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Gralise (Generic Gabapentin)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Gralise (generic name: gabapentin) is a medication primarily prescribed to treat nerve pain caused by shingles (postherpetic neuralgia). Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash, and postherpetic neuralgia is a common complication that can persist after the rash has healed. Gralise works by stabilizing electrical activity in the brain and nerves, which can reduce the abnormal sensations of pain. It is classified as an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic medication, but it is also effective in managing certain types of chronic pain, including neuropathic pain.

How should this medicine be used?

Gralise (generic name: gabapentin) is a prescription medication primarily used to treat nerve pain caused by shingles (herpes zoster) in adults. It belongs to a class of medications called anticonvulsants, which work by decreasing abnormal activity in the brain that leads to nerve pain.

Here are the general guidelines for how Gralise is typically used:

  • Dosage: The dosage of Gralise depends on various factors such as the individual’s medical condition, response to treatment, and any other medications they may be taking. Your healthcare provider will determine the appropriate dosage for you. It’s crucial to follow your doctor’s instructions regarding dosage carefully.
  • Administration: Gralise is taken orally with food. It is usually taken once daily in the evening, or as directed by your doctor. Swallow the tablet whole with a full glass of water. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablets, as this can alter the way the medication is released into the body.
  • Consistency: Take Gralise consistently at the same time each day to maintain a steady level of the medication in your body. This helps ensure its effectiveness in managing your nerve pain.
  • Missed Dose: If you miss a dose of Gralise, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s close to the time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
  • Duration of Treatment: Continue taking Gralise for the duration prescribed by your doctor, even if you start feeling better. Suddenly stopping the medication may worsen your condition or lead to withdrawal symptoms.
  • Monitoring: Your doctor may periodically monitor your response to Gralise and adjust your dosage if necessary. Inform your doctor if your condition worsens or if you experience any new or worsening symptoms.
  • Precautions: Inform your healthcare provider about any other medications, supplements, or herbal products you are taking, as they may interact with Gralise. Also, discuss any medical conditions you have, especially kidney problems, before starting Gralise.

It’s essential to strictly adhere to your doctor’s instructions regarding the use of Gralise to ensure safe and effective treatment for your nerve pain. If you have any questions or concerns about the usage of Gralise, consult your healthcare provider for guidance.

Other uses for this medicine

Other uses for Gralise may include the treatment of other types of neuropathic pain, such as diabetic neuropathy or nerve pain associated with spinal cord injury. However, it’s essential to note that any off-label use of Gralise should only be done under the guidance and supervision of a healthcare professional.

What special precautions should I follow?

Regarding special precautions for Gralise use, here are some important considerations:

  • Kidney Function: Gralise is primarily eliminated from the body through the kidneys. If you have impaired kidney function, your doctor may need to adjust your dosage accordingly or monitor you more closely while taking Gralise.
  • Driving and Operating Machinery: Gralise may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision, which can impair your ability to drive or operate machinery safely. Avoid these activities until you know how Gralise affects you.
  • Alcohol and CNS Depressants: Avoid consuming alcohol or using other central nervous system (CNS) depressants (such as opioids or benzodiazepines) while taking Gralise, as these substances can increase the risk of sedation and respiratory depression.
  • Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior: Gralise and other anticonvulsant medications have been associated with an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Monitor for any changes in mood or behavior, and report them to your doctor immediately.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the potential risks and benefits of Gralise with your doctor. The use of Gralise during pregnancy or breastfeeding should be carefully considered, as it may pose risks to the fetus or infant.
  • Allergic Reactions: Inform your doctor if you have a history of allergic reactions to gabapentin or any other medications. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.

These precautions are not exhaustive, so it’s important to discuss any concerns or questions you have with your healthcare provider before starting Gralise or any other medication.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary instructions associated with Gralise. However, taking Gralise with food may help reduce stomach upset. Follow any dietary recommendations provided by your doctor or pharmacist.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

  • If you miss a dose of Gralise, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.
  • Do not double the dose to make up for a missed one.
  • If you are unsure about what to do if you miss a dose, consult your doctor or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Gralise (gabapentin) may cause side effects, although not everyone will experience them. Common side effects of Gralise include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Swelling in the hands or feet
  • Blurred vision
  • Coordination problems
  • Uncontrollable shaking or tremors
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased appetite
  • Joint pain
  • Back pain
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Ear pain
  • Double vision
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior (rare but serious)

These are not all the possible side effects of Gralise. If you experience any other symptoms or side effects that are bothersome or persistent, or if you have concerns about potential side effects, contact your doctor or healthcare provider for further evaluation and guidance.

Additionally, seek medical attention immediately if you experience signs of an allergic reaction to Gralise, such as rash, itching, swelling (especially of the face, tongue, or throat), severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.

It’s important to note that this list of side effects is not exhaustive, and individual experiences may vary. Always follow your doctor’s instructions and report any unusual or concerning symptoms while taking Gralise.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and disposal of Gralise:


  • Store Gralise tablets at room temperature, away from light and moisture.
  • Keep Gralise out of reach of children and pets.
  • Do not store Gralise in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp areas.


  • Dispose of any unused or expired Gralise tablets properly according to local regulations or through a medication take-back program.
  • Do not flush Gralise tablets down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so by your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • In case of an overdose of Gralise, seek emergency medical attention or contact your local poison control center immediately.
  • Symptoms of overdose may include severe drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, slurred speech, difficulty breathing, and loss of consciousness.

What other information should I know?

  • Keep all appointments with your doctor and laboratory while taking Gralise. Your doctor may need to monitor your response to the medication and check for any side effects.
  • Do not share Gralise with others, even if they have similar symptoms, as it may not be suitable or safe for them.
  • Inform any healthcare provider treating you that you are taking Gralise, including dentists, surgeons, and emergency medical personnel.
  • Avoid sudden discontinuation of Gralise without consulting your doctor, as it may lead to withdrawal symptoms or worsen your condition.
  • Notify your doctor if you experience any new or worsening symptoms while taking Gralise, especially changes in mood, behavior, or mental health.
  • Keep a list of all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking and share it with your healthcare provider to prevent potential interactions with Gralise.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding dosage, administration, and any special precautions or dietary instructions associated with Gralise.

If you have any further questions or concerns about Gralise, its storage, disposal, or what to do in case of emergency/overdose, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

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