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Aug 07

Gabapentin Side Effects

The most noted Gabapentin side effects upon intake are dizziness, drowsiness, having coordination problems, infections, fever, nausea or vomiting, swelling or fluid retention in the legs, feet, arms or hands and unusual eye movements.

The other side effects noted by some patients of less than one percent are shakiness or tremors, double vision or blurred vision, weakness or fatigue, diarrhea or constipation, dry mouth, increased appetite or weight gain, bronchitis, accidental injury, sore throat, hyperactivity mostly in children, changes in thinking such as difficulty in concentrating, nervousness, speech problems, experiencing memory loss or amnesia, indigestion or heart burn, gas or flatulence, back pain, problems in walking, twitching, high blood pressure or hyperglycemia, conjunctivitis or pink eye, ear infection and flushing or hot flushes.

However there are also occurrences of very serious side effects which need immediate medical attention. Some of these noted side effects are depression, hostility, severe dizziness or confusion or coordination problems that do not improve with time. Signs of allergic reactions such as unexplained rash, hives, itching and unexplained swelling of the mouth and lips including tightening of the chest may obstruct all airways making it difficult for the person to breathe. As such a patient is required to stop medication immediately and see a doctor immediately. Others even experience suicidal thoughts and behavior that is why it is also important to see a physician right away before it poses a threat to others.

Most of the rare side effects are weight loss, hangover effect, migraines, high cholesterol, hemorrhoids, ulcers, hiatal hernia, irritable bowel syndrome, thyroid problems including hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, arthritis, sexual problems, over snoring, sensitivity to the sun, psoriasis and kidney stones.

It is however noted in some studies that the common side effects among adult patients are drowsiness, dizziness and peripheral edema or swelling of extremities. These mostly occur among patients with a particularly high dosage of Gabapentin. In children the most noted side effects are inclination from mild to moderate mood swings, hostility, concentration problems and hyperactivity.

The Food and Drug Administration issued advice and caution in 2009 that patients taking Gabapentin have higher risk of having suicidal thoughts and behaviors, as well depression. That is why there is modification done in the packaging of this product along with other anticonvulsant drugs. Also the manufacturer, Pfizer went to trial for this issue in 2009. This issue was known as Frankin versus Pfizer, in that a former Pfizer employee testified against the company for promoting off label use of Gabapentin to practitioners which has dangerous side effects.

References:

Gabapentin Uses, Dosage & Safety Information – Drugs.com

Gabapentin High – Recreational Use & Withdrawal