GABAPENTIN- gabapentin tablet
Gabapentin Tablets, USP are indicated for:
Management of postherpetic neuralgia in adults
Adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial onset seizures, with and without secondary generalization, in adults and pediatric patients 3 years and older with epilepsy
2.1 Dosage for Postherpetic Neuralgia
In adults with postherpetic neuralgia, gabapentin may be initiated on Day 1 as a single 300 mg dose, on Day 2 as 600 mg/day (300 mg two times a day), and on Day 3 as 900 mg/day (300 mg three times a day). The dose can subsequently be titrated up as needed for pain relief to a dose of 1800 mg/day (600 mg three times a day). In clinical studies, efficacy was demonstrated over a range of doses from 1800 mg/day to 3600 mg/day with comparable effects across the dose range; however, in these clinical studies, the additional benefit of using doses greater than 1800 mg/day was not demonstrated.
2.2 Dosage for Epilepsy with Partial Onset Seizures
Patients 12 years of age and above
The starting dose is 300 mg three times a day. The recommended maintenance dose of gabapentin tablets is 300 mg to 600 mg three times a day. Dosages up to 2400 mg/day have been well tolerated in long-term clinical studies. Doses of 3600 mg/day have also been administered to a small number of patients for a relatively short duration, and have been well tolerated. Administer gabapentin tablets three times a day using 600 mg or 800 mg tablets. The maximum time between doses should not exceed 12 hours.
Pediatric Patients Age 3 to 11 years
The starting dose range is 10 mg/kg/day to 15 mg/kg/day, given in three divided doses, and the recommended maintenance dose reached by upward titration over a period of approximately 3 days. The recommended maintenance dose of gabapentin in patients 3 to 4 years of age is 40 mg/kg/day, given in three divided doses. The recommended maintenance dose of gabapentin in patients 5 to 11 years of age is 25 mg/kg/day to 35 mg/kg/day, given in three divided doses. Gabapentin may be administered as the oral solution, capsule, or tablet, or using combinations of these formulations. Dosages up to 50 mg/kg/day have been well tolerated in a long-term clinical study. The maximum time interval between doses should not exceed 12 hours.
2.3 Dosage Adjustment in Patients with Renal Impairment
Dosage adjustment in patients 12 years of age and older with compromised renal function or undergoing hemodialysis is recommended, as follows (see dosing recommendations above for effective doses in each indication):
TABLE 1. Gabapentin Tablets Dosage Based on Renal Function
Renal Function Creatinine Clearance
Total Daily Dose Range
Post-Hemodialysis Supplemental Dose (mg)b
TID = Three times a day; BID = Two times a day; QD = Single daily dose
a For patients with creatinine clearance <15 mL/min, reduce daily dose in proportion to creatinine clearance (e.g., patients with a creatinine clearance of 7.5 mL/min should receive one-half the daily dose that patients with a creatinine clearance of 15 mL/min receive).
b Patients on hemodialysis should receive maintenance doses based on estimates of creatinine clearance as indicated in the upper portion of the table and a supplemental post-hemodialysis dose administered after each 4 hours of hemodialysis as indicated in the lower portion of the table.
Creatinine clearance (CLCr) is difficult to measure in outpatients. In patients with stable renal function, creatinine clearance can be reasonably well estimated using the equation of Cockcroft and Gault:
The use of gabapentin tablets in patients less than 12 years of age with compromised renal function has not been studied.
2.4 Dosage in Elderly
Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and dose should be adjusted based on creatinine clearance values in these patients.
2.5 Administration Information
Administer gabapentin orally with or without food.
Inform patients that, should they divide the scored 600 mg or 800 mg gabapentin tablet in order to administer a half-tablet, they should take the unused half-tablet as the next dose. Half-tablets not used within 28 days of dividing the scored tablet should be discarded.
If the gabapentin dose is reduced, discontinued, or substituted with an alternative medication, this should be done gradually over a minimum of 1 week (a longer period may be needed at the discretion of the prescriber).
Gabapentin Tablets, USP 600 mg: White colored film coated, Modified Capsule shaped,
biconvex tablets debossed with '1' on the left side of the bisect and '2' on the right side of the bisect on one side and bisect on other.
Gabapentin Tablets, USP 800 mg: White colored film coated, Modified Capsule shaped,
biconvex tablets de-bossed with '1' on the left side of the bisect and '3' on the right side of the bisect on one side and bisect on other.
