additional benefit seen with doses greater than 1,800 mg/d.
    • Gralise is an extended-release gabapentin formulation that also is FDA approved for PHN with a titration schedule that begins with 300 mg on day 1; 600 mg on day 2; 900 mg on days 3 to 6; 1,200 mg on days 7 to 10; 1,500 mg on days 11 to 14; and 1,800 mg on day 15 and thereafter.
    • The third gabapentin formulation for PHN treatment is another extended-release product, Horizant. The starting dose is 600 mg in the morning for 3 days, increased to 600 mg twice daily on day 4 and thereafter. A daily dose of Horizant greater than 1,200 mg provided no additional benefit at the expense of side effects.

Several studies have evaluated off-label use of gabapentin in the treatment of other neuropathic pain conditions. A randomized, double-blind trial compared gabapentin to placebo in 135 patients with DPN over 8 weeks. The results showed a statistical benefit of gabapentin compared to placebo, at all end points, for pain improvement.

The gabapentin dosing regimen used in this study was 900 mg/d for week 1; 1,800 mg/d for week 2; 2,400 mg/d for week 3; and 3,600 mg/d for week 4. All the patients were titrated up to a dose of 3,600 mg/d, regardless of efficacy at lower doses. Patients who could not tolerate this dose were titrated down to the greatest tolerable dose.

Of the 84 patients randomized to the gabapentin group, 56 (67%) were able to tolerate 3,600 mg/d. During the first week, gabapentin resulted in improvement in sleep interference compared to placebo.

By the second week, gabapentin resulted in improvement in all pain rating scales compared to placebo. Of the 84 patients in the gabapentin group, 70 completed the study, and 7 patients withdrew due to adverse drug events (ADEs). Most ADEs reported in the gabapentin group were of mild or moderate intensity, and the most frequently reported effects were dizziness (23.8%), somnolence (22.6%), headache (10.7%), diarrhea (10.7%), confusion (8.3%), and nausea (8.3%).

A double-blind crossover study (n=40) assessed gabapentin for the treatment of DPN. The dose of gabapentin used in this trial was much lower, with patients titrated up every 3 days to a maximum dose of 900 mg/d. The end points evaluated in this study included level of pain on a visual analog pain scale (VAS), and scores on the present pain intensity scale, the McGill pain questionnaire (MPQ), and the global assessment of pain relief.

Statistical improvement between gabapentin and placebo was noted in only 1 end point, the MPQ score, with a mean reduction of 8.9 points for gabapentin compared to 2.2 points with placebo (P=0.03). No serious ADEs were noted, and the most common ADEs of gabapentin were drowsiness, fatigue, and imbalance. The results of this study suggest that gabapentin is not effective or is only minimally effective in treating painful DPN at a dose of 900 mg/d.5

A search in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews was conducted to further examine dosing regimens for neuropathic pain. In a review analyzing 37 studies for gabapentin treatment in chronic neuropathic pain, the main outcome was Initiative on Methods, Measurement, and Pain Assessment in Clinical Trials (IMMPACT) definitions for moderate and substantial benefit in chronic pain studies.6 These were defined as follows:

  • 30% reduction in pain over baseline (moderate)
  • 50% reduction in pain over baseline (substantial)
  • Much or very much improved on Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC) (moderate)
  • Very much improved on PGIC (substantial)
  • Gabapentin was shown to be better than placebo across all studies for IMMPACT outcomes. The review concentrated on gabapentin doses of 1,200 mg/d or greater and reported that doses at or above this threshold were reasonably effective for treatment of various neuropathic pain types.

 

The upper threshold for maximum effective gabapentin doses ranged from 2,400 mg/d to 3,600 mg/d in the majority of studies reviewed.

ADEs and withdrawal rates for patients taking gabapentin doses of 1,200 mg/d or greater were compared to those for patients taking placebo in 20 studies with 4,125 participants. Common ADEs seen were somnolence, drowsiness, and sedation.

These occurred in 14% of participants in the gabapentin group versus 5% of those taking placebo. Data also showed gabapentin was associated with a higher incidence of dizziness (19% vs 5%), peripheral edema (7% vs 2.2%), and ataxia or gait disturbances (8.8% vs 1.1%).

