What Is Neurontin?
Neurontin (gabapentin) is an antiepileptic drug (AED), additionally known as an anticonvulsant, that may assist deal with epilepsy or postherpetic neuralgia.
Regardless of the identify, it doesn’t have an effect on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system. Gabapentin binds with voltage-activated calcium channels, which usually mediate nerve exercise. Nonetheless, it’s not clear how this motion impacts the medical results of the treatment.
Gabapentin is the generic formulation of the drug, and there are a number of brand-name variations, together with Neurontin. It’s out there as a pill, a capsule, and an oral resolution.
- Generic Identify: Gabapentin
- Model Identify(s): Neurontin
- Drug Availability: Prescription
- Therapeutic Classification: Anticonvulsant
- Accessible Generically: Sure
- Managed Substance: N/A
- Administration Route: Oral
- Energetic Ingredient: Gabapentin
- Dosage Kind(s): Pill, extended-release 24-hour pill, capsule, resolution
What Is Neurontin Used For?
The Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) permitted Neurontin for:
- Add-on (adjunctive) remedy to stop partial-onset seizures (additionally known as focal seizures), that are seizures from epilepsy that start in a selected area of the mind, in adults and kids over the age of three
- Adults with postherpetic neuralgia, a persistent ache situation that may develop after an acute bout of shingles (viral an infection inflicting painful rash) has resolved
Healthcare suppliers often prescribe Neurontin together with a number of AEDs for seizure prevention. It’s not permitted to be used as a single remedy (monotherapy).
In postherpetic neuralgia, shingles causes a rash with extreme superficial and deep ache alongside a pores and skin patch that corresponds to a sensory spinal nerve. Postherpetic neuralgia can develop after the shingles rash has resolved and should stay for months or years, with persistent ache alongside the identical affected patch of pores and skin. Gabapentin will be prescribed to take day by day to manage and stop postherpetic neuralgia ache.
The way to Take Neurontin
It is best to swallow gabapentin tablets, capsules, or oral resolution with water. You’ll be able to take this treatment with or with out meals. Take your dose at bedtime to permit the physique to get used to the facet impact of drowsiness.
If you happen to take an antacid containing aluminum, you need to wait at the very least two hours earlier than taking your subsequent dose of Neurontin.
It is best to swallow the capsules entire. If you cannot swallow the capsules entire, you may open them and sprinkle the contents onto gentle meals, equivalent to applesauce or pudding. If wanted, you may reduce the scored tablets, however you need to take the remaining portion of the pill at your subsequent dose.
Take your Neurontin as prescribed. The time between doses shouldn’t be higher than 12 hours when on a number of day by day dosing regimens. Don’t change your dose with out speaking to your healthcare supplier first.
It is best to retailer gabapentin tablets or capsules at room temperature, ideally at 77 levels Fahrenheit.
Hold the oral resolution refrigerated at a temperature between 36 levels and 46 levels.
Off-Label Makes use of
Healthcare suppliers typically prescribe neurontin for situations that the FDA has not permitted. That is known as off-label use.
Neurontin is prescribed for a number of off-label makes use of, together with:
- Peripheral neuropathy ache (diabetic neuropathy and different forms of nerve harm)
- Radiculopathy ache (attributable to pinching a nerve root within the backbone)
- Ache throughout an episode of shingles
- Fibromyalgia ache (widespread ache)
- Bipolar dysfunction (psychological well being dysfunction inflicting uncommon shifts in temper, vitality, and exercise ranges, in addition to focus and performing duties)
- Migraine prophylaxis (remedy for extreme complications)
- Anxiousness issues
- Stressed legs syndrome (situation inflicting an uncontrollable urge to maneuver the legs)
- Substance use dysfunction
- Publish-traumatic stress dysfunction
There are various ranges of proof for efficacy for the above situations and restricted dosing steerage for utilizing gabapentin in off-label indications.
How Lengthy Does Neurontin Take to Work?
You would possibly begin to have useful results inside days of starting Neurontin, however it could take a number of months to succeed in its full impact.
What Are the Aspect Results of Neurontin?
Neurontin is related to a number of unwanted side effects. Some are gentle and should resolve when the treatment dose is lowered or discontinued shortly after, or after the physique has acclimated to the goal dose.
This isn’t an entire record of unwanted side effects, and others could happen. A medical skilled can advise you on unwanted side effects. If you happen to expertise different results, contact your pharmacist or a medical skilled. Chances are you’ll report unwanted side effects to the FDA at www.fda.gov/medwatch or 800-FDA-1088.
