Neurontin Generic Name: gabapentin What is Neurontin (gabapentin)? Gabapentin affects chemicals and nerves in the body that are involved in the cause of seizures and some types of pain. The exact way that it works is unknown. You will find information on Neurontin at Drugs.com Consumer Information http://www.drugs.com/neurontin.html Professional Information http://www.drugs.com/pro/neurontin.html Neurontin (gabapentin) capsules, tablets and oral solution are supplied as follows: 100 mg capsules; 300 mg capsules; 400 mg capsules; 600 mg tablets; 800 mg tablets; 250 mg/5 mL oral solution. Images of these preparations are available on this page. http://www.drugs.com/neurontin-images.html Additional Resources: Seizures http://www.drugs.com/CG/SEIZURES.html
8 Apr 2004
actually it will decrease your appetite, and yes it will lessen the feeling or sensation during sex. its a drug that is used to treat illnesses like MS and degenerative spine disease. it works to block pain receptors and nerve ending in the brain and throughout the body.
21 Apr 2004
I read online that Neurotin is also used to treat Fibromyalgia as well? Is this true? Also why do so many medications have sexual side effects? I suffer from Chronic Migraines, Chronic Refractive Headaches, Fibromyalgia, Degenerative Disk Disease and Stenosis of L4-L5. My husband doesn't understand why my sexual responce isn't the same any more and blame himself, even though I have showed him the side effects of my medications. [?]What can I do to help this proglemm or make my husband understand that it is not Him??
2 May 2004
Hey, don't feel bad I have to take 800mg of neurontin 4 times!!a day. I am getting fat and yes I can't get it up!LOL I am going to stop taking it when I get my new medication in, Avenza. Neurontin Accually is a deturrent medication to keep you off the heavy stuff. I am a chronic pain patient and I know these doctors tricks. If you want to know something also neurontin is very bad on the liver worse than tylonol or really any pain drug. I guess they want you to die before you feel tottaly better. If you take this make your doctor give you bi- monthly blood test to see if there is an increase in you liver (enzimes)?. I don't know how to spell that.LOL! I am terrible at spelling. FYI- I know people are worried about getting addicted but think Is this pain going away? If not you are not going to turn into a shoot up drug addict. That is what the government wants to promote to make you not want to take it.
I have been taking narks for over six years and I haven't robbed anyone yet! That is a miss conception. Most people in real pain don't hurt anybody we are just happy to live.
21 May 2004
After being prescribed Neurontin my wife experienced greatly increased libidio, as well as, psychotic mania, mood swings, aggression, suicidal ideation, and had three attempted suicides. Not the nicest drug around. The prescribing psychiatrist refused to acknowledge that here bizarre symptoms were related to Neurontin, but of course, he was being funded by Pfizer.
25 May 2004
This is in response to "Ivebeenhurtin" If I did not know any better I would swear that your post was something I'd posted. I too suffer from fibromyalgia and degenerative disc disease and have been on multiple meds including neurontin for several years. I've undergone 2 back surgeries, a gastric bypass surgery, & hernia repair. Yes, the sex drive is caput! Please let your husband know that it is NOT his problem that the problem is a combination of the meds themselves and the your pain. I've learned through my own experience that when your back is hurting that you will do just about anything to get relief and that in combination with the pain of the fibromyalgia, sex is the LAST thing I'm interested in. If it helps, show this post to him. Hope you get some relief soon.:)
31 May 2004
I have to get use to posting here. I posted wrong at first.
I have severe Neuropathy and the Neurologist started by prescribing 400mg of Neurotin 3 times a day, increasing it to 800mg 3 times a day and then 1200mg 3 times a day. We didn't know the side effects but I was loosing my memory and alertness. The doctors just told me to let my wife drive because I wasn't alert to traffic lights or tail lights. Then I noticed I was having a time breathing and they put me on oxygen without finding the cause. My wife noticed my speach was slured. By the time I got a doctors appointment I was really bad and my wife and cried and told him I was dieing more ever day. He asked why I was talking with a thick toung and she said you think he is bad, He is good now. They hopizalized me and took away all medications, ran tests and gradually put me back on my medications except they prescribed 400mg of Neurotin. I improved considerable, but had neuropathy pain again. Now they are trying to use LOBITAL. Again, you have to be careful with it. Both are approved by FDA for Epilopsy. However, my neurologist said that 90% of the Neurotin is used for other reasons.
Bill Pyles, firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Jun 2004
I was prescribed neurontin for fibromyalgia symptoms. I had the side effects of raised blood pressure, swelling, headaches, and drying of my eyes. And to be honest, since my fibro diagnosis, almost everything they have tried me on has put weight on - without changes in eating habits. So I decided it wasn't worth it.Because of the side effects, I didn't even give it a long enough chance to see if helped the restless legs (and body) or my inability to sleep. I guess I was scared that I was doing more harm than good.
