Is Tremor a Side Effect of Neurontin?

Written by megan allyce snider
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Neurontin, or Gabapentin, is prescribed as an adjunct drug used in combination with other medications to stop seizures, partial seizures, and nerve pain. Neurontin has many off-label uses in psychiatric care such as a mood stabiliser and an anti-anxiety drug. Neurontin can cause tremors, conditions that mimic a seizure or tremors (such as Tardive Dyskenisia), and twitching in patients.

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How Neurontin Works

Neurontin works by basically slowing down the brain. A seizure occurs when there is excessive electric activity in the brain. Neurontin works to stabilise the overload of electrical currents by mimicking the actions of the neurotransmitter GABA. GABA works through slowing the brain down and regulating electrical current. However, Neurontin has the ability to cause tremors in people using it for off-label uses.

Tremor Definition

A tremors are rhythmic, painful, repetitive movements in the body. Tremors can occur in the arms, hands, head, face, vocal cords, legs, and trunk. The most common place for tremors to occur is in the hands. People experience tremors because of head injuries, ingestion of psychiatric medicine, neurological impairments, alcohol abuse or withdrawal, thyroid problems, liver failure or mercury poisoning. Tremors are categorised by type, parts of the body they effect, and in relation to disorders such as Parkinson's Disease or psychiatric conditions.

Tremor Types

There are five types of tremors. Resting or static tremors cause shaking limbs and occur when a muscle is relaxed and supported against gravity. Action tremors affect certain parts of the body as they are in movement. There are several subclasses of action tremors such as Postural tremors, Task-specific tremors, and Isometric tremors. Postural tremors occur when muscles are voluntarily held in a certain position against gravity. Task-specific tremors happen while someone is trying to do a highly skilled specific action such as writing or speaking. Finally, Isometric Tremors happen while a voluntary muscle contraction or flex occurs without any movement of the limb.

Safety

Though Neurontin can cause tremors, this is a rare occurrence since the drug is used to calm electrical storms in the brain, preventing seizures and Tardive Dyskinesia. Neurontin has several uses and may be beneficial to someone's overall mental and physical health. Generally, the drug is quite safe and successful with many patients.

Addressing Concerns

Do not let rare adverse side effects rule your medical choices. Instead, be vigilant and monitor your reactions to the drugs you are taking, and consult with your doctor if needed.

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