Frequent Aspect Results
Frequent unwanted side effects in adults taking Neurontin can embody:
- Peripheral edema (swelling of the legs or arms): Reported solely in sufferers taking Neurontin for the remedy of postherpetic neuralgia
- Ataxia (diminished steadiness) or nystagmus (jerking eyes): Reported solely in grownup sufferers taking gabapentin for the remedy of epilepsy
Frequent unwanted side effects in kids can embody:
- Viral infections
- Nausea or vomiting
- Hostility and aggression
- Behavioral issues
- Hassle concentrating
Extreme Aspect Results
Among the unwanted side effects that may happen because of taking Neurontin are extreme and will be life-threatening. Extreme unwanted side effects usually are not as widespread because the milder unwanted side effects of Neurontin. Nonetheless, you ought to be conscious that they might develop at any time—shortly after you begin taking gabapentin or after taking the treatment for a very long time. Gabapentin will not be related to long-term unwanted side effects when used as directed.
You’ll be able to develop somnolence (excessive tiredness) when taking gabapentin. Somnolence will not be essentially dangerous, however it may pose a hazard throughout sure actions, equivalent to when climbing a ladder, driving, or utilizing tools that might result in unintentional hurt. Abuse or misuse of Neurontin has additionally been reported.
Extreme unwanted side effects related to Neurontin embody:1
- Drug response with eosinophilia and systemic signs (DRESS), together with a rash, wheezing, issue respiratory, fevers, and organ failure
- Anaphylaxis (extreme allergic response), with swelling of the lips, tongue, and/or throat, issue respiratory, low blood stress
- Suicidal ideation (fascinated about suicide, with or with out a plan)
- Slowed and/or shallow respiratory
When you’ve got any indicators of those unwanted side effects, you need to search pressing medical consideration, as they’ll progress quickly and could also be life-threatening.
Dosage: How A lot Neurontin Ought to I Take?
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The dose of this medication might be totally different for various sufferers. Observe your physician’s orders or the instructions on the label. The next info contains solely the typical doses of this medication. In case your dose is totally different, don’t change it until your physician tells you to take action.
The quantity of medication that you simply take is dependent upon the power of the drugs. Additionally, the variety of doses you are taking every day, the time allowed between doses, and the size of time you are taking the drugs rely upon the medical drawback for which you’re utilizing the drugs.
For oral dosage types (capsules, liquid, and tablets):
- Adults and kids 12 years of age and older—At first, 300 milligrams (mg) 3 times per day. Your physician could alter your dose as wanted and tolerated. Nonetheless, the dose is often no more than 1800 mg per day (600 mg 3 times per day).
- Kids 3 to 11 years of age—Dose is predicated on physique weight and have to be decided by your physician. The beginning dose is 10 to fifteen milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of physique weight per day and divided in 3 doses. Your physician could alter your dose as wanted and tolerated.
- Kids youthful than 3 years of age—Use and dose have to be decided by your physician.
For postherpetic neuralgia:
- Adults— At first, 300 milligrams (mg) as a single dose within the night. Your physician could alter your dose as wanted and tolerated. Nonetheless, the dose is often no more than 1800 mg per day.
- Kids—Use and dose have to be decided by your physician.
Sure elements could require healthcare suppliers to prescribe you a distinct dose for Neurontin.
Chances are you’ll want a decrease dosage of Neurontin you probably have kidney illness or are getting hemodialysis (process during which a machine filters the blood of wastes and water), or depend on hemodialysis because of kidney failure. Your healthcare supplier will alter your dosage based mostly on creatinine clearance, a measure of kidney operate.
For instance, individuals who have a creatinine clearance of between 30 and 59 milliliters per minute (mL/min, regular is over 60 mL/min), ought to obtain roughly two-thirds of the day by day dose of gabapentin that they might have acquired with regular creatinine clearance.
Individuals who depend on hemodialysis because of kidney failure ought to obtain a single dose equal to roughly one-third of the really helpful day by day dose instantly after remedy.
If you’re older (over 65) or have a persistent illness, you may need impaired kidney operate. Your supplier could test your kidney operate earlier than prescribing gabapentin to make dosing changes if crucial.
It is best to discuss to your healthcare supplier about what to do should you miss a dose of Neurontin or any of your different medicines.
