Neurontin is a class of medication. It is known in several names including anticonvulsion medications, antiepilepsy medications (AEDs) and neuronal stabilizing agents.
After a treatment for a period of 12 weeks in 100 participants, the migraine rate for neurontin group decreased to 2.7 from 4.2 as compared to 3.5 from 4.1 of the placebo group. Trials with neurontin are not many.
This could be the reason why it is not ranked and prescribed as an important preventive for migraine. An article in a journal, captioned ‘Migraine Preventive Treatment’, neurontin was ranked as the second category.
This category describes neurontin as a medication with lower effectiveness having moderate adverse reactions.
Studies on neurontin may not be that much, but of late it has been used successfully as a migraine and headache preventive medicine. Neurontin is prescribed off-label as it is not an FDA approved medicine for prevention of migraine.
This practice is very common. Doctors prescribe quite often the medicines that have not been approved by the FDA. Of course, because of such prescriptions only the unapproved medications are used for treating several conditions.
This ultimately paves the way for clinical trials with these medicines for conditions other than the ones for which the medicine was intended. It is true that most of the medications prescribed for prevention of migraine and other headaches are prescribed off-label.
The medications approved by FDA for prevention of migraine are Depakote and Depakote IR, timolol and propranolol. Besides these medicines there are no approved medicines for prevention of migraine.
Only in the past few years interest in the antiepileptic drugs has increased for finding out a way for prevention of migraine.
Both epilepsy and migraine may be caused by identical reactions in the brain. There is scientific support available for the effectiveness and safety of AEDs for migraine prevention.
However, a physician may naturally select a drug that does not cause side effects. AEDs cause side effects when used for preventing migraine attacks.
This plays an important role when a doctor wants to prescribe a medicine for migraine prevention.
The doctor therefore tries to avoid prescribing an AED due to the above reason. In some people taking an AED for migraine prevention, this drug causes weight gain as one of the side effects.
The doctor has to prescribe another AED such as Neurontin or Topamax for these people as these AEDs are not associated with weight gain.
In the same way, for people who experience drowsiness when they take Neurontin for migraine prevention, Depakote or Topamax may be prescribed as these medicines are not associated with drowsiness.
Every person is unique and responds differently with the same medication. However, if medication for migraine prevention is the correct thing for you, any bona fide medical professional can help you in identifying the treatment that suits you well.
Neurontin is also known as Gabapentin. It is available in the form of tablets or capsules, in various sizes.
It is also available as an oral suspension. This medicine does not work by binding directly to the GABA receptors in the brain. It decreases the activity of ‘voltage-gated’ calcium channels. It is possible that this medicine targets the neurons acting abnormally and not the normal neurons.
Neurontin is used widely in migraine prevention. The working mechanism of Neurontin is not clear yet.
This medicine is used by psychiatrics too. In one double blinded placebo study, Neurontin has been shown to reduce even chronic headaches. Neurontin could be used in prevention of cluster headaches. To conclude, there are possibilities that Neurontin is approved by the FDA for prevention of migraine in the days to come.