I was on Neurontin (gabapentin) for 5 years.
For me personally, it was a big mistake.
I always felt the medication functioned and worked by being a big "wet blanket" on my whole neurological system. Unfortunately the thought of enduring the pain without it made me believe it was a fair trade off. I used to always forget mid sentence what initiated the subject or thought I was discussing. I blamed it on the level of pain I was in or possible head trauma from my accident, which may have been possible but I just had a gut feeling that wasn't true. Either way, if it was head trauma, this medication ensures that that kind of injury will not heal optimally, let alone any other neural injury or attempted repair.
I learned there were risks of suicide after I was on the drug for a couple years, if I knew that it prevented neural synapses from forming, I would've never have taken it. Only when I finally got off of neurontin, did the constant lingering thoughts of suicide disappear and my will to fight finally return.
My memory is only now starting to truly improve after 7 years of getting off the stuff. In part because I'm on a high fat low carb diet and can feel my mind sharpening continually. That and meditation and exercise... oh yeah, and a full 7-8 hours sleep (even if I have to nap in the day due to pain breaking my sleep as it regularly does).
This article is from 2009
http://www.wellnessresources.com/freedo ... pses/#ref1
http://www.wellnessresources.com/studie ... _synapses/
Neurontin and Lyrica are Highly Toxic to New Brain Synapses
(EDIT)...Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a key molecular player in guiding the formation of synapses — the all-important connections between nerve cells — in the brain. This discovery, based on experiments in cell culture and in mice, could advance scientists’ understanding of how young children’s brains develop as well as point to new approaches toward countering brain disorders in adults.
The new work also pinpoints, for the first time, the biochemical mechanism by which the widely prescribed drug gabapentin (also marketed under the trade name Neurontin) works. “We have solved the longstanding mystery of how this blockbuster drug acts,” said Ben Barres, MD, PhD, professor and chair of neurobiology. The study shows that gabapentin halts the formation of new synapses, possibly explaining its therapeutic value in mitigating epileptic seizures and chronic pain. This insight, however, may lead physicians to reconsider the circumstances in which the drug should be prescribed to pregnant women.
Neurontin and Lyrica are a Death Sentence for New Brain Synapse
Neurontin and its newer more potent version, Lyrica, are widely used for off-label indications that are an outright flagrant danger to the public. These blockbuster drugs were approved for use even though the FDA had no idea what they actually did in the brain. A shocking new study shows that they block the formation of new brain synapses1, drastically reducing the potential for rejuvenating brain plasticity – meaning that these drugs will cause brain decline faster than any substance known to mankind.
The problem of these drugs is compounded by their flagrant illegal marketing. Neurontin was approved by the FDA for epilepsy back in 1994. The drug underwent massive illegal off-label promotion that cost Warner-Lambert 430 million dollars (the very first big fine for off-label promotion). The drug is now owned by Pfizer. Pfizer also owns Lyrica, a super-potent version of Neurontin. It has been approved by the FDA for various types of pain and fibromyalgia. Lyrica is one of four drugs which a subsidiary of Pfizer illegally marketed, resulting in a $2.3 billion settlement against Pfizer.
Even though the marketing of these drugs has been heavily fined, they continue to rack up billions in sales from the off-label uses. Doctors use them for all manner of nerve issues because they are good at suppressing symptoms. However, such uses can no longer be justified because the actual mechanism of the drugs is finally understood and they are creating a significant long-term reduction in nerve health.
The researchers in the above study try to downplay the serious nature of the drugs by saying “adult neurons don’t form many new synapses.” That is simply not true. The new science is showing that brain health during aging relies on the formation of new synapses. Even these researchers managed to question the common use of these medications in pregnant women. How is a fetus supposed to make new nerve cells when the mother is taking a drug that blocks them?
These are the kind of situations the FDA should be all over. As usual, the FDA is sitting around pondering a suicide warning for Lyrica while its off-label uses include bi-polar disorder and migraine headaches. The FDA is likely to twiddle its thumbs for the next decade on the brain damage issue. Consumer beware.