Neurontin, or using its genetic name, "gabapentin" is a drug commonly used to treat epilepsy and relieve neuropathic pain. Since it affects the level of GABA in the brain, it is also used as a treatment for panic and anxiety disorders in psychiatric situations. Some uses of neurontin are not approved by the FDA but it is approved to treat partial seizures, nerve pain and also neuropathological pain, including that induced by shingles. Neurontin abuse more commonly involves the manufacturer and doctors who are paid to promote the use of this drug for non FDA approved uses than it involves any manner of patient abuse or overdose. Severe injury has resulted from the use of this drug due to non FDA approved clinical situations and the manufactures have settled lawsuits concerning improper and non FDA patient uses which resulted in significant personal injury and fatalities.
Symptoms of neurontin overdose at 49 milligrams were double vision, drowsiness, slurred speech, diarrhea, coordination problems, drooping eyelids and severe lethargy. Overdose symptoms may become dramatically more dangerous if alcohol is added to an overdose of neurontin. Combined, the two will further suppress respiration, coordination and function. Neurontin overdose symptoms at 8,000 milligrams as reported by Pfizer were ataxia, labored breathing, ptosis, sedation, hypoactivity and excitation. There are still no reports on the lethal dose for human ingestion of the drug. Neurontin overdose can be counteracted by hemodialysis which is a procedure used in renal failure to remove waste products from the kidneys. Pumping the stomach may also rid the body of excess amounts of the drug and dialysis will remove the drug from the bloodstream.
As with most epilepsy medications, stopping Neurontin use quickly is not recommended. Although Neurontin is not addicting and is not likely to be abused, stopping it too quickly can cause problems and it should be stopped slowly, over a period of at least one week. The most important neurontin withdrawal symptom is seizures. Stopping the medication too quickly can cause seizures to become worse, or may cause the patient to have a type of seizure they have never had before. This is possible even if the patient has not been taking Neurontin to treat seizures. Other symptoms of Neurontin withdrawal include: anxiety, insomnia, nausea, pain and sweating.
Neurontin Adverse Side Effects
Common Neurontin side effects include: blurred or double vision; dizziness; drowsiness; muscle ache or pain; swelling of hands, feet, or lower legs; trembling or shaking; unusual tiredness or weakness.
Severe Neurontin side effects are: diarrhea; dryness of mouth or throat; frequent urination; headache; indigestion; low blood pressure; nausea; noise in ears; runny nose; slurred speech; trouble in thinking; trouble in sleeping; vomiting; weakness or loss of strength; and weight gain.
Taking Legal Action
If you believe that you or one of your family members has suffered a physical or mental injury due to the use of the drug Neurontin it is important to consult with a product liability attorney as soon as possible in order to protect your right and interest and prevent any additional harm or injury from occurring or continuing. You or your family member may have a cause of action in strict liability in connection with a defective pharmaceutical product manufactured by a pharmaceutical provider. A products liability attorney can assist you in filing a claim against that drug manufacturer or retail supplier and help the injured patient to recover the costs of additional treatments to correct or improve any injury and emotional distress and humiliation arising due to adverse reactions to this drug.