If you happen to take Neurontin for ache management and miss your dose, you may take it while you keep in mind, until it’s nearly time in your subsequent dose. Whether it is nearly time in your subsequent dose, skip the missed dose and resume your common schedule. Don’t take double your treatment dose, as this could enhance your threat of unwanted side effects. You would possibly expertise ache should you miss your dose, however lacking one dose will not be harmful.
If you happen to take Neurontin for seizure management and miss your dose, take the missed dose, after which resume your common schedule. Don’t double up in your dose. Do not forget that your Neurontin schedule might be the identical as your schedule in your different antiepileptics.
Lacking a dose may cause you to have a seizure. Be particularly cautious about this till you are taking your treatment. Needless to say it may take time to work, so you ought to be cautious about the potential of having a seizure till a number of hours after you’ve caught up. When you’ve got missed a number of doses, you need to name your healthcare supplier for steerage.
Overdose: What Occurs If I Take Too A lot Neurontin?
Unintended or deliberate overdose of gabapentin will be harmful. Overdose may cause signs equivalent to:
- Lack of steadiness
- Diminished coordination
- Eye issues, together with double imaginative and prescient
Chances are you’ll expertise issue respiratory, which will be life-threatening. Neurontin overdose will be handled with respiratory help. If crucial, the treatment will be eliminated with an pressing hemodialysis process.
What Occurs If I Overdose on Neurontin?
If you happen to assume you or another person could have overdosed on Neurontin (gabapentin), name a healthcare supplier or the Poison Management Middle (800-222-1222).
If somebody collapses or is not respiratory after taking Neurontin, name 911 instantly.
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It is rather vital that your physician test your progress at common visits, particularly within the first few months you probably have epilepsy. This can enable your physician to see if the drugs is working correctly and to determine should you ought to proceed to take it.
Examine along with your physician immediately you probably have a fever, rash, swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands within the neck, armpit, or groin, uncommon bleeding or bruising, or yellow eyes or pores and skin. These could also be signs of a critical and life-threatening allergic response known as drug response with eosinophilia and systemic signs (DRESS) or multiorgan hypersensitivity.
This medication could trigger critical allergic reactions, together with anaphylaxis and angioedema. These will be life-threatening and require quick medical consideration. Name your physician immediately you probably have a rash, itching, bother respiratory, bother swallowing, or any swelling of your arms, face, or mouth when you are utilizing this medication.
Gabapentin could trigger imaginative and prescient modifications, clumsiness, unsteadiness, dizziness, drowsiness, sleepiness, or bother with pondering. Ensure you know the way you react to this medication earlier than you drive, use machines, or do anything that might be harmful if you’re not alert, well-coordinated, or capable of assume or see nicely. If these unwanted side effects are particularly bothersome, test along with your physician.
This medication could trigger some folks to be agitated, irritable, or show different irregular behaviors, equivalent to feeling unhappy or hopeless, getting upset simply, or feeling nervous, stressed, or hostile. It might additionally trigger some folks to have suicidal ideas and tendencies or to turn into extra depressed. If you happen to, your little one, or your caregiver discover any of those unwanted side effects, inform your physician immediately.
This medication will add to the consequences of alcohol and different CNS depressants (medicines that make you drowsy or much less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medication for hay fever, allergic reactions, or colds, sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicines, prescription ache medication or narcotics, different medicines for seizures (eg, barbiturates), muscle relaxants, or anesthetics, together with some dental anesthetics. Examine along with your medical physician or dentist earlier than taking any of the above whilst you or your little one are utilizing gabapentin.
This medication could trigger respiratory melancholy, a critical respiratory drawback that may be life-threatening, when used along with narcotic ache medicines. Examine along with your physician immediately you probably have pale or blue lips, fingernails, or pores and skin, tough or troubled respiratory, or irregular, quick or gradual, or shallow respiratory.
Don’t cease utilizing gabapentin with out checking along with your physician. Stopping the drugs all of a sudden could trigger seizures. Your physician might want you or your little one to steadily scale back the quantity you’re taking earlier than stopping it utterly.
Make sure that any physician or dentist who treats you is aware of that you’re utilizing this medication. This medication could have an effect on the outcomes of sure medical checks.
Don’t take different medicines until they’ve been mentioned along with your physician. This contains prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and natural or vitamin dietary supplements.
What Are Causes I Shouldn’t Take Neurontin?
