Most commonly, it is prescribed for chronic pain, especially “nerve pain”.
It can also be used for other things such as seizures, headache prevention, insomnia or restless leg syndrome.
Possible Side Effects
The most common side effects are mild nausea, sedation, or fatigue. If you do get these side effects, they tend to improve and resolve over time as your body gets used to the medication.
How to take this medication
This is usually a medication you take THREE times per day. You will start at a low dose and then increase the dose, as tolerated.
Usually, you start with a 100mg pill and take one 100mg pill THREE times per day. If you get mild nausea or sedation side effects, then hold steady at that dose until your body gets used to it and the side effects disappear.
Then you can try increasing to 200mg THREE times per day. (i.e. take TWO of the 100mg pills each time, for a total of 200mg per dose). Again, hold steady at that dose until you do not have any side effects.
Then you can try 300mg THREE times per day (i.e. take THREE of the 100mg pills each dose).
Many people get minimal or no side effects and can increase the dose quickly over just a few days. Other people may take weeks to gradually increase the doses.
Gabapentin also comes in a 300mg pill. So, if you are able to tolerate the 300mg THREE times daily, your next prescription can be for the 300mg pills, so you will only have to take ONE of them each dose.
(Check the label and instructions on your medication bottle carefully!)
Remember that it may take a few weeks to start taking effect. Think of this as the medication takes time to “get into your system”.
If the medication is working for you and you do not have side effects, the dose can be increased further, but please contact your doctor or nurse practitioner for advice on how to do so.
Disclaimer: this is just the general and common advice regarding this medication that Dr. Stewart tells his patients. It is not intended to be a complete list of all the information about this medication. For complete information, please click on the product monograph here, or contact your pharmacist.