Gabapentin Withdrawal Timeline – How Long Does It Take To Quit?

Gabapentin Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

Gabapentin, or Neurontin, is a prescription drug used primarily to treat epilepsy patients.

There are also cases in which gabapentin, categorized as an anticonvulsant medicine, is administered as an initial treatment to provide relief for patients suffering from neuropathic pain, such as diabetic neuropathy, central neuropathic pain, and post-herpetic neuralgia. Post-herpetic neuralgia can last for months after a patient suffers from shingles. Gabapentin is also given as part of medication treatment for individuals with cases of restless leg syndrome, insomnia, and bipolar disorder.

How gabapentin works is by decreasing unusual brain activity. That is why it is so versatile in its use, because different disorders or illnesses involve just such brain abnormalities. Its effect on unusual brain activity can also prevent seizures, as well as alter the way the brain responds to pain signals. This medication can come in different forms such as capsules, tablets or as an oral solution.

Gabapentin in addiction treatment

Over the years huge strides have been made in the way we view mental illness and addiction. We have gone from seeing it as simply hopeless and wrong, to treatable and worthy of empathy. Along with a change in outlook, the treatment approach has changed as well.

The medical community has discovered that addicts can greatly benefit from medication, in addition to therapy. Gabapentin is one of the medications that has been found to be beneficial in fighting addiction.

Off-label versions of gabapentin are used to treat addiction produced by different companies such as Parke-Davis, Greenstone, and Teva, in generic versions. A couple other similar drugs that are being used to treat withdrawal from specific substances are:

  • Clonidine
  • Other anticonvulsants, such as Tegretol and Depakote
  • Methadone and Buprenorphine
  • Naltrexone

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Treating Alcoholism

Gabapentin is most commonly used during the treatment of alcoholism. It helps addicts deal with some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal such as tremors, irritability, agitation and anxiety.

It is successful in doing so due to its effect on the brain. Our nervous system communicates with the brain by use of GABA neurotransmitters, and gabapentin works by reducing their activity. So in effect, the messages of anxiety, pain, and agitation are reduced as well.

Studies have confirmed the success of using gabapentin in addiction treatment. Good results were seen in a 16 week study conducted by the American Journal of Psychiatry, of 150 people dependent on alcohol. Better and more lasting results were seen in those who were treated with gabapentin. They saw a reduction in how much they drank as well as a higher rate of abstinence.

Treating Benzodiazepine and Marijuana Addiction

Gabapentin has also been used amongst those detoxing from benzodiazepines and marijuana. Though many may be surprised to see marijuana listed, for there is a widespread belief that it is not addictive, in 2012 the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration noted 305,560 people entering rehab citing marijuana as their primary addiction. The same calming effects that soothe alcoholics can help with the withdrawal symptoms of both marijuana and benzodiazepines. Again, the people treated with gabapentin showed less use of the drug they are addicted to as well as improvement in cognitive functioning.

The use of gabapentin can make all the difference. Thanks to its calming effect it gives addicts the peace of mind to fight through their withdrawal symptoms and attempt a full recovery.

Effects of Gabapentin abuse

Gabapentin should never be used without the close supervision of a doctor because it can have some serious side effects. The temptation for abuse exists because some people experience a feeling of euphoria or a “rush” when taken as prescribed, which can then lead to taking more and more to experience that high continuously. This is dangerous as it can lead to a dependency on the drug as well as a possible overdose. Abuse of gabapentin is more likely to occur in someone who already has a history of drug abuse, with substances such as alcohol, cocaine, and opioids.

Gabapentin as an addictive substance

As we’ve already mentioned gabapentin has many legitimate uses and the large majority of people uses it for the purpose it was intended for.

But as with many drugs, frequent use over a long period of time can lead to a physical and psychological dependence. This may lead to addiction and abuse of the drug.

Once your body becomes dependent on a drug to function, choosing to stop using it will lead to a period of withdrawal. This is basically your body desperately trying to get back to the way it functioned before the drug was introduced.

There are different ways of coping with withdrawal symptoms. They include slowly lessening the dose of gabapentin, slowly tapering off it, and treating the withdrawal symptoms with other medication. It is never advised to stop using gabapentin abruptly, or by so called “cold turkey” because this can increase the symptoms of withdrawal. Gabapentin requires medical oversight and you should always contact your doctor before attempting to detox on your own.

