How Effective is Neurontin & What are It’s Side Effects?

Usage of Neurontin (gabapentin) can bring suicidal thoughts in few people. Children might have changes in their behaviors. Therefore you must be ready to symptoms and these mood changes. If any worsening or new symptoms you experience tell your doctor.

How Effective is Neurontin?

Neurontin (gabapentin) medicine is also known as anticonvulsant, which is an effective anti-epileptic drug. Neurontin affects the nerves and chemicals in the body which causes pain and seizures in the body.

Neurontin is used in effective treatment of neuropathic pain (nerve pain) in adults which are mainly caused due to shingles (herpes zoster) or herpes virus.

Neurontin medicine is also used in effective treatment of seizures in both adults and children that are at least 3 years of age.

You must make sure to use only the branded form of neurontin that your doctor prescribes. Check carefully every time you get your refill.

Do not stop neurontin all of a sudden even if you feel you are fine.

Prior to Taking Neurontin

If you are allergic to neurontin do not use it. Tell your doctor if you have ever had these conditions to make neurontin safe for you:

  • Diabetes, kidney diseases (if you are on dialysis)
  • Seizure (unless you take this medicine for the treatment)
  • Mood disorder, depression, suicidal actions or thoughts
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • If you work at night or day sleeper (patients with RLS).

Some patients have suicidal thoughts while taking neurontin. Doctor treating you will check your progress with regular visits. Your caregivers or family must be aware of your mood changes and other symptoms.

If you are planning to become pregnant or pregnant at the time of treatment tell your doctor as it is unknown if neurontin medicine can affect unborn child.

During pregnancy seizure control is very important because having seizures could harm baby and mother. If you become pregnant inform your doctor and do not start or stop taking neurontin medicine without your doctor’s knowledge.

If you are breast feeding your child inform your doctor as it is unknown if neurontin medicine will pass through breast milk to the baby.

How Should I take Neurontin?

Neurontin medicine has to be taken as prescribed by your physician. It is important to follow all the guidelines in the label and package. Neurontin medicine is not to be taken in larger or smaller amount and when not needed.

  • Neurontin can be taken with or without food.
  • If you break a neurontin tablet and take half of it, take the other half with your other dose. If a tablet is broken take it soon or within few days.
  • Your doctor might change brand, type of neurontin medicine, strength if needed from time to time. If you have any questions ask your doctor about new form of gabapentin you are given at the pharmacy.
  • Neurontin medicine is not to be stopped all of a sudden if you feel good too as it will cause high risk of seizures. Always follow your doctor’s advice on taking this medicine.
  • You must carry an ID card or medical tag mentioning you have seizures. Any doctor treating you must be aware that you are having this condition.
  • Having neurontin medicine will cause unusual medical tests results for various tests. You must tell all your doctors that you are taking this medicine
  • Neurontin medicine has to be stored away from moisture and light and store them at room temperature.

What are the Side Effects of Neurontin?

If you experience any allergic reactions to this medicine such as hives, swelling of lips, face, throat or tongue or have any difficulty in breathing call your physician immediately.

If you experience any serious drug reactions affecting any parts of your body get immediate medical help. These symptoms in most cases are, swollen glands, skin rash, unusual bruising, muscle aches, fever, severe weakness, flu like symptoms, yellowing or eyes or skin. These symptoms will occur even after several weeks of medicine usage.

Any worsening or new symptoms must be informed to your doctor such as panic attacks, anxiety, behavior or mood changes, feeling impulsive, difficulty in sleeping, hyperactive (physically or mentally), restless, suicidal thoughts, agitated, irritable, hostile, thoughts to hurt yourself.

Also get immediate medical assistance if you have any of the follow severe side effects of neurontin:

  • Tiredness, severe weakness
  • Upper stomach pain
  • Increased seizures
  • Chest pain, difficulty in breathing, worsening or new fever and cough
  • Problems with muscle balance and movement
  • Rapid eye movement
  • Numbness or severe tingling
  • Kidney problems – swelling of ankles or feet, difficult or painful urination, no or little urination.

Some side effects are most common in children taking this medicine. If your child has any of these following symptoms, call your doctor.

  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Behavior changes
  • Memory problems
  • Hostile, acting restless or aggressive.

Here are the other general side effects of neurontin:

  • Drowsiness, headache, tiredness, dizziness
  • Coordination problems
  • Swelling in feet or hands
  • Nausea, fever or vomiting in children
  • Eye problems are also side effects of neurontin.

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