5.1 Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)/Multiorgan Hypersensitivity
Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS), also known as multiorgan hypersensitivity, has occurred with gabapentin. Some of these reactions have been fatal or life-threatening. DRESS typically, although not exclusively, presents with fever, rash, and/or lymphadenopathy, in association with other organ system involvement, such as hepatitis, nephritis, hematological abnormalities, myocarditis, or myositis sometimes resembling an acute viral infection. Eosinophilia is often present. This disorder is variable in its expression, and other organ systems not noted here may be involved.
It is important to note that early manifestations of hypersensitivity, such as fever or lymphadenopathy, may be present even though rash is not evident. If such signs or symptoms are present, the patient should be evaluated immediately. Gabapentin should be discontinued if an alternative etiology for the signs or symptoms cannot be established.
5.2 Anaphylaxis and Angioedema
Gabapentin can cause anaphylaxis and angioedema after the first dose or at any time during treatment. Signs and symptoms in reported cases have included difficulty breathing, swelling of the lips, throat, and tongue, and hypotension requiring emergency treatment. Patients should be instructed to discontinue gabapentin and seek immediate medical care should they experience signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis or angioedema.
5.2 Anaphylaxis and Angioedema
Patients taking gabapentin should not drive until they have gained sufficient experience to assess whether gabapentin impairs their ability to drive. Driving performance studies conducted with a prodrug of gabapentin (gabapentin enacarbil tablet, extended release) indicate that gabapentin may cause significant driving impairment. Prescribers and patients should be aware that patients’ ability to assess their own driving competence, as well as their ability to assess the degree of somnolence caused by gabapentin, can be imperfect. The duration of driving impairment after starting therapy with gabapentin is unknown. Whether the impairment is related to somnolence [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)] or other effects of gabapentin is unknown.
Moreover, because gabapentin causes somnolence and dizziness [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)], patients should be advised not to operate complex machinery until they have gained sufficient experience on gabapentin to assess whether gabapentin impairs their ability to perform such tasks.
5.4 Somnolence/Sedation and Dizziness
During the controlled epilepsy trials in patients older than 12 years of age receiving doses of gabapentin up to 1800 mg daily, somnolence, dizziness, and ataxia were reported at a greater rate in patients receiving gabapentin compared to placebo: i.e., 19% in drug versus 9% in placebo for somnolence, 17% in drug versus 7% in placebo for dizziness, and 13% in drug versus 6% in placebo for ataxia. In these trials somnolence, ataxia and fatigue were common adverse reactions leading to discontinuation of gabapentin in patients older than 12 years of age, with 1.2%, 0.8% and 0.6% discontinuing for these events, respectively.
During the controlled trials in patients with post-herpetic neuralgia, somnolence and dizziness were reported at a greater rate compared to placebo in patients receiving gabapentin, in dosages up to 3600 mg per day: i.e., 21% in gabapentin-treated patients versus 5% in placebo-treated patients for somnolence and 28% in gabapentin-treated patients versus 8% in placebo-treated patients for dizziness. Dizziness and somnolence were among the most common adverse reactions leading to discontinuation of gabapentin.
Patients should be carefully observed for signs of central nervous system (CNS) depression, such as somnolence and sedation, when gabapentin is used with other drugs with sedative properties because of potential synergy. In addition, patients who require concomitant treatment with morphine may experience increases in gabapentin concentrations and may require dose adjustment [see Drug Interactions (7.2)].
5.5 Withdrawal Precipitated Seizure, Status Epilepticus
Antiepileptic drugs should not be abruptly discontinued because of the possibility of increasing seizure frequency.
In the placebo-controlled epilepsy studies in patients >12 years of age, the incidence of status epilepticus in patients receiving gabapentin was 0.6% (3 of 543) vs. 0.5% in patients receiving placebo (2 of 378). Among the 2074 patients >12 years of age treated with gabapentin across all epilepsy studies (controlled and uncontrolled), 31 (1.5%) had status epilepticus. Of these, 14 patients had no prior history of status epilepticus either before treatment or while on other medications. Because adequate historical data are not available, it is impossible to say whether or not treatment with gabapentin is associated with a higher or lower rate of status epilepticus than would be expected to occur in a similar population not treated with gabapentin.
5.6 Suicidal Behavior and Ideation
Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including gabapentin, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in patients taking these drugs for any indication. Patients treated with any AED for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior.