You shouldn’t take Neurontin you probably have ever had an opposed response to gabapentin.
Neurontin will not be really helpful for people who find themselves pregnant or breastfeeding. If you happen to take Neurontin and plan to turn into pregnant, focus on your remedy choices along with your healthcare supplier. If you’re taking Neurontin and have turn into pregnant, don’t cease taking it, however name your supplier to debate whether or not you need to proceed to make use of Neurontin.
What Drugs Work together With Neurontin?
Neurontin can work together with the next medicines:
- Maalox or different medicine containing magnesium or aluminum hydroxide
Maalox or different antacids containing magnesium or aluminum hydroxide, which are sometimes used to deal with heartburn or indigestion, could work together with Neurontin. These medicines can decrease the absorption of gabapentin. Wait at the very least two hours after a dose of an antacid containing magnesium or aluminum hydroxide earlier than taking your Neurontin.
Sure opioids also can work together with gabapentin. Taking hydrocodone with Neurontin can lower hydrocodone publicity (efficacy). If taking Neurontin with morphine, you might must be noticed for central nervous system melancholy indicators.
You additionally keep away from sure natural dietary supplements, equivalent to kratom, when taking gabapentin. Earlier than beginning Neurontin, make an inventory of the OTC dietary supplements you are taking and evaluation them along with your healthcare supplier.
Be cautious about mixing Neurontin with leisure alcohol use, as this could enhance the central nervous system depressant results of the treatment.
What Drugs Are Related?
Gabapentin is the generic model of Neurontin and Horizant (an extended-release formulation).
Different generally used AEDs for treating partial seizures together with gabapentin embody:
Lyrica (pregabalin) is one other treatment with an identical mechanism of motion to Neurontin. It is usually used to assist deal with seizures and postherpetic neuralgia.
Ceaselessly Requested Questions
What’s Neurontin used for?
The FDA permitted Neurontin (gabapentin) to stop partial-onset seizures and deal with postherpetic neuralgia ache. It’s typically prescribed off-label to handle persistent ache situations and temper issues.
How does Neurontin work?
Scientists imagine that Neurontin (gabapentin) presumably has inhibitory results on nerve operate.
What medicine shouldn’t be taken with Neurontin
Chances are you’ll want to regulate the timing of your doses should you take Neurontin and Maalox or different medicine containing magnesium or aluminum hydroxide. Wait two hours after taking considered one of these antacids earlier than taking your Neurontin dose.
What are the unwanted side effects of Neurontin?
The commonest unwanted side effects embody tiredness and steadiness issues, however extreme unwanted side effects, together with allergic reactions and organ failure, also can happen.
How lengthy does Neurontin keep in your system?
The half-life is 5 to seven hours, which signifies that half of the final dose must be eradicated out of your physique (you probably have completely wholesome kidneys) in that point. Nonetheless, the remaining half takes longer than 5 to seven hours to be eradicated. You may need small quantities of gabapentin in your system for a number of days after your final dose.
How do I safely cease taking Neurontin?
It is best to cease this treatment steadily and beneath the steerage of a medical supplier, as stopping it all of a sudden may cause withdrawal seizures. Your supplier offers you a dosing schedule to scale back your dose steadily.
Why does Neurontin trigger weight acquire?
Neurontin may cause an elevated urge for food and edema (swelling), which might result in weight acquire. If you’re experiencing weight acquire because of edema, you need to discuss to your healthcare supplier about potential remedy choices.
When you’ve got weight acquire because of an elevated urge for food, contemplate methods like consuming more healthy (avoiding meals with preservatives, high-fat meals, and sugar-added meals) and including extra train to your weekly routine.
How Can I Keep Wholesome Whereas Taking Neurontin?
Neurontin is usually secure when taken as prescribed, however it may trigger unwanted side effects. You should definitely monitor the signs that emerge whereas taking your treatment so you may discuss to your healthcare supplier about whether or not it’s efficient.
Epilepsy and postherpetic neuralgia can each be tough situations to handle. Remedies may also help enhance high quality of life, so following your prescribed remedy routine is vital. Along with taking your treatment, you may strive totally different methods to assist cope along with your situation.
Verywell Well being’s drug info is supposed for academic functions solely and isn’t meant as a substitute for medical recommendation, analysis, or remedy from a healthcare skilled. Seek the advice of your physician earlier than taking any new treatment(s). IBM Watson Micromedex supplies a few of the drug content material, as indicated on the web page.