The rate of serious events was similar between gabapentin and placebo groups. Twenty-two studies involving 4,448 patients reported on participant withdrawals due to ADEs, which occurred in 11% of patients taking gabapentin compared to 7.9% of those taking placebo.6

Postmarketing Abuse

Postmarketing reports have described symptoms of agitation, confusion, and disorientation upon abrupt withdrawal of gabapentin. Cases usually involve other potentiating factors, such as the use of higher than recommended doses for unapproved indications, a history of poly-substance abuse, or the use of gabapentin to relieve symptoms of withdrawal from other substances.In a study of postmortem toxicology, cases that tested positive for gabapentin or pregabalin were included to determine if abuse of these drugs contributed to the fatalities. Of the 13,766 cases investigated, 0.31% were positive for gabapentin. Of the gabapentin cases, 18.6% were considered abuse, and 4.7% were poisonings. An overwhelming majority of abuse cases (87.5%) also involved opioid intoxication, and 100% involved alcohol and/or opioids. In addition, a greater number of pregabalin cases were designated as abuse cases than gabapentin cases (48.1% vs 18.6%, respectively).7

Conclusion

Gabapentin has sufficient evidence showing its efficacy and safety in treating neuropathic pain. Effective treatment doses of gabapentin for neuropathic pain tend to be higher compared to effective treatment doses for other conditions. Gabapentin is a relatively safe medication. The most prevalent effects seen are drowsiness, somnolence, and sedation. It is necessary to start at lower doses of gabapentin and titrate up to a therapeutic dose. Ataxia and somnolence appear to exhibit a positive dose-response relationship; therefore, titrating the dose of gabapentin may help manage possible ADEs.

What is the Action Mechanism of Gabapentin ? Is Gabapentin Addictive ?

signs someone is addicted to gabapentin

The chemical structure of gabapentin (Neurontin) is derived by addition of a cyclohexyl group to the backbone of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Gabapentin prevents seizures in a wide variety of models in animals, including generalized tonic-clonic and partial seizures.

Gabapentin has no activity at GABAA or GABAB receptors of GABA uptake carriers of brain. Gabapentin interacts with a high-affinity binding site in brain membranes, which has recently been identified as an auxiliary subunit of voltage-sensitive Ca2+ channels. However, the functional correlate of gabapentin binding is unclear and remains under study.

Gabapentin crosses several lipid membrane barriers via system L amino acid transporters. In vitro, gabapentin modulates the action of the GABA synthetic enzyme, glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) and the glutamate synthesizing enzyme, branched-chain amino acid transaminase.

Results with human and rat brain NMR spectroscopy indicate that gabapentin increases GABA synthesis. Gabapentin increases non-synaptic GABA responses from neuronal tissues in vitro. In vitro, gabapentin reduces the release of several mono-amine neurotransmitters.

Gabapentin prevents pain responses in several animal models of hyperalgesia and prevents neuronal death in vitro and in vivo with models of the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Gabapentin is also active in models that detect anxiolytic activity.

Although gabapentin may have several different pharmacological actions, it appears that modulation of GABA synthesis and glutamate synthesis may be important.

Is Gabapentin Addictive ?

Asking about the signs someone is addicted to gabapentin first begs the question: What is gabapentin?

To answer that question requires putting gabapentin in perspective as a pharmaceutical drug that, while providing relief to thousands of people for nerve pain, also has the potential for abuse. It isn’t an opioid, but it has found a niche audience among those who take it recreationally, and for doctors who began to seek alternatives to narcotics as the opioid epidemic reached its apex, it seemed like a safer alternative.

In 2016, gabapentin was the 10th most prescribed drug in the United States, with 64 million prescriptions written that year . That was up from 39 million prescriptions written only four years earlier, in large part because “gabapentin, an anticonvulsant and analgesic for postherpetic neuralgia, has been thought to have no abuse potential despite numerous published reports to the contrary,” according to a 2018 article in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

In that particular article, researchers analyzed data from a study of drug users in Kentucky who reported using gabapentin for non-medical purposes. Their findings? “Overall, the sample reported having initiated gabapentin more than 10 years earlier after having it prescribed for a legitimate, though generally off-label, medical indication (e.g., pain, anxiety, opioid detoxification). Participants reported use of gabapentin in combination with buprenorphine, other opioids, cocaine, and caffeine to produce sought-after central nervous system effects (e.g., muscle relaxation, pain reduction, sleep induction, feeling drunk, and feeling ‘high’).”

Gabapentin, such studies reveal, can be problematic. Whether used in conjunction with other drugs or on its own, it can be abused, which makes it a substance of concern. To understand the signs someone is addicted to gabapentin, however, requires some knowledge of what it is, where it comes from, how it works and how it can be addictive.

