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Gabapentin

January / February 2017|Web-Exclusive

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Gabapentin

Anticonvulsant, neuropathic pain analgesic

Prescriber Highlights

An adjunctive therapy for refractory or complex partial seizures and for pain treatment (especially neuropathic)

Main side effects include sedation & ataxia

Dosing pets q8h may be problematic for owners

Uses, Indications

  • An adjunctive therapy for refractory or complex partial seizures
  • Useful for chronic pain, particularly neuropathic pain
  • May be beneficial for acute pain when administered pre-operatively 

Contraindications, Precautions, Warnings

  • Contraindications

Patients with a history of hypersensitivity to gabapentin

  • Precautions

Use with caution in patients with renal insufficiency

  • Warnings

Avoid use of the commercially available human solution (ie, Neurontin), because it contains xylitol; weaning the patient off gabapentin is recommended because abrupt discontinuation of the medication can lead to withdrawal-precipitated seizures 

Side Effects

  • Sedation & ataxia
  • Dizziness, somnolence & peripheral edema have been reported in humans

Drug Interactions

  • Antacids decrease oral bioavailability by 20%, so consider separating doses by at least 2 hours
  • Hydrocodone increases efficacy and gabapentin’s adverse effects
  • Morphine increases gabapentin serum levels

Monitoring

  • Clinical efficacy & side effects
  • Therapeutic levels 4-16ug/ml, although serum levels are not routinely measured

Client Information

  • May be given with or without food
  • The human oral preparation should not be used for dogs under any circumstance because it contains highly toxic xylitol

Dosage Forms

  • Gabapentin oral capsules & tablets: 100, 300, 400, 600, & 800 mg
  • Gabapentin oral solution: 50 mg/ml

Information about this drug was adapted from Plumb’s Veterinary Drugs. Subscribe for further details and more therapeutics.

For global readers, a calculator to convert laboratory values, dosages, and other measurements to SI units can be found here.

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