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Gabapentin (Neurontin) Withdrawal: Symptoms + Duration

Gabapentin (Neurontin) is an anticonvulsant medication in the GABA analog lass that was originally created to help manage epilepsy, but is also utilized to help individuals suffering from neuropathic pain. It has become a first-line treatment option for the relief of neuropathic pain from diabetic neuropathy, central neuropathic pain, as well as post-herpetic neuralgia. This medication also is popular for other, more off-label uses including: treating restless leg syndrome, insomnia, and in some cases, bipolar disorder.

Gabapentin was created with the intention of mimicking the GABA neurotransmitter (gamma-aminobutyric acid), but is not thought to act on the same brain receptors. The way the drug works isn’t well known. Some research suggests that it may interact with various voltage-dependent calcium channels in neurons. It is also thought to reduce the release of mono-amines and decrease the axon excitability in certain areas in the hippocampus.

The half life of Gabapentin is only 5 to 7 hours – meaning this medication has an extremely short time before it is cleared from the body. Half life is important to understand because medications with shorter half lives tend to yield the most severe withdrawal symptoms. This medication can be extremely difficult to withdraw from – so make sure you work with a professional when trying to stop taking it.

Factors that influence Gabapentin withdrawal include

There are various factors that influence withdrawal from any medication and/or powerful drug like Gabapentin. The factors that play the greatest role in determining how quick you recover are: time span (how long you took the drug), the dosage (how much you took), your physiology (some people recover quicker), and how you quit the drug (long taper vs. short taper vs. cold turkey).

1. Time Span

For what length of time were you taking this drug? Did you take it every day for years? Did you take it for just a few months? The shorter the duration of time that you were on this medication, the easier it should be for you to come off of it. The longer that you were taking Gabapentin, the more accustomed your brain and nervous system will become to receiving the drug to help with functioning. Therefore, it may be extremely difficult to withdraw from if you have been on this medication for an extended period of time.

2. Dosage (300 mg to 3000 mg)

Most doctors start younger people at 300 mg to take 3x per day. So the starting dose is typically around 900 mg per day. The a young adult or teenager may work their way up to 1800 mg per day if that’s what is recommended by the doctor. In some cases, the drug is prescribed in regards to bodyweight. Some doctors will prescribe 10 mg to 15 mg per kilogram (kg) of bodyweight. Anyways, if you are on a higher dosage, it is thought that withdrawal is going to be a lot more difficult compared to someone on a low dose.

3. Physiology

This drug has a noticeable effect on nearly everyone that takes it. The majority of individuals are going to have withdrawal symptoms of some kind. However, your individual physiology will determine how severe these symptoms are. If you tend to not experience many withdrawal effects on medications, you may cope with the withdrawal process just fine. If you are someone who is ultra-sensitive to medications, you may have a very difficult time adjusting to life without Gabapentin.

4. Cold turkey vs. Tapering

It is strongly advised that you always work with your doctor and do a “gradual taper.” This involves slowly reducing your dosage over a period of weeks or months with the intention of finally quitting the drug. The higher the dose you have become accustomed to taking, the more gradual you will need to stop taking this medication. If you quit this medication “cold turkey” it may trigger very dangerous symptoms including seizures. Never quit anything this powerful without slowly tapering off of it.

Gabapentin Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Below are some withdrawal symptoms that you may experience when withdrawing from Gabapentin. Keep in mind that you may not experience everything on the list – everyone will have a different experience. These are a list of symptoms based on what individuals have reported during their withdrawal process.

  • Anxiety: Some individuals report feelings of anxiety upon withdrawal. This anxiety may be subtle or severe. It has been documented that some people actually take this medication for treating anxiety. Therefore when coming off of this medication, it is common for people to feel especially anxious.
  • Appetite changes: Some people may feel like not eating and will experience a noticeable loss of appetite when quitting Gabapentin. Others may experience an increased appetite – especially if while on the drug their appetite decreased.
  • Crying spells: The emotions can run wild when coming off of this medication. You may find yourself crying for no reason or you may experience crying spells as a result of the depression you are experiencing. Just know that the excessive crying will eventually stop.
  • Depression: Many people experience feelings of significant depression when they stop taking this medication. Even for people with no prior emotional problems may experience severe depression when they stop taking this drug. There have been cases where individuals take this medication recreationally and experience very tough depression when they have to stop taking it.
  • Dizziness: One of the most common symptoms to experience during withdrawal from this medication is dizziness. You may feel so dizzy that you are unable to properly function throughout the day. Just know that this means your brain is trying to reset itself and it will eventually go away. If it doesn’t subside, you could try to taper even more slowly.
  • Fatigue: Another common withdrawal symptom that you may experience is that of fatigue, lethargy, or tiredness. You may lack energy to get things done throughout the day. It is common to feel extremely fatigued while coming off of Gabapentin – do your best to cope with it.
  • Headaches: Most people don’t talk about the fact that coming off of this medication can result in headaches.  There have been cases of individuals that go on this medication, and during withdrawal experience migraine headaches.  As time passes, these are thought to go away.
  • Insomnia: Some people experience pretty severe insomnia when they first quit this medication. This may have a profound impact on your sleep patterns, so do your best to cope with the inability to fall asleep. Try to engage in some relaxation exercises if you are too anxious or agitated to fall asleep.
  • Irritability: You may notice yourself becoming especially irritable during the acute phases of withdrawal from this drug.  It may be difficult to cope with, but take a step back and realize that your neurotransmitter levels and brain activity has been temporarily altered.  You may not be able to control feeling this way, but you can do your best to control how you react because of it.
  • Itching: You may experience itching all over your body. This isn’t a very well documented or talked about symptom, but some people may feel as if they are going crazy because their body feels so itchy during the withdrawal process. Just know that if you are experiencing extreme itchiness, you are not alone.
  • Muscle pain: If you were taking this medication to help manage symptoms of pain, it is no doubt that the pain is going to return. With that said, it is common to feel pain throughout the body and in various muscles when quitting this drug.
  • Nausea: Some people become very nauseated during their withdrawal. This is not an easy symptom to cope with, but do your best to fight through it.
  • Restlessness: It’s common to feel restless when coming off of Gabapentin. The restlessness may interfere with your ability to stay focused throughout the day on certain tasks. Take it for what it’s worth – try to push through it and know it will subside.
  • Seizures: One of the biggest dangers associated with cold turkey or sudden discontinuation of Gabapentin is that of seizures. There have even been reports of people experiencing seizures from relatively low doses. Make sure that you take the time to taper off of this drug – regardless of your dose.
  • Sleep disturbances: You may experience significant difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, and getting a restful night’s sleep. These go hand-in-hand with insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness that you may be experiencing.
  • Spasms: Many people experience muscle spasms when trying to quit. If the spasms become unbearable, you may need to conduct a slower taper. In most cases people can deal with an occasional spasm or two.
  • Stomach pain: Some individuals have pain in their stomach and/or abdominal area during withdrawal.
  • Suicidal thinking: If you are withdrawing from Gabapentin and notice that you are becoming extremely depressed and/or experiencing suicidal thoughts, be sure to get help. These will eventually subside as time passes.
  • Sweating: Many people report horrible night sweats to the point that they wake up in the middle of their sleep with beads of sweat dripping off of their body. You may experience excessive sweating throughout the day, but it may be even worse at night.

Note: It is understood that Gabapentin stays in your system for 1-2 days after discontinuation.  Once the drug has been fully excreted from your body, many of the withdrawal symptoms are likely to emerge.

Suggestion: Magnesium supplements to help ease withdrawal symptoms

Many people have had success easing withdrawal symptoms by supplementing magnesium.  Gabapentin attaches to the same chemical receptor in your brain as calcium and magnesium. As you begin to taper off of Gabapentin, your body will make use of magnesium supplementation that you supply it, and you’ll have a much easier time coping with withdrawal symptoms. Some people experience very minimal to no withdrawal symptoms while supplementing magnesium during withdrawal.

Gabapentin Withdrawal Duration: How long does it last?

The withdrawal process affects everyone differently, so there is no exact science to say that withdrawal will take a specific amount of time. For some people the process will take a few weeks, for others the effects will linger for months. Many individuals that have withdrawn say that it took them over a year to fully recover once they took their last dose. Give your body and mind time to heal – after all, these medications have a significant impact on your brain chemistry when taken over an extended period of time.

Recognize that the most important thing you can do during any sort of withdrawal is to take good care of yourself. Make sure you are eating healthy foods, getting exercise, and allowing your body to make a full recovery. Talk to close family members and friends about your experience for added social support. If you are feeling especially down or having a difficult time, consider working with a therapist.

If you cannot afford a therapist, various online forums should be able to provide you with some good advice and support. Realize that you are not the only person that has experienced Gabapentin withdrawal – many people have made it through this experience. It does take time, but with good habits, social support, and advice, recovery will only be a matter of time.

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{ 400 comments… add one }
  • Joyce Carolan Cote April 23, 2014, 6:02 pm

    I have been on 600mg of Neurontin since January, when I was detoxed by my Dr from Xanax. I am tapering off this drug 300mg a week per my Dr’s instruction. The only symptom I am experiencing is shortness of breath and sometimes insomnia. Do you feel Magnesium will help me? Do you think I will have a long withdrawal period? Medical issues have been ruled out as far as causing my shortness of breath. What dose of Magnesium is suggested? Thank you,
    Joyce Cote

    • GLOOM April 24, 2014, 1:38 pm

      Hey Joyce, I wouldn’t panic too much or overthink it. The symptoms above are just a collective list of “potential” things you may experience. Magnesium could be something to try out if the symptoms get bad, but I wouldn’t worry too much. Most sources suggest about 250 mg of Magnesium if necessary. Keep in mind that Magnesium should not be taken until you are NO LONGER taking your Neurontin as they can have an interaction… Best of luck with the withdrawal process.

      • Heather November 13, 2015, 3:20 am

        The Neurontin is what is causing the shortness of breath and insomnia. You may even feel a little down or unmotivated. Just keep it in watch.

        • Gwyn March 31, 2016, 8:19 pm

          Joyce and Heather, There is a REALLY GREAT magnesium called CALM!! It is a powder and it will help you beyond measure. I was taking 3200 mg a day of gabapentin and I just tapered off over a two month period. I am dealing with insomnia. The CALM helps a lot. Also try PLUS CDB OIL, NORDIC FISH OIL (high in DHA), MEGAFOOD ADRENAL STRENGTH & a melatonin. These are the things your body desperately needs when withdrawing from meds.

          • Nikki May 11, 2016, 3:13 am

            I was on 2400mg of Gabapentin. Now I am currently on 1200mg (300 morning, 300 afternoon and 600 at night). I am having all the symptoms mentioned above. It has been a couple of weeks now. Idk if I should talk to my psychiatrist about staying on this level for a bit until the withdrawal symptoms subside or should I tell him I want off of it? I do have psych history, and diabetes w/ the neuropathy for feet and hands. Idk what to do?

      • Alison June 21, 2016, 1:01 am

        My doctor has me taking gabapentin and magnesium together.

        • mary September 4, 2016, 4:08 pm

          The mag decreases the absorption rate of the neurotin. Get off the mag. I personal would rather get off the neurotin as it is the drug from hell. Mary Mason RN

    • Crystal April 12, 2015, 1:45 am

      I just stopped taking my neurontin 2 days ago and yesterday & today I’ve felt like an elephant has been sitting on my chest. I feel like I’m 400lbs because I cannot catch my breath.

