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Pain Meds for People are Poisonous to Dogs!

   Gabapentin is a medication used in both human and veterinary medicine as an anticonvulsant and pain reliever. Gabapentin is often prescribed because it has relatively few drug interactions and mild side effects. While there are no FDA-approved veterinary-labeled gabapentin products, gabapentin is commercially available for humans as a capsule, tablet, and oral suspension. However, the smallest solid dosage that is commercially available is 100 mg, and this dose may be too high for many dogs. And, commercially available gabapentin suspension contains a high concentration of xylitol, a low-carbohydrate sugar substitute found in many sugar-free products. Xylitol is considered safe in humans but causes profound insulin release in dogs. Canine ingestion of 100 mg/kg or more of xylitol can result in life-threatening hypoglycemia, and ingestion of higher doses can cause liver toxicity.
   In order to prevent xylitol toxicity in canine patients who can benefit from gabapentin therapy, our compounding pharmacists can prepare a xylitol-free oral gabapentin suspension.  If refrigerated, this suspension is stable for 90 days after the date it was compounded. For pet owners who prefer capsules, our compounding pharmacists can also prepare gabapentin capsules in strengths that are not commercially available, for example 25 mg and 50 mg capsules. These capsules have a longer shelf life than the compounded suspension, with stability of 6 months after the date they were compounded.
Ask our Compounding Pharmacist about Customized Medications without Problem-Causing Additives.


Cheng JK & Chiou LC. Mechanisms of the antinociceptive action of gabapentin. Journal of Pharmacological Sciences 2006, 100: 471–86. 

Murphy LA & Coleman AE.  Xylitol toxicosis in dogs.  Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice.  2012, 42(2): 307-12. 

Nahata MC.  Development of two stable oral suspensions for gabapentin. Pediatric Neurology.  1999, 20(3): 195-7.

Plumb, D.  Veterinary Drug Handbook. Ames, Iowa: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015.  https://www.plumbsveterinarydrugs.com/#!/monograph/CSJtfV8dnf

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