Comparative Studies

Gabapentin and lamotrigine have been compared in an open, parallel-group, add-on, randomized study in 109 patients with uncontrolled partial epilepsy and learning disabilities. The two drugs were similarly efficacious, with similar incidences of adverse events and serious adverse events. Neither lamotrigine nor gabapentin exacerbated any of the challenging behaviors observed in these patients.

The most common adverse reaction to gabapentin was somnolence, which was mostly reported during the initial titration phase.

In a double-blind comparison of gabapentin and lamotrigine in 309 patients with new-onset partial or generalized seizures, the target doses were gabapentin 1800 mg/day and lamotrigine 150 mg/day.

Severe adverse events were reported in 11% of patients taking gabapentin and 9.3% of patients taking lamotrigine. Two patients had serious adverse events thought to be related to the study drug; one took an overdose of gabapentin and the other had convulsions with lamotrigine. The most frequent treatment-related adverse events in both treatment groups were dizziness, weakness, and headache; 11% of patients taking gabapentin and 15% of those taking lamotrigine withdrew because of adverse events. There was an increase of over 7% in body weight from baseline in 14% of the patients taking gabapentin and 6.6% of those taking lamotrigine. There were benign rashes in 4.4% of those taking gabapentin and 11% of those taking lamotrigine.

The hypothesis that both amitriptyline and gabapentin are more effective in relieving neuropathic pain than diphenhydramine has been tested in a randomized, double-blind, triple crossover, 8-week trial in 38 adults with spinal cord injuries [18]. Maximum daily doses were 2600 mg for gabapentin and 150 mg for amitriptyline.

Amitriptyline was more efficacious in relieving neuropathic pain than diphenhydramine. Withdrawal because of possible adverse reactions occurred five times during gabapentin treatment:

(1) shortness of breath;

(2) dizziness, fatigue, and nausea;

(3) increased spasticity and pain;

(4) fatigue, drowsiness, constipation, and dry mouth; and

(5) severe itching.

The four most frequent adverse events were dry mouth, drowsiness, fatigue, and constipation, which were all more common with amitriptyline.

 

Online Gabapentin Dosage

There are several online Gabapentin Dosage Available.

Gabapentin 800mg 180 tab
Gabapentin 600mg 180 tab
Gabapentin 400mg 180 tab
Gabapentin 300mg 180 tab

Normally Gabapentin 800mg is hard to get from online pharmacy because you have to gradually take gabapentin to solve your berve pain problems.

Gabapentin Dosing Considerations

Three gabapentin products are FDA approved to treat PHN. The different formulations cannot be interchanged and each has its own dosing schedule.

    • For immediate-release gabapentin (Neurontin), dosing may be initiated with 300 mg on day 1, doubled on day 2 (300 mg twice a day), and tripled on day 3 (300 mg 3 times a day). The dose can then be titrated up as needed for pain relief to a maximum dose of 1,800 mg daily (divided into 3 daily doses). Clinical studies referenced in the package insert state that efficacy for a range of doses from 1,800 mg/day to 3,600 mg/day were observed; however, there was no additional benefit seen with doses greater than 1,800 mg/d.
    • Gralise is an extended-release gabapentin formulation that also is FDA approved for PHN with a titration schedule that begins with 300 mg on day 1; 600 mg on day 2; 900 mg on days 3 to 6; 1,200 mg on days 7 to 10; 1,500 mg on days 11 to 14; and 1,800 mg on day 15 and thereafter.
    • The third gabapentin formulation for PHN treatment is another extended-release product, Horizant. The starting dose is 600 mg in the morning for 3 days, increased to 600 mg twice daily on day 4 and thereafter. A daily dose of Horizant greater than 1,200 mg provided no additional benefit at the expense of side effects.

Several studies have evaluated off-label use of gabapentin in the treatment of other neuropathic pain conditions. A randomized, double-blind trial compared gabapentin to placebo in 135 patients with DPN over 8 weeks. The results showed a statistical benefit of gabapentin compared to placebo, at all end points, for pain improvement.4 The gabapentin dosing regimen used in this study was 900 mg/d for week 1; 1,800 mg/d for week 2; 2,400 mg/d for week 3; and 3,600 mg/d for week 4. All the patients were titrated up to a dose of 3,600 mg/d, regardless of efficacy at lower doses. Patients who could not tolerate this dose were titrated down to the greatest tolerable dose.

