Gabapentin is a drug that is also prescribed by the name Neurontin. Initially used for people, gabapentin is initially used as a treatment for chronic pain in dogs, but it must be used by itself. It is usually combined with other medications such as opioids or NSAIDs. It has been shown to amplify the effects of these medications.
Use in dogs and cats
Gabapentin is used in both dogs and cats. There are two main reasons why a veterinarian near me or vets clinic might describe this. Gabapentin is used as a sedative to relieve pain and is often prescribed to animals before surgery. It also has an anticonvulsant effect and is used as an antiepileptic drug to control seizures.
Gabapentin is most effective for treating nerve pain (pain resulting from damage or dysfunction of the nervous system). It is also frequently used to treat pain arising from various types of cancer.
Gabapentin can be used to treat heat seizures in dog hives and in dogs and cats that have not responded positively to other types of medications. It may be used in conjunction with other antiepileptic medicines or it may be used as immunotherapy.
Gabapentin is increasingly used as a first-line form of treating seizures and epilepsy in place of conventional medications such as phenobarbital.
The most common side effect that occurs with gabapentin is sedation. Your pet should be monitored for signs such as inconsistency or drowsiness.
Gabapentin is almost completely eliminated from the body by the kidneys and urinary tract. Therefore, gabapentin should be used with caution in animals suffering from kidney disease.
If you notice anything abnormal, be sure to raise your concern with your veterinarian.
Gabapentin and Xylitol
Gabapentin oral solutions may contain xylitol. Xylitol is known to be toxic to dogs. It is a common sugar substitute found in sugar-free products for humans and in liquid forms of gabapentin, and it can be used as a sweetener.
For these reasons, gabapentin solutions containing xylitol should be avoided when treating pets. The veterinarian should be aware of this. The problem is when people try to use people's medication to treat their pets. While this is never a good idea, it is especially important with liquid versions of gabapentin.
Other potential drug interactions
The potential for adverse drug reactions exists when gabapentin is used with many other medicines. Antacids, hydrocodone, and morphine used with gabapentin may alter the metabolism of gabapentin. Modified doses of gabapentin may be warranted if it is to be used with these medications.
Gabapentin can also be used to treat seizures, anxiety, and epilepsy of unknown origin in dogs. Because it is known to affect the nervous system, it is especially helpful in pain associated with neurological disorders. Some veterinarians may prescribe it to calm anxious behavior before visiting a veterinarian near me. In the event of seizures, the drug mimics the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps calm the excessive electrical activity in the brain's nerves.