Pooled analyses of 199 placebo-controlled clinical trials (mono- and adjunctive therapy) of 11 different AEDs showed that patients randomized to one of the AEDs had approximately twice the risk (adjusted Relative Risk 1.8, 95% CI:1.2, 2.7) of suicidal thinking or behavior compared to patients randomized to placebo. In these trials, which had a median treatment duration of 12 weeks, the estimated incidence rate of suicidal behavior or ideation among 27,863 AED-treated patients was 0.43%, compared to 0.24% among 16,029 placebo-treated patients, representing an increase of approximately one case of suicidal thinking or behavior for every 530 patients treated. There were four suicides in drug-treated patients in the trials and none in placebo-treated patients, but the number is too small to allow any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.
The increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with AEDs was observed as early as one week after starting drug treatment with AEDs and persisted for the duration of treatment assessed. Because most trials included in the analysis did not extend beyond 24 weeks, the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior beyond 24 weeks could not be assessed.
The risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior was generally consistent among drugs in the data analyzed. The finding of increased risk with AEDs of varying mechanisms of action and across a range of indications suggests that the risk applies to all AEDs used for any indication. The risk did not vary substantially by age (5–100 years) in the clinical trials analyzed. Table 2 shows absolute and relative risk by indication for all evaluated AEDs.
TABLE 2.Risk by indication for antiepileptic drugs in the pooled analysis
Placebo Patients with Events Per
with Events Per
Events in Drug
Events Per 1000
The relative risk for suicidal thoughts or behavior was higher in clinical trials for epilepsy than in clinical trials for psychiatric or other conditions, but the absolute risk differences were similar for the epilepsy and psychiatric indications.
Anyone considering prescribing gabapentin or any other AED must balance the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with the risk of untreated illness. Epilepsy and many other illnesses for which AEDs are prescribed are themselves associated with morbidity and mortality and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Should suicidal thoughts and behavior emerge during treatment, the prescriber needs to consider whether the emergence of these symptoms in any given patient may be related to the illness being treated.
Patients, their caregivers, and families should be informed that AEDs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of the signs and symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers.
5.7 Neuropsychiatric Adverse Reactions (Pediatric Patients 3 to 12 Years of Age)
Gabapentin use in pediatric patients with epilepsy 3 to 12 years of age is associated with the occurrence of central nervous system related adverse reactions. The most significant of these can be classified into the following categories: 1) emotional lability (primarily behavioral problems), 2) hostility, including aggressive behaviors, 3) thought disorder, including concentration problems and change in school performance, and 4) hyperkinesia (primarily restlessness and hyperactivity). Among the gabapentin-treated patients, most of the reactions were mild to moderate in intensity.
In controlled clinical epilepsy trials in pediatric patients 3 to 12 years of age, the incidence of these adverse reactions was: emotional lability 6% (gabapentin-treated patients) vs. 1.3% (placebo-treated patients); hostility 5.2% vs. 1.3%; hyperkinesia 4.7% vs. 2.9%; and thought disorder 1.7% vs. 0%. One of these reactions, a report of hostility, was considered serious. Discontinuation of gabapentin treatment occurred in 1.3% of patients reporting emotional lability and hyperkinesia and 0.9% of gabapentin-treated patients reporting hostility and thought disorder. One placebo-treated patient (0.4%) withdrew due to emotional lability.
5.8 Tumorigenic Potential
In an oral carcinogenicity study, gabapentin increased the incidence of pancreatic acinar cell tumors in rats [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.1)]. The clinical significance of this finding is unknown. Clinical experience during gabapentin's premarketing development provides no direct means to assess its potential for inducing tumors in humans.
In clinical studies in adjunctive therapy in epilepsy comprising 2085 patient-years of exposure in patients >12 years of age, new tumors were reported in 10 patients (2 breast, 3 brain, 2 lung, 1 adrenal, 1 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, 1 endometrial carcinoma in situ), and preexisting tumors worsened in 11 patients (9 brain, 1 breast, 1 prostate) during or up to 2 years following discontinuation of gabapentin. Without knowledge of the background incidence and recurrence in a similar population not treated with gabapentin, it is impossible to know whether the incidence seen in this cohort is or is not affected by treatment.
5.9 Sudden and Unexplained Death in Patients with Epilepsy
During the course of premarketing development of gabapentin, 8 sudden and unexplained deaths were recorded among a cohort of 2203 epilepsy patients treated (2103 patient-years of exposure) with gabapentin.