2 Jun 2004
I am a chronic migraine sufferer and I too am on neurontin. I take 1500 mg. twice a day. My neurologist likes this drug because it does not go through the liver. I have gained a few pounds with it, but it is better than the horrible headaches I was getting. I take imitrex and maxalt-mlt and have success with them.
11 Aug 2004
I don't see why anyone would want to take Neurontin at all.
11 Aug 2004
This article was originally in Boston Globe. Look at what the head of psychopharmacologist at Harvard had to say. Dr. Bodkin...
Use of drug soars despite controversy
Neurontin maker faces probes into marketing
By Liz Kowalczyk, Globe Staff, 11/25/2002
When federal investigators flew into Massachusetts looking for doctors who heavily prescribed Neurontin, an anticonvulsant drug whose sales were soaring, they quickly zeroed in on Dr. David Osser, a psychiatrist and one of the top 10 Neurontin prescribers at VA Medical Center in Brockton.
The investigators wanted to know whether the people who sell the drug for the manufacturer had pressured him. He assured them that they hadn't and that he was prescribing lots of Neurontin because doctors at conferences and in medical journals were praising the drug and he thought it might help patients suffering from bipolar disease.
Osser's views have changed. After that encounter three years ago, he has cut back on prescribing the drug, also known by its generic name, gabapentin.
But Osser, who now sits on a state committee investigating the widespread use of the drug in the Massachusetts Medicaid program, said many physicians have not. Neurontin use remains profuse, even as doubts about its effectiveness for bipolar patients has grown. The state will soon warn 5,000 physicians to cut down on ''inappropriate'' use.
''People call it Vitamin G,'' he said. ''It's everywhere.''
The aggressive marketing of Neurontin has made its manufacturer, Parke-Davis, now owned by Pfizer Inc., a lot of money, but also made it the subject of a federal investigation, a multistate probe, and a whistle-blower lawsuit filed in Boston.
But the skyrocketing use of the drug - doctors wrote 14 million prescriptions for it last year - even as doubts were growing about its effectiveness for some uses also makes the Neurontin story a case study in why prescription drug costs have overwhelmed state Medicaid programs. And it offers a window into the best intentions and the excesses of the American medical system.
When Osser says Neurontin is everywhere, he is exaggerating, but only a little. Even though the Food and Drug Administration has approved it only as an add-on drug for epilepsy and for shingles pain, more than 80 percent of prescriptions for it are written for bipolar illness, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, all kinds of pain, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, hot flashes, migraines, and tension headaches.
''Neurontin is a useful drug, especially in painful conditions, but it's being used for everything and everybody,'' said Dr. Sami Harik, a member of the board of the American Academy of Neurology and head of neurology at the University of Arkansas College of Medicine.
''Migraines, tension headaches, low back pain, a vast host of psychiatric diseases, and I haven't seen evidence yet it's effective in those conditions,'' Harik said. ''I hardly see a patient who's not on Neurontin. And it's expensive.''
Those costs have hit state Medicaid programs and private insurers hard. Ohio Medicaid spent $24 million on the drug this year, twice what it spent in 2000. Florida's expenditures tripled to $15 million between 1998 and 2001. And in Massachusetts, which spent $25 million on Neurontin this year compared with $3 million just three years ago, Dr. Ken Duckworth, deputy commissioner at the state Department of Mental Health, said Neurontin has become ''a cause celebre.''
help sales take off
How did this happen? One answer is that the drug manufacturer worked hard to make the drug take off. The whistle-blower, former employee David Franklin, and investigators allege that Parke-Davis illegally marketed Neurontin for unapproved and unproven uses. And company documents released by Franklin's lawyer, Thomas Greene of Boston, suggested last week that the company may have continued to do so even after finding out that the FDA was investigating its marketing tactics, raising questions about the agency's ability to monitor increasingly sophisticated and wide-ranging marketing practices. Pfizer, which is in settlement discussions, will not comment on the court case, and the FDA would not discuss its probe.
Meanwhile, company records show there were concerns within Parke-Davis about perceptions that their drug was ineffective. And executives appeared split over how aggressively to market the drug. Over the apparent objections of some executives, one document shows, Parke-Davis held a training weekend for physicians in Palm Beach to speak about Neurontin as a stand-alone epilepsy treatment - one month after the FDA rejected the company's application for this purpose.
But it wasn't marketing alone that pushed Neurontin to become number four in sales among Pfizer's many drugs. It was also physicians, who, particularly in psychiatry, have a long history of prescribing drugs ''off-label'' if anecdotal reports indicate patients might benefit.
