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What about the use of a prescription drug called Gabapentin (Neurontin) to relieve the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy??? Physician prescribed, woman tested!
Updated: Monday, March 08, 2004 12:15:48 PM

Neurontin is normally prescribed for the neuropathy associated with diabetes and AIDS. It relieves neuropathy pain but also enhances mood, improves quality of life, and aids sleep. Originally, it was developed to control the seizures associated with epilepsy. Maximum dose is 900-1800 mg per day. Side effects are slurred speech, fatigue, and twitching (J.Amer.Med.Assoc, May 1998 and PDR 2000).

The side effects of Neurontin can be altered by dividing the doses or changing the dose schedule.

It may be possible to build up a tolerance to Neurontin, which then requires higher and higher doses to get the same relief.

Reported experiences of women who are fighting ovarian cancer and have used Neurontin are:

  • Neurontin seems to have a carry-over effect, as it eliminates some inner feelings of tremors.
  • One woman experienced relief from the pain with no side effects. Elavil worked for her, but the side effects were just too much for her to handle.
  • One woman reported that the side effect of fatigue was too much too handle even though Neurontin helped the neuropathy.
  • One 300 mg capsule just before bed helped one woman. Before taking Neurontin, she was unable to sleep through the night because her restless legs would wake her up again. After just a few days, she slept through the night. She went off it as an experiment and couldn't sleep through the night. She went back on it and was able to sleep through the night again.
  • Taking 200-400 mg every day has helped one woman so much that she has been able to return to work and is now a part-time nurse.
  • A pain doctor said 100 mg of Neurontin wasn't sufficient to do anything. He prescribed 300 mg (100 mg three times a day, spread out evenly with: right out of bed, mid-day, and right before bed). Within a week, this woman noticed considerable relief.
  • One woman reported a return of feeling in her hands after taking Neurontin for only three weeks.
  • Another woman reported that taking it three times a day caused no problems.
  • While taking 300 mg of Neurontin and 20 mg of Pamelor at night, one woman noticed that, while she hadn't believed the combination was doing anything, when she forgot to take them on a weekend trip, she was absolutely miserable.
  • One woman started at 100 mg and then moved up to 300 mg. Then she started taking 300 mg twice per day: once at 4 p.m. and once at 10 p.m. She then increased the dosage to 300 mg three times per day. It finally worked when a mild sleeping pill (5 mg of Ambien) was added to the mixture. When she tried to cut back the dosage of Neurontin, she immediately had trouble sleeping through the night.
  • Restless legs caused by neuropathy were helped by taking two 300 mg Neurontin capsules with two pain pills at bedtime.
  • For one woman, taking 1200 mg of Neurontin, along with vitamins B1, B6, and B12 helped considerably.

Note: In addition to Gabapentin (Neurontin), other anti-seizure medications which may work are Carbamazepine (Tegretol), Phenytoin (Dilantin), and Klonopin (Clonazepam). All have a side effect of sleepiness, so taking them at bedtime usually works the best. Other common side effects of these drugs may include dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, fatigue or weakness, constipation and weight gain. These drugs usually require several weeks before maximum effectiveness is noticed.  http://www.mayohealth.org/mayo/9811/htm/neuropathy.htm .

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