Some of these could represent seizure-related deaths in which the seizure was not observed, e.g., at night. This represents an incidence of 0.0038 deaths per patient-year. Although this rate exceeds that expected in a healthy population matched for age and sex, it is within the range of estimates for the incidence of sudden unexplained deaths in patients with epilepsy not receiving gabapentin (ranging from 0.0005 for the general population of epileptics to 0.003 for a clinical trial population similar to that in the gabapentin program, to 0.005 for patients with refractory epilepsy). Consequently, whether these figures are reassuring or raise further concern depends on comparability of the populations reported upon to the gabapentin cohort and the accuracy of the estimates provided.
The following serious adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections:
Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)/Multiorgan Hypersensitivity [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
Anaphylaxis and Angioedema [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
Somnolence/Sedation and Dizziness [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]
Withdrawal Precipitated Seizure, Status Epilepticus [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]
Suicidal Behavior and Ideation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]
Neuropsychiatric Adverse Reactions (Pediatric Patients 3 to 12 Years of Age) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]
Sudden and Unexplained Death in Patients with Epilepsy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)]
6.1 Clinical Trials Experience
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
The most common adverse reactions associated with the use of gabapentin in adults, not seen at an equivalent frequency among placebo-treated patients, were dizziness, somnolence, and peripheral edema.
In the 2 controlled trials in postherpetic neuralgia, 16% of the 336 patients who received gabapentin and 9% of the 227 patients who received placebo discontinued treatment because of an adverse reaction. The adverse reactions that most frequently led to withdrawal in gabapentin-treated patients were dizziness, somnolence, and nausea.
Table 3 lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 1% of gabapentin-treated patients with postherpetic neuralgia participating in placebo-controlled trials and that were numerically more frequent in the gabapentin group than in the placebo group.
Table 3.Adverse Reactions in Pooled Placebo-Controlled Trials in Postherpetic Neuralgia
Body System/ Preferred Term
Body as a Whole
Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders
a Reported as blurred vision
Other reactions in more than 1% of patients but equally or more frequent in the placebo group included pain, tremor, neuralgia, back pain, dyspepsia, dyspnea, and flu syndrome.
There were no clinically important differences between men and women in the types and incidence of adverse reactions. Because there were few patients whose race was reported as other than white, there are insufficient data to support a statement regarding the distribution of adverse reactions by race.
Epilepsy with Partial Onset Seizures (Adjunctive Therapy)
The most common adverse reactions with gabapentin in combination with other antiepileptic drugs in patients >12 years of age, not seen at an equivalent frequency among placebo-treated patients, were somnolence, dizziness, ataxia, fatigue, and nystagmus.
The most common adverse reactions with gabapentin in combination with other antiepileptic drugs in pediatric patients 3 to 12 years of age, not seen at an equal frequency among placebo-treated patients, were viral infection, fever, nausea and/or vomiting, somnolence, and hostility [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].
Approximately 7% of the 2074 patients >12 years of age and approximately 7% of the 449 pediatric patients 3 to 12 years of age who received gabapentin in premarketing clinical trials discontinued treatment because of an adverse reaction. The adverse reactions most commonly associated with withdrawal in patients >12 years of age were somnolence (1.2%), ataxia (0.8%), fatigue (0.6%), nausea and/or vomiting (0.6%), and dizziness (0.6%). The adverse reactions most commonly associated with withdrawal in pediatric patients were emotional lability (1.6%), hostility (1.3%), and hyperkinesia (1.1%).
Table 4 lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 1% of gabapentin-treated patients >12 years of age with epilepsy participating in placebo-controlled trials and were numerically more common in the gabapentin group. In these studies, either gabapentin or placebo was added to the patient’s current antiepileptic drug therapy.
TABLE 4. Adverse Reactions in Pooled Placebo-Controlled Add-On Trials In Epilepsy Patients >12 years of age
Body System/ Adverse Event
Placeboa N=378 %
Body As A Whole
Mouth or Throat Dry
Skin and Appendages
aPlus background antiepileptic drug therapy
bAmblyopia was often described as blurred vision.
Among the adverse reactions occurring at an incidence of at least 10% in gabapentin-treated patients, somnolence and ataxia appeared to exhibit a positive dose-response relationship.
The overall incidence of adverse reactions and the types of adverse reactions seen were similar among men and women treated with gabapentin. The incidence of adverse reactions
increased slightly with increasing age in patients treated with either gabapentin or placebo. Because only 3% of patients (28/921) in placebo-controlled studies were identified as nonwhite (black or other), there are insufficient data to support a statement regarding the distribution of adverse reactions by race.