Of the 84 patients randomized to the gabapentin group, 56 (67%) were able to tolerate 3,600 mg/d.During the first week, gabapentin resulted in improvement in sleep interference compared to placebo. By the second week, gabapentin resulted in improvement in all pain rating scales compared to placebo. Of the 84 patients in the gabapentin group, 70 completed the study, and 7 patients withdrew due to adverse drug events (ADEs). Most ADEs reported in the gabapentin group were of mild or moderate intensity, and the most frequently reported effects were dizziness (23.8%), somnolence (22.6%), headache (10.7%), diarrhea (10.7%), confusion (8.3%), and nausea (8.3%).

A double-blind crossover study (n=40) assessed gabapentin for the treatment of DPN. The dose of gabapentin used in this trial was much lower, with patients titrated up every 3 days to a maximum dose of 900 mg/d.

The end points evaluated in this study included level of pain on a visual analog pain scale (VAS), and scores on the present pain intensity scale, the McGill pain questionnaire (MPQ), and the global assessment of pain relief. Statistical improvement between gabapentin and placebo was noted in only 1 end point, the MPQ score, with a mean reduction of 8.9 points for gabapentin compared to 2.2 points with placebo (P=0.03). No serious ADEs were noted, and the most common ADEs of gabapentin were drowsiness, fatigue, and imbalance.

The results of this study suggest that gabapentin is not effective or is only minimally effective in treating painful DPN at a dose of 900 mg/d.5

A search in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews was conducted to further examine dosing regimens for neuropathic pain. In a review analyzing 37 studies for gabapentin treatment in chronic neuropathic pain, the main outcome was Initiative on Methods, Measurement, and Pain Assessment in Clinical Trials (IMMPACT) definitions for moderate and substantial benefit in chronic pain studies.6 These were defined as follows:

    • 30% reduction in pain over baseline (moderate)
    • 50% reduction in pain over baseline (substantial)
    • Much or very much improved on Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC) (moderate)
    • Very much improved on PGIC (substantial)
    • Gabapentin was shown to be better than placebo across all studies for IMMPACT outcomes. The review concentrated on gabapentin doses of 1,200 mg/d or greater and reported that doses at or above this threshold were reasonably effective for treatment of various neuropathic pain types. The upper threshold for maximum effective gabapentin doses ranged from 2,400 mg/d to 3,600 mg/d in the majority of studies reviewed.6 Table 1, on page 16, provides a more detailed description of the maximum gabapentin doses evaluated for different neuropathic pain types.
Gabapentin Dosage
Gabapentin Dosage

Usual Adult Dose for Postherpetic Neuralgia:

Initial dose: 300 mg orally on day one, 300 mg orally twice a day on day two, then 300 mg orally 3 times a day on day three.

The dose may be titrated up as needed for pain relief to a daily dose of 1800 mg. Maintenance dose: 900 to 1800 mg orally in 3 divided doses.

Efficacy was demonstrated in clinical studies over a range of 1800 mg/day to 3600 mg/day. However, no additional benefit was demonstrated from the use of doses over 1800 mg/day.

Gabapentin available under the trade name Gralise (R):

Maintenance dose: Gralise (R) should be titrated to 1800 mg orally once daily with the evening meal.

Recommended titration schedule:
Day 1: 300 mg orally with the evening meal
Day 2: 600 mg orally with the evening meal
Days 3 through 6: 900 mg orally with the evening meal
Days 7 through 10: 1200 mg orally with the evening meal
Days 11 through 14: 1500 mg orally with the evening meal
Day 15: 1800 mg orally with the evening meal

Gralise (R) is not interchangeable with other gabapentin products because of differing pharmacokinetic profiles that affect the frequency of administration.

Gabapentin enacarbil extended release tablets available under the trade name Horizant (R):

The recommended dosage is 600 mg orally twice daily. Therapy should be initiated at a dose of 600 mg orally in the morning for 3 days of therapy, then increased to 600 mg twice daily (1,200 mg/day) on day four.

Gabapentin enacarbil extended release tablets available under the trade name Horizant (R) and gabapentin are not interchangeable.

Usual Adult Dose for Restless Legs Syndrome:

Gabapentin enacarbil available under the trade name Horizant (R):
600 mg orally once daily with food at about 5 PM

Usual Pediatric Dose for Epilepsy:

Less than 3 years: Effectiveness has not been established.

