Gabapentin is usually taken by mouth three times per day.
In special circumstances, such as when the drug is first started or in patients with kidney problems, gabapentin is taken less frequently.
- Take your medicine as directed. The dose may change until the most effective dose amount is reached.
- If you have epilepsy, do not allow more than 12 hours to pass between doses.
- Gabapentin can be taken with or without food.
- Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
- If you break a tablet into two pieces, use the second half as your next dose. Discard any unused half-tablet after 28 days.
- Swallow the capsule whole with a glass of water. Do not open, crush, or chew it.
- If it’s too difficult to swallow the capsule, the patient or a caregiver can carefully open the capsule and sprinkle the contents into a small cup of water, juice, or apple sauce and give the dose that way.
- Measure the oral liquid with a syringe or medicine cup that has millimeter markings. Gabapentin oral suspension usually comes with a 12 ml dosing syringe.
- Shake the closed bottle well before each use.
- Remove the child-proof cap from the bottle.
- Make sure the syringe adapter has been pushed into the bottle opening. If not, fully insert the syringe adapter into the bottle opening.
- Push the syringe plunger all the way down to the tip.
- Insert the syringe tip into the adapter.
- Turn the bottle and syringe upside down.
- Slowly draw out enough liquid to the correct milliliter mark.
- Turn the bottle back to the upright position.
- Remove the syringe and place the tip in the mouth.
- Slowly empty the contents into the mouth and swallow.
- Securely fasten the child-safety cap back on the bottle.
- If you miss a dose of gabapentin, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Take the next dose at its scheduled time. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at its scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
- If you are taking gabapentin for seizures, ask your doctor or pharmacist for directions on how to handle a missed dose.
When taking gabapentin, you may want to consider the following safety and effectiveness tips:
- Before taking gabapentin, please read the Medication Guide that comes with it. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature (59˚-86˚F), away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Store the oral liquid in the refrigerator (36˚-46˚F). Do not freeze the solution.
- Unless directed by a doctor, do not take gabapentin with alcohol or medicines that cause drowsiness.
- If you take an antacid containing aluminum or magnesium such as Maalox, Mylanta, or Gaviscon, wait at least two hours before taking a gabapentin dose.
- When taking gabapentin as a liquid, use the metered syringe or cup supplied with the medicine to accurately measure the dose. If you lose the syringe or cup, your pharmacy can provide a replacement at no cost.
- In an emergency when you can’t replace a lost measuring device, you can temporarily use a kitchen measuring spoon to take a dose of gabapentin oral suspension, but NEVER use a spoon that you eat with or a measuring cup. One full teaspoon is nearly equal to 5 ml of liquid. One full tablespoon equals about 15 ml of liquid.
- If you are taking the oral liquid, ask your pharmacist for the correct milliliter dose.
- For each dose, record the time in a diary or schedule to ensure that the next dose is not given too early or too late.
- If taking gabapentin causes an upset stomach, try taking it with food.
- If breastfeeding, ask your doctor about taking gabapentin.
- Gabapentin can slow your thinking, decrease coordination, and cause drowsiness, so do not drive, operate machinery, or engage in dangerous activities if you feel tired, dizzy, or slow.