What Is The Duration Of Gabapentin’s Effects?

When given to patients, the expected duration, or half-life, of gabapentin is five to seven hours. This relatively short half-life means that the withdrawal symptoms from gabapentin can be expected to be more severe. It’s crucial that a patient withdrawing from this medication seeks professional help.

 

What Factors Affect The Withdrawal From Gabapentin?

There are several factors that could affect an individual while undergoing gabapentin withdrawal. These factors, vital in determining the recovery period as well as the approaches on how to quit on this drug, include intake timeline, dosage, patient physiology, withdrawal method.

Timeline

This is dependent on the length of time the person has been taking gabapentin for, which can range from weeks to years. If the user took gabapentin for only a shorter period, quitting the drug is a lot easier. After longer periods of gabapentin intake, the withdrawal process can be more challenging, since the person’s brain and nervous system have come to rely on the medication.

Dosage (300 Mg To 3000 Mg)

The dose that doctors usually prescribe to younger individuals is 900 mg per day, taken three times per day at 300 mg per dose. There are cases in which a dosage increase is recommended up to approximately 1800 mg per day, while some doctors use body weight to determine the appropriate dosage.

The higher the prescribed dosage, the more difficult the withdrawal.

Physiology

People taking this drug may experience noticeable withdrawal effects and severity of symptoms dependent on one’s physiology. Some people have more sensitivity to medication, and for those people discontinuing gabapentin could be a more difficult process.

Cold Turkey Vs. Tapering

If you decide to quit gabapentin, it’s recommended that you work it out with the presence of a medical specialist whose field of specialization is “gradual tapering.” The doctor will reduce the dosage gradually until the drug can be stopped completely.

Quitting “cold turkey” may lead to life-threatening seizures if the addiction is advanced enough.

What Are The Withdrawal Symptoms Of Gabapentin?

Common withdrawal symptoms from gabapentin may include sweating, anxiety, change in appetite, crying spells, depression, dizziness, a feeling of fatigue, headaches, insomnia, irritability, itchiness, muscle pain, restlessness, seizures, spasms, stomach pain, and suicidal tendencies.

  • Anxiety – Gabapentin is prescribed to treat anxiety. When a person is withdrawing from the drug , the feelings of anxiety may be triggered again and even stronger.
  • Change in appetite – Another common withdrawal symptom that a person will experience is a sudden change in appetite, be it an increase or loss of appetite.
  • Crying spells – The emotional stability of a person when quitting gabapentin may also be affected and result in “crying spells.” Here, the person may feel the urge to cry for no apparent reason, but these symptoms will eventually cease.
  • Depression – People may experience feelings of depression during the withdrawal stage from gabapentin. This feeling is why many people end up using the drug recreationally.
  • Dizziness – A person may experience dizziness while withdrawing from this drug. This symptom will eventually diminish.
  • Feeling of fatigue – There are some cases in which gabapentin users complain from feelings of fatigue or lethargy while quitting this drug.
  • Headaches – One of the withdrawal symptoms reported while quitting gabapentin is headaches, but these normally fade away.
  • Insomnia – Severe insomnia is the initial complaint of people withdrawing from gabapentin, meaning that they normally experience difficulty in falling asleep.
  • Irritability – As one undergoes withdrawal from gabapentin, the individual may notice signs of irritability.
  • Itchiness – Itchiness is another withdrawal symptom. The person may feel severe itching all over the body.
  • Muscle pain – Gabapentin is often administered to treat pain, so after quitting the drug, muscle pain may return or begin to be more noticeable.
  • Restlessness – Many gabapentin users complain of restlessness when withdrawing from this drug. The feeling of anxiety may affect your ability to concentrate.
  • Seizures – One of the dangerous effects of quitting “cold turkey” may be episodes of seizures.
  • Spasms – Spasms during the withdrawal process can be severe; if so, tapering is advised.
  • Stomach pain – Stomach pain is a common withdrawal symptom.
  • Being suicidal – When a person withdrawing from gabapentin feels depressed, that may include suicidal thoughts.
  • Sweating – Individuals quitting gabapentin may also experience sweating, particularly while asleep.

Symptoms of an overdose

It is important to be able to recognize symptoms of a gabapentin overdose, and be able to distinguish it from the normal side effects of the drug. The list of side effects is long and includes things like blurry vision, shaking in one part of the body, dizziness, headaches, nausea and vomiting, strange and unusual thoughts, weakness, swelling in extremities and uncontrolled eye movement. Those are just a few. It is important to know the symptoms of an overdose and to be able to distinguish them from the side effects of gabapentin, in order to be able to know when to seek help.

