Neurontin Side Effects in Bipolar Disorder

Potential Common and Serious Side Effects of Neurontin

Neurontin Side Effects
Neurontin Side Effects. Thomas Barwick / Stone / Getty Images

While Neurontin — known by the generic name gabapentin — may be prescribed as a mood stabilizer in the treatment of bipolar disorder, it's FDA approved for treating postherpetic neuralgia and certain types of seizures.

Regardless of why you are taking Neurontin, it's a good idea to be aware of the possible side effects if prescribed this medication.

What are the Common Side Effects of Neurontin?

According to the FDA, common side effects of Neurontin include loss of balance or coordination, fatigue, viral infection, fever, feeling drowsy, jerky movements, nausea and vomiting, difficulty with speaking, double vision, tremor, unusual eye movements, or swelling of the legs and feet.

 

Other common side effects, according to a 2011 article in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, may include diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, and heartburn.

If you experience these or other side effects, and they are bothersome or persist, please contact your doctor for further guidance.

What are the Serious Side Effects of Neurontin?

Neurontin may increase a person's risk of suicidal thoughts or actions. A person should contact their doctor right away if they notice a change in their mood or behavior. They should call 911 right away in the case of an emergency.

An allergic reaction may also occur with Neurontin and includes symptoms like swelling of the face, lip, mouth, or eyes, and trouble breathing. This reaction may also adversely affect a person's liver, causing yellowing of the skin, or blood cells, which may cause frequent infections, unusual bruising or bleeding, unexpected muscle pain and severe weakness.

What Precautions are Needed When Taking Neurontin?

Neurontin may cause drowsiness or dizziness. This can make a person prone to falls. Also, if you are taking Neurontin, speak with your doctor about whether you can drive. In addition, be sure to notify your doctor if you drink alcohol, or if you are taking other medications, as alcohol or these medications may interact with or increase the effects of Neurontin.

What Should I Do if I'm Taking This Medication?

If your doctor prescribes Neurontin, please take as prescribed and do not stop or change the dose without first consulting him. Stopping Neurontin suddenly may be harmful. Remain proactive and knowledgeable of your healthcare, including your medications.

Disclaimer

This list is not intended to be all-inclusive or to replace information provided by your doctor. Be sure to speak with your doctor if you have any symptoms or concerns related to taking Neurontin.

Sources

FDA. (Revised 2015). Medication Guide: Neurontin. Retrieved November 12th 2015. 

Honarmand A, Safavi M & Zare M. Gabapentin: An update of its pharmacological properties and therapeutic use in epilepsy. J Res Med Sci. 2011 Aug;16(8):1062-1069.

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