Gabapentin is available by the brand name of Neurontin. It inhibits the excitatory neuronal transmission in the brain. It is used to calm down the brain. Thus, it is useful in the treatment of the following conditions:
- Pain resulting from damaged or hypersensitive neurons as occurs in patients with diabetes and shingles.
- Seizures, simple partial or focal seizures with secondary generalization
- Social anxiety disorder
- Generalized pains in patients with fibromyalgia
- Hot flashes and vasomotor symptoms in females after menopause
- Alcohol withdrawal.
Gabapentin side effects are not uncommon and are the main reason of drug discontinuation in most individuals.
Common Gabapentin side effects include:
- abnormal eye movements or nystagmus
- Ataxia (described as unsteady gait)
- Nausea, Vomiting, Constipation, or Diarrhea
- Dry mouth
- Speaking with difficulty
- Fatigue, drowsiness and tiredness
Children are more likely to have these problem
- Aggressive behavior and other behavioral problems, restlessness, anxiety, depression, concentration problems and school performance changes
- Excessive crying, overactivity, and swinging moods
- Reacting too fast, too emotionally, or too strongly
- Volatile behavior, distrust, and being suspicious
Some Gabapentin Side effects can be serious:
Gabapentin may also have serious side effects.
- Anger, violence, and aggressive behavior
- New-onset of Anxiety, severe depression, irritability, and restlessness
- Panic attacks and mania
- Suicidal tendency, suicidal thoughts and behavior
- Insomnia (trouble sleeping).
Gabapentin may cause life-threatening allergic reactions as well which should be identified at the earliest. These signs include:
- Skin rash, urticaria, and hives
- Fever, swelling of the face, lips, eyes, and glands
- Wheezing, and trouble breathing
- Jaundice or yellowing of the skin and eyes
- Bleeding tendencies and easy bruising
- Muscles and bony pains
- fatigue and extreme tiredness
Gabapentin Side effects from misuse
Long term use of Gabapentin may result in the following side effects:
- There’s confusion
- Tachycardia or Rapid heart rate
Withdrawal symptoms of Gabapentin:
It is important to consult your doctor or pharmacist before you stop taking the medication. You might feel any of the following symptoms if you suddenly stop taking gabapentin.
- There are withdrawal symptoms that can include restlessness and anxiety, difficulty falling asleep, nausea, and vomiting.
- Seizures or status epilepticus
- Cardiac rhythm abnormalities including a fast and an irregular heart beat
- There’s confusion, tiredness, and Weakness
- Nerve pains
Breathing problems due to Gabapentin Use:
- Gabapentin has been issued a Black Box Warning as it can lead to serious breathing problems when taken with opioid painkillers or medications that can cause dizziness or drowsiness.
Gabapentin (Neurontin), is a medication that manages epileptic seizures and pain relief for certain conditions like shingles (postherpetic neuralgia).
Gabapentin side effect such as dizziness and unsteadiness are more common after you start taking the drug. The risk of suicidal thoughts and behavours is increased with gabapentin use.
Gabapentin can sometimes cause side effects when taken with other medications especially opioid medications and drugs that depress the central nervous system.