Neurontin

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP Last updated on RxList: 9/27/2021
Neurontin Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

What Is Neurontin?

Neurontin (gabapentin) is an anti-epileptic medication used to treat seizures. Neurontin is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat seizures caused by epilepsy in adults and children who are at least 12 years old. Neurontin is also used to treat nerve pain caused by shingles (herpes zoster).

What Are Side Effects of Neurontin?

Common side effects of Neurontin include:

Other side effects of Neurontin include mood or behavior changes, depression, or anxiety.

Dosage for Neurontin

In adults with postherpetic neuralgia, Neurontin may be initiated on Day 1 as a single 300 mg dose, on Day 2 as 600 mg/day (300 mg two times a day), and on Day 3 as 900 mg/day (300 mg three times a day). The starting dose of Neurontin for epilepsy with partial onset seizures in patients 12 years of age and above is 300 mg three times a day.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Neurontin?

Neurontin may interact with hydrocodone, morphine, and naproxen. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Neurontin During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using Neurontin; it is unknown if Neurontin will harm a fetus. Neurontin passes into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Breastfeeding while using Neurontin is not recommended.

Additional Information

Our Neurontin Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

SLIDESHOW

What Is Epilepsy? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments See Slideshow
Neurontin Consumer Information

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Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Seek medical treatment if you have a serious drug reaction that can affect many parts of your body. Symptoms may include: skin rash, fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, severe weakness, unusual bruising, upper stomach pain, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • weak or shallow breathing;
  • blue-colored skin, lips, fingers, and toes;
  • confusion, extreme drowsiness or weakness;
  • problems with balance or muscle movement;
  • unusual or involuntary eye movements; or
  • increased seizures.

Gabapentin can cause life-threatening breathing problems. A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up. Breathing problems may be more likely in older adults or in people with COPD.

Some side effects are more likely in children taking gabapentin. Contact your doctor if the child taking this medicine has any of the following side effects:

  • changes in behavior;
  • memory problems;
  • trouble concentrating; or
  • acting restless, hostile, or aggressive.

Common side effects may include:

  • fever, chills, sore throat, body aches, unusual tiredness;
  • jerky movements;
  • headache;
  • double vision;
  • swelling of your legs and feet;
  • tremors;
  • trouble speaking;
  • dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness;
  • problems with balance or eye movements; or
  • nausea, vomiting.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Neurontin (Gabapentin)

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SIDE EFFECTS

The following serious adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections:

  • Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)/Multiorgan Hypersensitivity [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Anaphylaxis and Angioedema [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Somnolence/Sedation and Dizziness [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Withdrawal Precipitated Seizure, Status Epilepticus [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Suicidal Behavior and Ideation [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Respiratory Depression [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Neuropsychiatric Adverse Reactions (Pediatric Patients 3 to 12 Years of Age) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Sudden and Unexplained Death in Patients with Epilepsy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Postherpetic Neuralgia

The most common adverse reactions associated with the use of NEURONTIN in adults, not seen at an equivalent frequency among placebo-treated patients, were dizziness, somnolence, and peripheral edema.

In the 2 controlled trials in postherpetic neuralgia, 16% of the 336 patients who received NEURONTIN and 9% of the 227 patients who received placebo discontinued treatment because of an adverse reaction. The adverse reactions that most frequently led to withdrawal in NEURONTIN-treated patients were dizziness, somnolence, and nausea.

Table 3 lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 1% of NEURONTIN-treated patients with postherpetic neuralgia participating in placebocontrolled trials and that were numerically more frequent in the NEURONTIN group than in the placebo group.

TABLE 3: Adverse Reactions in Pooled Placebo-Controlled Trials in Postherpetic Neuralgia

NEURONTIN
N=336 %
Placebo
N=227 %
Bodv as a Whole
Asthenia 6 5
Infection 5 4
Accidental injury 3 1
Digestive Svstem
Diarrhea 6 3
Dry mouth 5 1
Constipation 4 2
Nausea 4 3
Vomiting 3 2
Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders
Peripheral edema 8 2
Weight gain 2 0
Hyperglycemia 1 0
Nervous Svstem
Dizziness 28 8
Somnolence 21 5
Ataxia 3 0
Abnormal thinking 3 0
Abnormal gait 2 0
Incoordination 2 0
Respiratory System
Pharyngitis 1 0
Special Senses
Amblyopia* 3 1
Conjunctivitis 1 0
Diplopia 1 0
Otitis media 1 0
* Reported as blurred vision

Other reactions in more than 1% of patients but equally or more frequent in the placebo group included pain, tremor, neuralgia, back pain, dyspepsia, dyspnea, and flu syndrome.