      • Mr B July 22, 2015, 8:54 am

        I have experienced scary episodes of shortness of breath during withdrawal from this drug. When I would take a full breath with my arms raised above my head, I could not get any feeling of relief from it. Also an inhaler did not have any effect. I did notice that it would get a little better during a warm shower. I wound up in the ER (the night after my family doc gave me the inhaler and I still was having the issues).

        I was very scared and scared about being scared, if that makes sense. Thoughts would go through my head about the anxiety lasting forever and other falsely negative thoughts that can come during anxiety attacks. I later came to find that the shortness of breath was coming purely from anxiety and the ER doc said as much. The calming effect from the sensory deprivation of the shower and inhaler being ineffective both point to this.

        They gave me an antihistamine and I had clonidine at the house. Neither of these drugs was a cure all and they aren’t benzos (which I can’t take), so I had to suffer and do my best…and later investigate and experiment. THINGS THAT HAVE HELPED:
        1. Minimize caffeine and nicotine as much as possible.
        2. Take deep breaths and hold in for 5 seconds before slowly releasing.
        3. Tense of a muscle like my bicep for 3 seconds, then release. Repeat on other side.
        4. Watching a calming yoga video on the laptop while laying on the ground and mimicking (or try to mimic haha) a couple of the easy poses.
        5. Listen to ASMR videos (search in youtube) with my headphones in. I like the massage ones and Heather Feather. War veterans use these videos to cope with PTSD and they are AMAZING.
        6. Get some type of support group. A person or persons who have had anxiety or work with people who have that will listen to you talk about the problem. This is huge because it takes away that feeling that I am alone with my problem that can come during an anxiety spell.

        Hope this helps! I am a 30 year old midwestern man, and BELIEVE ME none of the things on that list are something I would EVER have tried if I had found pills that alone would solve any of these problems. Like it’s too effeminate to do any of those things when you are a man. If they worked for me they can work for a lot of people.

        • Ja July 26, 2015, 10:57 am

          Hi Mr B. I am experiencing severe gabapentin withdrawal. I am interested in learning more about the benefits of ASMR videos. I searched youtube as you suggested and there are many videos available by Heather Feather. However, I have no clues of which massage videos to watch. Will you be able to send me a link to a couple of videos that you like the most to help me? I cannot sleep at all, in so much pain, my legs burn as if I am being poured with acid among many other symptoms. Thank you kindly Mr. B.

          • Chris June 28, 2016, 7:55 am

            I am suffering severe burning pain in my face, neck, shoulders, arms and legs after taking Gabapentin. I took 700mg over five days. My last dose was nine days ago and the burning is still raging. I called the doctor the day after my last dose to explain my symptoms,she said not to take anymore. Stupidly I thought they would be out of my system within 48 hrs. How wrong was I!

            I started to panic and couldn’t get hold of anyone for advice at my GP surgery so I went to the walk in centre at my local hospital. There was no doctor on duty there so a nurse saw me, she didn’t seem concerned ,she told me to see how it was in a couple of days and then go to my GP. When I saw the GP he gave me amitriptyline, I was extremely nervous about putting anything else in my body, but I felt desperate.

            He told me to take one a day for a week and then phone him to see how I am. I didn’t notice any improvement in the burning pains in fact I was hardly getting any sleep at that stage. On the fourth day of taking the amitriptyline I was getting weird sensations of my body floating above my legs which was terrifying. Needless to say I haven’t taken anymore.

            It’s Tuesday now and I’m due to speak to the doctor on Thursday. I feel in limbo in a world of hell. I need to get through this and get my life back but at the moment I can’t see an end to this pain.

        • June Marshall June 11, 2016, 1:39 pm

          Hi, I know your post was last year but I was just wondering if you are finally free from gabapentin? I am into my second week of reducing the strength from 2700mg a day to 1800mg a day. If you have come off completely, how do you feel, do you feel better for it? I am trying anything to help and reflexology/acupressure has helped.

          I have really bad moods swings. One day (when it was sunny) I felt all smiley and happy, the next day (when it was cold and raining) I felt like crap. Now I don’t know whether that’s because of the weather or because of withdrawal. I have no motivation but know if I sit on my backside I will feel worse. Please tell me there is light at the end of the tunnel.

          • Toni June 25, 2016, 1:20 pm

            June, I just wanted to touch base with you since we are both going through this right now. I have shingles and had been on Gaba for about 6 month. And I had to take more than the recommended amounts to get through the pain. I was taking 900mg every 5 hours day and night. I started tapering off about a month and a half back. Went to 600mg for a couple weeks then down to 300 and finally to 150.

            I have been totally off now for a week. UGH! I had read about the magnesium and started on Calm twice a day. But I have still suffered the symptoms. I am dizzy enough that I feel uncomfortable. especially in the mornings. By 1:00pm or so, it starts to let up. But if I drive in the mornings it is hell. I think the fast movement over stimulates my brain and I have actually had to pull over.

            And I have to fight panic attacks when this happens. I have a pacemaker and defib implant and had to find out about panic attacks the hard way after that surgery… so I don’t want to go there again. I don’t know if you had weight gain while on these meds, but I bloated up… now I imagine those toxins are stored in that fat and I am leeching them back into my bloodstream too.

            I did go through the down feelings off and on for a few days, but that is letting up now. Just have to keep reminding myself the dizzy/spacey feeling will clear up eventually. So, anyway, you aren’t alone.

          • Daphne July 13, 2016, 4:51 pm

            I have been on neurontin for 4 months. Took for 3 weeks was way to dizzy, bloated not sleeping cut it down – didn’t help my pain – felt more mood swings, anxiety; went off started again same problem. Not good drug for me.

          • Jen1201 August 31, 2016, 1:58 pm

            I am on day 3 of withdrawal from gabapentin. I wish I’d researched it more prior to taking it. I was only on it 1 month, but that was 1 month too long. Initially I thought it was great because I slept very well and felt calm without side effects, however even after weeks, it did nothing for my fibromyalgia pain. I was taking 200mg at bedtime (I’m tiny).

            After a week I began feeling very disoriented. I couldn’t tell if something happened 2 hours ago, or 2 days ago, or if it didn’t happen at all and I’d just dreamed it. I became depressed. I continued in hopes the side effects would pass, but I need to be oriented to here and now. I dropped to 100mg a week before discontinuing, and the withdrawal symptoms started immediately.

            I’m having horrible hot flashes, intense irritability leading to anger at points, crying spells, my partner has told me I’ve been sleep talking, which is probably why I wake up feeling like I’ve hardly slept. The first 2 days I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Today that isn’t so bad so far… I will never take an anti-epileptic again.

        • mary September 4, 2016, 4:19 pm

          Dear Mr. B, Would you please describe your shortness of breath? I took Neurontin for only five days but had so many side effects I couldn’t stand it, sleeping all day, extreme lethargy, twitching, shaking, brain fog, headaches with numbness and shortness of breath. I called a pharmacist and he said since I was only on it for 5 days I could just stop it today.

          In 3 days the symptoms were gone except the shortness of breath, now day 12, I need to take a deep breath every 4 or 5 minutes. It’s scary. How long did your SOB continue? Was it like mine? Any suggestions? Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and answer. Mary Kay

      • Shannon August 24, 2016, 6:44 pm

        PLEASE READ THIS COMMENT!!!! This is a horrible medication. The side effects are bad. I stopped taking neurontin and ended up being admitted in the hospital. It gave me severe nausea and vomiting along with very bad sweating and chills and fever. I thought I was having a heart attack. Felt like I was dying. This medication is horrendous :( so for anyone taking this please please be aware of what can happen to you. It’s horrible and I suffered really badly. Good luck to all.

        • Michele August 27, 2016, 9:46 pm

          Me too. Pharmacy gave it to me by mistake. It’s a look alike to my ibuprofen. Terrible withdrawal while tapering. Stopped 7/11/16. Still bad things happening, but much better than first week of hell. I had, anxiety, depression, (still), can’t eat or drink things I used to, coffee caused me to literally jump out of my skin, it’s been about five weeks and a week ago I developed IBS, pretty bad. Keep praying it will end. Research is good. Patient is a good resource based in UK. Sorry for your journey, it’s a horrible drug.

        • James October 17, 2016, 10:59 am

          Just experienced this, I’ve been on gabapentin a while and I didn’t take it for about 2 weeks and for the last couple of days I’ve felt severe chest pains, sweating real bad and body weakness. I swear I thought it was a heart attack for real. I just decided to see if this was a side effect, and came across this. I’m staying on because this feeling is not a good one. Thanks for sharing.

    • Robert McK July 14, 2015, 2:08 am

      Magnesium should not be taken within 2 hours of Neurontin (Gabapentin). I’ve been taking 300 mg 3x day and the warning is on the label. Magnesium interferes with the absorption of Neurontin (Gabapentin).

    • Richard D November 24, 2015, 10:45 am

      I had most of my right lung taken out because of a pulmonary sequestration that went all infected. Been on 600mg of Gabapentin for 2 years (1 dose 1 hour before bed). Found these last months my eyesight has become affected, so dropped down to 300mg 1 hour before bed. Eyesight better after just 1 day, head clearer too. The Gabapentin makes pain more ignorable, you forget about it and get on with life, but the down side is you get a bit lazier than you were before. Take it away and reality is sharper but then again so is the spot where they took my ribs out ;-). Lingering symptoms for months? Not too sure about these “withdrawal” symptoms as I have not had any of them at all, IMO I think it’s overplayed here.

      • Lynne H December 7, 2015, 8:12 pm

        Your kind of “IMO” comment is what makes people more anxious and reluctant to talk about their issues. Just because you were lucky enough not to have symptoms (your dose is very small) doesn’t mean that the rest of the people here are overplaying it. Until you’ve had a crippling panic attack, intractable migraine, crying spell for no reason, etc… Please keep your humble judgements to yourself.

        • Emily Davies January 4, 2016, 6:40 pm

          Thank you for writing this reply. I started on 900mg and was briefly on 3 times that amount. The person who says there are no side effects has been on an extremely low dose and can only comment for their experience. So, on a low dose, it would seem there are few to no side effects. Unless you have taken a ‘normal’ to high dose, perhaps be a little more circumspect with your sweeping statements.

          • Iris Walls April 3, 2016, 1:33 pm

            Hello Emily, I see you have commented earlier this year in 2016. I’m wondering how you are now and if your withdrawal symptoms have subsided. I only took Gabapentin for 2 weeks and felt like a zombie, so tapered down over a few days only. Appetite/sleep are good, but I have a dreadfully low mood.

        • Tabitha February 2, 2016, 12:31 am

          Wow, I found your comment rather rude. He stated his experience with gabapentin, just as you started yours. He has every right to post whatever he wants. You have absolutely no right to tell him, or anybody here, to keep their “humble comments to themselves”. I’ve been on 600mg, two pills @ three times a day for 10 years and I’ve never had withdrawal symptoms. I’ve stopped taking it for a month or more over the years and still no withdrawal symptoms.

          • Scott February 25, 2016, 8:55 pm

            I was prescribed this medication for lower back pain. After working up to the dosage prescribed (900mg, 3x daily), I began to have suicidal thoughts, irrational behavior, and bouts of horrible anxiety (w/crying – I’m a 37 year old man, married for 10 years – my wife had never seen me cry before that). Almost immediately, I started to tapper off the stuff, as the pain was still there anyway.

