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Neurontin Effects
March 2003

Q. I have been taking 1200 mg of Neurontin a day for about a year for chronic head pain. I have developed pain near my joints at what might be my tendon attach points. For example, when I lift my arm it hurts just above the biceps; when I lift my leg to get out of the car, it hurts in the crease between the thigh and abdomen. Could this be from a depletion of some mineral or some new problem?

A. Neurontin was originally approved as an anti-seizure medication. It is now being used for other medical conditions with reasonable success in treating chronic pain (especially neuralgia or nerve pain), migraine, and some mood disorders. The cheical structure resembles a compound known as GABA which is one of the naturallyoccurring transmitters in the brain. The exact mechanism by which it works is not known.

In the trials that are required before a drug can be marketed in the U.S. muscle aches like you describe were found in about 2% of patients, but the same 2% occurred in the placebo group. So it is not clear whether or not the drug is causing your symptoms.

See your doctor for further evaluation of this problem.



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