Who Cares? –

Oct. 31, 2019 – When Mary’s* grandmother had her leg amputated at the knee, doctors prescribed gabapentin for her phantom leg pain. “I remember thinking that was super weird,” Mary said, because she herself had a prescription for gabapentin too. Mary is 28, and has been taking the drug—a generic medication also sold as Neurontin—for nearly a decade. Her doctor gave it to her to balance out the effects of her ADHD medication, Concerta. “Why was something I was taking to take the edge off an ADHD drug also being given to an amputee?” she wondered. Indeed, the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t actually approved gabapentin for either of those uses—gabapentin is approved for treating seizures and nerve pain that can happen after shingles. Yet its reach extends much, much further. A person might receive it for migraines, fibromyalgia, hot flashes, depression, bipolar disorder, restless leg syndrome, anxiety, and a wide variety of other nerve and chronic pain issues. It’s even given to cats and dogs with chronic pain.

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