Neurontin Side Effects, How it Works, Upsides & Downsides

Neurontin which is also known as Gabapentin belongs to the group of medications known as anticonvulsants. It is an anti-epileptic drug which helps in preventing and controlling seizures. What this medication does is that it affects the chemicals present in the brain and the nerves in the body which are involved in the cause of these seizures and certain kinds of pain, and prevents them from happening.1

This anti-epileptic drug is also used for treating adults who suffer from neuropathic pain that is caused by shingles or herpes virus. It is also used to treat seizures in both kids and adults.



Side effects

Neurontin has some adverse side effects associated with it. However, if you have been prescribed this drug by your doctor, then that is probably because the benefits outweigh these side effects. For many people who are using this drug, it has not caused them any side effect.

Minor side effects

Some common side effects of Neurontin include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Tremor



Major side effects

Some other major side effects include:

  • Swelling of the face, ankles, and feet
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Mood swings
  • Allergic reaction; some symptoms that you might see include fever, shallow breathing, swollen lymph nodes, rashes, and itching
  • Severe dizziness
  • Troubled breathing
  • Kidney problems

This list does not mention all of the possible side effects that one might face.


How to take this medication?

Neurontin is to be taken orally; you can take it with some food if you want to. The dosage depends on your condition and how well are you responding to the treatment as well. Your doctor may tell you to break the medicine in half before taking it. However, do remember that if you haven’t used the remaining half within a few days after splitting it, then throw that split medicine away. For the capsules, you will take them with a glass filled with water. Your doctor may initially prescribe you a higher dose, and he may decrease it later onwards. Take Neurontin regularly to get the most benefits from it. Take it in evenly spaced-out time intervals to get the most benefit from the drug. Do not increase or decrease the dosage. Do not stop taking Neurontin suddenly as it can worsen your condition.




Before taking this medication, there are certain things that you should be aware of. To ensure your safety and health, you must inform your doctor of all the medical conditions you suffer from. Here are some of the conditions you need to let your doctor know about:

  • Allergies
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Mental problems
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Breathing problems

This drug may make you feel dizzy and may blur your vision hence you should not use marijuana or alcohol when taking this drug. Limit your marijuana and alcohol usage, and make sure not to do any such activity that requires you to be alert such as driving.

Before undergoing surgery, make sure to inform your doctor about all the prescribed medications that you use.

Women who are expecting or are nursing should not use this medication as it can harm your baby.