Gabapentin has been approved by the FDA to treat two different conditions and is used off-label for the treatment of many other conditions. Brand names of gabapentin include Gralise, Horizant, and Neurontin. The exact way that gabapentin works is still unknown, but it is thought to work by changing the way your nerves send messages to your brain.
What are the FDA approved indications for gabapentin?
Gabapentin is approved by the FDA to be used with other medications to prevent partial or focal seizures in patients 3 years and older.
Read more about Gabapentin here
It is also approved to treat nerve pain caused by the herpes zoster virus, otherwise known as shingles.
What are some off-label uses of gabapentin?
Gabapentin is used by medical providers to treat many other conditions, although it has not been approved by the FDA for the following uses:
- Alcohol use disorder
- Chronic cough
- Chronic itching
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Neuropathic pain (with causes other than herpes zoster)
- Restless leg syndrome
- Social anxiety disorder
- Vasomotor menopause symptoms (hot flashes)
What are some side effects of gabapentin?
Common side effects include:
- Swelling in your hands or feet
More serious side effects may include:
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Swelling of face, tongue, throat, or eyes
If you experience any of the serious side effects listed above, seek emergency medical care right away.