            I was on it for a total of about 6 weeks. In that time, I was almost fired from my job (begging helped me keep it after we realized what had happened). It sounds like it works for some of you, but be careful, and pay attention to how you’re feeling if you’re going to try it.

          • Sara April 2, 2016, 12:42 am

            I have been on Gabapentin for about 4 years, only the past year have I taken it everyday. 600mg, 4 times a day and sometimes more for the pain that wakes you up out of a deep sleep. I recently stopped cold turkey because of not having money to refill. Well, the 3rd day after stopping, I woke up not being able to catch my breath, the following days the shortness of breath was getting worse, extreme headaches, not being able to walk because of the shortness of breath.

            By the time I got to the ER, I felt like my body was shutting down… after numerous tests, extremely high hospital bill, it was the Gabapentin. I am back on it, slowly tapering off, as that was the most scariest experience. Sadly, it was me and my pharmacist that realized that is what caused it, not the hospital ER doctors, which I told them that I had stopped abruptly.

            I’ve come off clonazepam and opiates and never experienced this, so please be careful, doctors really don’t know exactly how this drug works…

          • Frank April 13, 2016, 9:48 am

            Tabitha. Good for you, your lucky you have not experienced any withdrawal symptoms. As for myself I have been on 300mg 3 to 4 times a day for three years and I started having symptoms even while on the normal dose due to the drugs short half life. I’m currently trying to wean off the drug and am experiencing withdrawal symptoms that mimic benzodiazepine. I agree with Lynne H, it is not helpful for someone to comment that they believe withdrawal is overplayed because their experience is different.

          • . May 2, 2016, 5:17 pm

            I completely disagree with the statement that he had every right to say what he thinks/feels. If the comments were strictly his experience then sure, however he stated that the rest of us were overdoing it as if we come here to exaggerate and blow things out of proportion. It’s real, it’s awful and it shouldn’t be judged by anyone. Some don’t experience w/d symptoms and that’s great, but for the rest that do, comments like that are just not necessary.

          • Kip June 13, 2016, 8:53 pm

            No, Tabitha, your comment was rude. The reaction wasn’t to him stating his experience; it was to him saying he felt the withdrawal problem is overstated here by others: Well, *I* – all-important me – didn’t experience this, so clearly everyone claiming they have is just making it up and/or a crybaby.

            It’s great that you didn’t get these symptoms. And it’s even useful to post that, because then we can see, OK, not everyone has the same experience with this.

            But if you then extrapolate to everyone else in the world, that’s just, well, rude.

          • Lanie November 12, 2016, 10:58 pm

            Tabitha, were you taking 600mg total? Or 600mg pills three times a day? Thanks :)

        • Michael Dempsey September 24, 2016, 7:44 pm

          Why should she keep her comments to herself? After being on these type of websites with people addicted to everything from aspirin to calcium, my experience with Gabapentin has been… it’s a safe drug. Doesn’t suppress nerve endings so much as make your brain perceive the problem differently. If the symptoms come back as you taper off, why go through the discomfort?

          I have an autoimmune hypersensitivity that causes sever itching, prickly skin, burning sensation, etc. I’ve been informed it won’t go away. So I take a rather large dose of this a day. Not a dangerous (as in short term memory loss) dose, but within my doctor’s recommended dose. Why would I worry about withdrawal symptoms if it gives me relief?

          If it doesn’t work for some folks, taper off. No doctor has told me there are serious withdrawal symptoms if tapered of slowly. These type of blogs remind me of AA meetings. Everyone whining about… whatever. Give it a rest.

      • Laina February 16, 2016, 12:02 pm

        You were blessed not to have withdrawal symptoms, you must be thankful you are the type of person whose body handles this well. So many of us are suffering from anxiety, depression, extreme irritability, migraines and more. I have had multiple surgeries on my cervical spine and have been on oxycodone and hydrocodone for 18 months at a time.

        Coming off those was easy compared to trying to get off of Neurontin. I have been on 600 mg 3x daily for 2 years, I never knew about the difficulty in stopping this medication or I would never have continued taking it. I was told it was not a narcotic, and was a relatively harmless medication. What an ill informed doctor that was!

        He got the “not a narcotic” portion right anyway… I have two issues with your comment. “Your experience” was relatively limited with this medication and “IMO I think it (withdrawal symptoms) is overplayed here” is a statement better kept for experiences you have walked a mile in, rather than took a few steps in. The original poster clearly stated people on a low dosage may never experience any withdrawal symptoms and that some people (are lucky enough) handle withdrawal well and don’t experience symptoms.

        Everyone is entitled to an opinion, I would rather you had highlighted your experience for other people’s knowledge, rather than make a judgmental comment that could be offensive to those that are struggling with withdrawal. I couldn’t pass your post by without a response, in case someone else was reading your comment and felt hopelessness because they were having these horrible symptoms and you were not. Peaceful blessings :).

      • Jeeves February 17, 2016, 6:22 pm

        Richard, I appreciate your comment, it gives a little hope that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. I can only think that the person who was rude was just having some gabapentin withdrawal symptoms that hopefully will pass soon. I have been taking it for just under a year and on my 2nd day down from about 450mg a day and now around 150mg. Was only at 450mg for a month or so.

        My first cut from 450 to 300 wasn’t too bad, a little anxiety and some light night sweats. Now I’m really feeling it. Hopefully it won’t last too long. I would say the first 150mg drop last about 5 days of feeling poorly. Now after the 2nd night after my 2nd cut I woke up drenched, other than that I just have some general aches from a lot of broken bones (24 bones broken in 2 seconds) and a little concerned about how bad this is going to get.

        Again, I found your post quite reassuring and am looking forward to getting off this crappy drug. The Doc that prescribed it told me it wasn’t addictive. I don’t know if he flat lied, or he is really in the dark about gabapentin. I think it’s the first and not the latter. An experienced Doctor couldn’t possibly be that stupid.

        My symptoms on the 2nd day after the 2nd drop of 1/3 of my dose, some anxiety but not too bad, brain fog, extreme night sweats, not sleeping good, ornery, tired, headache but not real bad, aches and pains, some stomach problems, all of which seem worse first thing in the morning. It’s kind of like a light flu bug, without throwing up. In the plus column, my vision is already better, thinking clearer and burning pain that has persisted in my leg and foot is some better. I think this drug caused burning in my foot that has climbed up my leg.

        I was glad to have it when I finished a valium taper after nearly 15 years on valium. It did help me sleep and feel better when I was at my worst from the valium withdrawal but now after being on it so long I think it’s making everything worse. Never would have taken the first one had I have known it was addictive (and I asked that Doctor flat out, “Is this drug addicting?” his reply was just “no”. He’s a real peach who I stopped seeing shortly after He put me on it.

        Why Doctors put people on drugs like gabapentin and valium knowing what they do to people is beyond me. Quackery. I have no help getting off this crappy drug except what I have read online. Some people have no problem with it while others feel like it’s the end of the world. The ones that feel it’s the end of the world possibly never stopped taking benzo’s long term. That’s real withdrawal, no matter what you do it just keeps on giving.

        The best solution I came up with on stopping gabapentin was to drop 1/3 at a time to avoid a seizure and get it over with. Now I’m more determined than ever to toss it in the trash where it belongs. I was wondering if people would just take a minute and post exactly how they tapered this drug and how long the symptoms lasted. From what I have seen it seems a lot of people that had little to no withdrawal symptoms from this drug cut by 10% at a time.

        I cant even figure out how to cut 10% but all I have is 300mg capsules that I am dumping 1/2 of out. UPDATE: I started typing this shortly after getting up from a long night (7 hours of severely interrupted sleep) getting up and down, sweating like a pig in a very cool room in dead of winter. After getting some coffee, moving around and now been up a few hours I am feeling some better. This can’t be compared to a benzo taper but is still not very pleasant.

        • Kristine Anderson March 27, 2016, 7:44 pm

          I don’t believe the drug is addicting, but as hundreds of drugs do, it makes your body “dependent” on it. That means you may or may not have withdrawn symptoms as your body must re-adjust itself while you are tapering. Everyone is so different during withdrawals of any kind, you can only become informed about symptoms, listen to your body and hope things don’t get too bad.

          I am tapering off 2400 mg/day for more than 15 years and have no symptoms, positive or negative. We are all just different. I quit 40 mg/day of oxycodone cold turkey after years on it and had no withdrawal! I was prepared to be very sick, but nothing happened. That’s very rare.

        • Mack Arwood April 13, 2016, 5:52 am

          I have begun the taper. This drug really wasn’t great for me. I got off opiates and Benzos – all prescribed. I was up to 600 MG – 4 times a day. I’ve only been taking it for 2 months and the side effects hit. The dizziness and vertigo are the hardest. Then the metal taste and dry mouth.

          The little twitches, muscle aches, head pulses as I call them are all not fun. I think all of the anxiety is because my body is on high alert. So yeah, this and all medicines should be taken with the utmost of respect and knowledge. I dropped myself down to 300 mg – 4 times a day. Not a fun jump.

          Have been doing this for 3 full days. Lots of worry that I’m going to be like this forever. Talk about it. It does help. Baths are good. Looking forward to getting this out of me. Fingers crossed and saying a prayer. Send positive mojo my way. Hang in there if you’re going through it. It will work out. This is just my experience and I’m hoping this may help someone. You are not alone. You never are.

        • Bobbi May 2, 2016, 5:27 pm

          Again a judgment! Why? Everyone is different. I’ve done both discontinuations, Valium and gabapentin and for “me” gabapentin is much worse, so it’s all relative. I can’t understand the need for these comments. With so many variables and differences in body chemistry, age, weight, other medications, length of time on the med, on and on and on, it’s clear that everyone will experience withdrawal differently. Judgment and or criticism regarding it… Puzzling to say the least.

        • Toni June 25, 2016, 1:42 pm

          Good morning, I just got done with a reply to a gal and listed how I got off and what I am going through. But I wanted to comment on your statement that it is worse in the mornings… I am going through the same thing. Until about 1:00pm I am dizzy and my tummy is also upset. I force myself to drink the Calm-magnesium/potassium powder and eat some eggs or other protein. And I know the Calm has helped because a couple times I thought I was headed for a full blown panic attack, but felt it melting away as I drank it down. Good luck on your journey.

        • Kay August 14, 2016, 12:30 am

          It’s not a “crappy drug” in itself. If all goes well — and it can — the results can be wonderful. I’ve used 2400-3600mg daily for almost 15 years. It has greatly lessened post-herpetic pain that was close to unbearable. Patients aren’t always given good advice on how to start it, whether to continue it, and how to reduce or stop it. That certainly is crappy!

          Recently I decided, completely on my own, to reduce the dose I’d taken for many years. Bad thinking. I had no idea that modulating the dose held any risk. Then I decided to slowly go back to my old dose. That turned out horribly, so in my bizarre mood, I decided the only thing to do was to go cold turkey. Really, really bad thinking.

          I became extremely, miserably, terrifyingly ill as a result of stopping, and I was so unbalanced that it didn’t occur to me that quitting gabapentin abruptly was the cause. I’ll go back to gabapentin, but I’ll talk to my doctor about how to do it properly. As a last thought, various doctors over the years have known I increased and decreased the dose in the top dosage range. No one has ever pointed out the risk.