Doctors say Neurontin, which has few serious side effects, appeared at a time when patients with bipolar and anxiety disorders were desperate for new nonaddictive medications that didn't cause them to put on weight. Antiepileptic drugs traditionally have worked for a variety of disorders, from mental illness to pain, so it made sense for doctors to try Neurontin for these conditions.
This freedom to prescribe drugs for unapproved uses is a cornerstone of medicine, physicians said, a form of experimentation that has led to many important discoveries. And in the end, that could be true in the case of Neurontin, where evidence is building that the drug helps ease some patients' excruciating neuropathic pain, physicians said. Henry Esterman of West Roxbury, who took it for nerve pain in his lower back related to diabetes, said he was ''very grateful for it. The pain was unbearable, and nothing else touched it.''
And even for psychiatric disorders, doctors contend Neurontin works for some patients and can boost the effectiveness of other medications. It seems to help some anxious people sleep and is given to patients with anxiety disorders who complain about the side effects of antidepressants or who are substance abusers and can't take the addictive benzodiazepines. A new study shows effectiveness in treating social phobia.
But Dr. Jefferson Prince, director of child psychiatry at North Shore Medical Center, said another factor was at work in Neurontin's success: Its relative innocuousness, compared with some other drugs. ''It was socially acceptable. If you're a patient thinking about Haldol and lithium, you're thinking `Oh my God, those are serious drugs.' But Vitamin G, that's something neurologists use ... That's why it took off.''
pursue all avenues
Still, the push from the manufacturer remained a major factor. Soon after the FDA approved Neurontin in January 1994, Parke-Davis executives realized the epilepsy market alone would not capitalize on the tremendous business opportunities they saw for the drug. In one of hundreds of company documents released in the court case, Parke-Davis hired the New York advertising firm Cline, Davis & Mann in 1996 to develop ''Neurontin War Games,'' an assessment by a group of executives of every anticonvulsant drug.
When they turned to their own drug, Neurontin, the executives were honest: ''Excellent safety profile,'' they wrote, but under weaknesses they listed ''small prescriber base,'' ''slow growth of the epilepsy market,'' and ''perceived lack of efficacy.'' Under opportunities to be explored, they pointed to neuropathic pain, migraines, monotherapy, bipolar disorders, and psychiatrists.
Over the next several years, the documents suggest, Parke-Davis made aggressive plans to pursue these new markets. The company developed promotional strategies that touched every corner of medicine.
David Waterbury, assistant attorney general in Washington state who is leading the 47-state investigation into whether Parke-Davis's marketing led Medicaid programs to pay for Neurontin unnecessarily, said he is concerned Parke-Davis aggressively ''put out misinformation into the general medical culture.''
Beginning in August 1994, the company recruited hundreds of physicians, particularly those who prescribed competing drugs to patients, to participate in teleconferences about Neurontin. The company also targeted continuing medical education courses for doctors and hired Medical Education Systems in Philadelphia in 1997 to draft a series of 12 scientific articles on anticonvulsant therapy, including expanded uses, monotherapy, bipolar disorder, and migraine.
Medical Education Systems contacted faculty members considered authorities in their field and chosen by Parke-Davis, and paid them $1,000 each to author the articles. The Globe could not determine whether all 12 articles were published, but some were, including articles on gabapentin's role in the treatment of pain, mania, and mood and anxiety disorders. At least three of the articles gave no hint to readers that Parke-Davis had paid for them, and even had a hand in reviewing drafts - the sort of disclosure many scholarly journals routinely require.
On June 20, 1997, Medical Education Systems senior editor Mary Anderson wrote to Allen Crook, Parke-Davis product segment manager, about one of these articles, a discussion of the role of gabapentin and another drug in the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. ''Please make any comments directly on the manuscript and return it to me,'' she directed.
Dr. Mark Pollack, the psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital who wrote the article published in CNS Spectrums in 1997, said he can't remember whether Medical Education Systems told him about Parke-Davis's role. ''It was my article and I wrote it,'' said Pollack, who is a consultant for Pfizer and other companies. ''It would not have gone out with my name on it if it wasn't true. The standards for disclosure are changing; now we're ask to list all of our relationships with industry.'' Dr. Andrew Stoll, director of the psychopharmacology research lab at McLean Hospital in Belmont, said he first heard of Neurontin in 1995 when a severely bipolar patient brought in an article.
The drug didn't work for the patient, but Stoll began trying it with others. Soon he was working for Parke-Davis, speaking to other doctors about the drug's promise. He stopped doing so after two recent studies called into question Neurontin's usefulness for bipolar patients, and he no longer prescribes it as much, he said.
