Neurontin is basically an anti-epileptic medication. It is also known as Gabapentin. This anticonvulsant affects the nerves and chemicals in your body, particularly the ones that cause pain and seizures. Neurontin can be used in combination of other drugs for treating epileptic seizures in adults. It is also used for treating nerve pain in adults caused by herpes zoster or herpes virus. Moreover, physicians prescribe it as anxiolytic, hypnotic and muscle relaxant. According to a data sheet published by a Neurontin manufacturer, this medication was marketed in the US for the first time in 1981. Normal dosage ranges from 900 mgs to 2400 mgs per day. The maximum dosage that can be prescribed by the physicians is 3600 mgs. Neurontin dependency risks increase substantially, if a higher dose is taken by the patient without the recommendation of a physician.
Neurontin withdrawal symptoms might appear when the patient stops taking the medication abruptly. This increases the risk of seizure in individuals who have never had such problem before. Furthermore, it makes the pre-existing seizure worse. For that reason, physicians wean their patients off the medication gradually. Some doctors suggest that the dependency potential of Neurontin is lower than other drugs, especially narcotics. However, the scenario changes when it is taken on long terms basis. The risk is significantly higher for people using Neurontin for longer period of time, as their body's tolerance is higher than short-term users.
Regular seizures are the most common indication of Neurontin withdrawal. Abrupt withdrawal also provokes a withdrawal syndrome similar to benzodiazepine or alcohol withdrawal. Gradual reduction helps in preventing these negative effects. In severe conditions, sudden stopping the Neurontin usage can cause epileptic seizures in users with no epileptic history. The major reason behind these seizures is the deficiency of biotin in the patient's body caused the prolonged usage of Neurontin. This medication depletes the B vitamin biotin from human body. As a result, the patients feel numbness or tingling sensation throughout their body. Biotin deficiency also causes increases sensitivity to light and loud noise in addition to seizures.
The most common withdrawal symptoms associated with this drug include:
Adverse reactions caused by Neurontin before or during withdrawal include drowsiness, mood changes/mood swings, dizziness, fatigue, indigestion, weight gain, vision disturbances, hallucinations, muscle tremor, decreased kidney function, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dry mouth, abnormal gait, amnesia, peripheral edema, anxiety, asthenia, parathesia, nystagmus, abnormal thinking, infections in urinary track, infection in respiratory track, emotional lability, hyperkinesias, incontinence, alopecia, arthralgia, diplopia, amblyopia, dysarthria, constipation, flatulence, myalgia, back pain, pancreatitis, allergic reactions, leucopenia, depression, impotence, psychosis, headache, changes in the blood pressure, rashes and angioedema, coordination problems, ataxia, puritis, twitching, rhinitis, pharyngitis, coughing, nervousness, movement disorders, thrombocytopenia, chest pain, palpitations, acute renal failure, tinnitus, purpura, seizures, dental abnormalities, fever, acne, vertigo, confusion, impairment of mental alertness, abdominal pain, decreased or absent reflexes, confusion, variation in blood glucose level and hostility.
Generally, physicians do not use any sort of medication for treating Neurontin withdrawal. They normally suggest their patients to wean off the drug slowly. The average time recommended to patients for reducing and ultimately ending the usage of Neurontin is one week. The risk of seizures and other withdrawal symptoms is negligible if proper course of action is taken. The method suggested by healthcare providers or physicians might vary. It depends on three factors:
Therefore, it is important to consult your healthcare provider before you stop using Neurontin. Also, you must discuss any bothersome symptoms you feel after stopping the use.
Taking this drug according to the recommendation does not present any risk related to Neurontin addiction, as it is proven effective for a number of ailments by the FDA. However, it is necessary to talk about different treatment options with your physician prior to making any modifications in your treatment regime.