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 Disorders: 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.
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)].
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)].
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.
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, 1000, 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, 300, 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 capsules, physicians are advised to recommend that pregnant patients taking gabapentin capsules 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/.
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.
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)].
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)].
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.
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 Capsules, USP is gabapentin, USP which has the chemical name 1-(aminomethyl)cyclohexaneacetic acid. The molecular formula of gabapentin is C9 H17 NO2 and the molecular weight is 171.24. The structural formula of gabapentin is:
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 Capsules, USP contain 100 mg, 300 mg or 400 mg of gabapentin, USP and the following inactive ingredients: lactose monohydrate, corn starch, and talc. The 100 mg capsule shell contains gelatin and titanium dioxide. The 300 mg capsule shell contains gelatin, titanium dioxide, and yellow iron oxide. The 400 mg capsule shell contains gelatin, red iron oxide, titanium dioxide, and yellow iron oxide. The imprinting ink contains FD&C Blue No. 2, propylene glycol and shellac.
The precise mechanisms by which gabapentin produces its analgesic and antiepileptic actions are unknown. Gabapentin is structurally related to the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) but has no effect on GABA binding, uptake, or degradation. In vitro studies have shown that gabapentin binds with high-affinity to the α2δ subunit of voltage-activated calcium channels; however, the relationship of this binding to the therapeutic effects of gabapentin is unknown.
All pharmacological actions following gabapentin administration are due to the activity of the parent compound; gabapentin is not appreciably metabolized in humans.
Gabapentin bioavailability is not dose proportional; i.e., as dose is increased, bioavailability decreases. Bioavailability of gabapentin is approximately 60%, 47%, 34%, 33%, and 27% following 900, 1200, 2400, 3600, and 4800 mg/day given in three divided doses, respectively. Food has only a slight effect on the rate and extent of absorption of gabapentin (14% increase in AUC and Cmax ).
Less than 3% of gabapentin circulates bound to plasma protein. The apparent volume of distribution of gabapentin after 150 mg intravenous administration is 58 ± 6 L (mean ± SD). In patients with epilepsy, steady-state predose (Cmin ) concentrations of gabapentin in cerebrospinal fluid were approximately 20% of the corresponding plasma concentrations.
Gabapentin is eliminated from the systemic circulation by renal excretion as unchanged drug. Gabapentin is not appreciably metabolized in humans.
Gabapentin elimination half-life is 5 to 7 hours and is unaltered by dose or following multiple dosing. Gabapentin elimination rate constant, plasma clearance, and renal clearance are directly proportional to creatinine clearance. In elderly patients, and in patients with impaired renal function, gabapentin plasma clearance is reduced. Gabapentin can be removed from plasma by hemodialysis.
The effect of age was studied in subjects 20 to 80 years of age. Apparent oral clearance (CL/F) of gabapentin decreased as age increased, from about 225 mL/min in those under 30 years of age to about 125 mL/min in those over 70 years of age. Renal clearance (CLr) and CLr adjusted for body surface area also declined with age; however, the decline in the renal clearance of gabapentin with age can largely be explained by the decline in renal function [see Dosage and Administration (2.4) and Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].
Although no formal study has been conducted to compare the pharmacokinetics of gabapentin in men and women, it appears that the pharmacokinetic parameters for males and females are similar and there are no significant gender differences.
Pharmacokinetic differences due to race have not been studied. Because gabapentin is primarily renally excreted and there are no important racial differences in creatinine clearance, pharmacokinetic differences due to race are not expected.
Gabapentin pharmacokinetics were determined in 48 pediatric subjects between the ages of 1 month and 12 years following a dose of approximately 10 mg/kg. Peak plasma concentrations were similar across the entire age group and occurred 2 to 3 hours postdose. In general, pediatric subjects between 1 month and < 5 years of age achieved approximately 30% lower exposure (AUC) than that observed in those 5 years of age and older. Accordingly, oral clearance normalized per body weight was higher in the younger children. Apparent oral clearance of gabapentin was directly proportional to creatinine clearance. Gabapentin elimination half-life averaged 4.7 hours and was similar across the age groups studied.
A population pharmacokinetic analysis was performed in 253 pediatric subjects between 1 month and 13 years of age. Patients received 10 to 65 mg/kg/day given three times a day. Apparent oral clearance (CL/F) was directly proportional to creatinine clearance and this relationship was similar following a single dose and at steady state. Higher oral clearance values were observed in children < 5 years of age compared to those observed in children 5 years of age and older, when normalized per body weight. The clearance was highly variable in infants < 1 year of age. The normalized CL/F values observed in pediatric patients 5 years of age and older were consistent with values observed in adults after a single dose. The oral volume of distribution normalized per body weight was constant across the age range.
These pharmacokinetic data indicate that the effective daily dose in pediatric patients with epilepsy ages 3 and 4 years should be 40 mg/kg/day to achieve average plasma concentrations similar to those achieved in patients 5 years of age and older receiving gabapentin at 30 mg/kg/day [see Dosage and Administration (2.1)].
DrugInserts.com provides trustworthy package insert and label information about marketed drugs as submitted by manufacturers to the US Food and Drug Administration. Package information is not reviewed or updated separately by DrugInserts.com. Every individual package label entry contains a unique identifier which can be used to secure further details directly from the US National Institutes of Health and/or the FDA.