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Pet Medication 101: Gabapentin

Pet meds gabapentin

It’s important to understand a medication’s uses and side effects before giving it to your pet. This medication info sheet is meant to give you a good understanding of what gabapentin is used for, how it works, and potential side effects in cats and dogs. Always consult a veterinarian before giving your pet any medication.

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1. Drug Name:

Gabapentin

2. Common Names or Brand Names:

Neurontin®, Aclonium®, Equipax®, Gantin®, Gabarone®, Gralise®, Neurostil®, Progresse®

3. How Dispensed:

Prescription-only medication

4. Forms:

Tablets, capsules, oral solution. Oral solutions of gabapentin can contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Be cautious and read the label before administering. Never give any medication to dogs that contain xylitol as an ingredient.

5. Drug Type/Class:

Anticonvulsant, other: GABA analog

6. Uses in Dogs and Cats:

Used to treat chronic pain, especially nerve-related pain. It can also be used in cats to relieve anxiety associated with veterinary visits, travel, or other anxiety, fearful producing situations. Gabapentin can also be used as an adjunct with other treatments in the management of seizures.

7. How it Works:

Gabapentin appears to work by altering electrical activity in the brain and influencing the activity of chemicals called neurotransmitters, which send messages between nerve cells.

8. Side Effects and/or Signs of Overdose:

Sedation and incoordination or ataxia are the most common side effects of gabapentin. Cats may vomit or salivate.

This short-acting medication should stop working within 24 hours, although effects can be longer in pets with liver or kidney disease.

9. Drug Interactions:

The following medications should be used with caution when given with gabapentin: antacids, hydrocodone, or morphine.

Be sure to tell your vet about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

10. Cautionary Statements:

  • Should not be used in pregnant animals and used cautiously in animals that have kidney disease or are lactating
  • Do not stop this medication abruptly in pets with epilepsy, as this can cause withdrawal seizures
  • As mentioned above, some liquid oral formulations of gabapentin contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Be cautious and read the label before administering. Never give any medication to dogs that contain xylitol as an ingredient
  • Your vet may monitor your pet to be sure that the medication is working
  • Monitor your pet at home for effectiveness and serious side effects

Read more:

Arthritis in Dogs

Noise Anxiety in Cats and Dogs

Nothing to bark about! Causes of Limping in Dogs (and what you should do!)

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Click here to schedule a video consult to speak to one of our vets. You can also download the FirstVet app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Stores.

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