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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Neurontin
These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as
recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is
always advised to consult their own physician.
Question: Would neurontin being a non narcotic drug, have any effects
in the treatment of chronic pancreatitus? I have been taking darvocet hydrocodone oxycodone duragesic system and roxanol liquid.
Answer: Certainly useful in chronic pain. If you are referring to the pain aspect of chronic pancreatitis, worth a try. Can be helpful, and much less toxic than many.
Question: I suffer from reoccuring flare-ups resulting from a pinched nerve in my neck. Symtoms include numbness in the right hand index and middle fingers, pain(ache)in my right arn and pain (ache) behing my right shoulder blade. Seem to go in a cycle where minor pain felt first behind my shoulder blade, followed by pain in my arm and shoulder and numbness in my fingers (hard to sleep at this stage), followed by less and less pain, followed by long period of just numbness in my two fingers. I have been treating it with anti-inflamatories with little succes. Ice on the neck seemed to speed recovery last time and will start it again for this most recet episode. My father (a doctor) heard about a woman with similar problems being treated successfully with Neurontin. When I asked my HMO about it I was told it is for seizures only. What can you tell me about the use of this drug for my condition.
Answer: This drug is commonly used in both peripheral neuropathy as well as chronic pain. Some patients do get some relief. You would start at 300 mg a day and increase it to 1200 mg unless you experienced side effects. Most patients would have trouble getting above 900 mg.
Question: I have been treated for anxiety and panic disorder since 1995. I have been taking Paxil(20mg/day), Klonopin(.25mg/day), and Neurontin (900mg/day) to keep the panic under control. I just found out that I am pregnant and have stopped taking the Klonopin. My doctor has also decreased my Neurontin dosage from 900 mg/day to 600 mg/day until she can find out more about it's safety during pregnancy. I'm looking for any information concerning the use of Neurontin during pregnancy.
Answer: Little available in humans and won't be due to ethical issues. The only data available is in animals. Currently a Class C drug in pregnancy. Most of the studies are done in mice, but a fairly high number of deformations and fetotoxicity compared to others. Nothing serious published in humans, but early in the life of the drug.
Neurontin for Essential Tremor [posted
Question: My wife has been taking neurontin for control of RSD pain which was the
result of ulnar nerve surgery. It seems to help and she has no side effects that she is
unable to live with except fatigue. We are concerned about the long term effects. She is
taking 10, 400 mg doses spread out over the day to keep the RSD effects under control. She
has been at this 4000 mg/day for a year now. Her current doctor, who did not originate the
neurontin treatment, knows little about the drug and we can not find any reference on
using it at this dosage. Can you provide any information or guidance ?
Answer: Well, you are using it for a non-FDA approved indication, but
it is used like this a lot, since it seems effective in some syndromes that we don't have
good treatments for. 4000 is certainly a high dosage, and I have no specific experience
with this dosage. You might check with the company Parke Davis: 800-223-0432.
Neurontin for Essential Tremor [posted
Question: I'm looking for information concerning the effects of Neurontin on
Essential Tremor. Has it been effective in reducing the tremor in any tests or with
Answer: No information that I'm aware of, but check with the
scientific department of the company that makes it, Parke-Davis: 800-223-0432.
Neurontin Risks [posted 1/12/99]
Question: I am on 1200 mg of Neurontin a day, used as a mood stabilizer to control
bipolar disorder. I find it has less side effects than lithium, depakote, tegretol, and
clozapine, and other drugs I have used. It seems to be keeping me stable. However, I heard
a rumor from a bipolar friend that a neurontin study of 2400 patients was recently done
and 10 of the participants died inexplicably. What is that all about? Also, are there any
known long term side effects or dangers, i.e. liver or kidney damage or increased cancer
Answer: I'd check with the company, there is no obvious risk, but the
drug hasn't been around all that long. Try Parke Davis: 800-223-0432.
Neurontin [posted 1/4/99]
Question: I was hunting for information about neurontin, which I just began taking
this week. I found your FAQ page, but my I didn't see what I really wanted, which was a
PDR link. I was especially looking for all the information I could get, including the sort
of information that usually the doctor sees. If you could tell me where I could get such
information, I would be really grateful.