Table 5lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 2% of gabapentin-treated patients, age 3 to 12 years of age with epilepsy participating in placebo-controlled trials, and which were numerically more common in the gabapentin group.
TABLE 5. Adverse Reactions in a Placebo-Controlled Add-On Trial in Pediatric Epilepsy Patients Age 3 to 12 Years
Body System/ Adverse Reaction
Body As A Whole
Nausea and/or Vomiting
a Plus background antiepileptic drug therapy
Other reactions in more than 2% of pediatric patients 3 to 12 years of age but equally or more frequent in the placebo group included: pharyngitis, upper respiratory infection, headache, rhinitis, convulsions, diarrhea, anorexia, coughing, and otitis media.
6.2 Postmarketing Experience
The following adverse reactions have been identified during postmarketing use of gabapentin. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Hepatobiliary disorders: jaundice
Investigations: elevated creatine kinase, elevated liver function tests
Metabolism and nutrition disorders: hyponatremia
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorder: rhabdomyolysis
Nervous system disorders: movement disorder
Reproductive system and breast disorders: breast enlargement, changes in libido, ejaculation disorders and anorgasmia
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: angioedema [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)], erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Adverse reactions following the abrupt discontinuation of gabapentin have also been reported. The most frequently reported reactions were anxiety, insomnia, nausea, pain, and sweating.
7.1 Other Antiepileptic Drugs
Gabapentin is not appreciably metabolized nor does it interfere with the metabolism of commonly coadministered antiepileptic drugs [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Coadministration of gabapentin with hydrocodone decreases hydrocodone exposure [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. The potential for alteration in hydrocodone exposure and effect should be considered when gabapentin is started or discontinued in a patient taking hydrocodone.
When gabapentin is administered with morphine, patients should be observed for signs of central nervous system (CNS) depression, such as somnolence, sedation and respiratory depression [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
7.3 Maalox® (aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide)
The mean bioavailability of gabapentin was reduced by about 20% with concomitant use of an antacid (Maalox®) containing magnesium and aluminum hydroxides. It is recommended that gabapentin be taken at least 2 hours following Maalox administration [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
7.4 Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions
Because false positive readings were reported with the Ames N-Multistix SG® dipstick test for urinary protein when gabapentin was added to other antiepileptic drugs, the more specific sulfosalicylic acid precipitation procedure is recommended to determine the presence of urine protein.
Pregnancy Category C: There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. In nonclinical studies in mice, rats, and rabbits, gabapentin was developmentally toxic when administered to pregnant animals at doses similar to or lower than those used clinically. Gabapentin should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
When pregnant mice received oral doses of gabapentin (500 mg, 1000 mg, or 3000 mg/kg/day) during the period of organogenesis, embryo-fetal toxicity (increased incidences of skeletal variations) was observed at the two highest doses. The no-effect dose for embryo-fetal developmental toxicity in mice was 500 mg/kg/day or approximately ½ of the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 3600 mg/kg on a body surface area (mg/m2) basis.
In studies in which rats received oral doses of gabapentin (500 to 2000 mg/kg/day), during pregnancy, adverse effect on offspring development (increased incidences of hydroureter and/or hydronephrosis) were observed at all doses. The lowest effect dose for developmental toxicity in rats is approximately equal to the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis.
When pregnant rabbits were treated with gabapentin during the period of organogenesis, an increase in embryo-fetal mortality was observed at all doses tested (60 mg, 300 mg, or 1500 mg/kg). The lowest effect dose for embryo-fetal developmental toxicity in rabbits is less than the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis.
In a published study, gabapentin (400 mg/kg/day) was administered by intraperitoneal injection to neonatal mice during the first postnatal week, a period of synaptogenesis in rodents (corresponding to the last trimester of pregnancy in humans). Gabapentin caused a marked decrease in neuronal synapse formation in brains of intact mice and abnormal neuronal synapse formation in a mouse model of synaptic repair. Gabapentin has been shown in vitro to interfere with activity of the α2δ subunit of voltage-activated calcium channels, a receptor involved in neuronal synaptogenesis. The clinical significance of these findings is unknown.
To provide information regarding the effects of in utero exposure to gabapentin, physicians are advised to recommend that pregnant patients taking gabapentin enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug (NAAED) Pregnancy Registry. This can be done by calling the toll free number 1-888-233-2334, and must be done by patients themselves. Information on the registry can also be found at the website http://www.aedpregnancyregistry.org/.