          • Donna Lyle August 29, 2016, 3:12 am

            Aug. 28,2016. Been on this drug for about 4 years getting up to 2700mg/day. My doc wrote out a withdrawal chart that took five weeks finishing up with one 300mg at bedtime for one week. I started getting sick: weak, itching, losing weight, nausea, dizzy, etc. and I was getting scared being sick all the time because I had just had my aortic heart valve removed.

            When I reported being so sick to my cardiologist he ordered a lot of blood tests/cultures, etc. What a shame to have gone through all the tests and wondering if this ‘illness’ was connected to my new heart valve when all along it was the Gabapentin withdrawal. My doc who prescribed it did not tell me that this withdrawal would happen. I am furious.

            I was getting so low and feeling so isolated not knowing what was wrong with me. I had to figure it out all by myself. So my plea to any of you is to be proactive! You aren’t alone, you will get through this withdrawal, and learn from this experience. But by all means, think twice before your doctor puts you on a medication where withdrawals can be beyond what you can handle. May God bless those of you who are struggling.

          • Sarah October 25, 2016, 2:40 am

            I like that you stated no one ever pointed out the risk. I started this medication almost a year ago for nerve damage in my lower back but never really took it until my doctor explained that it builds up in the blood stream and does not have an immediate effect like a pain killer does. So, once I was informed of how it actually worked I started taking my dose of 1200mg every night.

            I did ask my doctor if there was any danger in taking it or if it was addictive and she flat out said absolutely not, it is a safe and helpful medication for my nerve pain. I’m now beyond upset by how nonchalantly she addressed my concerns. After about 2 weeks of taking it as prescribed I did notice a huge change in my level of pain, it was so much better.

            However, I had the flu the last few days and puked them up for 2 days so it didn’t go into my system. Last night I was feeling better from the flu but only had one left when I usually take 4 total before bed (300mg each). I woke up with terrible muscle spasms that not even my muscle relaxer (tyzadine) could touch and my tramadol did absolutely nothing for the pain.

            I thought it was still the flu until I remembered I hadn’t taken the gabapentin for 3 days and wasn’t aware that it caused withdrawal. On my way to pick it up my anxiety was so terrible I had to pull over and take one of my .5 mg alprazolam (I’m prescribed quite a few meds, but none that caused such terrible withdrawal symptoms, and I take them as prescribed so withdrawal isn’t an issue I experience with them. However, I did when I was much younger and abused them so I know how awful the withdrawal is).

            About an hour after taking my normal dose of gabapentin I felt like a different person, like myself again. Although the relief was nice, I’m now quite scared of this medication. However, it does seriously help my nerve pain and does not give me any sort of high which is great, but again I’m so uncomfortable and scared of this medication now.

            Any suggestions considering it works so well for me? After reading all this I feel as though I’ll be on it for life as the nerve pain will gradually and inevitably get worse. I know that meds affect everyone differently and have no comment on the controversial remarks that have been expressed while reading this. I do empathize with those whom experienced the terrible withdrawal.

            I know it’s real, I felt how awful it is and for those of you that don’t experience it I truly am happy for you. I guess I’d just like some input on my situation as this is the first time I’ve experienced it. Peace to all here and for those suffering I’m so sorry you are going through this terrible experience.

      • Lawrence August 5, 2016, 3:30 pm

        Lol, just because you don’t have any withdrawal symptoms doesn’t mean that someone else won’t and it is not “over played” whatsoever! I have gotten off of heroin and alcohol and that was heaven compared to gabapentin WD’s. They are horrible for me. Happy you didn’t have as hard of a time, most people do have severe WD’s if neurontin is discontinued abruptly or even tapering down is unpleasant to say the least…

    • mary September 4, 2016, 3:43 pm

      Dear Joyce, How long did you have shortness of breath? I’m forced to take a deep breath every 5 minutes. This has been going on for 12 days. Please if you know anyway I can stop this please let me know. Mary Kay

  • mike April 29, 2014, 5:49 am

    Hi thank you for this article. I notice after I eat most meals, I have all these symptoms. I feel the same way after reducing the dose just a little. Is it possible that magnesium in food is interacting with the gabapentin? Doctors don’t seem to have an answer. I hear taking magnesium supplements a couple hours after the dose is fine, but that does not seem to be the case with me. I’m so tired of being lied to by all these people. Also, have you ever heard of anything during a taper that can help? The insomnia and suivifdal depression and anxiety is so excruciating and nothing seems to help. I could only last a month as it seemed to get worse. If I could get through that part of it, I could have the will to continue my taper. My life has been ruined for years since I’ve been on this but its worse trying to come off. I feel that nobody has answers to these questions as I’ve been asking for years, so I understand if you’re stumped as well. This is the most difficult medication to understand and more professionals should be aware of this to warn patients before taking this…I wasn’t, and now my life is probably over. Thank you and sorry for rambling on.

    • GLOOM April 29, 2014, 2:13 pm

      No doubt Mike. Sounds like this withdrawal is pretty tough on you. I would recommend really pushing yourself to do some simple stuff just to take your mind off of how you feel. Exercise – even if it’s just going for a walk. Keep doing things and stay busy so that you don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your depression and anxiety will never go away. All of your symptoms will subside in time and you will heal. I wish you a speedy recovery man. You’ll get through this challenge and heal.

      • Rich September 16, 2014, 1:50 pm

        I’ve stopped taking this drug as well. Over the past two weeks I’ve been paranoid, anxious, have had sweating , insomnia, unable to focus. All these symptoms have led to me not being able to enjoy life in the bedroom too if you know what I mean. I’m getting sick of it at this point. Thinking about just going back on them

    • Scott March 28, 2015, 7:46 pm

      My wife and I felt incredibly emotional reading your comment as it could have been me speaking. I am currently undergoing withdrawal after many years on Gabapentin and to read the experiences of others is so reassuring. I will persist. I trust you are well through your withdrawal now Mike and have found you now have some good things in your life to live for.

    • Renee December 5, 2015, 3:34 am

      I’m so sorry to hear this. I’ve been on this stuff for three years now. I so want to come of off it. But I’m so afraid of the withdrawal. I wish you the best, and please get some help if you feel like your life is over.

      • Clark March 15, 2016, 12:28 am

        What a wonderful find – just knowing my symptoms are not imagined but real to so many. I’ve been taking 2,400 mg. of Neurontin (800 3X daily) for the past 5 plus years. When it was prescribed I never gave it a second thought. Until I switched docs and an Orthopedic Surgeon looked at me the first time he saw me and asked why, why, why was I taking so much Neurontin?

        I had no adequate answer for him – other than it was prescribed by my physiatrist and pain management docs. So, about 10 weeks ago I started cutting the dosage by 400 mg. each week – last Friday ended the titration. Now I wish I’d titrated the 400 down to 100 mg. Today is day three – anxious, sweating, insomnia, outrageous nausea. I’m going to get some magnesium and hopefully it will diminish some of the detox symptoms.

        Funny – the most recent pain management doc suggested I take magnesium – knowing full well at the time I was taking 2,400 mg Neurontin daily. Well – thank you all for your input – I’m most grateful!

        • Barb April 5, 2016, 3:52 pm

          I suffer from depression and severe back pain. I was put on Gabapentin to prevent seizures from my anti-depressant and to help with pain and sleep
          I was on 4800 mcg per day for over two years. To be involved in a clinical trial it was necessary for me to get off the drug. I tapered down to 2000/day over a six week period without too much problem.

          I then had to relatively quickly get off the last 1800 mcg. That was when my hell started. I started diarrhea, bloating, and ended up getting a anal fissure from frequent bowel movements. My anxiety level is very high and my sleep is greatly diminished. I have lost 17 lbs in 8 weeks and still feel weak.

          There is not question this is a tough drug to get off. My recommendation is withdraw exceedingly slowly to help ease the discomfort. I wanted to go back on the drug because my withdrawal was so difficult, but I wanted more to get into this trial. My husband and family were very supportive as was my family doctor.

          I am still not well but getting better everyday. Keep trying, hang in there and try to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am sooooooooooo much happier, feel less “heavy” and although I still have some diarrhea I wouldn’t change what I did, only the way I did it. Good luck to all of you fighting the battle don’t give up.

          • Jason Storebo July 9, 2016, 5:26 pm

            I was prescribed Gabapentin for fibromyalgia and have been on a dose of 1200mgs. I want off as I feel it is making my baseline anxiety and the terrible muscle tightness that I live with, much worse. I dropped down to 900mg but I believe this was too fast and I have reinstated the 1200. I too have panic attacks, sweats, a fog that I walk around in, and hot/cold flashes that are very close together.

            My emotions are extremely raw: at times severe anxiety, bad depression, and horrible rage episodes (I call them episodes). To give some background: I also have a lengthy history of benzo addiction, (off & on) and also been through most of the SSRIs, and been through that hell too. I have been off of benzos for five years now (a record for me), and have not had SSRIs for a couple.

            I am a vet and I get my care and my meds through the VA which is good cost wise. I need to schedule an appointment with my psychiatrist soon and ask her to start tapering me, and if there might be anything that might ease the withdrawals.

        • Beth November 19, 2016, 6:17 am

          Clark, your new doctor wondered why you had been increased to such a high dose. I was extremely sensitive to the recommended starting dose. My age and poor kidney function wasn’t taken into consideration, which should have earned me the 100 mg dose. Sudden changes in our brain chemistry, either during introduction or during withdrawal can be a shock to our brain.

          There is a warning on the RX receipt that says not to suddenly withdraw from this drug, or it can cause seizures. (Originally approved as an anti-epileptic drug.) But there is no warning about the dangers of suddenly starting this drug, or rapid increases. I didn’t have epilepsy but I developed a sudden movement disorder, during introduction.

          I discovered later that the capsules reach maximum strength within 45 minutes, which was the amount of time that it took to permanently damage my nervous system. Mine looks like irregular twitching and jerking. Some people have complained about twitching muscles. This drug is suppressing the hypothalamus gland, which is connected to our pituitary gland via of the pituitary stalk.

          I developed a 5 mm lesion at the beginning of this connection, so mine is having trouble getting hormones such as dopamine through to the pituitary gland, which is the master gland. Some of you are having insomnia, temperature control, B/P fluctuations, and libido problems. Your kidney function may decline.

          You will have mood swings, such as uncontrollable laughing (gelastic seizures) or crying spells, (dacrystic seizures). You probably haven’t developed a hypothalamic lesion like mine, but rapid drug reduction may cause problems since your brain is trying to normalize.

    • Sarah January 13, 2016, 5:05 am

      I was prescribed Gabapentin because I had 2 open heart surgeries for a heart defect I was born with. I didn’t have surgery until 8 years ago, and I was originally taking Tramadol for the pain from the surgeries. I got to the point where I was taking more then given so they took me off Tramadol and put me on Gabapentin. I quickly gained so much weight from gabapentin and I was drinking soda like it was going out of style.

      So I cut back to almost no soda, from 5 cans a day and I went from 900 mg of gabapentin 4 times a day to 100 mg twice a day! The only way I have been able to cope with the withdrawals is the support of my husband and medical marijuana!!!! The medical marijuana has been a wonderful way for me to deal with the withdrawals. I have fibromyalgia so that is what I am using the medical marijuana for, and chronic pain.

    • Kristine Anderson March 27, 2016, 8:11 pm

      I take Magnesium daily for RLS, and that’s what my doc put me on gaba for. I’ve had several docs from moving to another state — specialists like neurologists and gap’s — and none of them ever said anything about when I should take my mag. I am learning things here, and I am a medical writer.

