Epilepsy >> Neurontin
How does Neurontin work?
Neurontin is an anti-epileptic, anticonvulsant drug. By its structure, the drug is similar to the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), acting as a inhibitory neurotransmitter in the CNS.
In studies of labeled gabapentin in vitro, there have been identified new peptide receptors in the brain tissue of rats, including the neocortex and hippocampus, which may indirectly affect the anticonvulsant activity of gabapentin and its derivatives. However, the structure and function of gabapentin receptors has not been fully studied.
When Neurontin is prescribed?
Epilepsy, including cases of ineffectiveness of standard anticonvulsants:
- partial seizures with or without secondary generalization (tonic-clonic seizures) in adults and children aged 12 years and older (monotherapy or adjuvant);
- resistant form of epilepsy in children older than 3 years (adjuvant)
- neuropathic pain in adults (treatment)
Before taking Neurontin
You should not take Gabapentin if any of these conditions apply to you:
- Hypersensitivity to any component of the drug (incl. history)
Neurontin should be used with caution in the following conditions:
- Renal insufficiency
Application during pregnancy and breastfeeding:
Adequate controlled studies of Neurontin during pregnancy were not conducted. Neurontin studies in animals do not always allow to predict its effect on reproductive function in humans, therefore Neurontin should be given during pregnancy only if the anticipated benefits to the patient justify the potential risk to the fetus.
Gabapentin is excreted into the breast milk. Its influence on newborns who are breastfed, is unknown. Thus, Neurontin should be prescribed during lactation only when the benefits to the mother clearly outweigh the risk to the infant.
Experimental studies have shown that gabapentin does not have teratogenic and fetotoxic effect in rats.
How Neurontin is taken?
You should take Gabapentin exactly as indicated by your physician. Do not exceed recommended dosages. Follow the directions of your prescription.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed one and take the medicine as scheduled. Do not take a double dose to make up the missed dose.
What should I do if I overdose?
Symptomatic treatment should be applied. Symptoms of overdose are dizziness, diplopia, speech disorder, mild diarrhea, drowsiness, lethargy.
Although gabapentin is excreted with hemodialysis, the use of this method of treatment is usually not required. Hemodialysis may be indicated in severe renal insufficiency.
Which Neurontin side effects are possible while the treatment?
As with any drug, there are some side effects while may occur while taking Gabapentin. However, not everyone who takes Neurontin will experience side effects. In fact, most patients taking Neurontin tolerate it well. During clinical trials there were reported the following Gabapentin side effects:
- cardiovascular system: increased blood pressure
- digestive system: dyspepsia, rarely - nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dry mouth or throat, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, anorexia, gingivitis, pancreatitis, and increased activity of transaminases. When used in combination with other antiepileptic drugs - increased appetite.
- locomotor system: rarely - myalgia, arthralgia. When used in combination with other antiepileptic drugs - pain in the back.
- nervous system: drowsiness, dizziness, ataxia, nystagmus (dose dependent), fatigue, tremor, dysarthria, increased nervous irritability, rarely - headache, amnesia, depression, thought disorder, confusion, tics, paresthesia (dose dependent) , fatigue, hyperkinesia, anxiety. When used in combination with other antiepileptic drugs - insomnia.
- respiratory system: rarely - rhinitis, pharyngitis. When used in combination with other antiepileptic drugs - cough.
- urogenital system: very rare incontinence of urine. When used in combination with other antiepileptic drugs - reduced potency.
- senses: visual disturbances (diplopia, amblyopia), tinnitus.
- allergic reactions: very rare - skin rash, itching, fever, exudative erythema multiforme, malignant exudative erythema (Stevens-Johnson syndrome).
- other: purpura, weight gain, extremely rare - peripheral edema, acne, swelling of the face, fluctuations of blood glucose in patients with diabetes mellitus. When used in combination with other antiepileptic drugs - increased bones fragility.
This is not a complete list of Gabapentin side effects. When side effects do occur make sure to inform your health care provider.
Which other medicines can interact with Neurontin?
- antacids containing aluminum and / or magnesium
Make sure to inform your health care provide about prescription and over-the-counter medication, herbal supplements, and other medical preparations you are currently taking. Do not begin a new medication without letting your doctor know.
How Neurontin should be stored?
Keep the drug out of reach of children at the temperature not above 25 C.
You should not share this medicine with others. Do not take Gabapentin on your own initiative without your doctors approval. Keep the drug as well as any other disposable material out of the reach of children.