Medical professionals have been studying the effects of Neurontin on patients since the release of the medication in 1994. These studies have concluded many important facts, including the possibility that Neurontin increases the potential for suicidal thoughts. Pfizer Incorporated is the manufacturer and distributor of this particular drug, which was originally created as an effective treatment for those that suffered from Epilepsy. It was also intended as a medical treatment for individuals that suffered from the experience of Shingles to reduce the pain associated with this condition. Ten years into being released, well over one hundred individuals taking Neurontin on a regular basis committed suicide. Now, fifteen years after being released there are over two thousand documented cases of other patients in the first decade of this medication’s release that actually attempted to commit suicide while taking the medication. If you take this medication, or know someone that does, the question is: Does Neurontin increase the potential for suicidal thoughts and actual attempts to commit suicide?
In the original release of Neurontin, or “Gabapentin”, the Federal Drug Administration found it to be appropriate to use for the conditions of Epilepsy and the effects of Shingles. It is considered to be an “anticonvulsant”. However, it was also found to be effective in treating the pain that is based in the nerves of the body like that which is experienced with Shingles. Later, the FDA would also state that this particular medication would prove effective in treating pain of the nerves that is directly related to the virus caused by Herpes. However, for many years, Pfizer Incorporated encouraged medical professionals to prescribe the medication for other conditions in which it was not originally intended for. These medical conditions include that of Lou Gehrig’s disease, attention based disorders, migraine headaches, and pain associated with conditions such as Fibromyalgia and Lupus. In late 2008, Pfizer Inc. admitted guilt in manipulating data and statistics regarding research concluded that the medication would play a positive role in the medical conditions in which the FDA did not approve the medication for. As a result, the company had to pay $430 million in settlements and cut the marketing of distributing the medication for other uses than prescribed on the labeling.
Despite the fact that Pfizer Incorporated stated that they manipulated their findings, doctors are still permitted to prescribe Neurontin for medical uses other than Epilepsy, and nerve pain associated with the Herpes Virus and Shingles. To date, several thousand patients a year visit their doctor annually with thoughts of suicide, and/or attempts at taking their own life. Does Neurontin increase the potential of suicidal thoughts? To date, there are well over twelve hundred cases pending against Pfizer Inc. that state that they have considered suicide, attempted suicide, or had a family member actually commit suicide while taking the prescribed Neurontin. In the last month of 2008, the Food and Drug Administration of the United States completed an order stating that all drugs used in conjunction for epilepsy should have a label that indicates “Suicide-Risk”. Pfizer Incorporated failed to place this label on Neurontin. July of 2009 began a trial to determine if Neurontin is linked to suicide. The judge overseeing the case has not dismissed the case and stated that the possibility of suicide when taking this medication is “biologically plausible”. Ironically, the first case, which involved the suicide of a female who reportedly took the medication prior to taking her own life, was dropped by the family when a financial donor who is referred to as “anonymous” committed to placing a large amount of money in a trust fund for the victim’s daughter. Who was this donor and what were the intentions behind “settling” in this manner?
A lady by the name of Amy W. Schulman who is identified as the “General Counsel” for the maker of Neurontin has stated that the company “Continues to believe that there is no scientifically reliable evidence that Neurontin causes suicidal behavior”. As a result of the confusion regarding the question “Does Neurontin increase the potential of suicidal thoughts?” the Federal Drug Administration has ordered manufacturers of medications designed for epilepsy to conduct studies on the side effects of the drugs and report them. Once the evidence has been gathered and properly evaluated, the FDA will then come to a conclusion on the suicide warning label. If it is found that there is a direct link between suicide thoughts, attempts, and successes, this medication along with several others will have a standard label placed on the prescription that the medication is known to be linked to suicide risk. The exact wording has not yet been identified, as this consideration is still in the “works”.
It is important to know and understand that Neurontin has proven to be effective for many suffering from Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes, Lupus, and other conditions. It is the opinion of this author that taking Neurontin for such conditions is an effective treatment that is likely to bring about relief when it comes to painful conditions and coping with those conditions. However, it is important that all sides of the story be evaluated. If the answer to the question “Does Neurontin increase the potential of suicidal thoughts?” is “Yes”, then patients should be aware of this. One female hung herself after taking four pills of Neurontin, one woman’s husband shot himself just one year after taking the medication. He first began to stay up all night, then eventually lost pieces of his memory and one night, he walked outside and shot himself. One lady named “Julie” experienced persistent thoughts of death and how to do it – despite the fact she truly did not want to end her life while taking the medication. Then, there is a story of another woman online who has openly expressed that she cannot help the way that she feels and she cannot stop taking the medication – she has to have it. She openly claims she has been completely planning her suicide down to every detail, yet has not acted on her thoughts. However, she claims without the Neurontin she feels worse. Does Neurontin increase the potential of suicidal thoughts? The scientific evidence is not solid, but according to thousands of people who have had the thoughts and made the attempt, it does. The hundreds that committed suicide while on the medication would be likely to express their opinion too – if they could. If you take Neurontin, and experience suicidal thoughts, be certain to discuss this with your doctor immediately.