      I am tapering off 2400 mg/day of gaba and didn’t even know there were withdrawals until recently. I mentioned above that I haven’t had any symptoms, but I have been extremely tired. I don’t know whether to attribute that to the W/D or my ME/CFS. I may never know…

    • Bobbi May 2, 2016, 5:32 pm

      Mike, I’m new to this forum, so I’m not even sure when your comment was posted, but I wanted to say that your feelings/this of suicide are real, but as someone else said, also temporary. Please find someone to talk to about this, and remember that it WILL pass. Hang in there!

    • Chad October 21, 2016, 11:26 am

      Mike, Don’t give in to the thought that this is how you will be for the rest of your life. I felt like that coming off benzos. I was sure that was it for me. But it does indeed get better. And the moments of clarity are beautiful. A doc put me on gabapentin to help get me off benzos with the thought of it being “non-addictive and easy to get off.”

      Every other random doctor has also told me it “should be no problem to get off of.” They’re mostly all ignorant, but not at the fault of their own. That’s how they’re taught. Currently in a drop and the symptoms suck, as it is the middle of the night and I’m desperate to go back to sleep.

      The only difference is now I know it WILL get better. Take care of yourself in every way. Supplements, meditation, self development, etc. It WILL get better Mike. As the bible says, “this too shall pass.”

  • Maria July 4, 2014, 2:09 pm

    Read these comments, I only took two a day cut down to one, this is my first week, I can not believe that tappering off to one a day has caused me to feel so ill, sweats, can not sleep, loss of appetite, restlessness, stomach cramps, strange dreams, taking me away back to my youth, muscular mild pain i am tempted to go back on them but so fare resisted, if I can get off them wont be taking again, good look to any one experiencing the above and more.
    been taking mine for bulging L5 disc

    • Chuck February 1, 2015, 1:53 am

      Pretty much word for word your description fits my condition, without the dream issues. Same dose, same reason for being prescribed and same terrible feelings for the last two weeks since tapering off. How long did your withdrawal symptoms last if you don’t mind me asking?

    • Mayra December 17, 2015, 6:38 am

      I just stopped taking gabapentin and cymbalta cold turkey because I started having bad thoughts and it scared me. After I stopped the thoughts got worse. I feel very depressed, I cry for everything. I have not slept for three days. I’m having horrible nightmares. I’m so dizzy, can’t focus and my body aches bad. I feel paranoid and very scared.

      • Sherrie December 30, 2015, 5:23 pm

        Hi Sweetie! I am worried about you! I would go back on a low dose of the meds, then contact your doctor about further weaning. I understand what you are going through, as I have been withdrawing too. Best wishes, Sherrie

      • Bobbi May 2, 2016, 5:36 pm

        Mayra, I really hope you reconsider the cold turkey on both meds! Both of them are very tough withdrawal, and I SO think it would be much better if you were careful and taper off slowwwly! <3

      • Lara September 18, 2016, 9:35 pm

        Mayra! OMG, you must feel like living hell! I just did a two month taper off 120 mg of cymbalta, dropping it 30 mg every two weeks. (I do not recommend this speed.) I felt like I had a flu. Sweating, fevers, headaches, brain fog, nightmares, insomnia, extreme anxiety, diarrhea, aches and pains, nausea, paresthesia. It sucked hard.

        However, I have been off cymbalta for 3 weeks now and it’s a whole lot better. Can’t get rid of the damned nausea, but.. I didn’t realize how constipated I was on cymbalta. It feels a whole lot better to be regular. I also didn’t realize that my cymbalta may have been worsening my depression. I am much better able to cope with responsibilities and am actually having interests in things that I didn’t have energy for before.

        I also appreciate having my ability to fully enjoy myself in the bedroom back. Orgasms are a natural antidepressant. ;) But now I’m about to begin tapering off gabapentin. I’m on 300 mg 3x daily and have been for a couple years. I am considering getting on medical marijuana for my PTSD before attempting this, because getting off cymbalta was so painful. I will also probably taper more slowly.

        My med doc is genuinely unaware of how bad these drugs are to withdraw from. I think most of them are. The drug companies certainly don’t advertise discontinuation syndrome. And when you experience what is likely to be temporary mood changes when going off a med, they’ll say, “Well, see! You need to be on it!” Uh huh. Thanks, doc. But I think I will wait to see what I feel like after the withdrawal has subsided.

    • Noah July 2, 2016, 4:39 am

      Maria. Just wanted to say that, like Chuck, I was prescribed gabs for the same reason except instead of one bulging disc, I have three herniated ones at the age of 20. I know that this is for those who are suffering from the withdrawal, but I was looking for some answers to some questions I had about the drug. I’ve only been taking gaba for two weeks but after this I am afraid to keep taking it or step up my does as instructed.

      The “high” is weird and makes me feel like I’m dying and now I’m kind of having trouble sleeping. I was just hoping that you or someone else out there could give me some guidance as one who has already walked this honestly sketchy road. Thank you and best of luck to those of you who are going through withdrawal. I’ve been there and it’s NOT fun.

  • Amanda July 19, 2014, 2:21 am

    I’ve been on this drug for two months at 3 to for 300mg pills a day. I was prescribed gabapentin after a severe case of shingles. I’m slowly trying to taper off as I have felt like a zombie while taking this. I can’t function at work & at the point Id rather deal with having the nerve pain then feel toxic and worthless all day. I have been feeling many of the above side effects, along with major irritability. Everything & everyone around me makes me some how feel annoyed or angry. I’m just hating this feeling! Anyone else feeling this way.

    • Wendy July 24, 2014, 11:44 pm

      I have MS, and was prescribed Gabapentin to help with the nerve pain I was experiencing. I had taken it in the past, and hated the way it made me feel, but in the past I had numbness, not pain. So I decided at the advice of my neurologist to try it. I started out at 100 mg three times a day. It didn’t make me feel zombish like I remember, but didn’t really help with the pain. I’d say it took “the edge off”. My neurologist suggested that after a few weeks to go up to 300 mg three times a day. She said that I might be drowsy at first, but that it would even out. I’ve been on 300 mg three times a day for about 2 1/2 weeks now. I’m am so fatigued I cannot even watch a television program. I’m scared to get behind the wheel for sure. I went to see my neurologist who told me to add another 300 mg tablet, to total 1200 a day. I did that for two days. I became even more drowsier, more irritable, and my hands, legs and feet swelled up tremendously! I went back down to 900 mg. I have been trying to get in touch with my dr. since Tues, to no avail. I’ve decided as horrible as the pain was, I think I’d rather live with it than all of the other bothersome symptoms I’m dealing with. I know that Gabapentin/Neurontin helps some people, I just wish I was one of them!

      • Vicky March 29, 2015, 11:39 pm

        Hi, I was on Gabapentin from November at 3×300 a day. Your symptoms will get better after 6 weeks of taking. I went thought it too. Although occasionally I was still getting confused, had no short term memory and was gaining weight. I’m weaning off 3 weeks now. Just started on just 300 a day with one day break a week – I feel like sh#t but hey it will pass I was told and I will be back to myself in 2-3 months

        • Heather November 13, 2015, 3:33 am

          This is exactly how I’ve been feeling! I just stare at my treadmill as my feet hurt and I get fatter!! My final stray was when I wet my bed, couch, and then a hotel bed without any dreams of needing to use the restroom. I thought the couch issue was a dog that I’d been sitting until the hotel deal that left me extremely bothered. I made an appointment this week to get weaned off of this med after being on it for 7 months. I’ve been easily irritable, fatigued, couldn’t remember something within 10 seconds of looking at it. All of these stories sound like mine and I’m happy to know that it’s the med I was taking from a skin graph neuropathy.

          • Janie February 6, 2016, 3:53 pm

            I am glad to see a comment that I can relate to. I have had symptoms like withdrawal while taking a low dose 300mg 2 at night. I also had trouble “holding my bladder” ( making it to the bathroom) which had never been a problem for me before. I was told to increase to 2 capsules 3 times a day. I could not even imagine that dose as I have been so irritable, fatigued, insomnia, NO FOCUS, can’t work consistently in accounting at my home office.

            I got so depressed and crying spells afraid to be around people and almost called 911 but this occurred after dropping back to 1 300 mg at night. I was so angry, and irritable on just 600 mg. So irritable I broke phones when someone said something I did not agree with. I am now feeling muscle cramps and stomach pain from trying to go cold turkey since I was on a very low dose.

            I already had anxiety and depression, fatigue all which got worse taking only 600 mg at night which did help me sleep. Better sleep, losing weight, and ability to have easy multiple orgasms were the only benefits I gained on 300 mg. So I weigh those benefits against extreme lack of focus, memory loss, scary extreme anger which are such a terrible downside to be on this medication.

            I also found other anti seizure / antidepressants had these affects on me but I usually ballooned 50 pounds not lose weight. I am confused to stay at 300 mg and try to stay calm but unable to ficus to even pay bills or finish any lengthy tasks. But cold turkey is probably reason for my stomach and leg cramps which caused me to miss yet another appointment and errands I really looked forward to.

            I can’t shut up. Irritates my family. I think I should try 300 mg every other night rather than cold turkey?

      • Kay August 14, 2016, 12:41 am

        Wendy, starting off at 100mg three times a day is much higher than my neurologist advised. That high start and rapid increase might be the cause of your very unpleasant symptoms.

    • suzanne September 17, 2014, 12:39 am

      Yes wendy I feel like this too weird. I am irritable and very crabby my family hates me for real….. thank god its worth going through to quit I feel horrible and put on 20 lbs in two months despite knowing it’s the med .. wow I hate this I can at least live with the pain. ..never again no more meds for me

    • Karolyn November 11, 2014, 7:24 pm

      Wow, I feel like everything you just wrote is exactly what I would be writing about myself. I take 900mg a day to help with my nerve pain from shingles and Im a mess. I was just researching how to wean myself off myself but am nervous. I dont want to mention it to my doctor yet. I forget how I felt before the gabapentin and am not sure which is worse….the nerve pain (which I still get but not as bad) or the constant fog I feel in. I was thinking about slowly weaning myself off and then determining if the gaba is worth it.

    • sharon March 13, 2015, 4:39 pm

      You have no idea. I was put on gabapentin in 2009 for neoropathy my family always said I looked high all the time and I forgot everything. So I decided to stop taking it myself two months ago. Big mistake… I’ve been on doses as high as 2400mg a day anyway I actually feel as if I am going crazy I have all the withdrawal symptoms night sweats I feel as though I can’t control my body temperature crying spells I feel as though I can’t tell what is real and what isn’t. I am so angry I wasn’t told how this would affect me if I were to ever come off of it. I am actually thinking about committing myself in to a hospital for my own sanity. I hope you have an easier time.

      • Allen March 15, 2015, 2:50 am

        It’s gonna take a minute. If you are going through something, just keep going through it until you get to the other side. I’m also going through the same thing and it’s no fun but I know there’s a ending so I’m just going to keep going until I get there and try really hard not to fight the process. Very bad drug.

        • Ryan October 17, 2015, 10:28 pm

          Wow so many people effected by this drug!! I’ve had similar symptoms during usage but after 3 weeks of taking I decided to withdrawal (more because I started to forget to take my pills, before I knew it I’d gone from 1200mg to 300mg). I noticed a positive change for the day hours but by night I struggled to sleep and stay asleep. I guess I’m hypersensitive to medications hence me going down this route for pain relief.

