Is Gabapentin a Good Idea for Neonates with Irritability?

A recent case report (CM Cotten, et al. J Pediatr 2016; 169: 310-2) retrospectively reviewed 11 neonates (8 preterm) who received gabapentin mainly for “visceral hyperalgesia/agitation.”  The starting doses generally ranged from a low of 5 mg/kg/dose every 24 hrs to 5 mg/kg/dose every 8 hrs.  Generally, there were improved symptoms and lower need for opioids and benzodiazepines; the most frequent adverse reaction noted was bradycardia.  The authors caution against abrupt withdrawal of gabapentin.

My take: Like most medications, gabapentin has not been adequately evaluated in neonates, but it would not surprise me if it were useful for irritability.

Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications/diets (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician/nutritionist.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

Old San Juan

Old San Juan

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