What Are the Side Effects of Gabapentin?

Meshell Powell

Gabapentin is a prescription medication that is commonly used to treat seizure disorders, although it may also be prescribed to treat certain types of pain. Some of the most common side effects of gabapentin include drowsiness, dizziness, and fatigue. Some people taking this medication may also experience visual changes, gastrointestinal disturbances, or weight gain. Some of the more serious potential side effects of gabapentin include behavior changes, suicidal thoughts, or difficulty breathing. Any questions or concerns about possible side effects of this medication should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Suicidal thoughts are one possible side effect of gabapentin.
Suicidal thoughts are one possible side effect of gabapentin.

Many patients do not experience any negative side effects of the drug. Those who do usually report mild to moderate problems that do not interfere with the ability to continue taking the medication. Any new or bothersome symptoms that develop after beginning treatment with this medication should be reported to the prescribing physician for further evaluation.

Gabapentin is often used to treat seizure disorders.
Gabapentin is often used to treat seizure disorders.

The most commonly reported side effects of gabapentin include dizziness, drowsiness, or confusion. These are typically worse when first beginning treatment with this medication or when adjusting to a higher dosage. Extreme caution should be taken when operating machinery or performing any activities that require a significant amount of focus or concentration.

Drowsiness is one of the most common side effects of gabapentin.
Drowsiness is one of the most common side effects of gabapentin.

Gastrointestinal disturbances are relatively common side effects of gabapentin. These disturbances may vary in frequency and severity and commonly include nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Heartburn or weight gain may also occur as a result of taking this medication.

Nausea and vomiting are possible side effects of taking gabapentin.
Nausea and vomiting are possible side effects of taking gabapentin.

Some patients may develop visual disturbances when taking this medication. This typically involves the development of double or blurred vision. In some cases, the dosage of the medication can be adjusted to help alleviate some of these symptoms, although some patients may need to be switched to a different form of treatment.

Gabapentin may not be safe for everyone. It is important to notify the doctor of any existing health issues, especially any history of kidney or liver disease. This medication may cause severe behavioral changes, including the development of suicidal thoughts or behaviors. These symptoms should be reported to a medical professional immediately so proper treatment can begin.

Severe allergic reactions are relatively rare side effects of gabapentin, although they can become life threatening if not treated immediately. Potential signs of an allergic reaction include itching, swelling of the face or throat, and difficulty breathing. This should be considered a medical emergency, and immediate emergency care is vital.

Weight gain is a possible side effect of gabapentin.
Weight gain is a possible side effect of gabapentin.

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Discussion Comments

bear78

I think I'm gaining weight on gabapentin. I haven't changed my diet or exercise routine but I've put on three pounds this month. Do most people gain weight on gabapentin as a side effect?

donasmrs

@ddljohn-- I'm on gabapentin for fibromyalgia too. I had some of the same side effects, as well as stomach upset when I first started taking it. I actually started out with a low dose and slowly increased my dose to what I'm on now. Every time the dose went up, I had some dizziness and drowsiness, but it would go away within a week. I still have fatigue though, but fibromyalgia causes fatigue too.

I think things will get better for you. But if it doesn't, talk to your doctor. He might change the dose.

ddljohn

I'm taking gabapentin for fibromyalgia pain. It's helping the pain but I'm experiencing side effects. I'm very drowsy and sleepy and I feel depressed too. I actually feel horrible emotionally and it's very difficult to concentrate on anything.

Will the side effects lessen with time? Is anyone else here on gabapentin?

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