Neurontin (Page 5 of 9)

Geriatric Use

The total number of patients treated with Neurontin in controlled clinical trials in patients with postherpetic neuralgia was 336, of which 102 (30%) were 65 to 74 years of age, and 168 (50%) were 75 years of age and older. There was a larger treatment effect in patients 75 years of age and older compared with younger patients who received the same dosage. Since gabapentin is almost exclusively eliminated by renal excretion, the larger treatment effect observed in patients ≥75 years may be a consequence of increased gabapentin exposure for a given dose that results from an age-related decrease in renal function. However, other factors cannot be excluded. The types and incidence of adverse events were similar across age groups except for peripheral edema and ataxia, which tended to increase in incidence with age.

Clinical studies of Neurontin in epilepsy did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they responded differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

This drug is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and dose should be adjusted based on creatinine clearance values in these patients (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, ADVERSE REACTIONS, and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION sections).


Postherpetic Neuralgia

The most commonly observed adverse events associated with the use of Neurontin in adults, not seen at an equivalent frequency among placebo-treated patients, were dizziness, somnolence, and peripheral edema.

In the 2 controlled studies in postherpetic neuralgia, 16% of the 336 patients who received Neurontin and 9% of the 227 patients who received placebo discontinued treatment because of an adverse event. The adverse events that most frequently led to withdrawal in Neurontin-treated patients were dizziness, somnolence, and nausea.

Incidence in Controlled Clinical Trials

Table 2 lists treatment-emergent signs and symptoms that occurred in at least 1% of Neurontin-treated patients with postherpetic neuralgia participating in placebo-controlled trials and that were numerically more frequent in the Neurontin group than in the placebo group. Adverse events were usually mild to moderate in intensity.

TABLE 2. Treatment-Emergent Adverse Event Incidence in Controlled Trials in Postherpetic Neuralgia (Events in at least 1% of Neurontin-Treated Patients and Numerically More Frequent Than in the Placebo Group)
Body System/ Neurontin Placebo
Preferred Term N=336 % N=227 %
Reported as blurred vision
Body as a Whole
Asthenia 5.7 4.8
Infection 5.1 3.5
Headache 3.3 3.1
Accidental injury 3.3 1.3
Abdominal pain 2.7 2.6
Digestive System
Diarrhea 5.7 3.1
Dry mouth 4.8 1.3
Constipation 3.9 1.8
Nausea 3.9 3.1
Vomiting 3.3 1.8
Flatulence 2.1 1.8
Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders
Peripheral edema 8.3 2.2
Weight gain 1.8 0.0
Hyperglycemia 1.2 0.4
Nervous System
Dizziness 28.0 7.5
Somnolence 21.4 5.3
Ataxia 3.3 0.0
Thinking abnormal 2.7 0.0
Abnormal gait 1.5 0.0
Incoordination 1.5 0.0
Amnesia 1.2 0.9
Hypesthesia 1.2 0.9
Respiratory System
Pharyngitis 1.2 0.4
Skin and Appendages
Rash 1.2 0.9
Special Senses
Amblyopia * 2.7 0.9
Conjunctivitis 1.2 0.0
Diplopia 1.2 0.0
Otitis media 1.2 0.0

Other events in more than 1% of patients but equally or more frequent in the placebo group included pain, tremor, neuralgia, back pain, dyspepsia, dyspnea, and flu syndrome.

There were no clinically important differences between men and women in the types and incidence of adverse events. Because there were few patients whose race was reported as other than white, there are insufficient data to support a statement regarding the distribution of adverse events by race.

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