Answer: The PDR has all the data we do, if not on the net can be found
at any library and most book stores. Also, your pharmacist could provide you with the
package insert, which is essentially the same as the PDR.
Neurontin Levels [posted
Question: What are the uppermost levels of Neuronton being used to control
seizures? I was started on it in March of 1998 in addition to Tegretol which I have been
taking since 1970. It is not working at 2400 mg daily so my doctor is doubling that amount
over the next three weeks and talks of another increase in two months. Thanks for your
Answer: Depends on serum levels, but, we're pushing this drug a lot
due to low toxicity.
Concerns About Neurontin [posted
Question: I am 65 years of age and am taking 2400 mg of Neurontin a day for
peripheral neuropathy in my feet. I take the drug three times a day 2 - 3 - 3. If I have
unusual discomfort before my next dose I take Ultran. What is the maximum amount of
Neurontin that I can take? (of course I would consult my physician) I have no side effects
that I notice or anyone else notices. I work full time and other than medication for high
blood pressure and estrogen, I do not take any other medications. I do of course
take calcium, vitamin E and a multi vitamin. Your comments would be appreciated.
Answer: Well, hard to say. Some physicians have increased it to very large doses
for peripheral neuropathy without problems, but most would keep it under 5-600 mg a day.
General Information on Neurontin [posted
Question: Information about neurontin, please, thank you.
Answer: Neurontin is a relatively new antiseizure medication. Its mode of action
is not known. It is generally well tolerated and has begun to be used in chronic pain
syndromes, peripheral neuropathy and a host of other syndromes to see its effect. Long
term side effects are currently not known since it has only been available a couple of
years in the U.S. Some patients develop nausea and GI problems. There can be interactions
with other seizure medications.
Neurontin for Pain [posted
Question:I have had five serious shoulder and elbow injuries, ending a long career
in law enforcement. I have been under treatment for the past eleven years. It's been
fourteen surgeries, but after each one, I was told that I would have to retire. The pain
has been intense and covering it up this long has resulted in extreme stress for I have
worked to progress in my career. My doctor just changed medications to arthrotec and
neurontin; and for the first time, I am not reminded of the intense pain daily. I have
begun to lose feeling in my right arm approx. 2 years ago and am continuously dropping
things. That has not been relieved but at least my family can tolerate me in a less
painful state. I am still uncertain how these two combined drugs works to resolve pain
when all the literature I read is dealing with mood disorders. can you explain? Thank you
for your time.
Answer: Neutontin is a relatively new drug. Initially used for seizures;but,
found to be effective in many other syndromes including chronic pain. I suspect that is
why you are on it-to relieve the chronic pain.
Neurontin [posted 10/8/98]
Question: I have been taking neurontin for rsd. I have only taken it for a week. I
have multiple bruising of the extremities. also I had blood work done for this and it
showed a bun of 67 and a creatine of 5 and platelets of 125,000 thank you for letting me
know anything you may know about this drug.
Answer: Very unusual reaction, but, I wouldn't take it any further.
Question:I have been on neurontin for two months so far it has help my Headaches.
My new neuro. Said to get off, he is putting me on pamelore, I Talked to other doctor, and
he said, that it was okay to take both of the meds together.
Answer: Why both if neurontin was working? However, no obvious interaction
Neurontin [posted 10/1/98]
Question: I have been on neurotonin for months, and it has worked well for the bad
headaches I was getting. Now I another doctor wants to take me off it. Putting me on
pamelore, claiming that neurotonin doesn't do anything for you. My primary doctor says No,
citing too many side effects with pamelore, and wants to put me on prozec instead. Why
can't I just stay on neurotonin? It was working, I was up to 600 mg/day getting ready to
up to 900 mg/day. I can't help but wonder if these doctor's know what they are doing.
Answer: Well, the first rule I generally teach medical students is "If it
works keep doing it". We often get too carried away with theory without watching for
what really works. I agree with the side effect problem with Pamelor. Why won't your
primary care prescribe the neurontin? Especially if it is working?
Neurontin and Sciatica [posted
Question: Eight months after a dissectomy, I still suffer from sciatica and back
pain. My physician has prescribed neurontin. Does anyone know or postulate how neurontin
works? What are the mechanisms that make it effective? Has neurontin been proven effective
in treatment of sciatica? If it does help me, will I take it for a long period? Does it
work like dilantin and have the same sort of effects on the body? What makes nerve pain
from disc herniation or scar tissue treatable with the same drug as epilepsy?