Here are the important symptoms that may indicate a gabapentin overdose:

  • Double vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea

The risk of a gabapentin overdose increases significantly after withdrawal. If someone relapses they often return to the dose they last took, which was often working in a body that had built up a tolerance to the drug. That same dose now in a body that has detoxed from gabapentin can be very dangerous. An overdose can have a lasting effect on your internal organs, causing damage to your heart, liver and kidneys.

Gabapentin Withdrawal Timeline – How Long Does It Take To Quit?

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Comments 46

  • DANGER! A very dangerous drug which
    Caused me to blackout!!!
    DO NOT TAKE!!!!

  • My wife has taken my gapapentine and now im without it for 8 days. I take 3200 mgs a day. Plz what can i do for the withdrawals im going to go thru.

    • Lisa, taper off slowly. that’s the key to getting off any medication

    • Magnesium helps tremendously. But don’t buy the cheap, Oxide Formula that you see in the grocery store. You’ll want the Glycinate or Citrate varieties, as these have much better absorption and won’t cause diarrhea. Gapapentin tends to rob you of Magnesium (so I’m told), and if you dose up on Magnisium, you’ll find it easier to sleep, and the agitation/anxiety isn’t as prevalent…

      Another consideration is this (from my experience). I’ve gone thru many periods where I take loads of Gabapentin, then stop. If you can tolerate it, I have found it better to maybe reduce/taper a bit, but to just bite the bullet and almost go cold turkey. By that I mean maybe a 3 day period of time where you reduce the dosage, but completely stop as soon as you can. Yes, for a couple days you may experience a lot of unpleasant side effects from withdrawal. But I’ve done it both ways, and reducing the amount of Gabapentin over a longer period of time just increases the unpleasantness over a longer period of time. Give it 3-4 days of cold turkey, and I promise it will get better – sooner, rather than later….

      • Hi Douglas do you mind me asking a question re weaning off gabapentin?
        I’ve been on 900mg a day for approx 10 weeks for a spinal fusion but i’m Getting excruciating muscle pain in which the gp thinks it’s Ute gabapentin causing it sonhas told me to come off it to see??!
        However i’m Worried my nerve pain will go through the roof and the muscle pain won’t subside and I may get more side effects?
        She said to have 300mg twice a day yesterday, 200mg twice a day today then 100 mg twice a day tomorrow…this appears too quick to me what are your thoughts???
        Many thanks
        Sharron

      • I was given Gabapentin exactly a year ago to reduce the withdrawal effects of going off Lorazepam, which I was on for 13 years. Nothing in my life has been the same for the past year. The Dr just left me in limbo about the GABA, after I came off the Benzo with very little difficulty. Now I have terrible muscle spasms and continuous muscle pain. I have such up/down anxiety problems. I’m not all so sure it’s not the GABA that’s causing all this mess. It’s like my body just CRAVES it. As soon as it gets close to the time for my next dose, my body goes bonkers. My BIGGEST problem has been getting off the GABA. Mentally, emotionally, physically – I can make it a few days and I just fall apart. My doctor says my body must need it. I just want it OUT of my system. I know I just have to bite the bullet and stop taking it. I am down to 100mg 2x a day. I can’t believe it STILL has such an impact on me. That’s why I feel I need to stop,taking it altogether. Has GABA withdrawal ever been this difficult for anyone else? Does it finally become manageable?

        • On day 6 coming off cold turkey, it would be worse. I was on it abt 13 months.

          Still get dizzy on occasion, but nothing like before.

      • My husband is trying to quit cold turkey and we are on day 4. He doesn’t feel well and is very dizzy any idea how long this could last

  • I have been taking Gabapentin for my sciatic pain. But it caused me to lose a great deal of my hair. So after about 8 months I am tapering off of it. It has many bad side effects. I will say it stopped my nerve pain but it wasn’t worth the hair loss.

    • Oh my goodness, well I am sorry to hear of your hair loss, I am interested because for the first time in my life I lost a complete circular pattern of hair at the back of my head which so far is hidden by the top layers. I take gabapentin 800 mg three times a day and perhaps it is the medication. I can’t find a schedule of titration anywhere. I’d like to come off it is soon as possible. Any help is much appreciated. Any information on the hair returning? I am devastated. Thanks, Melissa

  • My dog has been on 200 mg.in the mornings and 300 mg.at night for her spine. I want to get her on a lower dosage she’s been on it about a year. She is just so tired all the time.

