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From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Gabapentin (Neurontin)
Date: Mon, 01 Dec 1997

In <>
(Marleenoet) writes:
>>(Marleenoet) writes:
>>>Does anyone have any information, studies, or first hand experience
>>with this drug?
>>>GABAPENTIN/ Neurontin
>Steve Harris, M.D.
>>   I've used it in many patients.  It works as advertised as a
>>neuropathic pain painkiller, and is particularly valuable in people who
>>can't sleep at night due to neuropathic pain. It puts them out very
>>well, and they say they sleep like babies.
>>Side effect is mainly drowsiness, and I've had a few patients who've
>>been groggy for days on just one dose of 100 mg, and are quite angry
>>about it (this is rare). I've had a few elderly very frail patients lose
>>all leg strength after the first couple of doses, and couldn't walk
>>until it wore off. Again, a miserable but reversable problem.
>>   I use it as adjunct to all chronic pain, at least as a sleeping
>>pill.  It's unfortunatly quite expensive.
>Then should I assume by that description we are talking about a Class
>ll drug?

   No!  It's not a scheduled (controlled) substance at all!  Go figure.
Eventually we'll have some people get addicted to it, or abuse it, and
it will be.  But that hasn't happened yet because it's too darned
expensive, and doctor's aren't ordering it for sleep only.  It's not
well known.  Right now only neurologists, pain specialists, and a few
other enlightened docs (modest, self-depreciating grin) are privy to
its effects, and use it for other than seizure control.

   Meanwhile, before they make the stuff "Schedule V," gabapentin is
probably the closest thing to a "DEA scheduled" sleep med, which isn't
scheduled.  Unless you count the semi-blackmarket drug GHB (which
gabapentin resembles in action and effect more than a little bit-- due
to GHB's gaba-nergic properties).

   And yes, like many anti-seizure drugs, gabapentin seems to be a
worthwhile addition to chronic pain regimes for a lot of people.  If
they're rich, or have a good medication payment insurance plan.

                                       Steve Harris, M.D.

>I don't take drugs myself, but I know so many people with chronic pain
>due to the Lyme, I was wondering if this was a possiblity. What do you
>think of this for chronic pain?

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Gabapentin (Neurotonin)
Date: 22 Mar 1998 02:39:51 GMT

In <6f14te$> (Emma Chase-Van
Cott) writes:

>What is gabapentin?
> Take a ride, from this life. (Luscious Jackson)

   It's an anti-seizure drug.  It also makes a good sleep drug (though
expensive).  It's useful for neuropathic pain treatment, and indeed as
an adjunct to any kind of chonic pain, particularly night time pain.
It seems to have remarkably little toxicity and drug-drug interaction
for an anti-seizure medication.  It's often used in children as a third
or fourth "add on" drug, for this reason.

   It's not a controlled substance, but in many ways has the effects of
hypnotics (sleeping pills) which are controlled.    It doesn't seem to
cause addiction, but (as with many hypnotics), the body's ability to
adapt to it causes a decrease in this effect over time.

                                         Steve Harris, M.D.

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