Greater than or equal to 3 and less than 12 years:
Starting Dose: ranges from 10 to 15 mg/kg/day in 3 divided doses.
Effective Dose: reached by upward titration over a period of approximately 3 days. The effective dose of gabapentin in patients 5 years of age and older is 25 to 35 mg/kg/day and given in divided doses (three times a day). The effective dose in pediatric patients ages 3 and 4 years is 40 mg/kg/day and given in divided doses (three times a day). Gabapentin may be administered as the oral solution, capsule, or tablet, or using combinations of these formulations. Dosages up to 50 mg/kg/day have been well tolerated in a long term clinical study. The maximum time interval between doses should not exceed 12 hours.

Greater than 12 years:

Initial dose: 300 mg orally on day one, 300 mg orally twice a day on day two, then 300 mg orally 3 times a day on day three.

Maintenance dose: 900 to 1800 mg orally in 3 divided doses. If necessary, the dose may be increased using 300 mg or 400 mg capsules three times a day up to 1800 mg/day.

Dosages up to 2400 mg/day have been well tolerated in long term clinical studies. Doses of 3600 mg/day have also been administered to a small number of patients for a relatively short duration, and have been well tolerated.

The maximum time between doses in the three times a day schedule should not exceed 12 hours.

 

 

Is Gabapentin ( Neurontin ) Addictive and How to Treat Gabapentin Addiction ?

Gabapentin is used with other medications to prevent and control seizures. It is also used to relieve nerve pain following shingles (a painful rash due to herpes zoster infection) in adults. Gabapentin is known as an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug.

Gabapentin, also known by the brand name Neurontin, is a prescription painkiller belonging to its own drug class, Gabapentinoids. It is considered an anti-convulsant, and is most commonly used to treat epilepsy, restless leg syndrome, hot flashes, and neuropathic pain. It is often used as a less-addictive alternative to opioids; however, Gabapentin addiction and abuse still occur in many patients.

Gabapentin has a similar chemical structure to Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the brain chemical which affects the body’s nervous system. It can produce feelings of relaxation and calmness, which can help with nerve pain, anxiety, and even poor sleep.

Gabapentin is prescribed to treat nerve pain, alcohol and cocaine withdrawals, restless leg syndrome, diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia, and seizures. It works by altering one’s calcium channels to reduce seizures and ease nerve pain. Some brand names of Gabapentin are Neurontin and Gralise. The drug’s known street names are “gabbies” or “johnnies.”

Dosages of Gabapentin

Adult and pediatric dosages:

Capsule

      • 100 mg
      • 300 mg
      • 400 mg

Tablet

      • 300 mg (Gralise)
      • 600 mg (Gralise, Neurontin)
      • 800 mg (Neurontin)

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

Reducing the dose, discontinuing the drug, or substituting an alternative medication should be done gradually over a minimum of 1 week or longer.

Geritric dosing considerations:

Renal impairment is present, gabapentin dose reduction may be required, depending on renal function.

Partial Seizures

Neurontin

Adjunctive therapy for partial seizures with or without secondary generalization.

Initial: 300 mg orally every 8 hours.

May increase up to 600 mg orally every 8 hours; up to 2400 mg/day administered and tolerated in clinical studies; up to 3600 mg administered for short duration and tolerated

Post herpetic Neuralgia

Neurontin

Day 1: 300 mg orally once per day.

Day 2: 300 mg orally every 12 hours.

Day 3: 300 mg orally every 8 hours.

Maintenance: Subsequently titrate as needed up to 600 mg orally every 8 hours; doses greater than 1800 mg/day have demonstrated no additional benefit.

Gralise

Dose gradually to 1800 mg/day orally; take once a day with evening meal.

Day 1: 300 mg orally once a day.

Day 2: 600 mg orally once a day.

Days 3-6: 900 mg orally once a day.

Days 7-10: 1200 mg orally once a day.

Days 11-14: 1500 mg orally once a day.

Day 15 and after (maintenance): 1800 mg orally once a day.

Dosing considerations:

Gralise tablets swell in gastric fluid and gradually release gabapentin. Swallow Gralise tablets whole; do not cut, crush, or chew them.

Dosing Modifications:

Renal impairment (Neurontin)

Creatinine clearance greater than 60 mL/min: 300-1200 mg orally twice daily

Creatinine clearance 30-60 mL/min: 200-700 mg every 12 hours

Creatinine clearance 15-29 mL/min: 200-700 mg once per day

Creatinine clearance less than 15 mL/min: 100-300 mg once per day

Hemodialysis (Creatinine clearance less than 15 mL/min):

Administer supplemental dose (range 125-350 mg) post hemodialysis, after each 4 hour dialysis interval; further dose reduction should be in proportion to Creatinine clearance (a Creatinine clearance of 7.5 mL/min should receive one-half daily post hemodialysis dose)

Renal impairment (Gralise):

Creatinine clearance is greater than or equal to 60 mL/min: 1800 mg daily with evening meal

Creatinine clearance 30-59 mL/min: 600-1800 mg daily with evening meal

Creatinine clearance greater than 30 mL/min or hemodialysis: Do not administer

In addition its potentially addictive nature, Gabapentin can cause suicidal thoughts, moods swings, and abrupt changes in a user’s behavior. It can also cause elevated blood pressure, fever, sleep problems, appetite changes, and chest pain.

