About the API
Molecular Formula: C9H17NO2
Molecular Weight: 171.237 g/mol
Systematic Name: 2-[1-(aminomethyl)cyclohexyl]acetic acid
Trade Name(s): Neurontin
Physical Properties: solid
Gabapentin, a member of the `anticonvulsant? class of medications, is used mainly in combination with other seizure-management drugs for prevention of seizures linked with epilepsy. Gabapentin is often prescribed for the management of neuralgia (nerve pain) and has been prescribed off-label for the treatment of mood disorders, anxiety, and tardive dyskinesia (a neurological disorder caused by the long-term use of neuroleptic drugs). The drug also helps to alleviate symptoms of nerve damage from herpes zoster (shingles, postherpetic neuralgia). Gabapentin is well tolerated in most patients, produces relatively mild side-effects, and passes unmetabolized through the body.
Mechanism of Action
Despite two decades of clinical use as an antiepileptic, the mechanism by which gabapentin acts remains to be fully understood. It is a structural analogue of the neurotransmitter ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and was originally designed as a GABA-mimetic that could freely pass across the blood?brain barrier. Gabapentin functions by decreasing the amount of electrical activity occurring in nervous tissues; in this manner, seizure control and symptom alleviation is schieved. The drug is though to affect the transmission of nerve signals in the brain by interacting with the neurons of voltage-sensitive calcium channels. Despite its structural resemblance to GABA, gabapentin does not bind to GABA receptors located within the central nervous system.
Gabapentin was first synthesized in 1977 and developed clinically as an anticonvulsant in the late 1980s (see U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,024,175 and 4,087,144). Approval by the U.S. FDA was granted in 1994 for the use of gabapentin as an adjunct to existing medications for partial seizures. Presently, gabapentin is manufactured through large-scale synthetic organic chemistry methods starting from simple, commercially available (petrochemical) precursors.