Answer: Neurontin is one of those drugs which have been observed to help in
patients with chronic pain. It seems to work at the neuro synapse (actual site not known
currently) and does have some effect in chronic pain. However, then so do Elavil,
Dilantin, etc. Neurontin seems to have less side effects and is becoming the initial drug
of choice due to this fact. As to whether it will help with you, only a good trial will
tell - there is no predicting the improvement with this drug. It is done in a case by case
Neurontin for Nerve Pain [posted
Question: 2 years ago I had a partial dissectomy for a herniated disc at C-7/T-1.
Then 1 year ago I had dissectomy and fusion at C5-6 and C6-7, which still hasn't solved
the original problem of pain, numbness, and some weakness in my left arm and hand. The
neurologist says there is scar tissue at C-8 and has prescribed Neurontin as a pain
reliever. I can't seem to find information on this medication for this purpose. Truthfully
I haven't noticed a whole lot of difference. Do you have any information on neurontin as a
pain reliever? Do you know of any solution to this problem? It's become quite a problem
and I don't know where to turn. I'm a seamstress and use both my hands to work.
Answer: Neurontin has been used for many purposes, pain relief, migraine
prevention, etc., in addition to its seizure uses. However, so have other anti-seizure
drugs. Like many other drugs that we use as an adjunct in pain relief it was found by
chance. It helps some patients and does not help others. If it works with you, I'd use it.
If it doesn't work, stop it.
Neurontin Side Effect [posted
Question: Is Neurontin associated with lack of libido? I was just wondering if that
is a possible side effect of the drug.
Answer: In some patients, yes.
Neurontin [posted 7/22/98]
Question: I have had no benefits from any anti-depressives or combinations there of
for treatment of depression and anxiety. I began neurontin and had positive results
immediately. Can you help me understand why this is working when I don't fit into the
seizure category in any way?
Answer: No, but this is a drug we are using in a number of unusual syndromes
with occasional dramatic results. The list of things that neurontin has been tried for is
extraordinary. However, if it works keep doing it.
Question: I would like to know the side effects of Neurontin. I am suffering from
hair loss and mood swings. I am also having trouble with vision and speech. Is this
Answer: Neurontin is a relatively new anti-seizure medication. The mode of
action is unclear and still being researched. Common side effects include drowsiness,
vertigo, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. Alopecia (hair loss) is listed as a possible side
effect, but is uncommon.
Question: Please send information on neurontin as a treatment for epileptic
seizures and possible side effects.
Answer: Neurontin is a new medication approved by the FDA for 'add on' therapy
for the treatment of seizures. What this means is that Neurontin can be helpful if a
patient is already on an anti-seizure medication but needs better control. Neurontin may
be added to the first medication. Neurontin generally is very well tolerated and one of
it's nice features is that it has a very low incidence of interacting with other
medications including the other routinely employed anti-seizure medications. As with all
medications there is no way to predict if it will help you. Common side effects tend to
be: fatigue, somnolence, dizziness and balance difficulties. The appropriateness of using
this medication can be discussed with your neurologist.
Question: I need information on neurontin and its side effects.
Answer: Neurontin is an anticonvulsant whose mode of action is not known. Side
effects include vertigo, somnolence & depression, ataxia , fatigue, and nausea and
vomiting. Like most drugs, there is a long list of potential problems(see the PDR) but,
these are the usual ones. There are also potential drug interactions between dilantin,
cimetidine, valproic acid, Phenobarbital and probenecid. If the patient is taking any of
these drugs, the physician should be contacted. Also, do not take this drug with antacids.
There is a potential long term risk of different cancers in initial studies, particularly
pancreatic cancer. This is currently being studied.
Question: I am taking Neurontin for neuropathy. It slurs my speech and I can't
drive. How long will this last?
Answer: This drug is used to treat seizures. Due to the fact that there is
little effective treatment for peripheral neuropathy, we tend to try different drugs. This
is one of the newer drugs used to treat neuropathy and has modest success in some
patients. However, the slurred speech will probably last as long as you take the drug.
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