Neurontin (gabapentin)

The following drug information is obtained from various newswires, published medical journal articles, and medical conference presentations.


Approval Status:

Approved May 2002

Specific Treatments:

Post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN)

Therapeutic Areas

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General Information

Neurontin (gabapentin) is an anticonvulsant previously approved as an adjunct treatment for partial epileptic seizures in adults and children. It is also indicated in over 50 countries for the adjunctive treatment of epilepsy and a range of neuropathic pain conditions. It is now approved in the United States for the management of post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). Neurontin is the first oral medication approved by the FDA for this indication.

PHN is a syndrome of often intractable pain that persists after the resolution of herpes zoster, a condition commonly known as shingles. This intense pain is described as burning, deep aching, tearing and electric shock-like. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of all patients with herpes zoster develop PHN, which may persist for a number of years.

Clinical Results

The approval of Neurontin was supported by a multi-center trial involving 229 subjects with PHN. Results showed that subjects suffering from PHN experienced a statistically significant reduction in average daily pain after treatment with Neurontin. Almost twice as many subjects treated with Neurontin (16 percent) were pain-free versus those treated with placebo (8.8 percent) at the end of the trial. The study also showed that those receiving Neurontin experienced improvement in sleep and overall quality of life.

Side Effects

Adverse events associated with the use of Neurontin may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Somnolence
  • Peripheral edema

Mechanism of Action

The mechanism of action exerted by Neurontin (gabapentin) is unknown. Gabapentin is structurally related to the neurotransmitter GABA, but it does not interact with GABA receptors, is not converted metabolically into GABA or a GABA agonist and is not an inhibitor of GABA uptake or degradation. (Neurontin prescribing information)

Additional Information

For additional information on Neurontin, please visit Pfizer.