Gabapentin affects chemicals and nerves in the body that are involved in the cause of seizures and some types of nerve pain. The exact way that gabapentin works to prevent seizures and nerve pain is unknown.Gabapentin is used with other drugs in the treatment of some types of seizures associated with epilepsy and for the management of postherpetic neuralgia (nerve pain caused by the herpes zoster virus or shingles infection).
Gabapentin (brand name Neurontin) is a medication originally developed for the treatment of epilepsy. Presently, gabapentin is widely used to relieve pain, especially neuropathic pain. Gabapentin is well tolerated in most patients, has a relatively mild side-effect profile, and passes through the body unmetabolized.
The effects of Gabapentin on pregnant women have not been adequately studied, although birth defects have occurred in babies whose mothers took an antiepileptic medication while they were pregnant. Gabapentin should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.
Gabapentin is used to help control certain types of seizures in patients who have epilepsy. Gabapentin is also used to relieve the pain of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN; the burning, stabbing pain or aches that may last for months or years after an attack of shingles). Gabapentin is in a class of medications called anticonvulsants. Gabapentin treats seizures by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. Gabapentin relieves the pain of PHN by changing the way the body senses pain.
Causes of Gabapentin
Gabapentin causes some people to become drowsy and less alert. Combining Gabapentin with morphine makes this more likely. Do not drive or operate dangerous machinery or participate in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness until you are certain that Gabapentin does not have this effect on you.
Incidence less frequent or rare Asthenia (weakness or loss of strength) back pain dryness of mouth or throat dysarthria (slurred speech) frequent urination gastrointestinal effects, including constipation , diarrhea , dyspepsia (indigestion) nausea , and vomiting headache hypotension (low blood pressure) impotence (decrease in sexual desire or ability) insomnia (trouble in sleeping) rhinitis (runny nose) tinnitus (noise in ears ) trouble in thinking twitching weight gain.
Drugs that increase the activity of -aminobutyric acid (GABA) may lead to toxic reactions in the retina. As many as 40% of patients treated with vigabatrin (Sabril; Aventis Pharma, Guildford) develop visual field constriction. Vigabatrin but not tiagabin (Gabitril; Cephalon, Guildford) accumulated with a higher concentration in the retina than in the brain.
The weight gain produced by gabapentin is similar to that produced by other drugs such as propranolol, atenelol, verapamil, and valproate, affecting only a modest number of patients (Maggioni, et al., 2005). A greater weight gain at 6 months was found in patients taking pizotifen, amitriptyline, and propranolol. Other psychotropic drugs can cause weight gain, such as clozapine, alanzepine, and some antidepressants.
Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of gabapentin have not been performed in the adolescent population. However, clinical trials that included a limited number of patients aged 12 to 18 years revealed no adolescence-specific problems.