Neurontin is a medication commonly used to treat pain associated with shingles and partial seizures in people with epilepsy. The drug is believed to work by affecting calcium channels in the brain, but its full effects are not known. It comes in tablet, capsule, and liquid form, and is typically taken one to three times daily. Side effects of Neurontin include dizziness, drowsiness, and problems with coordination.
What Is Neurontin?Neurontin® (gabapentin) is a prescription medication used to treat the following conditions:
- Epilepsy -- Neurontin is approved to be used along with other seizure medications to treat partial seizures in adults and children as young as three years old.
- Shingles nerve pain -- Neurontin is also approved to treat the chronic nerve pain that often occurs after an outbreak of shingles (known medically as postherpetic neuralgia).
How Does It Work?It is not known exactly how Neurontin works for nerve pain. In addition, it is not known exactly how the drug works to prevent partial seizures in people with epilepsy. It is known that it affects certain calcium channels in the brain, and this may be how it works for seizures and nerve pain.
EffectivenessSeveral studies have looked at the effects of this medication on treating seizures and nerve pain.
Neurontin for Nerve Pain After Shingles
Several studies have evaluated the effectiveness of Neurontin for treating nerve pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia. People who took the drug experienced less pain compared to those not taking it. In one study, as many as 34 percent of people taking it reported having half as much pain (or less), compared to just 14 percent of a similar group of people not taking it.