Gabapentin is a medicine used in treatment of focal seizures, usually as an adjunct with another anti-epileptic drug.
Why is Gabapentin important for my child’s treatment ?
It is important that your child takes Gabapentin regularly so that they have no Seizures or fewer seizures.
Do not stop giving Gabapentin all of a sudden, as it may result into your child may having more seizures.
What is Gabapentin available as?
Gabapentin is available as Capsules, Tablets, Modified-release tablets (releases medication slowly after it has been consumed)
Delayed-release: Gabapin SR.
When should I give Gabapentin?
Usually thrice a day; morning afternoon, night. Ideally, 8 hours apart.
For example, sometime between 7 to 8 am, then after 8 hours between 2 to 3 PM and then between 9 to10 pm.
Modified release preparation can be given once or twice a day.
However, some exceptions can be made when your doctor advises so. Please follow your doctor’s instructions in such case.
It should ideally be given at the same time every day to establish a routine as it minimizes the chances of missing a dose.
What if I forget to give it?
Tablets: If you remember within 4 hours lapse, give your child the missed dose. If not, do not give the missed dose. Wait until it is time to give the next routine dose.
Modified release preparations: If you forget to give a dose, you can give it any time within the next 12 hours. After this time, wait until the next routine dose.
Never give a double dose of Gabapentin.
If your child vomits out the content within 30 minutes of taking the medicine dosage then you can give the dose again; but if your child vomits after 30 minutes of taking the dose, then just leave it be and do not give it again.
How much of drug should be given?
Your doctor will advise the correct dosage of Gabapentin that is required for your child in the prescription.
When you first start giving Gabapentin to your child, you are supposed to give them a small amount of it and then increase the dose little by little over the course of a few days or weeks. This helps your child’s body to get use to the medicine. The whole course will be explained by your doctor.
It is non-negotiable to follow your doctor’s instructions about how much dosage has to be given.
You will know that the dosage is right when your child is free of seizures or convulsions (fits) and has no obvious side effects
How should I give medicine? “Giving Medicines”
Tablets: A whole tablet must be swallowed with a glass of water, juice or milk. In young children you may have to give it by crushing and mixing it in water.
Capsules: If your child is unable to swallow, then empty its contents into a spoon of yogurt or glass of juice and make sure the child consumes the whole portion.
Modified release Tablets: These tablets should not be crushed, as they lose their purpose. The whole tablet intact should be swallowed.
Could this medication have any side effects on my child? “Side effects”
We use medicines to make our children feel better, but sometimes they cause unwanted effects. Please read about side effects in a separate leaflet.
Rare Side-effects that you must do something about
Drowsiness or excessive sleepiness is common when you start taking medicine, which resolved in few days. In case it does not resolve, then contact your doctor.
Headache, irritability is also reported.
There are some other side-effects you need to be aware
Your child may feel nauseous, that is sensation of vomiting or be sick (vomit). You can avoid this inconvenience by starting with a small dose along with food and gradually increasing the given dosage. These side-effects may happen when they first start taking Gabapentin. However, its daily use will make your child’s body to adapt and settle down within a period of week or so. Discuss with your doctor about any concerns, continue to give Gabapentin to your child as your doctor has directed you to.
If your child develops Rash, Then Stop Medications and SEEK IMMEDIATE advice from a DOCTOR
Sometimes your child may experience other side-effects that are not listed above. If you notice any abnormalities with your child’s body or behavior, do not hesitate and immediately contact your doctor.
Is it OKAY to give common medicines be given at the same time as Gabapentin?
- Medications like ibuprofen, paracetamol, antibiotics or any of the other over the counter medicines can be given when necessary, except the ones your doctor has prohibited you from.
- Consult with your doctor before giving any other medicines to your child. This includes herbal or complementary medicines.
- Some other medicines used to treat epilepsy may affect how well Gabapentin works or may cause side effects.
If your child is experiencing more fits or seizures, or any other side effects after using other medications, talk to your doctor immediately doctor.
Where should I keep this medicine?
Keep the medicine in a cupboard, or secured away from any heat source and direct sunlight.
- Make sure the medicine is out of your child’s reach.
- Store the medication in the same box it was packed in initially.
For complete information please see the manufacturer’s information leaflet.
- IAP Drug Formulary Web Update 2020(3) Edition 58, https://www.iapdrugformulary.com/Home
- Consumer Medicines Information (CMI), https://www.tga.gov.au/consumer-medicines-information-cmi
- British National Formulary for Children (BNFC)
- Food and Drug Administration, USA https://www.fda.gov
The medical information provided on this platform is deliberately simplified to make it conceivable for a layman. Remember the fact that, every individual has a different pathophysiology for the disease that requires individual medical attention to address the same. Content available on the internet cannot be taken as a substitute to the medical advice given by your health practitioner. Sometimes the information may not be precise and accurate, misleading at times. It is hence non-negotiable to seek medical consultation for any queries you may have.
Dr. C P Ravi Kumar
Consultant Paediatric Neurologist