8.3 Nursing Mothers
Gabapentin is secreted into human milk following oral administration. A nursed infant could be exposed to a maximum dose of approximately 1 mg/kg/day of gabapentin. Because the effect on the nursing infant is unknown, Gabapentin should be used in women who are nursing only if the benefits clearly outweigh the risks.
8.4 Pediatric Use
Safety and effectiveness of gabapentin in the management of postherpetic neuralgia in pediatric patients have not been established.
Effectiveness as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial seizures in pediatric patients below the age of 3 years has not been established [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].
8.5 Geriatric Use
The total number of patients treated with gabapentin in controlled clinical trials in patients with postherpetic neuralgia was 336, of which 102 (30%) were 65 to 74 years of age, and 168 (50%) were 75 years of age and older. There was a larger treatment effect in patients 75 years of age and older compared with younger patients who received the same dosage. Since gabapentin is almost exclusively eliminated by renal excretion, the larger treatment effect observed in patients ≥75 years may be a consequence of increased gabapentin exposure for a given dose that results from an age-related decrease in renal function. However, other factors cannot be excluded. The types and incidence of adverse reactions were similar across age groups except for peripheral edema and ataxia, which tended to increase in incidence with age.
Clinical studies of gabapentin in epilepsy did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they responded differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
This drug is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and dose should be adjusted based on creatinine clearance values in these patients [see Dosage and Administration (2.4), Adverse Reactions (6), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
8.6 Renal Impairment
Dosage adjustment in adult patients with compromised renal function is necessary [see Dosage and Administration (2.3) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Pediatric patients with renal insufficiency have not been studied.
Dosage adjustment in patients undergoing hemodialysis is necessary [see Dosage and Administration (2.3) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
9.1 Controlled Substance
Gabapentin is not a scheduled drug.
Gabapentin does not exhibit affinity for benzodiazepine, opiate (mu, delta or kappa), or cannabinoid 1 receptor sites. A small number of postmarketing cases report gabapentin misuse and abuse. These individuals were taking higher than recommended doses of gabapentin for unapproved uses. Most of the individuals described in these reports had a history of poly-substance abuse or used gabapentin to relieve symptoms of withdrawal from other substances. When prescribing gabapentin carefully evaluate patients for a history of drug abuse and observe them for signs and symptoms of gabapentin misuse or abuse (e.g. development of tolerance, self-dose escalation, and drug-seeking behavior).
There are rare postmarketing reports of individuals experiencing withdrawal symptoms shortly after discontinuing higher than recommended doses of gabapentin used to treat illnesses for which the drug is not approved. Such symptoms included agitation, disorientation and confusion after suddenly discontinuing gabapentin that resolved after restarting gabapentin. Most of these individuals had a history of poly-substance abuse or used gabapentin to relieve symptoms of withdrawal from other substances. The dependence and abuse potential of gabapentin has not been evaluated in human studies.
A lethal dose of gabapentin was not identified in mice and rats receiving single oral doses as high as 8000 mg/kg. Signs of acute toxicity in animals included ataxia, labored breathing, ptosis, sedation, hypoactivity, or excitation.
Acute oral overdoses of gabapentin up to 49 grams have been reported. In these cases, double vision, slurred speech, drowsiness, lethargy, and diarrhea were observed. All patients recovered with supportive care. Coma, resolving with dialysis, has been reported in patients with chronic renal failure who were treated with gabapentin.
Gabapentin can be removed by hemodialysis. Although hemodialysis has not been performed in the few overdose cases reported, it may be indicated by the patient’s clinical state or in patients with significant renal impairment.
If overexposure occurs, call your poison control center at 1-800-222-1222
The active ingredient in gabapentin tablets USP is gabapentin USP, which has the chemical name 1-(aminomethyl) cyclohexaneacetic acid.
Gabapentin, USP is a white to off-white crystalline solid with a pKa1 of 3.7 and a pKa2 of 10.7. It is freely soluble in water and both basic and acidic aqueous solutions. The log of the partition coefficient (n-octanol/0.05M phosphate buffer) at pH 7.4 is –1.25.
Gabapentin tablets, USP are white colored film coated, modified capsule shaped biconvex tablets containing 600 mg and 800 mg of gabapentin, USP.
The inactive ingredients are mannitol, Hydroxypropyl Cellulose, Crospovidone, Talc, Magnesium stearate and aquarius® BP18114 Cool Vanilla.
