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Gabapentin Dosage & Usage Guide

  • By Admin
  • Nov 08, 2022
Gabapentin Dosage & Usage Guide

Seizure disorders, epilepsy, and nerve pain are all conditions that can be debilitating to those suffering from them. Finding effective treatments can take many years and be extremely costly, which is compounded when the patient struggles to work due to their condition. Leaving sufferers unable to fully trust their bodies and destroying their confidence to carry out tasks they once did unthinkingly.

This article will look at some of the potential medical and therapeutic treatments available to people with such conditions. It will delve deeper into recommended Gabapentin dosages for patients and other conditions that a Gabapentin dosage might be used for off-label. An example of this is as a treatment for generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).

No randomised controlled trials have yet taken place to show the efficacy of treating patients with a Gabapentin dosage for conditions other than epilepsy, post herpetic neuralgia, and restless leg syndrome (RLS). However, it is increasingly being prescribed by medical professionals for the treatment of numerous conditions. With more anecdotal reports coming from patients and psychiatrists leading to an upsurge in use, it will only be a matter of time before clinical trials are published.


What is a Gabapentin Dosage?

A Gabapentin dosage very much depends on what it is being used for; what may be an effective dose for one condition may not be for another. Likewise, one patient may notice a considerable reduction in symptoms while someone else will see little to no effect. It is with this in mind that a doctor will generally start a patient on a lower dose, which will be increased until the desired effects are reached.

Age, sex, size, and weight all factor into the metabolisation of medication, and therefore the Gabapentin dosage patients are prescribed. In general patients with epilepsy over the age of 12 will be started on a Gabapentin dosage of 300 mg 3 times a day. A doctor may adapt this depending on tolerance and need as time goes by, but will generally keep to a maximum of 1800 mg per day or look to alternatives.

Adults affected by post herpetic neuralgia after a case of shingles will initially be given a single dose of 300 mg in the evening. This can be adjusted depending on efficacy in treating what can be a very painful condition that often does not respond to OTC painkillers. When taking a Gabapentin dosage, it is important to consume a full glass of water to help metabolise the medication properly.

What is a Gabapentin Dosage Used for?

Let us look a little deeper into what a Gabapentin dosage can be used to treat. Neuropathic pain is a label for several conditions where the pain emanates from nerve damage, this could be the result of diabetes or a sciatic nerve issue. Whatever the reason, the pain can be excruciating, it is often described as similar to a repeated pulse of electric shocks.

A more recent use in the history of Gabapentin dosage is for the treatment of GAD in patients who have been relatively treatment-resistant with SSRI medications or psychotherapy. The body of evidence for it being an effective treatment is growing, as seen in this review published by the National Institute of Health (NIH). Although this is not a randomised controlled trial, it has been compiled by psychiatrists and medical professionals following scientific methodologies.

Amongst other off-label uses, this study suggests it has been identified as a potential treatment for fibromyalgia pain, ADD, drug and alcohol withdrawal, and many more conditions. The reason for its perceived efficacy across such a range of conditions is not yet fully understood. Double-blind tests are needed to clinically prove it is effective and yet patients responding well to its use for fibromyalgia and alcohol withdrawal cannot be disregarded. These conditions come with intense symptoms that the placebo effect is unlikely to register with.

How Does a Gabapentin Dosage Work?

The mechanism of action for a Gabapentin dosage is complicated and not fully understood, it remains under study. The most simplistic way to describe what is known of how it works is to say that it inhibits the release of certain excitatory neurotransmitters. It is believed that increased activity in the α2δ-1 subunit is related to chronic pain conditions and this seems to be dulled after a Gabapentin dosage.

The anxiolytic effects of a Gabapentin dosage are likely due to the calming of brain activity and the synthesis of GABA which is a relaxing neurochemical. GABA receptors are usually the area of the brain that are targeted by anti-anxiety medications. This is why European Medicines Agency has approved it as a treatment for GAD.

In terms of absorption, a Gabapentin dosage does not need to be taken with food, nor does it matter if it is taken on an empty stomach. It is recommended to drink at least 250 ml of water with the tablet as this will help to break the tablet down. It is not recommended to use any form of antacid within 2 hours of using a Gabapentin dosage as this will affect metabolisation.

Gabapentin Dosage Guide

Elderly patients using a Gabapentin dosage are generally advised to start on 100 mg orally per day for the first 7 days. After this time, it can be increased by 100 mg, with the initial dose taken at bedtime and a further 100 mg in the morning or afternoon. Following this advice will allow the patient to experience fewer side effects and their body to become accustomed to the medication.

Children between 3 and 12 years of age have often been prescribed this medication to reduce the number of seizures they suffer and to manage their epilepsy. The formula used for determining a dosage in children of this age is, to begin with, 10-15 mg per kilogram of body weight. This should be split across 3 Gabapentin dosages a day and may need to be adjusted by a doctor depending on tolerance and efficacy.

Based on published accounts regarding Gabapentin dosage in treatment for GAD, it appears that 600 mg is effective from 900 to 1800 mg split across 3 dispensations a day. Due to the relative lack of consensus on the recommended dose for GAD, it is advised to speak to a medical professional for guidance on what an appropriate starting dose might be. Starting on high doses has the potential to have more noticeable side effects like drowsiness and should be taken into account.

How to Administer a Gabapentin Dosage?

There are 3 main ways that a Gabapentin dosage is taken orally. The first of which is as a standard tablet or capsule. Capsules come in measurements of 100, 300, or 400 mg. Tablets are found in sizes of 600 mg and 800 mg. There are also extended-release tablets that come in 300 mg and 600 mg sizes, these tablets are taken once per day, usually recommended at 5 pm, depending on the schedule of the patient.

There is also the option of a liquid Gabapentin dosage for children or adults with dysphagia. This is usually measured as 2 ml per 100 mg, but a patient should always refer to the bottle for an accurate guide as it may depend on the manufacturer. Regardless of what form the medication is taken in, it should be taken at a consistent time each day, this allows the body to settle into a rhythm with it.

Patients who miss a dose should take the missed dose if a great deal of time has not passed at the point of noticing. If a substantial amount of time has passed, the missed should not be taken and the schedule for use should be resumed. This medicine should not be used in double doses, if unsure, patients should always seek medical advice.

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Safe Gabapentin Dosage

Gabapentin dosage is an FDA-approved generic drug and therefore it has gone through extensive testing to prove its safety for human consumption. Dosage guidelines are set out to protect users from developing dependency and at levels of efficacy. Although this is dependent on the individual, the guidelines are there to help patients make informed decisions as part of a wider treatment plan.

Overdose can occur with a Gabapentin dosage at high levels well above the recommended amounts, in the range of 49 or more grams. However, the chances of overdose are greatly increased when combined with opioids as they also act as depressants and could cause difficulty breathing. Likewise mixing benzodiazepine medications may cause significant contraindications and should therefore be avoided or discussed with a medical professional.

The best way to use Gabapentin dosages is to include it in a full treatment plan, regardless of the condition it is being used to treat there are holistic approaches that can have huge benefits. If it is an anxiety condition, it is helpful to do 30 minutes of exercise that raises the heart rate as this will help to release dopamine and alleviate symptoms of anxiety. Be sure to return to for future blog posts to learn more about this, and other great medicines.

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