Neurontin (generic: gabapentin) is a prescription medication used to treat nerve pain after a shingles outbreak (postherpetic neuralgia) and partial seizures in adults with epilepsy. Neurontin belongs to a group of drugs called anticonvulsants, which help prevent seizures by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain, and lessen pain by changing the way the body senses pain.
This medication comes in capsule, tablet, and liquid form and is taken up to three times a day, with or without food.
Common side effects of Neurontin include dizziness, lack of coordination, and drowsiness. Neurontin can cause drowsiness, especially when taken with alcohol. Do not drive a car or operate machinery if you have these symptoms.
Neurontin is a prescription medicine used to treat:
- Postherpetic Neuralgia: Pain from damaged nerves (postherpetic pain) that follows healing of shingles (a painful rash that comes after a herpes zoster infection) in adults.
- Epilepsy: Partial seizures when taken together with other medicines in adults and children 3 years of age and older.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
The most common side effects of Neurontin include:
- lack of coordination
- viral infection
- feeling drowsy
- feeling tired
- jerky movements
- difficulty with speaking
- temporary loss of memory (amnesia)
- difficulty with coordination
- double vision
- unusual eye movement
Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:
Do not take Neurontin if you are allergic to gabapentin or any of the other ingredients in Neurontin.
Do not stop taking Neurontin without first talking to your doctor. Stopping Neurontin suddenly can cause serious problems.
Neurontin can cause serious side effects including:
- 1. Like other antiepileptic drugs, Neurontin may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in a very small number of people, about 1 in 500. Call a doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you:
- thoughts about suicide or dying
- attempts to commit suicide
- new or worse depression
- new or worse anxiety
- feeling agitated or restless
- panic attacks
- trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- new or worse irritability
- acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
- acting on dangerous impulses
- an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania)
- other unusual changes in behavior or mood
Pay attention to any changes, especially sudden changes, in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. Keep all follow-up visits with your doctor as scheduled. Call your doctor between visits as needed, especially if you are worried about symptoms. Do not stop taking Neurontin without first talking to a doctor. Stopping Neurontin suddenly can cause serious problems. Stopping a seizure medicine suddenly in a patient who has epilepsy can cause seizures that will not stop (status epilepticus). Suicidal thoughts or actions can be caused by things other than medicines. If you have suicidal thoughts or actions, your doctor may check for other causes.
- 2. Changes in behavior and thinking - Using Neurontin in children 3 to 12 years of age can cause emotional changes, aggressive behavior, problems with concentration, restlessness, changes in school performance, and hyperactivity.
- 3. Neurontin may cause a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction that may affect your skin or other parts of your body such as your liver or blood cells. You may or may not have rash when you get this type of reaction. It may cause you to be hospitalized or to stop Neurontin. Call a doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:
- skin rash
- swollen glands that do not go away
- swelling of your lip and tongue
- yellowing of your skin or of the whites of the eyes
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- severe fatigue or weakness
- unexpected muscle pain
- frequent infections
These symptoms may be the first signs of a serious reaction. A doctor should examine you to decide if you should continue taking Neurontin.
- Do not take Neurontin if you are allergic to gabapentin or any of the other ingredients in Neurontin.
- Do not drink alcohol or take other medicines that make you sleepy or dizzy while taking Neurontin without first talking with your doctor. Taking Neurontin with alcohol or drugs that cause sleepiness or dizziness may make your sleepiness or dizziness worse.
- Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how Neurontin affects you. Neurontin can slow your thinking and motor skills.
Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Neurontin there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving Neurontin.
Before taking Neurontin, tell your doctor if you:
- have or have had kidney problems or are on hemodialysis
- have or have had depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Neurontin can harm your unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking Neurontin. You and your doctor will decide if you should take Neurontin while you are pregnant. are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Neurontin can pass into breast milk. You and your doctor should decide how you will feed your baby while you take Neurontin.
- Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
- Taking Neurontin with certain other medicines can cause side effects or affect how well they work. Do not start or stop other medicines without talking to your doctor.
- Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them and show it to your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Neurontin will harm your unborn baby.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Neurontin is excreted in human breast milk. Because the effect on the nursing infant is unknown, Neurontin should be used in women who are nursing only if the benefits clearly outweigh the risks.
- Take Neurontin exactly as prescribed. Your doctor will tell you how much Neurontin to take.
- Do not change your dose of Neurontin without talking to your doctor. If you break a tablet in half the unused half of the tablet should be taken at your next scheduled dose. Half tablets not used within several days of breaking should be thrown away. If taking capsules, always swallow them whole with plenty of water.
- Neurontin can be taken with or without food. If you take an antacid containing aluminum and magnesium, such as Maalox, Mylanta, Gelusil, Gaviscon, or Di-Gel, you should wait at least 2 hours before taking your next dose of Neurontin.
If you take too much Neurontin, call your local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.
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
Active ingredient: gabapentin
Inactive ingredients in the capsules: lactose, cornstarch, and talc
- Store Neurontin Capsules between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C).
- Store Neurontin Tablets between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C).
- Store Neurontin Oral Solution in the refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C).
- Keep Neurontin and all medicines out of the reach of children.