Compare Neurontin vs. desipramine

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Neurontin (gabapentin)

Prescription only

Norpramin (desipramine)

Prescription only
Treats tingling and burning nerve pain.

Neurontin (gabapentin) is an old seizure disorder medicine that is now used to treat nerve-related pain caused by different conditions.

3.4/ 5 average rating with 620 reviewsforNeurontin
Stabilizes your mood.

Norpramin (desipramine) is not a first choice for treating depression because of its effects on the heart, but it can be good if other medicines haven't worked.

Upsides
  • Originally used to treat epilepsy (partial seizures), but now it primarily treats neuropathic pain that's caused by nerve stimulation or damage.
  • Studies show it's most effective for nerve pain from diabetes, shingles, and fibromyalgia (a painful muscle condition).
  • It's available as a generic, so it's less expensive than similar medications.
  • Norpramin (desipramine) is available in generic and in many different strengths, so the dose can be more customized.
  • Norpramin (desipramine) has fewer side effects than similar tricyclic antidepressants.
Downsides
  • Neurontin (gabapentin) can cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion. There is a higher risk for these side effects if you drink alcohol, so it might not be the best medication for heavy drinkers.
  • You can't skip or miss doses since suddenly stopping Neurontin (gabapentin) can cause seizures.
  • Norpramin (desipramine) isn't recommended if you or your family has heart disease, seizures, or glaucoma.
  • Norpramin (desipramine) isn't a first choice for depression because it has more side effects than other antidepressants.
  • In some people, Norpramin (desipramine) can make you sleepy. In other people, Norpramin (desipramine) can keep you awake.
  • If you have diabetes, Norpramin (desipramine) can make your blood sugar go up.
  • Not recommended in children under 12 years of age.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
620 reviews so far
57%
saidit'sworth it
40%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Neurontin (gabapentin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Norpramin (desipramine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Neurologic and psychiatric side effects (children)
    • Children ages 3 to 12
  • Serious allergic reaction and multiple organ problems
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking Neurontin (gabapentin) with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that cause dizziness and/or drowsiness
  • Withdrawal seizures
    • Stopping Neurontin (gabapentin) suddenly
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Higher risk of suicide
    • People under age 24
  • Possible bipolar disorder
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Tricyclic antidepressants
    • Fentanyl
    • Tramadol
    • Buspirone
    • ADHD medicines
    • Triptans
  • Changes to the heartbeat
    • History of heart disease
  • Higher risk for seizures
    • History of seizures
    • History of brain damage or alcohol withdrawal
See more detailed risks and warnings
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Disclaimer: We don't provide medical advice. If you think you might have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.