What is Gabapentin?

Gabapentin (Generic Neurontin ) is used to help control partial seizures (convulsions) in the treatment of epilepsy. This medicine cannot cure epilepsy and will only work to control seizures for as long as you continue to take it.

Gabapentin (Generic Neurontin ) is also used to manage a condition called postherpetic neuralgia, which is pain that occurs after shingles. It’s also taken for nerve pain. Nerve pain can be caused by different illnesses, including diabetes and shingles, or it can happen after an injury.

Gabapentin (Generic Neurontin ) works in the brain to prevent seizures and relieve pain for certain conditions in the nervous system. It is not used for routine pain caused by minor injuries or arthritis. Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant.

Occasionally, gabapentin (Generic Neurontin ) is used to prevent migraine headaches. Gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica) are anticonvulsants and nerve pain medicines which have structural similarities to the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA.

Gabapentin (Generic Neurontin ) is available only with your doctor’s prescription.

Gabapentin (Generic Neurontin ) is available in the following dosage forms:
Capsule
Tablet
Tablet, Extended Release, 24 HR
Solution
Suspension

DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS of Gabapentin
Capsules
100 mg: white hard gelatin capsules printed with “PD” on the body and300 mg: yellow hard gelatin capsules printed with “PD” on the body and “Neurontin/300 mg” on the cap
400 mg: orange hard gelatin capsules printed with “PD” on the body and “Neurontin/400 mg” on the cap
Tablets
600 mg: white elliptical film-coated scored tablets debossed with “NT” and “16” on one side
Gabapentin 800 mg: white elliptical film-coated scored tablets debossed with “NT” and “26” on one side
Oral solution: 250 mg per 5 mL (50 mg per mL), clear colorless to slightly yellow solution

Gabapentin (Generic Neurontin ) was developed in 1993 and has indications for shingles (‘postherpetic neuralgia’) and partial-onset seizures. It has had a growing popularity in off-label uses for fibromyalgia, pain from a variety of causes, migraine, cocaine withdrawal, anxiety, and insomnia. A related compound, gabapentin encarbil (Horizant), is approved for shingles and restless leg syndrome. Pregabalin was developed in 2004 and is approved for nerve pain from diabetes and spinal cord injuries, fibromyalgia, and adjunctive treatment of partial-onset seizures. Although prescribed off-label for anxiety in the U.S., it is approved for this purpose in the U.K., where it is sometimes called the ‘new Valium’.

Gabapentin is an anti-epileptic medication, also called an anticonvulsant. It affects chemicals and nerves in the body that are involved in the cause of seizures and some types of pain.

Gabapentin is used in adults to treat nerve pain caused by herpes virus or shingles (herpes zoster).

The Horizant brand of gabapentin is also used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS).

The Neurontin brand of gabapentin is also used to treatseizures in adults and children who are at least 3 years old.

NEURONTIN is a prescription medicine used to treat:

  • Pain from damaged nerves (postherpetic pain) that follows healing ofshingles (a painful rash that comes after a herpes zoster infection) in adults.
  • Partial seizures when taken together with other medicines in adults and children 3 years of age and older with seizures.

What are the FDA and non-FDA approved uses for gabapentin?

  • Gabapentin is approved for treating seizure disorders and nerve damage from herpes zoster (shingles, postherpetic neuralgia).
  • There are many non FDA-approved uses for gabapentin. These include
    • Alcohol withdrawal
    • Cocaine withdrawal
    • Hiccups
    • Restless leg syndrome
    • Hyperhidrosis
    • Headaches
    • Diabetic neuropathy
    • Hot flashes
    • Fibromyalgia

 

What are the side effects of gabapentin?

The most common side effects of gabapentin are:

  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Ataxia
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Fluid retention (edema)
  • Hostility
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Jerky movements
  • Unusual eye movements
  • Double vision
  • Tremors
  • Memory loss
  • Unsteadiness

Other adverse effects and serious side effects associated with gabapentin include:

    • Weight gain
    • Joint pain
    • Motion sickness
    • Blurred vision
    • Viral infection

Antiepileptic medications have been associated with an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior. Anyone considering the use of antiepileptic drugs must balance this risk of suicide with the clinical need. Patients who are started on therapy should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidal thoughts, or unusual changes in behavior.

Gabapentin Mechanism of Action

Neurontin (gabapentin) readily enters the brain and prevents seizures in a number of animal models of epilepsy. Gabapentin is structurally related to the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), but does not possess affinity for either GABAA or GABAB receptor.

Gabapentin binds with high affinity to the α2-δ (alpha-2-delta) subunit of voltage-gated calcium channels. Broad panel screening suggests it does not bind to other neurotransmitter receptors of the brain and does not interact with sodium channels.

The relevance of the binding activity of gabapentin to the anticonvulsant effects in animal models and in humans remains to be established (See DETAILED PHARMACOLOGY).

Gabapentin Overviews
Gabapentin Overviews

Gabapentin DOSAGE FORMS, COMPOSITION AND PACKAGING

Neurontin (gabapentin) capsules and tablets are supplied as follows:

100-mg capsules:

Hard gelatin CONI-SNAP® capsules with white opaque body and cap printed with “PD” on one side and “Neurontin /100 mg” on the other. -bottles of 100 capsules

300-mg capsules:

Hard gelatin CONI-SNAP® capsules with yellow opaque body and cap printed with “PD” on one side and “Neurontin /300 mg” on the other. -bottles of 100 capsules

400-mg capsules:

Hard gelatin CONI-SNAP® capsules with orange opaque body and cap printed with “PD” on one side and “Neurontin /400 mg” on the other. -bottles of 100 capsules

600 mg tablets:

White, elliptical, biconvex, film-coated tablet with bisecting score on both sides and debossed with “NT” and “16” on one side. -bottles of 100 tablets

800 mg tablets:

White, elliptical biconvex, film-coated tablet with bisecting score on both sides and debossed “NT” and “26” on one side. -bottles of 100 tablets

Capsules contain : gabapentin, lactose, corn starch, and talc, Capsule shells may contain : gelatin, titanium dioxide, silicon dioxide, sodium lauryl sulfate, yellow iron oxide, red iron oxide, and FD&C Blue No. 2.

Tablets contain : gabapentin, poloxamer 407 NF, copolyvidone, corn starch, magnesium stearate, hydroxypropylcellulose, talc and candelilla wax.