For many people who take gabapentin, side effects such as sedation can be a challenge. Some effects, everything from severe swelling in extremities to mood swings, chronic exhaustion and hunger, have been described as “horrible” even though it was effective for neuropathy caused by cancer drugs.
David Cornblath, MD, professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and a specialist in peripheral neuropathy, said the 3 main drugs approved for treating diabetic neuropathy — the most common type of neuropathy — “all have positives and negatives.”
He said the anti-seizure medication Neurontin (gabapentin) has the fewest side effects. Lyrica (pregabalin, another anti-seizure medication) comes next, and the antidepressant Cymbalta (duloxetine, a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) has the most. (For more specifically on this topic, read: Treating Neuropathy)