View Full Version : advice on Gabapentin

28th November 2008, 06:57 AM
Annie was prescribed 0.7 ml of gabapentin 2x a day - liquid form. Her first dose she threw up most of it about 15 minutes after taking. I tried again tonight and she threw up some, but not as much.

Does anyone have any advice? I thought I read somewhere that the liquid form had something toxic in it for dogs, but am not sure. The neurologist's office is closed until Monday.

28th November 2008, 09:16 AM
WARNING: The liquid form of Gabapentyn has xylitol in it and is toxic to dogs.


"The current commercial formulation of liquid oral Gabapentin suspension contains xylitol, which may be associated with potentially severe and/or fatal complications in dogs and cats, report Drs. Pierre S. Bichsel, DVM1 MS and Ronald ..."


"The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' Animal Poison Control Center is warning veterinarians, their staff, and pet owners that the xylitol—a sweetener found in some sugar-free chewing gums, candies, and other products can cause serious—possibly life-threatening problems for dogs."

I hope you see this, I'm very worried you get this in time.

Cathy Moon
28th November 2008, 02:52 PM
If I were you I would call the emergency vet and explain the situation. If Annie has ingested Xylitol she needs to be seen by a vet as soon as possible.

28th November 2008, 02:58 PM
Thank goodness I see you're online now. Have been worried.

28th November 2008, 03:11 PM
Thanks for the warning - I gave Annie a dose Wed. night and she threw it up immediately - I have not given her anymore since that time and she seems fine. I just called my regular vet and will be taking her in this morning. Based on how much she threw up I am deeply concerned, but not panicked as not much is really in her system.

I am FURIOUS that a nuerologist office would prescribe this in the first place. Had she not thrown up I would have continued the medication and she would be in trouble right now. The allergy medicine was controlling the symptoms just fine - but the neurologist felt that long term gabapentin is better long term. The neurologist office is closed until Monday and I will be calling them first thing in the AM. I will watch her carefully for any symptoms - as of this morning she seems fine except the scratching is back with no medications. I guess is it just like people, you have to research carefully and trust no one but yourself.

Thanks goodness for this board and the help and experience.

28th November 2008, 03:16 PM
Oh and I intend to DEMAND my money back on the very expensive medication as it is unsafe for my dog. Now I am distrustful of the neurologist and don't know what to do......... but she was very knowedgable of the disease, very informed and very likable. I will speak only to her about the medication - not her staff. I will report back on the results. This is so hard and frustrating.

I have noticed one thing since giving Annie the allergy mediciation - her scratching went down to almost nothing and now for the first time she is jumping up on furniture.

28th November 2008, 03:22 PM
Was she MRIed to diagnose SM? The dry capsule form of Gabapentin is ok for dogs but of course there may be some dogs who it does not agree with.

Cathy Moon
28th November 2008, 03:22 PM
Martha, where did you get the prescription filled? Could a compounding pharmacist have made up a special mixture for your dog? If so, the liquid probably doesn't have Xylitol.

Cathy Moon
28th November 2008, 03:24 PM
Martha, what is the allergy medication? Does it contain Prednisone? If so, it would improve her SM symptoms.

28th November 2008, 03:25 PM
I don't see that there would be any reason to make it into a liquid for a dog, these capsules are easy to administer, I just wrap the capsule in a tiny bit of ham.

Cathy Moon
28th November 2008, 03:30 PM
I don't see that there would be any reason to make it into a liquid for a dog, these capsules are easy to administer, I just wrap the capsule in a tiny bit of ham.
Sometimes compounding pharmacists will do that because they can add flavorings, etc. It might actually be less expensive to make up a liquid than to fill capsules, and then the dosage could be changed easier with a liquid if the vet wants to find the right dosage. But a regular pharmacist wouldn't do it; just a compounding pharmacist; a veterinary neurologist in the US is more likely to send patients to one.

28th November 2008, 03:47 PM
It might actually be less expensive to make up a liquid than to fill capsules, and then the dosage could be changed easier with a liquid if the vet wants to find the right dosage.

Oh I see, that makes sense. Thanks Cathy.

28th November 2008, 04:19 PM
the medication was something directly from the neurologist's office - maybe it is a special mix. Annie was taking temaril (has some prednisone) in it and her scratching all but dissapeared. They could not do an MRI Wednesday because of the holdiay so there was no diagnosis. The plan is to treat symptoms, and if pain develops (there doesn't appear to be any at this time), or things worsen or change then I am to come in for a MRI.

So maybe the gabapentin does not have the dangerous component to dogs. I will certainly ask them on Monday.

30th November 2008, 12:27 AM
Just wanted to add my two cents to liquid gabapentin. Sadie is on liquid gabapentin, but it is compounded by our local pharmacy. When I first had the prescription filled, I asked the pharmacist whether it would contain xylitol, and it did not. Xylitol is included only in human doses as a sweetener so it will be easier to take, and does not usually get included in compounded ones. That's what my pharmacist said they do anyway. Sadie's gabapentin is flavored with chicken and she loves it. The reason our neuro chose the liquid for her was because he felt he would be needing to tweak her dosage and he was right. When she first got it, it was too strong for her and she walked like a drunk! We cut it back from 1 ml to .75 ml the first week and she could handle it much better. After a few weeks she worked up to 1 ml. She recently went up to 1.25ml twice a day to manage her symptoms.

Good luck! And keep us posted on how Annie is doing and what you find out on Monday!

30th November 2008, 01:24 PM
That's good to know, thank you Teri :thmbsup:

2nd December 2008, 02:54 PM
Update - I called the nuerologist and the Gabapentin does contain xylitol ! But her vet tech said the amount is so small Annie would never consume enough to hurt her. They did say they would call in another RX to a compounding pharmacy here in FW so it can be made without Xylitol. I will have them call it in, but it is expensived and frustrating to have to pay for another bottle. Annie will also need something for her stomach to help her since she threw it up the first time.

I put her back on the temaril and she doesn't scratch at all. When I get the new medicine I will coordinate switching her to the gabapentin with my regular vet. Annie is happy, playful and fun. She acts like nothing is wrong with her and I pray she will continue this way for a long time.

2nd December 2008, 04:59 PM
I don't know why they won't just give you the dry capsules. What dose is she on?