There were no clinically important differences between men and women in the types and incidence of adverse reactions. Because there were few patients whose race was reported as other than white, there are insufficient data to support a statement regarding the distribution of adverse reactions by race.

Epilepsy With Partial Onset Seizures (Adjunctive Therapy)

The most common adverse reactions with NEURONTIN in combination with other antiepileptic drugs in patients >12 years of age, not seen at an equivalent frequency among placebo-treated patients, were somnolence, dizziness, ataxia, fatigue, and nystagmus.

The most common adverse reactions with NEURONTIN in combination with other antiepileptic drugs in pediatric patients 3 to 12 years of age, not seen at an equal frequency among placebo-treated patients, were viral infection, fever, nausea and/or vomiting, somnolence, and hostility [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Approximately 7% of the 2074 patients >12 years of age and approximately 7% of the 449 pediatric patients 3 to 12 years of age who received NEURONTIN in premarketing clinical trials discontinued treatment because of an adverse reaction. The adverse reactions most commonly associated with withdrawal in patients >12 years of age were somnolence (1.2%), ataxia (0.8%), fatigue (0.6%), nausea and/or vomiting (0.6%), and dizziness (0.6%). The adverse reactions most commonly associated with withdrawal in pediatric patients were emotional lability (1.6%), hostility (1.3%), and hyperkinesia (1.1%).

Table 4 lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 1% of NEURONTIN-treated patients >12 years of age with epilepsy participating in placebocontrolled trials and were numerically more common in the NEURONTIN group. In these studies, either NEURONTIN or placebo was added to the patient's current antiepileptic drug therapy.

TABLE 4: Adverse Reactions in Pooled Placebo-Controlled Add-On Trials In Epilepsy Patients >12 years of Age

NEURONTIN*
N=543 %
Placebo*
N=378 %
Bodv As A Whole
Fatigue 11 5
Increased Weight 3 2
Back Pain 2 1
Peripheral Edema 2 1
Cardiovascular
Vasodilatation 1 0
Dieestive Svstem
Dyspepsia 2 1
Dry Mouth or Throat 2 1
Constipation 2 1
Dental Abnormalities 2 0
Nervous Svstem
Somnolence 19 9
Dizziness 17 7
Ataxia 13 6
Nystagmus 8 4
Tremor 7 3
Dysarthria 2 1
Amnesia 2 0
Depression 2 1
Abnormal thinking 2 1
Abnormal coordination 1 0
Respiratory Svstem
Pharyngitis 3 2
Coughing 2 1
Skin and Appendaees
Abrasion 1 0
Uroaenital Svstem
Impotence 2 1
Special Senses
Diplopia 6 2
Amblyopia† 4 1
* Plus background antiepileptic drug therapy
† Amblyopia was often described as blurred vision.

Among the adverse reactions occurring at an incidence of at least 10% in NEURONTIN-treated patients, somnolence and ataxia appeared to exhibit a positive dose-response relationship.

The overall incidence of adverse reactions and the types of adverse reactions seen were similar among men and women treated with NEURONTIN. The incidence of adverse reactions increased slightly with increasing age in patients treated with either NEURONTIN or placebo. Because only 3% of patients (28/921) in placebo-controlled studies were identified as nonwhite (black or other), there are insufficient data to support a statement regarding the distribution of adverse reactions by race.

Table 5 lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 2% of NEURONTIN-treated patients, age 3 to 12 years of age with epilepsy participating in placebo-controlled trials, and which were numerically more common in the NEURONTIN group.