          It’s been two weeks now and I still struggle with patients, concentration, severe depression and in past few days crying regularly. Sometimes my senses feel bombarded with information and I need a lye down. Sexual desire is zero. I have found exercise has helped me so I go for walks and swim once or twice a day (maybe a little cry in the changing rooms before hand) I drink loads of coffee so maybe time to cut that out.

          The eating less is probably a godsend!! I didn’t discuss my withdrawal with my doctor I just did it as I did with Tramadol. That was a shorter withdrawal period (5ish days) but way more intense!! To get to Allens point I would have done anything to stop the symptoms but I also realized I’d have to go through all this again if I did. That spurred me on and is spurring me on again to get through this. Best of luck to you all.

          • Katrina November 20, 2015, 10:26 pm

            I had a crying spell reading most of these comments. This is not okay, we are so under informed as patients and its sickening (literally). I have taken this medication at 400 mg 4x a day for a year. I have a SCI and while I was tapering off baclofen I began to taper off this too. I had no idea what was making me such a mess. I have two small children and to have crying spells, no motivation, not understanding why I suddenly wanted to be dead was horrifying.

            I have all symptoms except seizures. Honestly the only thing that has helped me sleep, eat, ignore my nerve pain, and snap out of depression for a few hours is smoking marijuana. I can take the irritability away in a matter of seconds. My children do not deserve to have me lash out on them or watch me lay in bed crying, ignoring their needs because my doctor didn’t bother to tell me – hey you have other options.

      • Amy May 6, 2016, 4:09 pm

        I pay out of pocket for my gabapentin. It’s very expensive and when I can’t afford it, I have found a few here and there from friends. I feel incredible withdrawal from 2400mg a day. Night sweats, having to per every few minutes, mood swings, fatigue. I’ve recently cut back to 1200mg a day, and today, I am trying to only take 600mg. We’ll see how it goes… ugh!

    • Thomas May 28, 2016, 11:56 pm

      Yes hi Amanda experienced some of the same side effects plus both feet have been a sleep for a month. I know the gabapentin caused the numbness in my feet because I tried lyrica for one day and not only were my feet numb, but my when I woke up my thumb on my right hand was a sleep! Lol so it’s now back to gabapentin. But like you I believe I can stand in shingles pain better than the side effects? Hopefully. Good luck getting off and don’t know how you spell shingles but it should be spelled PAIN!!!!

      • Toni June 25, 2016, 2:17 pm

        Hi Thomas, I came down with shingles the middle of Feb and here it is nearing the end of June and I still have the rash and pain. Not nearly as bad, but not something I can ignore either. I was on a super high dose of Gaba and have only been totally off for a week. The dizzy feeling is the hardest for me to get through now.

        But I went from 900mg every 5 hours night and day down to 600 and then after a couple weeks down to 300, then again 150 and finally that is where I quit. But one of the symptoms I forgot to mention in earlier reply was brain zaps. WOW! I had heard of these as something from serious drug withdrawal… well I have now experienced them and they are scary too.

        I still hurt and have to wrap my rash tightly for a couple hours in the morning, then it seems to calm down. Good luck with your recovery. I hope it doesn’t take as long as mine has.

        • Kay August 27, 2016, 10:41 pm

          Toni, you speak of pain following shingles. I took gabapentin for about 15 years for that, from 1200 to 2400mg mostly. Three weeks ago I stopped taking it, because I felt spacey, ill. I had no idea that there could be after effects, and I assumed I would resume at a lower dosage. After three weeks, I still feel pretty bad.

          By the time I saw a doctor, it seemed the worst was over; she advised me not to restart gabapentin. Now, here’s the part that might be relevant for you with post-herpetic neuralgia. My GP says a specialist can sever specific, unnecessary nerves to remove the pain. It will be months before I can get an appointment to have this done, but that’s my goal. I hope something like this can help you, too.

  • Henriikka July 19, 2014, 8:03 pm

    Hi all, I never thought that Gabapentin could cause such a dependence! I’ve been taking it – for I don’t know how long – for some autonomic nervous system imbalance&pain, and the other night I just thought I don’t take it anymore. Next morning I was having suicidal thoughts.
    There’s such a lot of things going on in my life as well so it’s quite difficult to differ the causes. But this is horrible. Today I took full dose (900mg) because of my fibromyalgia pain etc. and my feeling is quite normal.
    I never got some warnings from any doctor.
    Thanks for your comments, I’ll taper it away much more slowly now.

    • Teri July 24, 2014, 7:31 pm

      I began taking Gabapentin about June 10, 2014 for nerve pain after a back surgery. It worked like a charm, numbing my nerve pain and helping me sleep through the entire night! Starting out with one 400mg per day, up to two the next week, three the next. On the fourth week, two days in, I noticed scaling on my forehead. Not knowing that it was a side effect, I continued for another day or two until the scaling had reached over my eyelids, eyebrows and under my eyes. My doctor kicked me back to 300 mg….and that worked for awhile and then it started up again until I’m on 100 mg twice a day. As of two days ago….it started up again! Now I’ve completely stopped taking them hoping I can deal with any discomfort with an over the counter medication. Surgery was on May 12, and I can’t take opiates…..so here I am. Didn’t sleep real well last night but took soma and an extra sleeping pill. Hopefully I’ll be off any meds soon. One of the side effects I was experiencing was itching, but the scaling on my forehead and over/under my eyes was the pits!

      • Lana K Bednarowicz September 5, 2014, 7:09 pm

        try buying some over the counter melatonin. it is for sleep and not a drug, good luck. I take 1600 mg of gaba per day for periphial neuropathy in my feet bue I want to get off of gaba since not working anymore. have already cut the 2400 mg down to the 1600 mg. did that last year with no ill effects. was taking cymbalta but found out it is a antidepressant and can make you high,, took me a long time to get off that. I would cry everyday and be depressed but I finally got off of it about 6 months ago. I wish you luck.

      • Chloe November 10, 2014, 2:42 pm

        I have the same horrific side effect! My forehead and scalp line are always red and itchy. My skin peels too. I started using dandruff shampoo and lots of face cream on the area. It seems to help.

        • Janie February 6, 2016, 4:05 pm

          I’ve also had scaly skin and had no idea that was also a side effect. And dropping the dosage to 300 mg at night I cant focus to finish my thoughts. I can’t get out of the house. I am too irritable and was depressed before which is worse coming off this medication. It is so WRONG for doctors not to help weigh side effects and withdrawal versus benefits. I hate meds but hate pain. Prayers and wishing the best that slow tapering off will work for myself and others. Trading pain for new pain is NOT a solution.

      • Claude February 26, 2015, 5:38 am

        Teri, Thank you for your post. I thought I was the only one with the side effect from Gabapentin. Since July of 2014, I have been on Gabapentin 3x a day at 300mg, for numerous nerve issues in my leg, arm and neck. At the end of Jan 2015, I noticed scaling above both of my eyes. Didn’t think much of it until the next evening when I noticed my eyelids contained scales, skin was discolored, itching, rashes and burning above and to the side of both eyes, it just looked NASTY.

        In shock! Was it the new detergent, did I eat something different, maybe the acupuncture treatment etc. After about two weeks, I was able to narrow it to Gabapentin and detergent. It wasn’t the detergent. On 2-19-15, I stopped taking Gabapentin cold turkey. One week later and the discoloration, itching, scaling and burning have decreased. In addition, I have had some crazy, detailed, vivid dreams. But, unlike others who have posted here, I have not had the physical or mental withdrawals.

        I went and saw my doctor yesterday who confirmed that the symptoms appear to be a medication allergy. Doc said it will take up to 3 weeks for allergy conditions to go away entirely. As with you, I also can NOT take opiates because I have a condition called Opiate Induced Hyper analgesia. Opiates heighten my nerve pain. Go figure. What has helped with sleep and taking the edge of the nerve pain is amitriptyline an hour or two before bed along with benadryl at night and claritin in the morning and the doctors blessing.

        Question, since you have stopped Gabapentin, has your condition improved and have the side-effects been totally eliminated? Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks again. -Claude

        • mel May 25, 2015, 11:43 pm

          I’ve noticed eczema outbreaks. Using it creams. Overall body reactions are horrendous; no energy, depression, anxiety, lungs feeling as if I’m drowning, eyes sore and tired, headaches; even conversing takes too much of a toll.

      • Vicky March 29, 2015, 11:46 pm

        Oh then it is Gaba! As I said on them 6 months weaning off now, but on the top of that my skin on the face, scalp and hands is bad. Scaling, itchy and very red and dry. Oh and pains are back – lower the dose – more often pains. Good luck everyone.

  • cindys July 26, 2014, 12:02 am

    I was prescribed neurontin for neuropathic pain, and took for 3 months, at 1200mg, I have tapered down from 1200mg to 600mg, decreasing 100mg every 7-14 days. My question is what is an appropriate tapering schedule if only on the med for 3 months? What should the cut be and ho long should the hold be till the next cut?

  • kail July 31, 2014, 10:47 pm

    Hi guys.. Cheers for your posts, it was really interesting to read them all. I didn’t have a clue the gabapentine withdrawal might get as severe. I would love to ask you a few things.

    1. Has anyone tried to supplement pure GABA amino acid? Gabapentine is consider gabaminergic or at least gabamimetic. Lots of those withdrawal symptoms remind me about gaba neurotransmitter deficiency…what do you think?

    2.there’s a sort of a second generation of gabapentine called pregabalin. Have you heard from your docs about? As far ad I know It’s prescribed for the same kind if pain and such, it had the more or less same half life and it’s at least 3x more potent so you can take less. What’s Interesting about it is that there is supposedly no cross tolerance. So you can relive any sort of remaining pain or withdrawal symptoms by taking a bit now and then in case that gaba amino acid didn’t help….

    Looking forward to reading some reactions of yours soon. Till then I’m sending just good wishes to you to deal with you conditions as well and smooth it can ever get…

    • Karen September 23, 2014, 1:34 am

      Thank you so much everyone for all your comments, reactions and experiences. I was originally prescribed Lyrica or Pregablin, I believe they are the same; however, I had a nasty reaction and didn’t tolerate it well. I was very dizzy and bumping into everything. Eventually I was put on Gabapentin for severe shoulder pain (nerve related) as I have referred pain from three prolapsed discs in my neck.

      I have been going to physio for about 20 months and I am an outpatient in a hospital pain program (thank goodness). I have noticed lately that my thoughts are very scattered, I repeat myself constantly and am very forgetful. I have scheduled an appointment with my doctor and will tell my specialists as well. I am currently taking 2400mg (I know, the pain is bad, and waiting to find out about surgery). There is pain, but I don’t want to lose my mind or drive everyone nuts :-O.

      I must say I am actually rather afraid of the withdrawal symptoms but I don’t want to lose my ability to be me or have my personality changed from a drug. My sister is a vet and another sister a med tech, they said they would never prescribe this drug to their animal patients and one said they only use it for palliative care at their veterinary hospital. So the time has come to slowly start tapering off with my doctor and my specialists monitoring me.

      Thanks again for all your comments, wishing all of you all the best in your recovery and path to healing. Signed the “Injured used to be athlete” :-)

      • Katherine February 27, 2015, 1:04 am

        Try not to worry to much. I am coming off them and I only get tingling down my legs, don’t feel hungry, have dry mouth and a spaced out feeling. The magnesium really helps. I take, three 200mg magnesium citrate about 3 times a day or when I feel really nervous. Be careful, it may cause diarrhea.

