FM/CFS/ME RESOURCES - Drug Database - Neurontin

 

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Drug Database - Neurontin Gabapentin 100 mg. capsule

Generic Name: gabapentin (ga-bah-PEN-tin)

Brand Names: Neurontin®

Classification: Anti-Epileptic/Anticonvulsant

Issue Date: 1990

New research supported by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) shows that the anticonvulsant medication neurontin, which is used for certain types of seizures, can be an effective treatment for the pain and other symptoms associated with the common, often hard-to-treat chronic pain disorder, Fibromyalgia (FM).

In the NIAMS-sponsored, randomized, double-blind clinical trial of 150 women (90 percent) and men with the condition, Lesley M. Arnold, M.D., director of the Women's Health Research Program at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and her colleagues found that those taking neurontin at dosages of 1,200 to 2,400 mg daily for 12 weeks displayed significantly less pain than those taking placebo. Patients taking neurontin also reported significantly better sleep and less fatigue. For the majority of participants, the drug was well tolerated. The most common side effects included dizziness and sedation, which were mild to moderate in severity in most cases.

  • Before Using This Medicine
  • How To Use This Medicine
  • Precautions While on this Medicine
  • Side Effects
  • If You Miss A Dose
  • Drug Interactions
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    Before Using This Medicine

    If you are taking neurontin for seizures, do not stop taking neurontin even if you feel better. It is important to continue taking the medication to prevent seizures from recurring.

    Carry or wear a medical identification tag to let others know that you are taking this medicine in the case of an emergency.

    Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Neurontin may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

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    How To Use This Medicine

    Take neurontin exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you. Take each dose of neurontin with a full glass of water. Neurontin can be taken with or without food.

    To ensure you get the correct dose, measure the neurontin oral solution with a dose-measuring cup or spoon, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

    Carry or wear a medical identification tag to let others know that you are taking this medicine in the case of an emergency.

    Do not stop taking neurontin without talking to your doctor. Suddenly stopping neurontin may cause side effects. If you are taking neurontin for seizures, do not stop taking neurontin even if you feel better. It is important to continue taking the medication to prevent seizures from recurring. Store neurontin tablets and capsules at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Store the neurontin oral solution in the refrigerator.

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    Precautions While on this Medicine

    Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have any other medical conditions, especially:

    • kidney disease
    • liver disease
    • heart disease

    Also discuss any medicines that you take, including over-the-counter preparations. Neurontin is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether neurontin will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take neurontin without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Neurontin passes into breast milk. Do not take neurontin without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

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    If You Miss A Dose

    Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if several hours have passed and it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of the medication to catch up.

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    Side Effects

    Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction:

    • skin rash or hives
    • difficulty breathing
    • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat

    Neurontin has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occur in a group of people taking the drug are documented and compared to side effects that occur in another group of people not taking the drug. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine. In these studies, the most common side effects of neurontin included:

    • Dizziness: in up to 28 percent of people
    • Drowsiness: up to 21.4 percent
    • Coordination problems: up to 12.5 percent
    • Infections: up to 10.9 percent
    • Fever: up to 10.1 percent
    • Nausea or vomiting: up to 8.4 percent
    • Swelling or fluid retention in the legs, feet, arms, or hands - up to 8.3 percent
    • Unusual eye movements: up to 8.3 percent

    Other common neurontin side effects, occurring in 1 to 7 percent of people, included:

    • Shakiness (tremor)
    • Double vision or blurred vision
    • Weakness or fatigue
    • Diarrhea or constipation
    • Dry mouth (see Neurontin and Dry Mouth)
    • Increased appetite or weight gain
    • Bronchitis
    • Accidental injury
    • Sore throat
    • Hyperactivity (in children)
    • Changes in thinking (such as difficulty concentrating)
    • Nervousness
    • Speech problems
    • Memory loss (amnesia)
    • Indigestion or heartburn
    • Gas
    • Back pain
    • Problems walking
    • Twitching
    • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
    • Conjunctivitis ("pink eye")
    • Ear infection
    • Flushing or hot flashes

    Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

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    Drug Interactions

    Neurontin does not interact with other commonly used antiseizure medications.

    Antacids will decrease the amount of neurontin that is absorbed in the stomach. Do not take neurontin for at least 2 hours after a dose of antacid.

    Neurontin may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including:

    • antidepressants
    • alcohol
    • antihistamines
    • sedatives (used to treat insomnia)
    • pain relievers
    • anxiety medicines
    • muscle relaxants

    Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with neurontin or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

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