TABLE 5: Adverse Reactions in a Placebo-Controlled Add-On Trial in Pediatric Epilepsy Patients Age 3 to 12 Years

NEURONTIN*
N=119 %
Placebo*
N=128 %
Bodv As A Whole
Viral Infection 11 3
Fever 10 3
Increased Weight 3 1
Fatigue 3 2
Dieestive Svstem
Nausea and/or Vomiting 8 7
Nervous Svstem
Somnolence 8 5
Hostility 8 2
Emotional Lability 4 2
Dizziness 3 2
Hyperkinesia 3 1
Respiratory Svstem
Bronchitis 3 1
Respiratory Infection 3 1
* Plus background antiepileptic drug therapy

Other reactions in more than 2% of pediatric patients 3 to 12 years of age but equally or more frequent in the placebo group included: pharyngitis, upper respiratory infection, headache, rhinitis, convulsions, diarrhea, anorexia, coughing, and otitis media.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postmarketing use of NEURONTIN. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Hepatobiliary disorders: jaundice

Investigations: elevated creatine kinase, elevated liver function tests

Metabolism and nutrition disorders: hyponatremia

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorder: rhabdomyolysis

Nervous system disorders: movement disorder

Psychiatric disorders: agitation

Reproductive system and breast disorders: breast enlargement, changes in libido, ejaculation disorders and anorgasmia

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: angioedema [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS], bullous pemphigoid, erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

There are postmarketing reports of life-threatening or fatal respiratory depression in patients taking NEURONTIN with opioids or other CNS depressants, or in the setting of underlying respiratory impairment [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Adverse reactions following the abrupt discontinuation of gabapentin have also been reported. The most frequently reported reactions were anxiety, insomnia, nausea, pain, and sweating.

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Opioids

Respiratory depression and sedation, sometimes resulting in death, have been reported following coadministration of gabapentin with opioids (e.g., morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, buprenorphine) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Hydrocodone

Coadministration of NEURONTIN with hydrocodone decreases hydrocodone exposure [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. The potential for alteration in hydrocodone exposure and effect should be considered when NEURONTIN is started or discontinued in a patient taking hydrocodone.

Morphine

When gabapentin is administered with morphine, patients should be observed for signs of CNS depression, such as somnolence, sedation and respiratory depression [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Other Antiepileptic Drugs

Gabapentin is not appreciably metabolized nor does it interfere with the metabolism of commonly coadministered antiepileptic drugs [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Maalox® (aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide)

The mean bioavailability of gabapentin was reduced by about 20% with concomitant use of an antacid (Maalox) containing magnesium and aluminum hydroxides. It is recommended that gabapentin be taken at least 2 hours following Maalox administration [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions

Because false positive readings were reported with the Ames N-Multistix SG dipstick test for urinary protein when gabapentin was added to other antiepileptic drugs, the more specific sulfosalicylic acid precipitation procedure is recommended to determine the presence of urine protein.

Drug Abuse And Dependence

Controlled Substance

Gabapentin is not a scheduled drug.

Abuse

Abuse is the intentional, non-therapeutic use of a drug, even once, for its desirable psychological or physiological effects. Misuse is the intentional use, for therapeutic purposes, of a drug by an individual in a way other than prescribed by a health care provider or for whom it was not prescribed.

Gabapentin does not exhibit affinity for benzodiazepine, opioid (mu, delta or kappa), or cannabinoid 1 receptor sites. Gabapentin misuse and abuse have been reported in the postmarketing setting and published literature. Most of the individuals described in these reports had a history of polysubstance abuse. Some of these individuals were taking higher than recommended doses of gabapentin for unapproved uses. When prescribing NEURONTIN, carefully evaluate patients for a history of drug abuse and observe them for signs and symptoms of gabapentin misuse or abuse (e.g., self-dose escalation and drug-seeking behavior). The abuse potential of gabapentin has not been evaluated in human studies.

Dependence

Physical dependence is a state that develops as a result of physiological adaptation in response to repeated drug use, manifested by withdrawal signs and symptoms after abrupt discontinuation or a significant dose reduction of a drug. There are rare postmarketing reports of individuals experiencing withdrawal symptoms shortly after discontinuing higher than recommended doses of gabapentin used to treat illnesses for which the drug is not approved. Such symptoms included agitation, disorientation and confusion after suddenly discontinuing gabapentin that resolved after restarting gabapentin. The dependence potential of gabapentin has not been evaluated in human studies.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Neurontin (Gabapentin)

QUESTION

If you have had a seizure, it means you have epilepsy. See Answer

© Neurontin Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Neurontin Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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