    • Catherine March 4, 2015, 3:44 pm

      Yes, I am using GABA and recommend it.

      • Jeeves February 17, 2016, 7:43 pm

        Catherine, You recommend it? Why? Because you are in a small percentage of people that don’t have side effects? Have you tried to stop taking it ever. For you to recommend this drug to people is ludicrous, but then some Doctors do too. Strangely, it is no longer used in the military, go figure. Only a matter of time and The Piper has to be paid. Good luck with that. Maybe you are in the small percentage that won’t have withdrawals. I really hope so.

        • brett April 7, 2016, 5:03 am

          Sounds like ‘gaba’ in this context was NOT meant to refer to gaba(pentin) but rather the ‘supplement pure GABA amino acid’ referred to in the post this poster was replying to.

        • Chad October 21, 2016, 11:38 am

          Relax Jeeves, she’s referring to the GABA supplement. It’s good stuff.

  • Lori August 2, 2014, 3:34 am

    I was prescribed gabapentin 300 mg twice daily one in the morning and one and night I was taking it about 2 months for back pain. I decided it made to too tired to take in the morning so i cut down to just the night pill and noticed in the next day or so i was sweating and feeling kinda odd and very anxious and couldnt hardly sleep but had no idea it could have been from cutting down on the gabapentin, i took the one at night for about 3 nights and decided i was just going to stop taking it, having no idea it should been weaned down. a day or two later i was sweating so bad all over and feeling so weird i couldnt hardly think straight. i have been very anxious and irritable and didnt know why. today is friday and back on monday it hit me ohh i wonder if it could be from stopping those pills so i looked it up and sure enough it was exactly that and i paniced and took one. I wish i hadnt cause it really didnt help with any thing and i havent taken one since and have still been feeling anxious , irritable, itching, lose of appitite feeling exhausted but cant hardly sleep, cant think straight and ive never sweated so much in my entire life !! its been enough days now i dont want to take any more and i am going to just wait this out and hope these symptoms hurry up and stop and i can get back to normal !! I’ll never take these pills again !!

  • kal Taylor August 5, 2014, 4:41 pm

    I’ve been taking this evil shit for around 18months now. I started on pregabalin but got on everyone’s nerves as it made me hyper and uninhibited. I am now on 1200mgs a day and even if I miss one dose I feel like death.
    I become incredibly irritable, like a clenched fist inside my chest, I can’t talk, my head feels like somebody is trying to punch their way out, I sweat grease and my bones and joints feel rusty as fuck. Also, alone, I’m scarily suicidal and it’s impossible to sleep. Literally impossible. I ran out in Italy a few months ago and was awake watching rolling news on a Korean news channel for four days straight. I am about to run out now. I’m terrified.

    • Lara September 18, 2016, 9:54 pm

      Yes. Missing a dose occasionally if I forget to fill my med organizer in my purse results in sweating, extreme anxiety and paresthesia. This, more than anything, has convinced me to start getting off gabapentin. I don’t like being that dependant on a drug.

  • Scott August 5, 2014, 5:42 pm

    So glad to read that other people have experienced the same things as thought I was going insane. 300mg three times a day for 5 months for nerve pain after Guillain-Barre syndrome. Helped with the pain, but even though I tapered slowly over a few weeks, the side effects of coming off have been dreadful. Overwhelming anxiety and panic, suicidal thoughts, rapid mood swings. Magnesium helped a little bit. 2 weeks later and it is still happening but gradually easing off a little. The worst thing is the crippling anxiety that seems to come out of nowhere and leaves me worrying about all sorts of stupid things and catastrophizing. I really want to press through and not go back on those horrible pills.

    • Lori August 26, 2014, 4:56 pm

      the anxiety was really bad for me too and at first i didnt realize it was the getting off the pills that was causing it but that has gotten better now so it just takes time but its is awful so i know how you feel … hang in there !!

    • Lisa March 30, 2015, 1:42 pm

      It’s been a week of no gabapentin for me. Weaned off 2700mg probably too fast and now I am having terrible anxiety and depression. Will I ever get back to normal? Seems like everyone is having the same symptoms. I feel like suing my doctor for not explaining the withdrawal process to me. Burning pain is back with a vengeance and it wasn’t really helping me anyway. Now I’m in a worse place then when I started. Does anyone have any hopeful words for me?

    • Jeeves February 18, 2016, 1:22 am

      I heard that magnesium interacted with gabapentin somehow. Coming off it now. I never was on a very high dose. about 450mg. Went down to 300 and stayed for a few weeks to a month. 2 days ago I went to 150mg and I’m feeling it. Tried some Sun-Theanine today, purchased from a major online herb and vitamin store, it helped bring my anxiety down. I think I’m about done tapering any more. Will come back and let you know how it went.

  • chris August 8, 2014, 2:22 pm

    I was prescribed Gabapentin for nerve pain from a herniated disc. I never took it cause of all the bad stories I heard. I was prescribed Oxycodone after surgery and quit taking it. I read that Gabapentin helped with opiate withdrawl so I took it to sleep. I slept very god and it helped so basically after that I would use it to help me sleep. Its been about 3 months of taking it and if I don’t take it at night it feels like I’m going through extreme benzo withdrawl. This drug is addictive be very careful.

    • Lori August 26, 2014, 4:58 pm

      it is very addictive it seems and happens very fast its horrible

    • skullz September 4, 2014, 1:09 pm

      I started taking it for opiate withdrawal as well. Worked like a charm. However, I think the gaba withdrawal may well be worse than the opiate withdrawal. I may have to get back on pain pills to get off this crap! It’s horrible. Funny thing is I asked a doctor to prescribe it to me like 5 years ago for carpal tunnel syndrome of all things and he just wrote the scrip. Guess this is my punishment for snorting pills back in the day. Clean and holding my own but can’t get this monkey off my back. It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have to get up an go to work, ya know?

  • Julie August 9, 2014, 11:13 pm

    These boards have been a lifesaver for me. I was on 900 mg. of gabapentin and started a very slow taper. I thought I would lose my mind with the extreme anxiety and the insomnia as well as muscle pain and burning that was pretty severe. I read lots of these boards and found people were having success with magnesium either with an epsom salt soak or supplements. When I tried to taper again I bought some epsom lotion and slathered that on everywhere my muscles hurt every night. What a godsend!!! I’m now down to 200 mg. Tapering 100 mg. a week and it has been very doable. I still get mild anxiety for a couple of days and sore muscleswith some burning but nothing that I can’t deal with. Nurse heard my experience and feels I am probably magnesium deficient (gabapentin can deplete magnesium as well as a host of other vitamins and minerals) so prescribed magnesium supplements and that with the lotion is making what I thought was going to be next to impossible very doable. I just wanted to share this because some posts on these boards don’t give you much hope that you can get off this stuffwithout a lot of pain and suffering.

    • Lori August 26, 2014, 5:03 pm

      I started taking magnesium also about half way through after reading it helps with the withdrawls and made sure I took a multi vitamin also it takes a while to get off it and all the symptoms to go away but it eventually gets better

    • Jill November 23, 2015, 9:30 pm

      Hi Julie, I realize that I’m responding to a post you put on here a year ago. And I’m hoping that you still would receive some kind of notification on my reply. I have been on gabapentin just under a year now. Was given this drug to help get off benzos. I too have tried tapering off of gabapentin 1600mg. Once I tried going 100 mg a week which was disastrous!

      Didn’t try the magnesium though. Now I’m trying a slow taper, 25 mg per week down to 1300mg and I am still suffering, similar to your experience with your slow taper. My question is were you successful in getting off gabapentin tapering 100 milligrams per week using your protocol with the magnesium cream? Did you have to continue with the magnesium long after stopping gabapentin?

      Also I’ve read A great deal of information that magnesium should not be taken in conjunction with gabapentin. Did you take it hours after your dose or in between your doses? I too want to get off this dreaded drug without too much pain and suffering.

    • Bobbi May 2, 2016, 6:31 pm

      Julie! Thanks so much for the tips! I’ve also found that L-Theanine is good for the anxiety, passion flower for sleep, and B-12 for energy. Hugs to all!

  • el marks August 15, 2014, 9:25 pm

    Thank each and every one of you, you just saved me from a bad situation. Three days ago I was prescribed this med for all the hell symptoms of a wrecked back, pre-op, and this is what I was given. He had given it before and I took a few got a headache and moved on to stronger more soul sucking medication. So being in recovery, this is what he hands me… never giving me a heads up, warning, info, that this stuff is no joke and as addictive as the mess I’m already battling. He’s an addiction specialist by the way… I’m pissed and had no idea. I only now know through these posts. I thank you again.

  • Bev August 17, 2014, 11:40 pm

    What would we do without each other? I read everyone’s comments again and again, it helps so much, to actually know that I am not alone in this crazy withdrawal! I have facial neuralgia, and have been on gabapentin and tegratol, now for a few years, oh probably around 4 now. I had some major oral surgery that has relieved most of my facial pain, so I wanted off this crazy stuff asap, because I could not function any longer, my mind did NOT work, and all I was, was a zombie!

    I tapered slowly, and got off the tegratol first, then I started off the gabapentin, and celexa, I have been off everything now for a little over a month, but everyday I think I am not going to make it in this world, but would NOT go back on that stuff if my life depended on it, that is some HORRIBLE drugs. My muscles hurt SO bad I can’t stand it, even my stomach muscles, my legs don’t even want to support me, I am only 4′ 9”, and not overweight, but have been a very active horse person for my entire life, I can’t ride I hurt so bad, my crying spells are out of control, I have to take a pain pills to sleep @ night, and make it through the day sometimes. I DON’T want to become addicted to those!!

    Anxiety is through the roof, I am happy knowing I am off this medication, but wondering if I’m gonna make it. My heart is with each and every one of you, in my shoes, I believe when we get this out of our system we should make sure we post how great it is for everyone following behind us. Thank you so much for this site! I Knew this was gonna be tough, but , oh boy, Lord please help us all ! I have to start work in a week, ( I work in a school) and summer is over, but HOW am I gonna be able to get up and go to work?????????

    • Karen September 23, 2014, 3:33 am

      Dear Bev,

      I have just started weaning myself of Gabapentin under doctor/specialists supervision. I am right behind you and my heart is with you. I am very happy to have found this website, as I can see I am going to have quite the journey going down this road. We will all be just fine, one day at a time and remember there is NOTHING to fear but fear itself. <3

  • Maddie August 18, 2014, 3:52 am

    Hi, I’m really hoping someone might be able to help me. My dad who is now 78 was prescribed gabapentin a year ago for nerve pain in his toe. He still had pain while on the medicine but everything else with him was good. That is until his dose increased overnight to 2400mg. At this point he became extremely fatigued and scarily confused. He no longer felt his home was his and would say and do very strange things. After a couple weeks at this dose my mom insisted he be taken off due to all the negative side effects he was experiencing. He began a slow withdrawal under Dr. supervision. The majority of confusion did diminish but is still present. He has lost his appetite and doesn’t want to eat anything. My dad has gone from an engaging and lively man to shell of himself.
    Is this typical with coming off this medicine? How long might these symptoms last? Any help or information would be greatly appreciated!

