Neurontin – effective monotherapy for epilepsy

Currently, the preference in the treatment of most forms of neuropathic pain is given to Gabapentin (Neurontin). In spite of rather high Neurontin price at street pharmacies, its advantages include the almost complete absence of contraindications, the rapid onset of effect (1 week), a beneficial effect on the quality of life and minimal risk of side effects (dizziness, drowsiness).

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What is Neurontin/Gabapentin Mimics GABA Neurotransmitter? As its name suggests, gabapentin was synthesized to mimic the structure of GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid and is thought to halt the production of new synapses. It’s because GABA is such a common neurotransmitter that gabapentin or Nerontin has so many varied applications. However, it does not bind to all of the same receptors that GABA does.

Neurontin price depends on the forms in which you buy medication. Neurontin is available in a form of capsules: 1 capsule contains Gabapentin 100, 300 and 400 mg, 20, 50 and 100 pieces in the package and coated tablets: 1 tablet contains Gabapentin 600 and 800 mg, 20, 50 and 100 pieces in the package. Neurontin is considered an ideal treatment for anxiety

Generic Neurontin

Local pharmacies, usually offer original brand prescription Neurontin, which is much more expensive, than its generic version. As to the online pharmacies, you can buy a generic version of Neurontin there, Gabapentin, or GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) as it is usually called. While Neurontin is considered to be a prescription drug, online pharmacies don’t usually require the prescription. Normally, they only mention that you need to see your doctor before taking this drug. Most of the customers prefer buying online this generic version because of significantly lower cost by virtually the same effect. Buying Neurontin online is not only cheaper than in a local pharmacy but also more convenient because of the delivery option.

As to the USA, FDA approved Neurontin only for the treatment of seizures, caused by epilepsy while there are plenty of cases of off-label uses, such as for treatment of chronic pain caused by nerve damage. That’s why, by the end of the 1990-s, 47 USA states pursued criminal and civil investigations of cases of improper Neurontin marketing. USA Neurontin manufacturer and promoter, Pfizer announced that 78% percent of the medicine prescriptions were made for unapproved uses. That’s why, as it is considered that Pfizer has no more patient protection, the generic form of this drug in the USA is overall available. As to the other countries, such as Canada or European countries, you can buy generic Neurontin both from local and online pharmacies while there is greater demand for the cheaper and more convenient online option.

How should I take Neurontin? The selection dosages

Neurontin is an efficient treatment for epilepsy, partial seizures and nerve pain present in patients with shingles or other manifestations of the herpes virus. Neurontin withdrawal can be prescribed for adults and children, as long as there are no contraindications. Children should also be older than a certain age to be able to take Neurontin (at least 12 in case of seizures and at least 3 in case of partial seizures). Neurontin should not be used by patients allergic to gabapentin.

Neurontin dosage 100 mg is to be taken once in every twelve hours. It may be taken with or without meals. However, be sure to have discussed it with your doctor before taking this medicine. Follow the doctor’s advice on proper dosage and administration. Do not stop taking this medication even if you already feel better. You have to complete its prescribed length of administration to prevent the recurrence of the condition.

Once the doctor reviews the other factors, he or she must assess the patient’s symptom level. A person who is having severe symptoms would need a larger dose of the drug than someone with only mild symptoms would.

Can anyone take Neurontin?

The good news is that there are very few cases in which the use of Neurontin pill will be absolutely prohibited and in which this medication will never be prescribed or recommended. For instance, if you have severe liver damage, this will be the case. The reason for this is that Neurontin is metabolized in the liver and if the liver does not function properly, this may lead to excessive amounts of the drug in the system, which can lead to adverse effects.

Gabapentin action

Pregnant and breastfeeding women are also not prescribed with Neurontin unless it is absolutely necessary. This is because this medication might harm the nursing child or the fetus. There are additional cases in which the use of Neurontin might need to be modified. For instance, the doctor might start you off on a lower dosage, or they might want to run some tests to find out whether you can take the drug. In some other cases, they might want to monitor your progress more closely than they usually do. These include glaucoma, liver and kidney diseases of any kind, breathing problems such as asthma. This is also true in case you have a history of addiction to drugs or alcohol.

If I become tolerant of gabapentin, can I take another drug?

Thanks to the internet, patients now can access an abundance of information about their conditions and the drugs they are taking.  While self-education is generally a good thing, patients should never forget that the internet is not a substitute for the advice of a licensed doctor. 

One of the first things that the internet will tell you about gabapentin is that it shouldn’t be taken for long periods of time because users can become tolerant to it, and thus develop a dependence if the dosage is upped. This is straightforward enough but many patients will distort the fact and make a terrible mistake: they think that it is okay to just switch to another drug, and they won’t become tolerant or dependent. No, you cannot just substitute another drug once you become tolerant. Tolerance does not occur to a specific drug.  Rather, tolerance occurs to the effects of a drug.

Formula of gabapentin (Neurontin) and interactions with drugs

Formula of gabapentin (Neurontin)

Of course, there are some differences between even drugs in the same class. You could develop a tolerance to gabapentin and not develop such a strong cross-tolerance to a different drug. When you take Neurontin, the drug builds up in your body.  Even if you stop taking the medication for a few days, it will still be in your system.  Depending on how quickly your body detoxifies, you could still have trace amounts of gabapentin in your body after weeks of not using it. If you use any other drug during this time, it could cause an interaction. The combination of the two drugs could result in some side effects. Never play doctor if you aren’t licensed and experienced. 

Usage Neurontin during pregnancy

At this time, information on the use of the drug during pregnancy and lactation is not complete. The substance Neurontin passes into breast milk, where its concentration is 40-60% of its concentration in plasma. Some children who are breastfed have a therapeutic concentration of Gabapentin in plasma.

Some facts about overdose

The symptoms of being overdosed on Neurontin depend just on how much of the medication was ingested and if a person combined this drug with some other substance (for example, alcohol or some other drugs).

The patient who is overdosed on Neurontin can feel clumsy and confused. As a result of the usage of the drug, reflexes become a little slower. At the same moment, the patients have a higher risk of making personal injury.

Another sign of being overdosed is drowsiness.

Should I be concerned about gabapentin weight gain?

Weight gain for adults in clinical trials/studies was reported by just under 3% of users. Weight gain is more common in children than adults taking Neurontin 300 mg.

Besides, in clinical studies, it has been demonstrated the high efficacy of Neurontin in the prevention and treatment of primary forms of headache. People, who buy Neurontin, are noticed significantly less often headaches. In addition, it has been noticed the observed decrease in the severity of accompanying symptoms – nausea, photophobia, etc.

Are there any Neurontin side effects?

Neurontin is well tolerated and rarely causes adverse reactions (mostly mild dizziness and drowsiness). Signs of a serious interaction of Neurontin with other drugs have not been reported.

In rare cases, the central nervous system can respond to drug use by the emergence of:

– irritability;

– fatigue;

– insomnia;

– drowsiness;

– dizziness.

Do not exceed the recommended dose, and change the scheme increasing doses of Neurontin because of fear the appearance of skin rash. They are usually observed during the first 8 weeks of treatment. In most cases, symptoms are minor.

Dr. Ali Elahi

This article is written by Dr. Ali Elahi, a specialist in neuromuscular disorders, certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). His expertise includes evaluation and treatment of patients with epilepsy, stroke, headache, neuromuscular disease, and cerebral palsy.He also manages neurological emergencies in the Intensive Care Units.

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