One of his patients, Erica, a 22-year-old student, tried it soon after she was diagnosed with severe bipolar illness, characterized by rapid swings from mania to depression, three years ago. She didn't want to take lithium, which can cause massive weight gain and seizures, so she tried Neurontin. But the drug caused terrible mood swings and put her in the hospital for five days. Doctors said such a dramatic side effect is rare, but underscores why studies on large numbers of patients are necessary to determine a drug's impact. Erica, who did not want her last name published, said she's now resigned herself to using lithium - and has gained 50 pounds.
''Its share of the market, its sales, really exceed its efficacy,'' said Dr. Jerrold Rosenbaum, Mass. General's chief of psychiatry. ''The question is, was the company denying investigators access to negative data when they asked for it?''
Still, most doctors say they don't believe the off-label use of Neurontin hurt patients, mostly because the drug is so mild.
Dr. Alec Bodkin, chief of the clinical psychopharmacology research program at McLean, said Neurontin is still so widely used in psychiatry because ''it's the ideal placebo'' - a harmless medication on which patients improve because of the belief it is helpful.
''We have utterly underused the placebo in our branch of medicine, in all of medicine, and we should make the best use of that,'' Bodkin said. ''So, no, I don't think this is any kind of an outrage, unless the patients could have been taking something more effective instead.''
Liz Kowalczyk can be reached at email@example.com.
This story ran on page A1 of the Boston Globe on 11/25/2002.
Ã‚Â© Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.
13 Aug 2004
Cindy, My friend asked me to do some research on Neurotin as they stopped her abruptly from taking it.. Saying it wasen't helping her restless legs and are going to try topamax when she goes in for her monthly appointment.. She has been on neurotin for 4 years, She had great concern about stopping it perhaps with some withdrawals or side affects.. The Dr told her no... She stopped taking the drug about a week ago and has been sick, upset stomach, diaharea, and other symptoms... Her appointment isn't for another two weeks, What type of Dr would do this I have no idea..I told her I would get online and try to find out what I could for her, She suffers with mood swings and I think severe depression as well.
If you can give me any information for her it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much, I am new at this and just signed up today to be able to get some advice.Thanks again to any and all who can possibly help.
24 Sep 2004
I HAVE BEEN ON NEURONTIN FOR JUST 2 DAYS NOW AND WAS VERY SURPRISED TO READ THE POSTINGS HERE ... THIS IS WHAT I HAVE EXPERIENCED SINCE MY FIRST DOSE ( OF ONLY 300 MG A DAY ! ) I TAKE IT AT NIGHT ... IT DOES NOT MAKE ME IMEDIATELY SLEEPY , I TOSS AND TURN FOR A WHILE , BUT I DO SLEEP WELL WITH IT ONCE I FALL ASLEEP , AND WAKE UP FEELING PUFFY UNDER THE EYES AND KINDA SWOLLEN , I FEEL "HIGH" , DROWSY FOR THE FIRST 20 MINS , IS VERY VERY HARD TO WAKE UP , BUT ONCE I GET GOING , STILL FEEL KINDA HIGH AND GET A "FLOATING " FEELING THAT I AM NOT SURE IF IM COMFORTABLE WITH YET , BUT IT HAS SEMED TO STOP THE PAIN FOR THE MOST PART OF THE FIBROMYALGIA THAT I HAVE SUFFERED WITH FOR 10 YRS OR SO . HOWEVER , I HAVE THE FEELING OF BLOOD RUSHING TO MY HEAD AT TIMES .
MY EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN THAT IT SEEMS TO BE A VERY POWERFUL DRUG AND I CANT EVEN BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND HOW SOME OF YOU CAN TAKE 1200 - 1500 MG A DAY ?? I AM SENSITIVE TO CODEINE AND PAIN KILLERS , AND I WOULD THINK FROM THIS WAY THIS STUFF MAKES ME FEEL IT WOULD BE CATAGORIZED UNDER ADDICTIVE ? THE FIRST DAY I MIS UNDERSTOOD MY DOC AND TOOK 300 MG 2 TIMES A DAY AND FELT " REALLY REALLY WEIRD.
IS ALL THIS UNUSUAL ? ANY RESPONSE IS APPRECIATED .
PS , ALSO HAVE COME DOWN WITH A SINUS INFECTION ALL OF A SUDDEN , IS THIS A SIDE AFFECT ?
5 Oct 2004
When I first started taking Neurontin three years ago I remember the same feelings, I think it took about a week and a half maybe two to feel normal taking it. I now take 300mgs three times a day and I can't even tell. After reading this discussion I'm gonna have a serious talk with my doctor about it. I had no idea it was so dangerous. I also have fibromyalgia and it helps me tremendously with the pain. I'm at a loss here I don't know what else to take for the pain as I've tried just about everything. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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when on neurontin how does it take to see a change when doseage is changed
1 answer • 5 May 2010
i think my son has been slipping into my neurontin. he has been acting strange some nights. any words???
1 answer • 27 Jul 2011