Pharm

Gabapentin

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Gabapentin, Neurontin

  • Precautions
  • Risk of Abuse
  1. Gabapentin and Pregabalin (Lyrica) are abused by patients on Opiates to potentiate CNS Opiate effects
  2. More than one quarter of Opiate patients have abused Gabapentin
  3. Pregabalin (Lyrica) is more potent with faster onset and has higher abuse potential than Gabapentin
  4. Lyrica is categorized as DEA Controlled Substance Class V (and Gabapentin in several states)
  5. Smith (2012) Br J Gen Pract 62(601):406-7 +PMID:22867659 [PubMed]
  • Safety
  1. Pregnancy Category C
  2. Excreted in Breast Milk
  • Mechanism
  1. GABA amino acid derivative (does not bind GABA-A or GABA-B receptors)
  2. Binds alpha2-delta1 subunit of Central Nervous System voltage-gated calcium channels
  3. Decreases excitatory neurotransmitter release and activity
  • Metabolism
  1. Primarily renal excretion
  2. Half-life: 5 to 7 hours
  3. Therapeutic Dose: 4-8 ug/ml
  • Adverse Effects
  1. Most common
    1. Sedation
    2. Dizziness
    3. Ataxia
  2. Other adverse effects
    1. Weight gain
    2. Nausea
    3. Fatigue
    4. Nystagmus
  • Preparations
  • Newer related agents
  1. Pregabalin (Lyrica)
    1. Indicated in Neuropathy
    2. More potent than Gabapentin, and possibly less Fatigue
  1. Starting Dose
    1. Start at 300 mg orally at bedtime
    2. Advance to 300 mg orally three times daily (over 4-7 days)
    3. Plan to ultimately increase to 600 mg three times daily
    4. Patients tolerate starting 300 three times daily without titrating
    5. Fisher (2001) Neurology 56(6):743-8 [PubMed]
  2. Average Dose: 600 mg orally three times daily
  3. Maximum Dose: 1200 mg orally three times daily
    1. No increase in bioavailability above 1200 mg orally three times daily
    2. Minimal pain benefit above 1800 mg/day in most conditions studied
  4. Stopping (similar to Pregabalin)
    1. Taper off agent over 1 week or more
    2. Avoid stopping abruptly due to withdrawal symptoms
  1. Age 3-12 years old
    1. Gabapentin 10-15 mg/kg (max 40 mg/kg) daily divided three times daily
  2. Age >12 years old
    1. Gabapentin 300-900 mg (max 1800) daily divided three times daily
  • Drug Interactions
  1. No significant Drug Interactions
  • Disadvantages
  1. Low potency as antiepileptic
  • References
  1. (2016) Crit Dec Emerg Med 30(9):24