Gabapentin is used to treat neuropathic pain and is prescribed for seizure control in some forms of epilepsy.
The funded brand of gabapentin is changing from Arrow-Gabapentin, Neurontin or Nupentin to Apo-Gabapentin.
The new brand is available from 1 June 2018.
- From 1 June 2018 Apo-Gabapentin capsules will be fully funded and available for patients.
- From 1 August 2018 a part payment may be required for Arrow-Gabapentin, Neurontin and Nupentin capsules.
- From 1 August 2018 you can pick up 3 months of gabapentin capsules instead of 1-month supply.
- From 1 November 2018 only Apo-Gabapentin capsules will be fully funded. Arrow-Gabapentin, Neurontin and Nupentin capsules will no longer be funded.
Apo-Gabapentin has been thoroughly evaluated by Medsafe to ensure it is safe and works the same as other brands.
If you take gabapentin it’s important you take it regularly and that you don’t stop using it without talking to your health professional first.
If you do want to keep using your current brand of gabapentin capsules, you can ask your pharmacist to check the price and availability. PHARMAC cannot guarantee the availability or price of Arrow-Gabapentin, Neurontin and Nupentin after 1 November 2018.
For healthcare professionals
- From 1 November 2018 to 31 January 2018 a brand switch fee will be able to be claimed on the first funded dispensing of Apo-Gabapentin capsules, dispensed by community pharmacies, once per patient.
- From 1 June 2018 Apo-Gabapentin will be funded in both community and hospital settings without a Special Authority restriction.
- From 1 August 2018 Special Authority restrictions applying to Arrow-Gabapentin, Neurontin and Nupentin will be removed.
There will be a restriction preventing concurrent funding of prescriptions of gabapentin and pregabalin for patients.
The Apo-Gabapentin capsules are hard gelatin capsules with white opaque bodies and a white, yellow or orange cap for the 100, 300 or 400 mg capsules accordingly.
If you want to know more about prescribing gabapentinoids (external link) this recent article written by bpacNZ may be useful.
Last updated: 15 May 2018