Gabapentin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

      • drowsiness
      • tiredness or weakness
      • dizziness
      • headache
      • uncontrollable shaking of a part of your body
      • double or blurred vision
      • unsteadiness
      • anxiety
      • memory problems
      • strange or unusual thoughts
      • unwanted eye movements
      • nausea
      • vomiting
      • heartburn
      • diarrhea
      • dry mouth
      • constipation
      • increased appetite
      • weight gain
      • swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
      • back or joint pain
      • fever
      • runny nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat, or flu-like symptoms
      • ear pain
      • red, itchy eyes (sometimes with swelling or discharge)

Some side effects may be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

      • rash
      • itching
      • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes
      • hoarseness
      • difficulty swallowing or breathing
      • seizures
      • difficulty breathing; bluish-tinged skin, lips, or fingernails; confusion; or extreme sleepiness

Gabapentin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

Gabapentin Abuse

Gabapentin abuse tends to occur in people who already have an addiction to opioids or other drugs. The effects of Gabapentin intoxication have been described as a sense of calm, euphoria, and a high similar to marijuana.

A 2013 study in Kentucky found that of the 503 participants reporting illegal drug use, 15% reported using Gabapentin in addition to other drugs to get high in the previous six months. Another study, working with a sample of participants meant to represent the national population, found almost a quarter of patients with co-prescriptions of opioids and Gabapentin were getting more than three times their prescribed amount to supply their addiction. People using the drug without a prescription is a growing problem in many areas. Due to the drug’s legal status, this is difficult to address from a policing standpoint. States where Gabapentin abuse is becoming more common are beginning to classify the drug as a more strictly controlled substance.

Signs of a Gabapentin Overdose

Effects of excessive Gabapentin use include:

      • Drowsiness
      • Coordination problems
      • Tremors
      • Dizziness
      • Depression
      • Suicidal thoughts/behaviors
      • Changes in mood
      • Dizziness
      • Poor coordination
      • Forgetfulness
      • Anxiety
      • Difficulty speaking
      • Inability to feel pleasure

It is important to try to recognize these symptoms and to be wary of other red flags, such as the presence or abundance of pill bottles. These effects can be detrimental to one’s health, livelihood, and overall safety.

Many Gabapentin users in early recovery abuse Gabapentin because at high doses (800mg or more), they may experience a euphoric-like high that does not show up on drug screens. Gabapentin abusers typically take the drug in addition to opioids to produce their desired high, a dangerous and potentially deadly combination. It is possible to fatally overdose on Gabapentin, both on its own or in conjunction with other drugs. However, there is currently no antidote that can be administered to someone in the case of a Gabapentin overdose as there is with opioid overdoses. If you find a loved one showing signs of an overdose–drowsiness, muscle weakness, lethargy and drooping eyelids, diarrhea, and sedation—seek medical attention immediately.

Signs of Gabapentin Addiction

      • Lying about or exaggerating symptoms to doctors
      • Seeking out multiple doctors to get extra doses
      • Switching doctors after the original doctor refuses to continue prescribing the medication
      • Changes in social habits and/or circles
      • Changes in personal hygiene and grooming habits
      • Constant preoccupation with the drug
      • Unease at the thought of the drug being unavailable
      • Refusal to quit despite social, financial, or legal consequences
      • Failed attempts to quit

Treating a Gabapentin Addiction

Frequent and excessive use of Gabapentin can lead to a physical and psychological dependence on the drug. This is when someone becomes so accustomed to taking a drug that they need it to feel and function normally. Quitting a drug like Gabapentin cold turkey can be dangerous and induce several withdrawal symptoms of varying severity.

These include anxiety, insomnia, nausea, pain, and sweating. Quitting also increases one’s likelihood of having a seizure which can lead to personal injury or the development of medical problems and life-threatening emergencies. Trying to quit should be done at a rehab facility or with the guidance and supervision of a professional during a medical detox.