  • I ordered my gabapenin as I have done for years and was gradually reducing the dose. This time when I ordered my tablets the doctor refused to give me them. I ordered them via patient access.
    I was unaware this happened. I was left with no tablets and no backup from my doctor.
    I’ve had a massive withdrawal from this.
    Today I go to see the doctor to find out why I was left high and dry for over 1 week.
    Hopefully he gives me them back as I cannot cope with nothing.
    I believe I have been treated appalling by NHS professionals.
    Let’s see

  • My doctor never told me this was an addictive drug and that you should be hospitalized when withdrawing. I’m prescribed 3200 mgs a day and someone recently told me to be careful with this drug. I’m absolutely terrified now as I’ve been taking this dosage for roughly 3-4 months now. Please pray for me-

  • I took Gabapentin for fibromyalgia for several years and had no problem in stopping it. Last year my fibro began acting up and I began taking it again. I only take 800 mgs per DAY (400 and about 10 hrs later another 400. I think drs prescribe this in WAY too high a dose.
    I also take tylenol EXTENDED for arthritis 4 pills per day.
    I have fibro, spinal stenosis, 3 tears in my meniscus, osteoarthritis, and now, cancer.
    I have no idea why some are prescribed such high doses of this drug. Low doses work just as well, if not better.

  • I took first 300 mg at night for foot neuropathy, then my knees, both replaced by metal, began to get worse so I took another 300 mg. I was only on them for 3 months. I sought advice from my Dr. as the side effects were so bad I wanted to get off them…swelling of feet, calves; severe depression, stomach pain and twitching of fingers, etc.
    I have reduced to 300 mg for 4 days now and have incredible pain, worse in my knees but also my feet. And, I’m on opioid, 2 different kinds, but they don’t touch the pain from weaning off this NASTY drug!!! I’m over 65 and the info that goes with this drug warns not to take if 65+. I had no idea Gabapentin was addictive!
    I’m praying for you, Denny–contact your Dr. If you want to stop–very dangerous!

  • AVOID GABAPENTIN at all costs, it’s is a very DANGEROUS drug with horrific side affects & doctors do not advise you of the the true difficulties of taking this drug eg side affects addiction/ withdrawal & dangers of this drug to your heart & health, DO NOT TAKE GABAPENTIN, it’s not safe & most doctors are unaware of dangers or deny the difficulties it causes, I was prescribed 900mg per day & after 4/5 weeks of being on gabapentin I ending up rushed to hospital with suspected heart attack, severe chest pain double vision breathlessness headache aching right arm hand neck back pain nausea dizzy lightheaded extreme fatigue & inability to speak or think clearly elevated blood pressure & against all medical advice I went cold turkey off gabapentin as I’m 100% positive that the gabapentin cause this difficulties ( although medical staff would disagree ) & it wasn’t a pleasant experience at all & I’m still experiencing difficulties but I felt it was much much safer to stop taking gabapentin immediately than continuing to take a drug that hospitalised me & has left me very unwell when taking the drug & after stopping take the drug & it didn’t even help with the nerve pain it was prescribed for, I think this drug should be banned & I am going to make sure that something is done to bring to light the dangers of taking this drug & hopefully get the medication information leaflet changed to specifically explain what risks you are taking when on this medication, I was on 900mg gabapentin for around 4/5 weeks & wished I had been made aware before I put this into my system, if I can stop at least one person from taking this drug I have achieved what I have set out to do, PLEASE AVOID GABAPENTIN for your own safety & people out there who have have similar bad experiences please spread the word DO NOT TAKE GABAPENTIN, it’s not safe & for whatever reasons the damage it causes is not recognised by the medical profession or for some reason is not accepted by them & is certainly not explained to patients, there is information out there for people who really want to find out more about this drug but you just have to research it & no medical professional will openly admit the dangers to you, thank you for taking the time to read this & I hope that it has helped someone avoid this drug

    • Hey , I read your message and it helped me a little . I took it for about 5 weeks and started getting a bad reaction. I guit about 3 weeks ago and been having the worst detox. I’m having crazy heart papatations , depression, anxiety, and loss of appetite . Can you please tell me if you experienced the same thing. It would really help me with the stress . Thanks

    • I agree with you. I NEVER saw where it helped the neuropathy I was having, and they increase it to virtually TRY to make it work. Then, you can’t get off of it. I am down to such a LOW dosage right now – 100mg 2x per day, and this is going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The anxiety attacks start, I feel suicidal, muscles go crazy. And you are 100% right – the Drs WILL NOT believe this med could be causing it. My suggestion – you take it for awhile and see what happens to you! It’s been a year long nightmare.

