Q: What is Neurontin?
A: Neurontin, from the generic gabapentin, is a prescription medication which is used to help regulate certain types o seizures for treatment of epilepsy. Neurontin does not intend to cure epilepsy, but to control seizures as long as you continue to take the medicine. Neurontin is also used for management of a medical condition known as postherpetic neuralgia or PHN. Neurontin is produced by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and was granted its first approval in 1993 by the US Food and Drug Administration to regulate seizures in epileptic patients.
Q: Is there any recent news about Neurontin?
A: The US Food and Drug Administration issued an alert on January 31,2008 about the occurrence of suicidal thoughts and behavior in patients who are taking drugs called as antiepileptics to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder, migraine headaches, and other medical conditions. The affected drugs which are subjected to warning include Neurontin. The analysis of FDA from the recent studies conducted showed that the patients who were taking antiepileptics had occurrence for about twice the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, compared with the patients who were taking placebo.
There was a number of lawsuits filed claiming that Neurontin can cause suicidal or suicidal thoughts, also called as “suicidality.” The plaintiffs claimed that Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, the producer of Neurontin, has failed to inform the public about the risks of suicidality.
It was in 2004 when Warner-Lambert, a subsidiary of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, decided to plead guilty and pay more than $430 million to settle the criminal charges and civil liability, in relation with the unlawful and deceitful promotion of the unapproved uses for Neurontin.
Q: What are the precautions I should take before or while taking Neurontin?
A: Children from 3 to12 years old can be sensitive to the side effects of Neurontin, enhancing the chances of the side effects during the treatment. Neurontin is eliminated from the body gradually in older patients, which can also increase the risks of unwanted effects. When taking Neurontin, it is vital that the healthcare provider will monitor regularly your progress, particularly during the initial few months of the treatment. When a patient discontinues taking Neurontin abruptly, this may cause seizures to return or to happen more often. Thus, it is essential to discuss with your healthcare provider about reducing your doses regularly. Take note that Neurontin can also result to eyesight problems, clumsiness, instability, drowsiness, dizziness, or trouble in thinking, thus, it is strongly recommended to study how your body react to Neurontin before you drive, operate machines, or do tasks that requires alertness, good coordination, or the ability to think and see well. Finally, inform your healthcare provider that you are taking Neurontin before going through any medical tests.
Q: What are the side effects of taking Neurontin?
A: Inform your healthcare provider if you experience one or any of the side effects of using Neurontin, persistently and seriously:
- Uncontrolled shaking of a part of the body
- Hazy and double eyesight
- Unwanted eye movements
- Red or itchy eyes
- Problems on memory
- Strange or odd thoughts
- Flu-like signs such as runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, and cough
- Ear pain
- Dry mouth
- Swelling of ankles, feet, or lower legs
- Back or joint pain
- Weight gain
Contact your healthcare provider right away if you experience the following:
- Swelling of the face, throat, lips, tongue, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- Rashes and itching
- Difficulty in swallowing or breathing
Q: Is there any interaction between Nuerontin and other drugs or foods?
A: Neurontin and certain drugs can interact with one another. Inform your healthcare provider about all the medicines that you take, including the prescription and nonprescription medications, particularly the antacids and morphine. Neurontin enhances the side effects of alcohol and other central nervous system or CNS depressants.
Q: What should I do if I think I was injured as a consequence of using Neurontin?
A: If you or one of your family members suffers from any symptom or rare medical conditions while taking Neurontin, you should see your doctor or healthcare provider. Then, you can look for an experienced lawyer who can explain and discuss about your options to safeguard your legal rights for recovery for injury sustained by using Neurontin.