Neurontin (Gabapentin) and/or alternatives
No Generic Alternative.
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General Information On Neurontin
Neurontin is a anticonvulsant medication that is given as a part of a treatment of seizures caused by epilepsy. The generic name of Neurontin is Gabapentin. Neurontin affects the nerves and chemicals in your body that may cause seizures or some types of pain.
Side Effects for Neurontin
Minor side effects of taking Neurontin include behavioral or mood changes, depression, anxiety, agitation, hostility and restlessness. Other side effects may include hyperactivity or suicidal thoughts. Inform your doctor immediately if these side effects persist or worsen.
Serious side effects of taking Neurontin include increased level and frequency of seizures, swelling of the feet or ankles and confusion. Other serious side effects include fever, body aches, chills and flu-like symptoms. Additional side effects include rapid back-and-forth movement of the eyes and easy bruising or bleeding. Inform your doctor if you suffer from any of these serious side effects.
Allergic reactions to Neurontin are characterized by swollen glands, fever, hives and difficulty in breathing. Some other side effects of an allergic reaction include painful sores in the area surrounding your eyes or in your mouth and swollen face, lips, tongue or throat. Stop taking Neurontin and immediately seek medical help if you suffer from any of these allergy symptoms.
Do not buy Neurontin if you have an allergy to Gabapentin. Inform your doctor if you have kidney disease, heart disease or liver disease. Also, tell your doctor if you are a day sleeper or if you work on a night shift if you have RLS.
You may have suicidal thoughts or depression while you are on a Neurontin treatment. Inform your doctor immediately if these thoughts worsen. Also, inform your doctor if you have suicidal thoughts during the initial months of treatment. You may need to be evaluated regularly to check the effectiveness of the medication and any side effects of Neurontin. Do not miss on any scheduled appointment with your doctor.
Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or if you planning to become pregnant during the course of the medication. Neurontin may pass into breast milk. Consult with your doctor before you buy Neurontin if you are breast feeding.
Wear a special ID card or a medical alert card that states that you are taking Neurontin, so that any other medical personnel are aware of this fact. Neurontin medications may also cause your body to show unusual results on certain medical tests.
You must buy Neurontin only as per the prescription of the doctor. Neurontin is administered as an oral tablet that can be taken before or after food. Neurontin may also be administered as an oral solution, for which you would need a special cup to measure the doses. Inform your pharmacist if you don’t have a cup for dose measurement, but do not use a normal household spoon. Do not stop taking medication if your seizures have stopped. Neurontin medication must be stopped gradually as per doctor’s instructions.
Inform your doctor if you are using any other medication, especially Naproxen, Morphine or Hydrocodone. Also, inform the doctor if you are taking any other over-the-counter or prescription medications.
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What is a "Generic" medication/drug?
Generic drugs are medications that have comparable medicinal ingredients as the original brand name drug, but which are generally cheaper in price. Nearly 1 in 3 drugs dispensed are "generic". They undergo testing to ensure that they are similar to their "brand" counterparts in:
- Active Ingredient (e.g. "Pravastatin" is the active ingredient in brand name Pravachol)
- Dosage (e.g. 10 mg of the active ingredient)
- Safety (e.g. same or similar side effects, drug interactions)
- Performance (e.g. 10 mg of a "generic" can be substituted for 10 mg of the "brand" and have the same therapeutic result)
- Intended use (e.g. both "generic" and "brand" would be prescribed for the same conditions)
What this means is that "generic" medications can be used as a substitute of their brand equivalents with the comparable therapeutic results. There are a few exceptions (examples are outlined at the end of this page) and as always you should consult your physician before switching from a brand name medications to a generic or vice versa.
What differences are there between generic and brand?
While generics and brand equivalent drugs contain the same active ingredients, they may be different in the following ways:
- Appearance (e.g. the scoring or markings)
The color, shape and size of the medication come from the fillers that are added to the active ingredients to make the drug. These fillers that are added to the drug have no medical use and do not to change the effectiveness of the final product. A generic drug must contain comparable active ingredients and must have a comparable strength and dosage as the original brand name equivalent. Generic drugs can be more cost effective than purchasing the brand name.
Why do generics cost less than the brand name equivalents?
When a new drug is "invented", the company that discovered it has a patent on it that gives them the exclusive production rights for this medication. Once the patent expires in a country, other companies can bring the product to market under their own name. This patent prevents other companies from copying the drug during that time so they can earn back their Research and Development costs through being the exclusive supplier of the product. After the patent expires however, other companies can develop a "generic" version of the product. These versions generally are offered at much lower prices because the companies do not have the same development costs as the original company who developed the medication.
The main thing to realize here though is that the two products are therapeutically equivalent. They may look different, and be called something different.
How are Generic drugs tested to ensure quality and efficacy?
Generally speaking, the two most generally accepted methods to prove the safety of a generic version of a drug are to either repeat most of the chemistry, animal and human studies originally done, or to show that the drug performs comparably with the original brand name drug. This second option is called a "comparative bioavailability" study. During this type of study, volunteers are given the original drug, and then separately later the generic drug. The rates at which the drug is delivered to the patient (into their blood stream or otherwise absorbed) are measured to ensure they are the same. Because the same active ingredient is used the major concern is just that it delivers the common chemical(s) at the same rate so that they have the same effect. Please note that the methods that the manufacturers use may vary from country to country.