Neurontin, aka Gabapentin (per Wiki) is a drug designed for the treatment of epilepsy (specifically seizures), and for relief of neuropathic pain and hot flashes It has given significant efficacy to people seeking relief from fibromyalgia symptoms, and the neuropathic pain that is a symptom of cancer.
It was also advertised as a treatment for migraines and bipolar disorders, but the research on the effect of the medication on these conditions is far from conclusive. There are concerns about its limited use for epilepsy as well. (see also topiramate side effects)
One has only to reference the American Bar Association to note the number of attorneys involved in class action drug lawsuits; there are numerous current litigations in US courts, and courts in other countries.
The disadvantage to the individual patient, who is the victim of whatever drug has been found to cause harmful side effect, is that he or she may feel as an outsider, able neither to join in the litigious procedure nor benefit from the ultimate outcome of the litigation.
Pregabalin is an anticonvulsive drug, according to Wikipedia, which is used for neuropathic pain (including disorders affecting the somato-sensory system, including dysesthesia—an abnormal reaction to touch).
As an anticonvulsive, it is also efficacious in the relief of partial seizures in epileptic adults, as well as generalized anxiety disorder. Marketed by Pfizer, its product name is Lyrica; recent studies have shown it to be effective in the treatment of fibromyalgia and the effects of spinal cord injury.
Keppra, according to its Wikipedia sources, is an anticonvulsive drug used primarily in the treatment of epilepsy. Its root medical compound is Levetiracetam, and it is manufactured by USB Pharmaceuticals, available since November 2008.
In addition to its uses in the treatment of epileptic convulsions, it is also, like many anticonvulsants, used to treat damage that causes pain to the peripheral nervous system (a condition known as peripheral neuropathy).
Zonegran is also known as the chemical compound Zonisamide (Wiki), an anticonvulsant for use with epileptics with partial-onset seizures (its efficacy has not been established with full seizure patients).
It is also useful for infantile spasm (aka West syndrome, an epileptic disorder in infants) and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (epilepsy at the onset of childhood). Like most anticonvulsants, it is used as an adjunctive therapy to a seizure-control program; it has also had limited success in treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (only seven patients were tested) and obesity (three patients with positive results).
Imitrex, as its imitative name suggests, goes by many monikers. Its most basic compound is Sumatriptan (Wiki), a sulfa drug used for the treatment of migraine headaches.
The advertising of its parent companies (there are multiple manufacturers of Imitrex, which also is called Imigran and Imigran recovery) indicates that it works with especial efficacy on migraine headaches in women. It is, however, not without some very dangerous side effects, particularly to pregnant women and newborn babies.
The recall of Topamax, the drug, originally manufactured by Ortho-McNeil, that reduces seizures in epileptic children and migraine symptoms in adults (as recounted on the FDA website), prompted a study by several groups, including the FDA, regarding the damaging Topamax side effects.
What they discovered was quite alarming, and bore home the axiom that the cure is often more damaging than the disease.
Paroxetine, also known as Paxil (parent company GSK, GlaxoSmithKline), is a somewhat problematic drug in that the FDA warnings, designed to preserve the safety of a patient, list, in many areas, precisely the problems the drug is intended to alleviate.
In one of the serious ironies of pharmaceuticals that are more frequent than one might imagine, Paroxetine side effects replicates some of the symptoms that the drug, effective for many, is intended to help.
Premarin, created by its parent company Pfizer, is, according to its own website, a drug for the replacement of female hormones, specifically estrogen.
It is most commonly administered to women who are post-menopausal, and have recently completed a hysterectomy.
The drug combats hot flashes and the burning, over-dry and itchy sensations that manifest themselves in the vaginal area in post-operative recovery. Premarin’s side effects, however, place it in a far less therapeutic category of drug.
Effexor is better known as Venlafaxine (Wiki), an antidepressant.
Like many of its kind, it is in the SNRI classification (Serotonin Nonrepinphrine Reuptake Inhibitor), meaning that it acts not only on serontonin (the neurotransmitter affecting the digestive system, and one of several that affect the central nervous system) but also on nonrepinphrine (one of several neurotransmitters affecting the heart).
Marketed by Pfizer, the drug has shown a number of effectual uses in treating major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorders.