How long does it take Gabapentin to start working?

How long does it take Gabapentin to start working?

Medications and drugs have been used for years. Drugs are used to relieve pain and promote faster recovery. They are known to be helpful for both medical problems and psychological problems. For example, medications like Metformin are used for diabetes, azithromycin for pneumonia, Ritalin for ADHD, and antidepressants like sertraline for depression. They help many individuals live normal lives and also increase life expectancy.

Today we will talk about Gabapentin, a common drug used to treat epilepsy. Gabapentin is often used as a painkiller and shows results within two to three weeks after you start taking it. The drug can take even longer, depending on the severity of the condition. Your tolerance level can also affect the drug’s effects. Two to three weeks might sound a lot, but the main reason for the drug to kick start after weeks is due to the dosage form that needs to be followed to avoid side effects. Usually, the drug needs to be taken in small amounts in your initial intakes, and then you need to gradually increase the intake to finally feel its effects.


Gabapentin is normally used as a painkiller that helps with epilepsy, nerve pain, certain seizures, and restless leg syndrome. 

The drug is considered an anticonvulsant that either reduces the nerve’s hyper electrical impulses or inhibits them completely. This allows control of seizures. The drug is very effective in providing relief for neuropathic nerve pain and is thus used for epilepsy. The drug needs to be taken orally and comes as a short duration capsule, long-duration capsule, and oral solution. The drug retails under the brand name Neurontin and is available for everyone.

Gabapentin as a drug is used for various purposes like-

  • Treating seizures- Seizures are categorized as sudden, out of control, electrical disturbances in nerves in the brain that can elicit abnormal behaviors, moods, feelings, and movements. The drug controls seizures by inhibiting the electrical impulses from acting out. 
  • Relieve nerve pain- As Gabapentin works like a painkiller, it is often used for nerve pain. Its most common use is for the shingles infection that arises after having already suffered from chickenpox. This type of infection builds up a rash on the skin that is quite painful, and thus doctors recommend the patients to take Gabapentin.
  • Restless leg syndrome- Gabapentin was found to improve sleep for people suffering from RLS. People get a constant urge to move their legs, mostly during the evening and at night. The exact cause for the drug to work for RLS is unknown, but researchers believe that the drug affects nerve activity and thus inhibits muscle movements.
  • Diabetic neuropathy- Research has found the effectiveness of the drug for Diabetic neuropathy as well. In this condition, people who are diabetic experience nerve pain. This nerve pain can be reduced by using the drug.
  • Migraines and headaches – Gabapentin can be used for headaches and migraines due to its pain killer qualities. More than 80 % of people gave positive reviews for the drug.

Epilepsy and Gabapentin.

Gabapentin is known for reducing the symptoms of epilepsy and promoting recovery. Epilepsy is a central nervous system disorder that contains our body’s brain, neck, and nerve systems. The disorder is caused due to abnormal electrical impulses traveling from the brain to other parts of our body and elicited as abnormal muscle movements, strange moods and emotions, and abnormal behavior that deviates from normal human functioning. Epilepsy is often accompanied by seizures that are uncontrolled movements. Gabapentin helps control these seizures by reducing or inhibiting the abnormal electrical impulse. 

To control bodily functions and carry out day-to-day activities, our brain needs to have the right completion in the electrical impulses to spark the right behavior. If a person experiences a seizure, their brain cells often spark up and work much faster. Gabapentin helps the brain cells to work more slowly than what the seizures demand them to and thus are effective in stopping a seizure when it begins.

Exact reasons aren’t available as to how the drug helps control seizures. Still, it is believed that the drug helps the brain to produce more GABA- Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid receptors, which work as an inhibitory neurotransmitter to inhibit the activities of the central nervous system. Thus, help reduce neurological excitability by using its inhibitory qualities.

Gabapentin is considered effective for treating epilepsy and is approved as a partial-onset seizures medication.

Dosage for Gabapentin

The typical recommended dosage for epilepsy varies based on age category –

  • For adults between 18- 64 years, the average dosage is 900 mg per day. The capsule needs to be taken three times a day, each containing 300 mg, and should be taken after fixed gaps every day. This is the initial dose, and the doctor may increase the dose after some weeks to 2000- 3000 mg per day.
  • For children between 12-17 years, the average dosage is 900 mg per day. The capsule needs to be taken three times a day, each containing 300 mg, and should be taken after fixed gaps every day. It can be increased to 2000- 3000 mg per day after some weeks.
  • For toddlers between the ages of 3- 11 years, the average dosage is 15 mg per day divided into three doses of 5 mg each, spaced evenly throughout the day. 
  • Infants between the ages of 0- 2 years are not advised to get this medication, and seniors above 65 years might find it difficult to pass out the drug due to kidney problems.

Is the drug clinically approved?

Yes, the drug is clinically approved by the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) to treat various conditions like seizures, nerve pain, and restless leg syndrome.


Certain consequences associated with the drug include:

  • Drowsiness and dizziness due to its inhibitory qualities.
  • Lethargy.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Abnormal eye movements due to a direct impact on the brain cells.
  • Shaking of the body.


Gabapentin is an effective drug and is safe to use. However, do not use the drug without a doctor’s prescription, as it can be lethal to health if an overdose occurs. With drugs becoming popular to treat numerous disorders and diseases, an individual’s life has become much faster and advanced. 

How long does it take Gabapentin to start working?

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