Gabapentin is primarily taken by people with epilepsy to help control their seizures. Another common use for this medication is to treat the stabbing pain that can follow a bout of the shingles, which is called postherpetic neuralgia (PTN). The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of gabapentin for PTN in 2011; the FDA has not yet approved gabapentin’s use as a treatment for fibromyalgia, though some doctors prescribe it “off label” for fibromyalgia patients’ pain anyway.
Gabapentin is also used relieve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, which is characterized by tingling and numbness in people with diabetes, and to treat or prevent hot flashes in women who are either undergoing breast cancer treatment or who have gone through menopause. Horizant, an extended-release gabapentin tablet, is used as a treatment for restless leg syndrome, a condition accompanied by leg discomfort and a strong urge to move one’s legs, especially while sitting or lying down.