13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Gabapentin was administered orally to mice and rats in 2-year carcinogenicity studies. No evidence of drug-related carcinogenicity was observed in mice treated at doses up to 2000 mg/kg/day. At 2000 mg/kg, the plasma gabapentin exposure (AUC) in mice is approximately 2 times that in humans at the MRHD of 3600 mg/day. In rats, increases in the incidence of pancreatic acinar cell adenoma and carcinoma were found in male rats receiving the highest dose (2000 mg/kg), but not at doses of 250 or 1000 mg/kg/day. At 1000 mg/kg, the plasma gabapentin exposure (AUC) in rats is approximately 5 times that in humans at the MRHD.
Studies designed to investigate the mechanism of gabapentin-induced pancreatic carcinogenesis in rats indicate that gabapentin stimulates DNA synthesis in rat pancreatic acinar cells in vitro and, thus, may be acting as a tumor promoter by enhancing mitogenic activity. It is not known whether gabapentin has the ability to increase cell proliferation in other cell types or in other species, including humans.
Gabapentin did not demonstrate mutagenic or genotoxic potential in three in vitro and four in vivo assays. It was negative in the Ames test and the in vitro HGPRT forward mutation assay in Chinese hamster lung cells; it did not produce significant increases in chromosomal aberrations in the in vitro Chinese hamster lung cell assay; it was negative in the in vivo chromosomal aberration assay and in the in vivo micronucleus test in Chinese hamster bone marrow; it was negative in the in vivo mouse micronucleus assay; and it did not induce unscheduled DNA synthesis in hepatocytes from rats given gabapentin.
No adverse effects on fertility or reproduction were observed in rats at doses up to 2000 mg/kg. At 2000 mg/kg, the plasma gabapentin exposure (AUC) in rats is approximately 8 times that in humans at the MRHD.
14.1 Postherpetic Neuralgia
Gabapentin was evaluated for the management of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) in two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter studies. The intent-to-treat (ITT) population consisted of a total of 563 patients with pain for more than 3 months after healing of the herpes zoster skin rash (Table 6).
TABLE 6. Controlled PHN Studies: Duration, Dosages, and Number of Patients
Patients Receiving Gabapentin
Patients Receiving Placebo
aGiven in 3 divided doses (TID)
Each study included a 7- or 8-week double-blind phase (3 or 4 weeks of titration and 4 weeks of fixed dose). Patients initiated treatment with titration to a maximum of 900 mg/day gabapentin over 3 days. Dosages were then to be titrated in 600 to 1200 mg/day increments at 3- to 7-day intervals to the target dose over 3 to 4 weeks. Patients. recorded their pain in a daily diary using an 11-point numeric pain rating scale ranging from 0 (no pain) to 10 (worst possible pain). A mean pain score during baseline of at least 4 was required for randomization. Analyses were conducted using the ITT population (all randomized patients who received at least one dose of study medication).
Both studies demonstrated efficacy compared to placebo at all doses tested.
The reduction in weekly mean pain scores was seen by Week 1 in both studies, and was maintained to the end of treatment. Comparable treatment effects were observed in all active treatment arms. Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic modeling provided confirmatory evidence of efficacy across all doses. Figures 1 and 2 show pain intensity scores over time for Studies 1 and 2.
The effectiveness of gabapentin as adjunctive therapy (added to other antiepileptic drugs) was established in multicenter placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group clinical trials in adult and pediatric patients (3 years and older) with refractory partial seizures.
Evidence of effectiveness was obtained in three trials conducted in 705 patients (age 12 years and above) and one trial conducted in 247 pediatric patients (3 to 12 years of age). The patients enrolled had a history of at least 4 partial seizures per month in spite of receiving one or more antiepileptic drugs at therapeutic levels and were observed on their established antiepileptic drug regimen during a 12-week baseline period (6 weeks in the study of pediatric patients). In patients continuing to have at least 2 (or 4 in some studies) seizures per month, gabapentin or placebo was then added on to the existing therapy during a 12-week treatment period. Effectiveness was assessed primarily on the basis of the percent of patients with a 50% or greater reduction in seizure frequency from baseline to treatment (the "responder rate") and a derived measure called response ratio, a measure of change defined as (T - B) / (T + B), in which B is the patient's baseline seizure frequency and T is the patient's seizure frequency during treatment. Response ratio is distributed within the range -1 to +1. A zero value indicates no change while complete elimination of seizures would give a value of -1; increased seizure rates would give positive values. A response ratio of -0.33 corresponds to a 50% reduction in seizure frequency. The results given below are for all partial seizures in the intent-to-treat (all patients who received any doses of treatment) population in each study, unless otherwise indicated.
