For many of the conditions for which gabapentin may be prescribed, there are other treatment options that may help if this drug isn’t right for you. For fibromyalgia patients, for instance, an anticonvulsant drug that is similar to gabapentin called pregabalin (sold under the brand name Lyrica) may be used. Pregabalin may also be prescribed instead of gabapentin for postherpetic neuralgia (PTN); in addition, PTN patients may use a skin patch with a numbing medicine called lidocaine, or take acetaminophen, NSAIDs, or prescription painkillers such as codeine or hydrocodone. Antidepressants may help PTN patients sleep, and for severe cases, electrical nerve stimulation may be employed.
Other treatment options for restless leg syndrome include low doses of pramipexole or ropinirole; for severe cases, tranquilizers such as clonazepam may be used.
If the use of anticonvulsant medications—including but not limited to gabapentin—doesn’t work for epilepsy patients, surgery may be needed to remove abnormal brain cells or implant a nerve stimulator, which works in a manner similar to a pacemaker to reduce seizures. Diet and lifestyle modifications may also help epilepsy patients.