Gralise

1 What is Gralise?

Brand: Gralise, Neurontin, Fusepaq, Gabarone, Fanatrex

Generic: Gabapentin

Gralise is an anticonvulsant drug used in the management of seizures in the patients with epilepsy. It cannot cure epilepsy permanently. It is just used for the symptomatic treatment, which means that it will only control seizures as long as you take it. Gabapentin is also used for the treatment of a condition called post herpetic neuralgia, which is the pain occurring during an attack of shingles. Gabapentin has also been known to give promising result in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

Gabapentin acts in the brain and prevent seizure activity in the neurons. It also relieves neurologic pain in certain medical conditions. It cannot be used as a typical analgesic for arthritis etc. Gabapentin is only available through a doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Tablet
  • Suspension
  • Capsule
  • Solution

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Gralise, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Your doctor will consider these risks before prescribing the drug and will inform you about them. Following factors should be considered before taking this drug:

  • Allergies: If you have had an allergic reaction to this drug in the past, inform your doctor. You should also tell your healthcare provider if you are allergic to any other drugs or food products.
  • Age specific problems: The data regarding the effects of this medicine specific to the pediatric age group reveals no harmful effect that would limit its use in children with partial seizures. However its safety and efficacy have not been established for children younger than 3 years. The studies specific to the geriatric age group reveal no harmful effect specific to old age population. However, older people are more prone to having side effects.
  • Pregnancy: Regarding the safety of usage of this drug during pregnancy, it comes under “C” category, which means that clinical trial show adverse effects for the developing fetus or appropriate studies have not been performed.
  • Drug Interactions: Certain drugs should not be used together because they can interact inside the body which can have a harmful effect. On the other hand certain drugs are allowed to be used together. So, you should tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking. If there is a chance of interaction between those two drugs, the doctor may change the dose or may prescribe an alternative drug.

Gabapentin should be used with caution with following drugs:

  • Aluminum Phosphate
  • Orlistat
  • Aluminum Carbonate, Basic
  • Aluminum Hydroxide
  • Ginkgo
  • Dihydroxyaluminum Aminoacetate
  • Dihydroxyaluminum Sodium Carbonate
  • Magaldrate
  • Magnesium Carbonate
  • Magnesium Oxide
  • Magnesium Hydroxide
  • Morphine Sulfate Liposome
  • Magnesium Trisilicate
  • Morphine

Furthermore, certain medications should not be taken with alcohol or tobacco, which may also result in harmful interactions. Ask your doctor about the concurrent use of this drug along with alcohol or tobacco.

You should also inform your doctor about any other medical condition you may be suffering from, especially:

  • Depression
  • Mood or mental changes
  • Kidney disease
Have a question aboutSeizures?Ask a doctor now

3 Proper Usage

To use Gralise correctly, you must follow these instructions:

  • It should be taken with the evening meal.
  • Do not crush, chew or break the tablet. Swallow the tablet whole.

If you are taking gabapentin 3 times per day for epilepsy, keep the duration between any two doses less than 12 hours. In order for it to work properly, there should be constant amount of gabapentin in the blood.

To avoid adverse effects, this drug should be used exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not overuse or misuse this drug and do not use it longer than the recommended time. Read all the instructions mentioned in the medication guide.

Do not miss any dose. The dose of this drug varies according to the condition of each person. The number of doses per day, the time interval between the doses and the length of time you have to take the medicine depends on your condition individually and all these factors should only be determined by your healthcare provider. Follow each and every instruction of your doctor and also read the label carefully.

In case you miss one dose of this drug, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your subsequent dose, you can then skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

Storage

This medicine should be stored at room temperature within a closed container, away from heat, direct light and moisture. Keep this drug out of the reach of children. Do not store expired or outdated medicines or the medicine no longer needed.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Gralise, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor.

If you have epilepsy, regular follow-up is necessary during the treatment, especially in the first few months. It is important to allow your doctor to monitor your progress and to make sure that there aren’t any side effects from the medication. Contact your doctor if your symptoms have not improved even after taking the full course of treatment. 

Gabapentin may cause allergic reactions, vision changes, clumsiness, drowsiness, and behavior changes. Make sure to inform your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

Gabapentin should not be taken with alcohol. It adds to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants.

Avoid taking any other medicine unless thoroughly discussed with your doctor. Always ask your doctor before using any prescription, non-prescription or herbal medicine.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Gralise. Although these side effects may occur only in a handful of patients but if they do occur, contact your physician immediately.

This medication is associated with following side effects:

  • Clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • Aggressive behavior or other behavior problems
  • Anxiety
  • Crying
  • Depression
  • False sense of well-being
  • Hyperactivity or increase in body movements
  • Rapidly changing moods
  • Reacting too quickly, too emotional, or overreacting
  • Restlessness
  • Suspiciousness or distrust
  • Depression, irritability, or other mood or mental changes
  • Black, tarry stools
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Loss of memory
  • Sore throat
  • Pain or swelling in the arms or legs
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • Swollen glands
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • Confusion
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Coma
  • Dark urine
  • Convulsions
  • Decreased urine output
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Itching or skin rash
  • Increased thirst
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • Muscle ache or pain
  • Unpleasant breath odor
  • Nausea
  • Yellow eyes or skin
  • Red, irritated eyes
  • Vomiting of blood

Seek medical help instantly, if you experience any of these symptoms while on this medication. Also contact your healthcare professional immediately, if have overdosed on this drug.

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