Gabapentin is from a class of drugs known as anticonvulsants. It was originally developed to treat people suffering from epilepsy but has since been found to be helpful in the treatment of other ailments.
Who Might Be Prescribed Gabapentin?
Developed for epileptics, gabapentin is routinely prescribed to them to decrease the incidence of seizures. An unexpected finding was that this medication also helped to decrease the pain and discomfort of those suffering from postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). This is a condition that causes pain and the sensation of pins and needles in the limbs of those who have had shingles.
More recently, doctors have discovered that gabapentin can be used to help the twitching and spasms of those who have restless legs syndrome (RLS). RLS symptoms include uncontrolled or desired movements of the legs when at rest, particularly when lying down.
How Does Gabapentin Work?
To understand how gabapentin works to treat these conditions, you must know a bit about what causes them.
The seizures that are the main symptom of epilepsy are caused by an overexcitement of the brain. This overload travels through the entire nervous system causing the nerves to fire rapidly and uncontrollably, causing a seizure. Gabapentin work to decrease these episodes of overexcitement, both in frequency and intensity.
PHN seems to be caused when the virus that causes shingles does damage to the nerve endings. This damage causes pain and discomfort and may take months or even years to heal. Gabapentin works by changing the way the nerves and the brain perceive the pain sensations.
Since the reasons for RLS are still unclear, the reasons that gabapentin works to control it are also unclear. It is thought that both the condition and the success of the medication involve the misfiring of the nerves in the legs.
Side Effects of Gabapentin
Most people who take gabapentin do not suffer side effects, but some do. These may include:
- Problems with speech
- Weight gain
- Loss of memory
- Problems with coordination
- Uncontrollable eye movements and double vision.
Cost of Gabapentin
Gabapentin is a relatively expensive generic medication, with retail prices running around $63 for 60 pills of 300mg dose. Gabapentin can provide relief for those who suffer from epilepsy, PHN, and RLS, but only if they can afford their prescriptions. RxLess is a discount program designed to help anyone save money on their prescription medications.
Simply type your medication into RxLess’s search tool. You will be presented with a list of local pharmacies, including the major chains like Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens, and the cost of the prescription after the RxLess discount is applied at each one.
All you need to do is chose the pharmacy you would like to get your Rx filled at, print or make a digital copy of the discount card, show it to the pharmacists and you will be saving money on your gabapentin.