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Gabapentin is an analog of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that slows down the activity of nerve cells in the brain. Gabapentin is not a Controlled Substance, that is, one that the United States federal government classifies as having potential for addiction and regulates under the Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Control Act of 1970. The United States Food and Drug Administration approved Neurontin for the treatment of seizures in adults and children, especially as a supplemental drug used for the same purpose. If you experience certain symptoms, you should call your doctor immediately because they can be a sign of a serious health condition.
In general, you should not take gabapentin products with medicines that slow down the central nervous system and make you drowsy.
Drugs containing gabapentin will interact with ketorolac, aluminum carbonate, aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, dihydroxyaluminum amino acetate, dihydroxyaluminum sodium carbonate, ginkgo, magaldrate, magnesium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide, magnesium trislicate, and morphine sulfate liposome. At first the United States Food and Drug Administration approved Neurontin for only for epilepsy but by the year 2000, 78% of prescriptions that doctors wrote for Neurontin were for conditions other than seizure disorders. As criminal and civil lawsuits were filed against the company, more negative information came out. In 2004, gabapentin became available as a cheap generic drug,[xxxv] which drastically reduced its value as a money-maker for Pfizer.
Gabapentin has some potential for abuse because it has psychoactive effects.   Once you have been on it for a while, you may experience a difficult withdrawal syndrome when you try to stop taking it. Gabapentin increases the risk for sudden death after seizures in patients who have epilepsy.  It can cause certain dangerous and sometimes even fatal reactions.
Gabapentin has a half-life of about five to seven hours, which means it should completely clear the body within 38 hours.
Symptoms of a gabapentin overdose may be appearing drunk and disoriented, with slurred speech and double vision.[xli]  Such overdoses are very rare. It has now been proven that gabapentin can build up in the body and cause a severe withdrawal syndrome similar to the ones for benzodiazepines and alcohol.
The United States Drug Enforcement Agency does not list gabapentin as a drug of concern, even though it is being sold on the Internet illegally.
Because the withdrawal syndrome for this drug can produce unpleasant and even dangerous symptoms, you need to consult your doctor or an addiction specialist at a drug rehabilitation clinic about how you can safely stop taking the drug. The state-of-the-art treatment for drug addiction is to enter a residential treatment center where your withdrawal can be done under medical supervision.  If you are addicted to other drugs or alcohol as well as gabapentin, your detoxification process will become even more complicated.
If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you may want to consider talking to your family physician or an addiction specialist at a residential treatment center about your concerns with gabapentin. Do you use gabapentin along with alcohol or other drugs as a way of treating emotional pain? Are you taking gabapentin even though you experience unpleasant side effects and even though you are unsure if it is effective for you? If money were no object, would you enter an intense program to help you deal with drug problems? Drug Addiction TreatmentIf you or someone you love has an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you have likely tried many things. The treatment program you choose can make the difference between ending up on relapse merry-go-round or discovering a new path of lasting recovery. For anyone with a powerful addiction to drugs, the best option is residential drug addiction treatment. Newsletter Subscribe to RSS or subscribe to the monthly Elements Behavioral Health e-newsletter by filling out the form below.


All information offered on the Web Site, whether by a lay person or a health care professional, is for educational purposes only and should not, in any way, be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, or recommendation for treatment. See also How to Use section.Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. Subscribe to the WebMD Daily, and you'll get today's top health news and trending topics, and the latest and best information from WebMD. Subscribe to the Men's Health newsletter for the latest on disease prevention, fitness, sex, nutrition, and more from WebMD. Subscribe to the Women's Health newsletter for the latest on disease prevention, fitness, sex, diet, anti-aging, and more from WebMD. Dizziness, somnolence, peripheral edema, nausea, ataxia, amblyopia, thought disorder, abnormal gait, incoordination. This means that gabapentin has a similar structure and is made up of similar chemicals as GABA, although its effect on the body is not the same. However, gabapentin shares characteristics of addictive drugs in that it produces a withdrawal syndrome and certain psychoactive effects.  Its cousin drug, pregabalin, is a Schedule V Controlled Substance.
David Franklin, an employee of Warner-Lambert, went to authorities to report that his company was promoting Neurontin for uses not approved by the FDA.
Pfizer had apparently delayed or suppressed publication of studies that were negative or neutral about Neurontin, and exaggerated any positive claims.
Pfizer introduced a similar but more potent drug called Lyrica, which was approved by the FDA in December 2004. Symptoms of this condition can be fever, rash, painful lymph glands in the neck and armpit, unusual bleeding, and yellow eyes and skin.[xxxix] Both of these reactions are extremely rare. On the tenth day after stopping Neurontin in a gradual way, she had terrible chest pain, hypertension, and mental changes that were difficult to manage. The usual method is to wean a patient from the drug by gradually lowering the dosage, but this does not always prevent the withdrawal syndrome.[xlvii]  If you have tried unsuccessfully to quit taking gabapentin, you should seek professional help. Once you return home, you usually remain in support meetings in your community and in individual and family counseling to help you stay on track. This gives you enough time to clear your head and body of drugs and begin developing a plan for lasting recovery. While this information can provide you with a basis for discussion with your health care team, it cannot take the place of professional medical care. It is also used to relieve nerve pain following shingles (a painful rash due to herpes zoster infection) in adults.
If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.
This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, expect as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else.
While it is not illegal for doctors to prescribe drugs for unapproved uses, it is illegal for a drug company to advertise and promote them for unapproved uses.
For example, three double-blind studies showed that Neurontin did not improve the symptoms of bipolar patients any better than sugar pills, but the company manipulated the studies and how symptoms were defined in evaluating the success of Neurontin.


Lyrica was approved for seizure disorders and pain from fibromyalgia, but it is now prescribed for many other conditions “off-label,” especially all kinds of chronic pain. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.
Of the 12 studies of the drug’s effect on migraine headaches, two negative ones went unpublished, and some of the positive studies involved only patients who had taken 2400mg or more of the drug.[xxxii] In other studies, patients could easily figure out that they were not in the placebo group, and ordinarily this would have meant that the study could not be published. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Franklin testified that Warner-Lambert paid to doctors to present themselves as authors of studies written by non-doctors employed by the company. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor.
If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule.
If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.Does gabapentin interact with other medications? For children, the dosage is also based on weight.If you are taking the tablets and your doctor directs you to split the tablet in half, take the other half-tablet at your next scheduled dose. If you take gabapentin 3 times a day to control seizures, do not let more than 12 hours pass between doses because your seizures may increase. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.List gabapentin side effects by likelihood and severity. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.What should I know regarding pregnancy, nursing and administering gabapentin to children or the elderly? Consult your doctor right away if this occurs.StorageStore at room temperature away from light and moisture. If you are taking the capsules, swallow them whole with plenty of water.It is very important to follow your doctor's dosing instructions exactly. During the first few days of treatment, your doctor may gradually increase your dose so your body can adjust to the medication. Keep all medications away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so.
To minimize side effects, take the very first dose at bedtime.Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. If you are taking this medication 3 times a day to control seizures, do not let more than 12 hours pass between doses because your seizures may increase.Do not take this medication more often or increase your dose without consulting your doctor.
Your condition will not improve any faster and the risk of serious side effects may increase.Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.Antacids containing aluminum or magnesium may interfere with the absorption of this medication. Therefore, if you are also taking an antacid, it is best to take gabapentin at least 2 hours after taking the antacid.Different forms of gabapentin (such as immediate-release, sustained-release, enacarbil sustained-release) are absorbed in the body differently. Do not switch from one form to the other without consulting your doctor.Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.What conditions does gabapentin treat?



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