  • Took 100mg.of Gabapentin 3xday for 5 days can I stop taking it?

  • Don’t taper this drug too long if you’re trying to quit. It’s best to bite the bullet and get off after maybe 3-5 days tapering/reduction. Yes, you will experience some unpleasantness, but it WILL get better, and you WILL be normal again.

  • Funny thing. All the withdrawal symptoms are exactly why I am taking this drug: anxiety, sweating, fatigue and itching which are my menopausal plight. Gabapentin has spared me from jumping off a tall building with these wretched issues that professionals blithely call: hot flashes. Mine are more than momentary heat flushes; they are full on episodes that begin with panic/nausea, racing heart, heat, desperate fatigue, hunger, thirst and itching. Seven minutes later I am normal; however, in those 5-7 minutes I am very unhealthy. Gabapentin (800mg/daily: 200mg 4x) has reduced the number of episodes from as many as 30+ in 24 hours, to 8-25, and their severity from “ready to jump” to “I will get through this.” The disadvantage of taking GP is I feel like I am losing critical brain activity, including memory, ability to think and reason. I want to taper off and can’t imagine it–not just the temporary issues, but that my episodes will resume at full capacity. I am interested in anyone else is taking GP for these issues.

    • I have been taking a similar amount for the past 5 months for neuralgia following a breast reduction. It has worked really, really well along with Tramadol (100 to 200 mg a day). I DID have your “critical brain activity and memory loss” issues at the beginning, and they scared me; but my brain has come back bit by bit, and is just about back to normal at this point. I should be coming off the drug within the next few months and am reading up here about tapering off – but wanted to reassure you about the reasoning and memory issues.

    • My GYN has prescribed it for hot flashes and insomnia…I’ve only ever taken max 300mgs. at night…but I usually take 200mgs. She wanted me to increase and take a couple throughout the day as well when it didn’t seem to be working at the lower dose but I haven’t done it…I want to get off of it and now I really do after reading all of these horrible experiences. I’m going to try tapering tonight…wish me luck!

  • If I only took 3 (300 mg) capsules of gabapentin, will I still feel the withdrawal effects? Last dose was over a week ago and I’m still having problems sleeping

  • i have been takeing 4800 mg a day for 5 months how do i get them out of my system

    • I’m taking 4800mg a day. Having issues with diarrhea since increase. Has anyone else had this problem?

    • I took 4800mg/day for 8 years. When I decided to get pregnant I started weaning off the drug, but at about 3 weeks of tapering I forgot my night dose. I didn’t sleep, I was uncomfortable. I figured, in for a penny in for a pound and I Quit. I didn’t know that there could be a withdrawal syndrome. It was heinous. At about day 3 without sleep, with itchy restless legs, murderous irritability, stomach ache, headache, etc etc…, I started googling. I persisted and got through the worst physical withdrawal side effect in about 2 weeks. Sleep has never been the same, but it was never great Before Neurontin either. But I used to sometimes be able to sleep through a night and that just never happens anymore. It was hard to tell where the withdrawal irritability and anxiety left off and where the stress of IVF and then of pregnancy began. I had a very anxious and irritable pregnancy. I conceived about 4 months after stopping the gabapentin. I read that the withdrawal is much like a benzodiazapine withdrawal and that the sequelae can play out over 6 months before you’re back to normal and your neurotransmitters are recalibrated. It was a magic bullet drug for me. It worked like nothing ever had, and no side effects. Unfortunately I kept accommodating to it so the dr kept giving me more and more and had me take it more and more frequently. 800mg q 4h, 1600mg @ bedtime to help with sleep problems. Ugh.

      If I knew that I’d have reliable access to it for life I’d maybe start up, but I don’t know if I could survive another withdrawal like that one, so I haven’t looked back.

