Is weight gain a side effect of neurontin?

If you’re one of the millions using neurontin, then weight gain might have crossed your mind as an unwanted side effect. In this article we delve into the real question – is weight gain a side effect of neurontin?

What is Neurontin and Why Might You Use It?

Before we get to the main topic at hand, let’s brush up on what exactly neurontin is. Also known as gabapentin, it’s commonly used to treat seizures and nerve pain from shingles.

However, off label uses include anxiety disorders (because who doesn’t love calling in sick because they’re too anxious?), bipolar disorder (mood swings can make life more interesting), restless leg syndrome (who needs sleep anyway?), migraines (because just having light sensitivity isn’t enough) and even hot flashes during menopause (ladies, rejoice!).

But Does Neurontin Lead to Weight Gain?

Now onto the good stuff – could taking this medication lead to you stacking on extra pounds? Unfortunately for fans of midnight snacking and not wanting to exercise with their dog Alfie, evidence suggests that it does indeed lead to some amount of weight gain.

The Studies Behind It

One study done in 2017 followed patients being treated for neuropathic pain with both pregabalin (a similar medication) and gabapentin over a 12 week period. A whopping 26% of participants taking gabapentin gained at least 5% bodyweight compared to just 9% on pregabalin.(Wait…isn’t gaining extra body fat why most people avoid running marathons?)

How Can Gabapentin Cause Weight Gain?

While scientists aren’t quite sure how precisely this happens yet (!!), there are some theories out there.

It may increase appetite or cause cravings for carb-rich or sugary food (excuse me while I reach for the nearest cupcake). It can also alter levels of insulin, which may affect the body’s processing of glucose and fat.

Is There Anything You Can Do to Prevent Weight Gain on Neurontin?

If you’re concerned about weight gain when taking neurontin here are some things that could help:

  • Keep track of your calorie intake (why not? Counting calories is in right now!)
  • Make healthier food choices (sorry pizza…it’s not me it’s you)
  • Exercise regularly – this doesn’t necessarily mean signing up for a gym membership! Even going on daily walks or practicing yoga at home could offset potential weight gain.

But There’s Still Hope

While a percentage of people do experience weight gain with Neurontin/Gabapentin, it isn’t inevitable (phew!). Many patients have reported being able to avoid any extra pounds by making mindful eating choices and staying active. With all the benefits that come from using neurontin as medication, we’d like to end our article sending out positive vibes – Keep Calm & Register For That 5K Race!

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