Drugs Home > What Is Gabapentin Enacarbil Used For?
If you have restless legs syndrome (RLS) or postherpetic neuralgia, your healthcare provider may recommend the use of gabapentin enacarbil. This prescription drug helps treat RLS symptoms such as uncontrollable leg movements during sleep and an irresistible urge to move the legs. In some cases, a healthcare provider may recommend this drug for a condition it is not approved to treat, such as social anxiety disorder.
Gabapentin enacarbil (Horizant™) is a prescription medication used to treat the following conditions:
- Restless legs syndrome (RLS)
- Nerve pain that occurs after a case of shingles (known medically as postherpetic neuralgia).
RLS is a neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs and an almost uncontrollable urge to move when at rest in an effort to relieve these feelings. In some people, the cause of RLS is known. These cases are known as secondary RLS, because the RLS is secondary to another condition, such as pregnancy, anemia, or Parkinson's disease.
However, for many people, the cause of restless legs syndrome cannot be identified; these cases are known as primary RLS (see Types of Restless Legs Syndrome for more information).
Common symptoms of restless legs syndrome include:
- Unpleasant sensations in the legs, often described as creeping, crawling, tingling, pulling, or painful
- An irresistible urge to move the legs
- Leg discomfort that gets worse when lying down or sitting for long periods
- The need to constantly move the legs or other affected body parts to lessen discomfort
- Uncontrollable leg (and sometimes arm) movements during sleep
- Daytime sleepiness.
Although there is no cure for restless legs syndrome, some forms of treatment may help lessen symptoms. For secondary RLS that has an identifiable cause, treatment may focus on the underlying cause. For primary RLS, which has no identifiable cause, medication may be necessary.
Gabapentin enacarbil is approved to help treat moderate-to-severe primary RLS in adults. It is not recommended for people who need to sleep during the day and remain awake at night.