      The correct way to do taper is to take less each week for, with your dose, probably a year. At the end you’re taking very small amounts every other day, the every third day, then …stop. Or. Or you can taper for awhile and then gut it out like I did. Presuming that you’re not taking it for seizure activity. I was taking it for temporal lobe seizures that look like anger and self-abusive dark thoughts. So during the withdrawal that’s what redoubled and was the hardest for me. If it’s working for nerve pain, you’ll have a Ton of that in your withdrawal syndrome. If for motor seizures you risk status epilepticus by not tapering down oh so carefully. Whatever you’re taking it for that it’s helping with will temporarily be Much Worse than before you ever took the drug.

      After a few weeks without taking it I saw my dr and told him about it. His mind was blown, he’d NEVER HEARD of a neurontingwithdrawal syndrome. I was still hella irritable and I read him the riot act. “Did you know that even after graduating from medical school you are Still Supposed to READ UP ON ALL THE DRUGS YOU PRESCRIBE!?!?” Then I didn’t see him for a few years. When I came back he looked so shame-faced and a little scared. I actually gave him a hug. *rolled eyes*

  • I took gabapentin for shingles pain and the orthopedic dr kept me on them before knee replacement. Stopped cold turkey and had the worse migraines and anxiety before dr sent me medication to SLOWLY TAPER from 600 per day, 300 to 100. Tapering was not easy! Anxious!

  • I was on 1 gaba Benton low dose for neurological pain for sciatica while awaiting a surgery date. I was taking 1 pill only at best time… it did nothing. I told my doctor this medication is doing nothing for me…..she increased the dosage to 3x/day. I finally got the back surgery which was an absolute success, but being on gaba for only 4 months really screwed with my system. I have been off of it for 3 weeks now and I still have the worst side effects like, insomnia, sweating constantly, headache and anxiety.

  • I have been on gabapentin for 22 days, my PCP prescribing it for my “menopausal” symptoms which were causing me insomnia (that was her diagnosis). Started off at 200 mg, it helped me sleep and my symptoms dissapeared for a few nights, and I was back at square one. Went back and she upped my dosage to 400 mg and told me if that didn’t work, I could up it to 500 mg, and basically she didn’t know what to do with me (she wrote on my checkout sheet to “call” her with updates. LOL), and she gave me 5 refills on the 300 mg tablets (fabulous patient care, right?) 22 days later, I’m still not sleeping, and the medication isn’t helping at all. Went to the Urgent Care this morning for help sleeping and got instructions on how to withdrawl from gabapentin BEFORE I can take any sleep meds (the interaction for gabapentin and sleeping aids is not recommended per the urgent care dr, the nurse line through my insurance company, and the pharmacist), so 5 more days of insomnia. For anyone interested in my withdrawl instructions, they are as follows (this is taking 400 mg the last few days)

    Day 1 – 3 – Take 300 MG
    Day 4-5 – Take 200 MG
    Day 6-7 – Take 100 MG

    Needless to say, I changed my PCP, and will be filing a complaint about the prescribing dr with my insurance company. I wouldn’t recommend this medication to anyone, as it interferes with your brain function. Had I looked into the medicine BEFORE I took it, I would have opted not to.

    • Most sleeping meds are harder to get off of than gabapentin. The only safe ones that I am familiar with are melatonin, hydroxazine, and CBN [a medical marijauna derivative.] Be careful.

  • I agree with “AVIOD GABAPENTIN AT ALL COSTS”. My PCP put me on it for “menopause” symptoms (also insomnia), not explaining to me the kind of drug it was, and that it chages your brain functioning. When I wasn’t getting relief, and went back to my dr, she increased my dose and gave me 5 refills telling me to “call her with updates”. Not only did it not work, I had to visit an urgent care clinic yesterday, and get instructions to ween myself off this horrible drug after taking it for 3 weeks.

  • I have lyme which has messed with my neurotransmitters in my brain and causing really bad nerve issues throughout my body especially my chest and head. Debilitating to the point of not being able to work or function except at a very painfully low level.

    Gabapentin literally saved my life if I didn’t have it i would’ve put a bullet in my head by now. I’m doing 1800 mg divided into 3 doses. I’ve been on it for over 18 months. I will start to try and wean off it end of year but I can tell you when I don’t take my dose on time it gets really bad.

    It’s my body needing the levels of Gaba I’m taking because it’s not producing as much and used to it. Tough to wean off this drug for those on high doses and a long time like me it’s going to take you a month probably two.

