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Gabapentin side effects, if they occur, are typically minor and easily treated. Commonly reported ones include dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, and problems with coordination. Some side effects of gabapentin, however, are potentially serious and may require prompt medical attention. This includes signs of an allergic reaction and significant coordination problems that do not improve with time.
An Introduction to Gabapentin Side EffectsAs with any medicine, side effects are possible with gabapentin (Neurontin®); however, not everyone who takes the medication will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with gabapentin. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of gabapentin side effects with you.)
Common Gabapentin Side EffectsGabapentin has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occur in a group of people taking the drug are documented and compared to side effects that occur in another group of people not taking the drug. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
In these studies, the most common side effects of gabapentin included:
- Dizziness -- in up to 28 percent of people
- Drowsiness -- up to 21.4 percent
- Coordination problems -- up to 12.5 percent
- Infections -- up to 10.9 percent
- Fever -- up to 10.1 percent
- Nausea or vomiting -- up to 8.4 percent
- Swelling or fluid retention in the legs, feet, arms, or hands -- up to 8.3 percent
- Unusual eye movements -- up to 8.3 percent.
Other common gabapentin side effects, occurring in 1 to 7 percent of people, included:
- Shakiness (tremor)
- Double vision or blurred vision
- Weakness or fatigue
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Dry mouth (see Neurontin and Dry Mouth)
- Increased appetite or weight gain (see Neurontin and Weight Gain)
- Accidental injury
- Sore throat
- Hyperactivity (in children)
- Changes in thinking (such as difficulty concentrating)
- Speech problems
- Memory loss (amnesia)
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Back pain
- Problems walking
- High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
- Conjunctivitis ("pink eye")
- Ear infection
- Flushing or hot flashes.