Neurontin (Gabapentin)

The problem of neuropathic pain is becoming increasingly urgent for clinicians of various profiles, which is due to the widespread occurrence of the pathology and difficulties in achieving a persistent therapeutic effect. Neuropathic pain can cause suffering and varying degrees of disability of the patient, as well as entail significant medical and social consequences. Despite the large number of pharmacological drugs that are recommended for the treatment of neuropathic pain, choosing the best treatment regimen is often difficult for clinicians.

Neuropathic pain is one of the leading morbidity patterns in the United States. For example, the incidence of peripheral neuropathy is about 3% of the total population. Among the 20 million people with diabetes in the United States, approximately 20% have diabetic neuropathy. Despite advances in vaccination against Varicella zoster virus, approximately 30% of patients with herpetic infection develop persistent postherpetic neuralgia. More than 80% of patients with pain due to peripheral neuropathy require pharmacotherapy.

Unfortunately, there are few direct comparative studies of the effectiveness of drugs for treating neuropathic pain, so choosing the best option can be difficult in many cases. Neurontin (Gabapentin) is often recommended as first-line treatments for neuropathic pain of different genesis.

Neurontin (gabapentin) is an anti-epileptic medication used to treat seizures. Neurontin is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat seizures caused by epilepsy in adults. Neurontin is also used to treat nerve pain caused by shingles. Neurontin is also used to treat seizures in children who are at least 3 years old.

Neurontin is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat epilepsy and pain related to nerve damage, called neuropathy. Also known by its generic name, Gabapentin, the drug acts as a sedative. It is widely considered non-addictive and touted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an alternative intervention to opiates for chronic pain.

What kind of pain Neurontin treat

There is evidence that oral gabapentin has an important effect on pain in some people with moderate or severe neuropathic pain after shingles. Neuropathic pain comes from damaged nerves. It is different from pain messages that are carried along healthy nerves from damaged tissue. Neuropathic pain is often treated by different medicines to those used for pain from damaged tissue, which we often think of as painkillers. Medicines that are sometimes used to treat epilepsy can be effective in some people with neuropathic pain. One of these is gabapentin. Our definition of a good result was someone with a high level of pain relief and able to keep taking the medicine without side effects making them stop. Neurontin does not carry the same risk of lethal overdoses as opioids, but drug experts say the effects of using gabapentin for long periods of time or in very high quantities, particularly among sensitive populations like pregnant women, are not well-known.

Neurontin effectiveness

One of the most widely prescribed prescription drugs, Neurontin, is being taken by millions of patients despite little or no evidence that it can relieve their pain. The drug was initially approved to treat seizure disorders, but it is now commonly prescribed off-label to treat all kinds of pain, acute and chronic, in addition to hot flashes, chronic cough and a host of other medical problems. The F.D.A. approves a drug for specific uses and doses if the company demonstrates it is safe and effective for its intended uses, and its benefits outweigh any potential risks. Off-label means that a medical provider can legally prescribe any drug that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for any condition, not just the ones for which it was approved. This can leave patients at the mercy of what their doctors think is helpful.


Safety and effectiveness of Neurontin in the management of postherpetic neuralgia in pediatric patients have not been established. Safety and effectiveness as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial seizures in pediatric patients below the age of 3 years has not been established. Thus, it can become a patient's job to try to determine whether a medication prescribed off-label is both safe and effective for their particular condition. This is no easy task even for well-educated doctors, let alone for desperate patients in pain.

Patients and physicians should understand that the drugs have limited evidence to support their use for many conditions, and there can be some harmful side effects, like somnolence, dizziness and difficulty walking. Furthermore, for patients prone to substance use disorders, like an opioid addiction, the gabapentinoids, although they are not opioids, are potentially addictive.

Contributing to the frequent misuse of gabapentinoids is how doctors interpret the term neuropathic pain for which the drugs are commonly prescribed. It is defined as pain caused by a lesion or disease of the nervous system, leading clinicians to assume that if a drug is effective for one type of neuropathic pain, it is effective for all types, regardless of the underlying cause.

It's not that there are no other alternatives to opioids to treat chronic pain. But practicing clinicians may be unaware of the options, most of which require more effort for the doctor than writing a drug prescription and are not as easy or accessible for patients as swallowing a pill. Doctors need to work with one patient at a time and figure out what works and what doesn't work.


In the United States, anyone who has tried to stop taking an opiate drug after ongoing use knows full well how uncomfortable the withdrawal effects can be. Depending on the person, opiates can actually increase pain-sensitivity levels as they work to relieve pain symptoms. This means you may experience even more pain than the original injury caused if you try to stop taking an opiate drug.

One of Neurontin's benefits is its ability to mimic opiate effects in the body. This means a person can stop taking opiates without suffering harsh withdrawal effects. Part of Neurontin's mimicking ability is due to how it affects substance P chemical releases in the brain. While much regarding Neurontin's effectiveness in treating opiate withdrawal remains unknown, the drug's calming effects on brain neurotransmitter pathways offer some benefits for providing relief for opiate addictions.

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