View Full Version : Question about Gabapentin

Cathy Moon
25th March 2008, 12:07 AM
What is the normal dose for Gabapentin, when a cavalier begins to need it for SM? Also, is it available in tablet form (that can be cut)? I know someone whose cav needs to start on Gabapentin, and they aren't sure what dosage.

Molly's mom
25th March 2008, 02:33 AM

When Molly was first diagnosed, a neurologist from Virginia recommended 10mg per kg every 8 hours increasing up to 30mg per kg if necessary to abate scratching.

To my knowledge gabapentin is only available in capsule and liquid forms. The capsules are much cheaper. It also pays to call around, as I found a local pharamcy to be much cheaper than the big chains. I currently pay around $31 for 540 100mg pills (3 months worth). Hope this helps.

Molly's mom
25th March 2008, 02:42 AM
It appears I was wrong about Gabapentin being available in form. :)

Molly's mom
25th March 2008, 02:45 AM
Okay, I will try this again :o. Gabapentin is available in tablet form.

Cathy Moon
25th March 2008, 10:37 AM
:flwr:Thanks for the information.

After you provided the dosage, I googled Gabapentin and found info about the forms it comes in - the liquid form contains Xylitol which is toxic to dogs, so that's out. The tablets are much higher mg doses than the capsules. So the capsules seem to be the best/only option.

25th March 2008, 03:07 PM
Hi Cathy. We've used both the tablets and capsules. Our vet practice sells it and depending on which supplier from whom they order dictates whether we have pills or capsules. Spencer takes 200mg twice a day for severe scratching. I've heard that it's often hard to divide the capsules equally. Could your friend try the 100mg tablets and cut them in fourths? I use a pill splitter to cut my cats medicine in fourths and it's pretty easy to do.

25th March 2008, 04:00 PM
Clare's document with recommended dosages is here:

http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/Treatment%20algorithim%20(Syringomyelia%20made%20s imple).pdf

She recommends starting with 10-20mg/kg (or about 5-10mg per lb). You can get gabapentin a LOT cheaper in the US! I pay about $60 for 100 pills. On the flip side, for years I could get claritin here for a fraction of the cost in the US.

I have split the capsules but it is a pain. Though that said delivering an exact dosage isn't that big a deal. It is easy to split tablets, I do it all the time for other medications and pill cutters make it really easy. We can only get capsules over here.

25th March 2008, 06:54 PM
I'm able to get 240 100mg tabs/caps, a 60 day supply, for $54 at our vet. They are crazy expensive for everything else (office visits were raised to $72) but they sell Spencer's gab for dirt cheap. Hopefully no one from their office reads your board. :lol:

Molly's mom
25th March 2008, 07:05 PM
Wow I feel very lucky paying just $31 for 540, 100mg capsules. :)

Lyrica on the other hand is crazy expensive. Molly tried one prescription of that, it was $65 for 10 days worth and in her case didn't really make a difference.

25th March 2008, 09:19 PM
Lyrica is still patent protected and there's no generic available. Gabapentin is now generic and there's competition, hence the savings. Lyrica is REALLY expensive.

Cathy Moon
26th March 2008, 11:25 AM
Thanks to each of you for the dosage info.

Just one more question - Clare's document shows NSAIDs as being the first choice for pain med, followed by Gabapentin if it doesn't work. Is that what was tried on your cavs at first? Just wondering, because I thought NSAIDs would be a little hard on their digestive systems over the long term.

26th March 2008, 11:47 AM
I suppose they all have their side effects. People use them extensively though all the time so I guess it is weighing up each choice in the balance and monitoring for side effects. Different NSAIDS are tolerated in different ways I think. I cannot take ibuprofen myself as I had severe problems with it eventually after long term occasional use. But I could use others if needed.

My vets followed the protocol as they needed to under Irish law to prescribe a human medication not licensed for use in animals. They needed their records to reflect that we'd followed a standard pathway.

Ruth M
18th June 2008, 03:58 PM
Hi - just been reading this thread (sooo helpful - thx). Does anyone know if its OK to open the gabapentin capsules and feed the drug in powder form mixed with food/treat?

Also - apart from the tiredness (does this get better??) are any of your dogs showing any gabapentin side affects? My vet has assured me there are no long term side effects, however Tilly is only 18 months old and on 300 mg daily - which we may have to increase. Just wondered if any one has been using this drug long term ..

Thanks - Ruth

18th June 2008, 07:20 PM
I used to take it out and mix it because I used half a capsule but it it better to give it in the capsule I think -- I just put it in a bit of soft cheese (eg Laughing Cow) and have no problems with pills.

There can be some side effects -- sleepiness especially on high doses, dizziness etc is reported in people. But generally it is well tolerated.

300mg daily wouldn't be particularly high according to Clare Rusbridge's protocol. Just keep in mind the condition is progressive and gabapentin doesn't help the condition at all -- it only helps with the pain and therefore the symptoms. If you have a cavalier with very pronounced symptoms at only 18 months, you'd certainly want to seriously discuss the surgery as an option with a neurologist familiar with SM, if that is something you would consider. It isn't an option for all cavaliers, nor a choice everyone wishes to make for all sorts of valid reasons, but it is the only way of possibly stopping the progression.

18th June 2008, 09:57 PM
I would definitely advise keeping the powder within the capsule - it can actually be very corrosive to the bowel lining.

Teddy has been on 900mg per day for some months now, without any side effects - the sleepiness wears off in most dogs, and generally it is well tolerated as the body processes the drug very quickly, hence the need to give 8 hourly doses.

He has been taking the drug for over 2 years now, and I'm aware of other dogs who've been on it longer. Clare Rusbridge's drug protocol suggests annual liver function tests whilst taking this, but when I was last in contact with her, she wasn't aware of any dogs having liver problems.

Wishing you well with Tilly.

18th June 2008, 10:13 PM
Forgot to mention that Leo too has been taking it for over two years with no problems or obvious side affects.

18th June 2008, 11:35 PM
Jack takes 75mg every 8 hours. They are custom compounded (so no pill cutting necessary) for about $75 for a month supply w/shipping included.