Neurontin (gabapentin) is a not entirely understood medication that was originally approved for treating seizures and some types of nerve pain.
Side effects and withdrawal adverse effects carry certain risks, as with all prescription drugs.
We have assembled some information below on these topics to help in researching the subject. We can freely offer more information on request.
The two FDA approved uses for Neurontin (generic name gabapentin) are for the treatment of partial seizures in adults and children, and also to reduce pain stemming from nerve damage caused by shingles.
However, there are other uses which are not FDA approved that came about after uncontrolled studies were sponsored by the drug manufacturer, Pfizer. In some cases, the preponderance of evidence does not strongly support such claims, and Pfizer was sued for false advertising claims. Such marketing practices are illegal; however, the prescribing for off label uses does not carry the same legal repercussions.
Nonetheless, many non-approved offshoot uses were promoted and include the following:
As an additional note, gabapentin has been promoted as a “safe substitute” for opioid drugs due to its ability to relieve neurological sources of pain.
This may be, in part, how the drug came to be viewed and used as a street drug substitute for opiates, as it is cheap and relatively easy to divert from legal channels.
Neurontin is a trade or brand name for the generic gabapentin. Other trade names include Gralise, an extended release version of the drug manufactured in the US, and Horizant, a version of gabapentin altered for more bioavailability, which was marketed to treat restless leg syndrome.
gabapentin has become a street drug mainly due to the euphoric effects the drug causes. Neurontin is commonly referred to as “Johnnies” and “Gabbies” on the street.
One of the most concerning side effects of Neurontin is that the drug causes an increase in suicide, suicidal thoughts and violent death as documented in drug studies (1), as reflected in the FDA’s black box warning. The drug also causes euphoric effects, which are sometimes compared to heroin or other opiates which can also leave the person in a zombie-like state.
Other side effects the drug is known to cause include:
Withdrawal effects emerge within approximately 12 hours of the last dose, but can emerge in as little as 6 hours and can be severe, requiring careful monitoring, support and medical oversight. The drug should never be discontinued abruptly, as the FDA stipulates clearly.
The body can become accustomed to having gabapentin or any drug in the system, requiring it to function normally.
Some of the side effects that can emerge during withdrawal especially if cessation is attempted too abruptly include these:
It is typically much easier to withdraw from than benzodiazepines or opiates. gabapentin is chemically very similar to GABA, a naturally occurring neurotransmitter. gabapentin users seeking to taper off this medication may consider using a natural form of GABA to ease the withdrawal effects. Other people use Phenitropic also known as Phenibut as a replacement. Phenibut is an active form of GABA that is available without a prescription.
Never abruptly stop taking Neurontin/gabapentin suddenly as the results can be life-threatening. Always seek competent medical treatment to safely taper from Neurontin.
Since Neurontin arrived to market in 1993, ongoing research and clinical trials have been done to understand more about the properties of the drug, how it works, and how it differs from other drugs such as opioids or benzodiazepines.
Below you will find some information to address some of the most common questions asked about Neurontin.
Treatment for Neurontin/gabapentin abuse and addiction is available for successful recovery at the Alternative to Meds Center. Perhaps one of the most important first steps to conquering addiction is discovering that there are successful methods for treatment based on scientific, evidence-based protocols.
For example, if unwanted symptoms lead to addiction or Neurontin dependence, these can be addressed in ways that address, relieve and even eliminate their root cause. There is no need to mechanically require further addictive drugs to numb or mask these unwanted feelings, sensations or pains. Many techniques of reducing stress, anxiety and tension can be learned and can lead to personal empowerment in managing these without drugs or prescription medication.
Addiction responds to a variety of treatment methods which can include:
Each person is a unique individual and an individualized treatment program is essential to help a person regain optimum health and restore peace of mind after addiction or dependence.
You can contact the Alternative to Meds Center for more details on the many treatment protocols used in addressing and resolving addiction or dependence to substances such as Neurontin. You are invited to find out more about the various ways one can regain mental health naturally while enrolled at the facility.