One study compared gabapentin 1200 mg/day, in three divided doses with placebo. Responder rate was 23% (14/61) in the gabapentin group and 9% (6/66) in the placebo group; the difference between groups was statistically significant. Response ratio was also better in the gabapentin group (-0.199) than in the placebo group (-0.044), a difference that also achieved statistical significance.
A second study compared primarily gabapentin 1200 mg/day, in three divided doses (N=101), with placebo (N=98). Additional smaller gabapentin dosage groups (600 mg/day, N=53; 1800 mg/day, N=54) were also studied for information regarding dose response. Responder rate was higher in the gabapentin 1200 mg/day group (16%) than in the placebo group (8%), but the difference was not statistically significant. The responder rate at 600 mg (17%) was also not significantly higher than in the placebo, but the responder rate in the 1800 mg group (26%) was statistically significantly superior to the placebo rate. Response ratio was better in the gabapentin 1200 mg/day group (-0.103) than in the placebo group (-0.022); but this difference was also not statistically significant (p = 0.224). A better response was seen in the gabapentin 600 mg/day group (-0.105) and 1800 mg/day group (-0.222) than in the 1200 mg/day group, with the 1800 mg/day group achieving statistical significance compared to the placebo group.
A third study compared gabapentin 900 mg/day, in three divided doses (N=111), and placebo (N=109). An additional gabapentin 1200 mg/day dosage group (N=52) provided dose-response data. A statistically significant difference in responder rate was seen in the gabapentin 900 mg/day group (22%) compared to that in the placebo group (10%). Response ratio was also statistically significantly superior in the gabapentin 900 mg/day group (-0.119) compared to that in the placebo group (-0.027), as was response ratio in 1200 mg/day gabapentin (-0.184) compared to placebo.
Analyses were also performed in each study to examine the effect of gabapentin on preventing secondarily generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Patients who experienced a secondarily generalized tonic-clonic seizure in either the baseline or in the treatment period in all three placebo-controlled studies were included in these analyses. There were several response ratio comparisons that showed a statistically significant advantage for gabapentin compared to placebo and favorable trends for almost all comparisons.
Analysis of responder rate using combined data from all three studies and all doses (N=162, gabapentin; N=89, placebo) also showed a significant advantage for gabapentin over placebo in reducing the frequency of secondarily generalized tonic-clonic seizures.
In two of the three controlled studies, more than one dose of gabapentin was used. Within each study, the results did not show a consistently increased response to dose. However, looking across studies, a trend toward increasing efficacy with increasing dose is evident (see Figure 4).
Figure 4. Responder Rate in Patients Receiving Gabapentin Expressed as a Difference from Placebo by Dose and Study: Adjunctive Therapy Studies in Patients ≥12 Years of Age with Partial Seizures
In the figure, treatment effect magnitude, measured on the Y axis in terms of the difference in the proportion of gabapentin and placebo-assigned patients attaining a 50% or greater reduction in seizure frequency from baseline, is plotted against the daily dose of gabapentin administered (X axis).
Although no formal analysis by gender has been performed, estimates of response (Response Ratio) derived from clinical trials (398 men, 307 women) indicate no important gender differences exist. There was no consistent pattern indicating that age had any effect on the response to gabapentin. There were insufficient numbers of patients of races other than Caucasian to permit a comparison of efficacy among racial groups.
A fourth study in pediatric patients age 3 to 12 years compared 25 – 35 mg/kg/day gabapentin (N=118) with placebo (N=127). For all partial seizures in the intent-to-treat population, the response ratio was statistically significantly better for the gabapentin group (-0.146) than for the placebo group (-0.079). For the same population, the responder rate for gabapentin (21%) was not significantly different from placebo (18%).
A study in pediatric patients age 1 month to 3 years compared 40 mg/kg/day gabapentin (N=38) with placebo (N=38) in patients who were receiving at least one marketed antiepileptic drug and had at least one partial seizure during the screening period (within 2 weeks prior to baseline). Patients had up to 48 hours of baseline and up to 72 hours of double-blind video EEG monitoring to record and count the occurrence of seizures. There were no statistically significant differences between treatments in either the response ratio or responder rate.
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