Are there any precautions or warnings for taking Gabapentin?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Alcohol: Avoid alcohol while taking gabapentin, as gabapentin may cause alcohol intolerance that leads to an unpleasant reaction after drinking alcohol, such as flushing, redness of the face after drinking alcohol, nausea, palpitations, or headache.

Diabetes: Gabapentin may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Drowsiness/reduced alertness: If you have uncontrolled epilepsy, do not drive or handle potentially dangerous machinery. Gabapentin may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or problems with coordination. Avoid any activity requiring mental alertness or physical coordination until you determine that gabapentin does not affect you in this way.

Kidney function: Gabapentin is not removed from the body as quickly in people with reduced kidney function as compared with those who have regular kidney function. Your doctor may reduce your dose as needed.

Stopping the medication: As with other medications used to control seizures, stopping gabapentin suddenly could increase the risk of seizures. Do not stop gabapentin suddenly. Ask your doctor how to safely and gradually stop the medication.

Suicidal or agitated behaviour: People taking this medication may feel agitated (restless, anxious, aggressive, emotional, and feeling not like themselves), or they may want to hurt themselves or others. If you experience these side effects or notice them in a family member who is taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately. You should be closely monitored by your doctor for emotional and behaviour changes while taking this medication.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking gabapentin, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.

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