You know those long lists of side effects and other rotten stuff a drug can cause? That list the drug store gives you? The one you throw away with the bag? It takes a lot of time to muddle through all those words. Besides, you won’t have any problems and you don’t want to think about it anyway.

Well, during my time on Neurontin/gabapentin — eight or nine years, during which I took well over 7 million mg — here are side effects and overdose symptoms I lived with and helped add to the list:

Muscle spasms, aggression, irritability, sleepiness, fatigue, tremors, weight gain, indigestion, nervousness, muscle ache, dry mouth, headaches, diarrhea, memory loss, deep depression, lethargy, poor judgement, slurred speech, clumsiness.

I don’t know why this drug was prescribed for me. It is used for epilepsy — which I have never had. But, the records that might tell me why have been destroyed. Maybe it was for one of those off label/unapproved uses Pfizer paid $430 million dollars for promoting illegally.

Carol Anne Cotten