  • I have been on gabbapen for a few years now. The Dr put me on 400 mg. I take 2 tablets 4x a day for dibetic nerve pain. It helped at first but after a while they have to go up on the does because it just stops working after a while! And I have tried to not take it at times and when I do I start itching all over my body head to toe and tingling all over!! I won’t something different for the nerve pain . Is there anything out there other then gabbapen? My nerve pain is extremely bad but I have to do something I have to get off the gabbapen! Thanks and someone please help guide me on what to do about this.

  • I was on Gabapentin for about 3 weeks, I took 300 mg, then 400 mg at night. I had been told to start it prior to radiation therapy for cancer. I got brain fog and then my hair started falling out. I’m on Day 4 of stopping and cannot sleep at all. Even with sleep medication.

    Has anyone else had hair loss and did it come back? Very upsetting.

  • I’m on 2200mg per day ( 800mg morning ,600mg lunch. 800mg evening) for nerve pain in back. Have been on it maybe 6- years ? Had to slowly increase to this right level for me until the medication finally killed the pain.
    Side effects , brain fog , forgetfulness, tiredness / fatigue , clumsiness ,
    Memory loss and brain fog have got worse over the years and now I find it dreadful and frustrating.
    I wish to now taper of these tablets .
    Has anybody a taper of table for this level of tablets. .

    Anybody starting out on this drug , please go back to your GP and request another medication ASAP !

  • I have been on 300 mg twice a day for about July 2018. Was dx with trangeminial negrolia . Had recent test and determined did not have TN. So went to Dr. and ask to come off. She put me on 300 mg at bedtime only. How can I proceed from this, as she prescribed a 90 day supply. I don’t want to take this if I don’t need it. Is there a better weaning program I can follow?

    • I would tell your doctor that you’re worried about tapering too fast. Ask for some 100 mg tablets and discuss with doctor about going from 300 to 200 to 100 rather than going from 300 to zero. You’d have to come up with a plan for how long to stay at each new lower dose. Perhaps 1 or 2 weeks at each new lower dose. However every person responds differently so there’s no magic guideline. In any case I would be wary about going from 300 to zero.

  • i am totally screwed and would stay away from gabapentn at all cost its wonderful and terrible at the same time. i have been on it for 15 years and im talking 5000mg daily yes 5000. i have donehtis for so long i fear there is no hope for me. tapering never works because i never have enough to do so because of the hgh dose. ive had seizures nuropathy, fibromyalgia, compression fractures, and depression….anything its like they hand this out for everything but ive totally screwed my brain up. so FYI DO NOT EVEN TRY IT!!

    • Ive been taking these for 8 years ive started to abuse them. I take 3000 mg 2 to 3 times a day for the last few months and I have stopped seeing my doctor because I moved away and I really don’t know what to do. I have 3 children and want to be off of them.

  • Go natural iam still taking the med but hate I was 3200 and went down to 900 I want off scared of my nerve pain will get worse i had a double fusion back surgery. Avoid taking this if you can I feel like it’s killing me trying to get off.

  • I’ve been on gabapentin for almost 10 years, and I’m trying to get pregnant so my doctors told me I need to get off of it due to possible birth defects. I take one 300mg at night, but they never told me to wean off. Two days ago I stopped cold turkey, and since yesterday I’ve been having horrible withdrawal symptoms, and don’t know what to do. I’m so pissed that they didn’t warn me to slowly get off of it..any advice?

  • I thank the commenter in this thread who suggested the magnesium citrate. I had always taken the cheap kind nature made that worked fine for my other magnesium deficiency issues. But I only made it into 11 days just reducing my gabapentin from 1200 to 900 before I could not bear the constant and increasingly painful migraine from the withdrawal (and I don’t get headaches). So I went all the way back up to 1200 until I felt ok again. Then had the doctor prescribe 100 mg capsules. Along with a double dose of magnesium citrate, I reduced my gabapentin by only 100 mg per week. The withdrawal doing it that way was very tolerable, yet still felt. The first two days every week I felt great, third day funny, 4th day restless and sleep difficult but next couple felt pretty good and last day good, then down another 100. It took me 3 months. Totally off of it for 2-3 weeks now but I am beginning to feel tempted to take some again. Why? I am tired and have anxiety. I am hoping this will get better. Anyone else with lingering fatigue after quitting?

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