Medical Advice

Does Gabapentin Cause Weight Gain?

does gabapentin cause weight gain

Many people try to maintain a healthy weight. Individuals exercise daily, eat healthy food, and quit harmful habits to live a healthy life. However, even after doing all this, people still find it difficult to maintain a proper body mass. One of the reasons for this is that the treatments of some complications involve the use of certain medicines. Some such medicines can cause weight gain in a few individuals. Today we will be taking a look at a medicine called gabapentin and its properties. We will also answer the question: Does gabapentin cause weight gain?

So, let’s start the blog with an introduction to Gabapentin Drug!

What is Gabapentin?

It is a generic medicine that is used to treat postherpetic neuralgia and partial-onset seizures. Gabapentin drug is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of these diseases. One can only purchase gabapentin with a prescription. Neurontin is the branded variant of this drug.

Forms of Gabapentin:

Gabapentin is available in the form of an oral capsule. The possible strengths of this drug are as follows-

Mechanism of Gabapentin Drug:

The exact mechanism of the workings of gabapentin is not known. However, it is believed that it works by interacting with neurotransmitters.

Gabapentin Uses:

Gabapentin is used in the treatments of the below-mentioned complications:

(I) Postherpetic Neuralgia

Postherpetic Neuralgia is a condition where nerves get damaged due to a shingles outbreak. This results in severe pain which may last for weeks or even months.

For the treatment of adults with postherpetic neuralgia, the doctors will administer 300 mg of gabapentin on day 1. The dose will be increased in increments of 300 until day 3. After this, the dosage may or may not be increased. The Maximum dosage for postherpetic neuralgia is Gabapentin 1600 mg per day.

Gabapentin is not for the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia in minors.

(II) Epilepsy with Partial Onset Seizures

A partial onset seizure is a condition where unnatural electrical activity takes place in just a single portion of the brain. Epilepsy is a condition where seizures reoccur.

(a) Patients of ages 12 – 64 years:

The initial dose is 900 mg per day. The doctor may increase the dose up to 3600 mg per day after carefully monitoring the patient.

(b) For Children of ages 3 – 11 years:

The typical initial dose is 10 – 15 mg/kg/day, depending on the body weight. It should be divided into three doses and taken in even intervals throughout the day. The dose may be regulated, depending on the patient’s needs.

In case of a missed dose, patients should take the dose when they remember it. However, the missed dose shall be skipped if the time is almost for the next dose. Taking two doses at once is strictly prohibited.

Does Gabapentin Cause Weight Gain?

Gabapentin can cause side effects in a few patients. One of these effects happens to be an increase in appetite. It may result in weight gain. Doctors are not sure why it happens, but there are not any extreme changes in the weight of the patients.

If a person experiences rapid increment in his or her weight after using gabapentin, then have to inform their doctor immediately.

Other Side Effects of Gabapentin

Gabapentin can show side effects other than weight gain. These are as folows-

  • Unnatural and uncontrollable eye movements
  • Unsteadiness
  • Stomach problem
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Although not commonly, gabapentin can also cause severe side effects. Patients should consult their doctor urgently if they experience these side effects:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Excessive Tiredness
  • Suicidal Idealization
  • Insomnia
  • Any sign of an allergic reaction
  • Panic attacks


To ensure that gabapentin works as intended, patients must follow some guidelines or precautions-

  • The use of this drug often makes patients dizzy. So they should avoid tasks that require full concentration, like driving, while they are using gabapentin.
  • Keep the tablets of gabapentin in a dry place at room temperature.
  • Avoid alcohol during the medication course.
  • This medicine can cause drug interaction with other drugs.


So, in conclusion, we get to know the answer to the question, “Does gabapentin cause weight gain?”, yes, it may cause weight gain as a side effect in people. To cause any increase in body mass is not the intended use of this drug. What side effects a person may or may not experience depends highly on the physiology of that person.

However, patients may feel bothered by an increase in weight that may occur after using this drug. Such individuals should speak about this problem to their doctors, who might provide solutions to the patient’s problem.

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