Gabapentin (Trade name - Neurontin) was approved for use in the United States in 1994, and has been used with some success in adult human patients suffering from focal seizures. It is most often used as a secondary (or add-on) drug to help treat seizures resistant to Phenobarbital and Potassium Bromide. A major advantage to this drug in humans is that is not metabolized by the liver, so it avoids the hepatotoxic (liver injuring) effects of other anticonvulsants. In dogs, gabapentin is metabolized partially by the liver and no one is completely sure of the anticonvulsant effects of this metabolite. It is believed that Gabapentin is beneficial in dogs with focal seizures refractory (resistant) to other drugs.
A recommended starting dose is 100 to 300 mg per dog given every 8 hours. The dose is then adjusted every one to two weeks until seizures are controlled or a maximum dose of 1200 mg every 8 hours is reached.
Gabapentin is not sedating and side effects appear to be uncommon. The biggest disadvantages to gabapentin are that it is extremely expensive and requires dosing every 8 hours.