Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them.
The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with gabapentin.
You will find a full list in the manufacturer’s information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Common gabapentin side-effects
||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling sleepy, tired, unsteady or dizzy; blurred vision and other eyesight problems||Do not drive or use tools or machines|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller|
|Feeling or being sick, indigestion, stomach ache||Stick to simple foods – avoid rich or spicy meals|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace the lost fluids|
|Constipation||Try to eat a well-balanced diet and drink several glasses of water each day|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free sweets|
|Infections, flu-like symptoms, increased appetite, flushing,
increased blood pressure, changes in weight, changes in emotions or mood, fits, movement difficulties, feeling shaky, difficulties sleeping, breathing difficulties, cough, gum changes, bruises, muscle or joint pains, impotence, and swollen feet or ankles
|If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor for advice|
Important: gabapentin has been associated with a number of unwanted effects which affect the blood, pancreas and liver.
Although these occur less commonly than the side-effects listed above, you must let your doctor know straightaway if you notice any of the following as they could be serious:
- Persistent stomach pain with sickness (these could be symptoms of an inflamed pancreas).
- A skin rash, or any swelling of your mouth or face (these could be symptoms of an allergic reaction).
- Any yellowing of your skin or of the whites of your eyes (these could be symptoms of jaundice).
- Any unusual bruising or bleeding (these could be symptoms of a blood disorder).
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.