    • Lori August 26, 2014, 5:09 pm

      so sorry your dad is having to go through this …. it can take a couple of months to be totally symptom free after stopping taking the last pill

  • Simon Carr August 18, 2014, 4:35 pm

    I have been taking Gabapentin for 5 years since I lost my right leg in an accident. I was “advised” to stop it recently because I was now on a low dose – 300 mg per day (started on 1800 mg). The side effects have been unpleasant, I have suffered 75% of those listed. None of this was explained, it has a miracle my wife has put up with me, I have been a nightmare to live with. I have decided to speak to my GP, I will let you all know what she says.

    • GLOOM August 18, 2014, 5:04 pm

      It’s unfortunate that many GP’s don’t warn about discontinuation symptoms and in some cases don’t believe that withdrawals even occur. Some are grossly uninformed when it comes to drug withdrawal. Hope you get better soon Simon. Best of luck.

  • Travis Uncles August 19, 2014, 3:28 am

    I was prescribed gabapentin for a herniated disc in my lower back and a bulging disc in my neck. It didn’t help much. I started at 300mg and increased 300mg per week until I reached 900mg per day. It still didn’t help. I saw a pain management doc which stepped me up to 1800mg per day. It started helping with the pain at this dose. I had extreme bouts of drowsiness and dizziness with a googly tunnel vision effect. I’m lethargic mentally and physically. I’m experiencing almost all of the side effects listed for this medication. I had surgery for my lower back. I tried once to step down on this medication but continued my 1800mg per day dose because my pain from my neck immediately returned and the side effects got much worse. I started stepping down again but I am determined to continue this time. I am dropping 300mg per week until I am off this for good. It is not fun. I go to see another pain management doc this week who I hope can help me with something that does not have the side effects of this drug. They are horrible. I believe it is all controlled by the big pharma companies who get the doctors to push these horrible drugs that just hook people in instead of actually helping them. I have been off work for my surgery for the most of my high dosage of this drug. There is no way I could do my job like this. I am a CNC Machinist and it would be very dangerous to do this on this drug. None of this was explained by a doctor. I found this out from my own research online. I am determined and will give up this evil pill this time. I WOULD NOT recommend this for anyone for any reason!!!

  • Cheryl Edmiston August 19, 2014, 5:29 am

    Wow! I thought I was going crazy with my withdrawal. Have been on 2400mg daily for almost four years. I had a stroke that left me with severe neuropathic pain and trigeminal neuralgia. Because I’m in the Medicare donut hole, I can’t afford my prescription so decided it would be time to wean off. I’m scared though because I have Major Depressive Disorder and already feel like I’m sinking and I’m only down to 800mg. Not sure whether to stay on before depression gets too bad. I feel so exhausted, nauseous and shaky. Lots of weird hot and cold sweats make it feel like I have a bad case of flu!

    • Kim C April 9, 2015, 2:47 pm

      Oh my I feel the same shakiness, hot and cold sweats too! Along with weakness, insomnia and anxiety. All this from 2 1/2 yrs of 3600mg a day for pain and it takes the edge off but I still have to take opiates to really put my pain level to 0%. I feel as though I have restless leg syndrome in my arms and hands at times. Too bad a real solution to my pain issue hasn’t been found yet, but I’m hopeful that a special neurosurgeon I’m going to can do something to decompress or cut my nerves and finally resolve my groin pain.

    • Mary Ellen Willen August 20, 2015, 2:12 am

      Hi Cheryl, I started gabapentin in 2006 for visual migraine auras and migraine pain. This January I got sick for several days and wasn’t eating so I wasn’t metabolizing my gabapentin and had major symptoms of withdrawal. I was taking 800 milligrams 3 times a day. My doctor switched me to 600 milligrams 3 times a day which seem to work but as I was getting reactions in my mouth and also felt zombie ish.

      I am tapering down I am now taking 300 milligrams 2 times a day at each reduction I had several of the symptoms listed night sweats fevers etc and the strangest thing was I was waking up with my body saying you forgot your medication literally! In my dreams! Anyway the symptoms only lasted a few days each time. I did allow a few weeks to go by with each reduction but I do take a lot of B vitamins and vitamin C and I think that has helped. Good luck.

      • Jenny September 9, 2015, 8:23 pm

        Hi. I’m so relieved I’m not the only person on Gabapentin for migraine. I have been taking 3 x 700 for the past three years but now down to 500x400x400 I feel awful with most of the withdrawal symptoms with the exception of suicidal thoughts thankfully! There are times I feel like increasing the dose but have held off. Is there light at the end of the tunnel? And I wonder will the migraines come back with vengeance?

  • Simon Carr August 19, 2014, 4:31 pm

    I have spoken with my GP who has advised me to take 300mg once a week and see how I get on. TBH I was glad as the withdrawal symptoms have been getting worse not better.

    None of these effects were ever explained properly by the doctors who prescribed this drug, I feel annoyed, as I may have tried to manage the pain in other ways.

    I will let you know how I get on.

  • jennifer August 20, 2014, 6:30 am

    I stopped cold turkey a week ago and Im in hell. I was taking 4200mg per day. It’s so expensive, I can’t afford to get another script to taper. I took some today, less than half of my old dose, and felt great. Now I’m worried that because of this one time, all my progress over the week will be gone and I will have to start withdrawal again from square one, because of the “muscle memory” of my brain. Is this possible?

    • brett April 7, 2016, 5:39 am

      Very much doubt you erased ALL your progress… but if you happen to see this somehow all these years later, it’d be great if you could describe the outcome of your ‘experiment’. As someone who’s kicked opioids (many times) my guess is that… yes, it was a setback (though difficult to quantify unless you have, like me, done this many times)… but far from ‘entirely’.

      BTW, of course your brain is not a muscle so what you’re using is an analogy but the phenomenon you’re describing… during detox… that is definitely ‘real’. Fact is, yes, every time you ‘mess up’ during the ‘abstinence’ phase of any detox, you are going to end up ‘worse off’ than you’d been feeling before, once the drug effect from your ‘relapse’… wears off. Now… ‘how much worse’… that depends on ‘how much’ you take and how many times.

      The most important one trying to get ‘clean’ can do… from gabapentin or anything else… is to NOT let a SETBACK… turn into a full-scale tailspin. Relapses… happen. But if one does… once… out of misery you can’t tolerate in the moment… it don’t mean you HAVE TO continue the process. And I use ‘relapse’ and ‘get clean’ in the most real sense… because lets face it, with this stuff, based on what’s on this board…

      This is WITHDRAWALS, from a serious friggin’ DRUG, you know what I’m saying? It doesn’t matter if it wasn’t your ‘intent’ to ‘get high’, nor that it’s not a ‘street drug’… because THAT is a HIGHLY arbitrary distinction… one which is in turn based more on influences like politicians, Big Pharma, Big Alcohol/Tobacco, and the law-enforcement/prison complex.

      Oh, and ‘History’, including ‘racial history’ if you know what I mean… vs anything approaching ‘medical facts’. Good luck to all of you out there ‘kicking’ (my wife is starting her taper tonight, that’s why I’m here)… make sure to taper, and when get low enough to actually stop… do EVERYTHING you can to KEEP stopping… until you get better.

      I promise, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. It may take a bit, but it WILL HAPPEN. You WILL be back to who you were. Maybe even BETTER through the learning experience. You just have to NOT take this drug, ever again. There was a time you’d never heard of it, right?

  • Vicky August 20, 2014, 1:13 pm

    What a fantastic website. I am currently on 32 tablets a day including Gabapentin and I am gradually trying to come off the Gabapentin. My GP had explained how awful the symptoms of withdrawal can be but until I read all the emails I still thought some symptoms were unique to me and that I was quite alone. I now realize just how many people have the same. I hope we all get well soon.

  • Ian August 22, 2014, 5:55 pm

    I am so pleased to have found this site. I had no idea that coming of these pills would be such a struggle. I was put on 300mg three times a day for neck and shoulder pain. They took the edge of but that was about it. I have been having osteopathy for weeks now with good results so decided to cut down slowly, knowing these shouldn’t be stopped abruptly. I had got down to one 300mg tablet a day but would feel awful by dinner time, no energy, low mood, flu like symptoms.

    My GP said I had done it far too quickly so she has given me 100mg tablets to take x2 twice a day. She said by going up to 400mg should settle things and then gradually knock one off over the weeks. I have been managing but if I dont take those last 2 of the day I get nauseous and dizzy with an awful headache. Yesterday the headache was so bad I couldn’t move my eyes or hardly speak.

    I really had no idea I would have to go through this. I urge anyone going through the same to stay positive, keep busy and dont become obsessed with the withdrawal or it will take over your life. I take nurofen for the headaches. I am determined to do this. I take Clomipramine at night for anxiety, I guess this helps a bit too or I could be a nervous wreck by now. I wish you all well.

  • Lynnie August 23, 2014, 4:01 am

    I have been taking 600mg x 3 for over 10 yrs. I notice that if I forget that nighttime pill I lie in bed with my eyes open, feeling like I just had a couple cups of caffeinated coffee (I don’t do caffeine)….could not stay asleep. It was terrible.

    One of my g/f detoxed herself of a bunch of her meds, one at a time, and it almost killed her. She couldn’t eat or sleep, was sweating, couldn’t hold any food or liquid in – came out both ways. Now I’m wondering if I should even bother trying to go off it. It reallly DOES help me with my nerve pain (I’v had about 14 surgeries in my life, starting @age 9 …I am now 60).

    All of the withdrawal symptoms listed above are the way I always felt beFORE starting Gabapentin…. so, this is why I say it helps me. Just not sure what to do. Thank you all, I’ll keep reading your posts.
    Lynnie

    • Robby McLain May 16, 2015, 7:07 am

      I was on 600 mg twice a day. It just about put me in the hospital with a panic attack, and felt like I had bugs crawling on me. I am tapering to 2 x 300 mg pills for a week, then I will try 2 x 100 mg. I think the key is ask for help, reach out to others with this terrible drug. It’s not worth the symptoms. God Bless all of you. I hope everyone is able to conquer the Gabapentin horror.

  • Patrick August 28, 2014, 12:15 am

    ‘Glad to see this thread, and I feel a lot of solidarity with everyone who’s suffering while on and off this drug. In three weeks, I have managed to taper only from 900mg to 600mg, and I still feel like hot garbage!

  • erin blake August 30, 2014, 1:04 pm

    Hello, my name is Erin.

    I have been thriving for two years on a combination of gabapentin and viibryd. Also remaining 100% Sober… But here’s my issue. I have criminal charges therefor i attend a forensics lab in order to maintain mental health treatment. In June i was 5 minutes late and was called a No-show and immediately removed from my Neurontin…Sounds unreal right! No its true because they need me to drop a urine in order to get a refill.

    I am very mentally ill. as well as a recovering addict. My mother Just had passed from a drug overdose. I experienced Seizures and migraines along with restlessness and extreme panic. An ER Doctor couldn’t believe this and prescribed it. Next week now in Sept. forensics is giving it back, but for two weeks I’m off it again recently. I also relapsed after the first withdrawal. :( This has been HELL.

    • Anonymous November 16, 2014, 10:06 pm

      I am also a recovering addict. I’ve been prescribed to gabapentin for 2 years now. Was on 300mg 4x/day and I got clean in February ’14. In July, I went to the doctor and told them I wanted off this stuff because I was abusing it…taking at least 1800 mg/day. Well all they did was lower my dosage by one pill…so instead of 4/day, it’s 3/day. So I started running out of pills super early which kept landing me back on the street to buy more. I keep releasing as my will is nonexistent and I cannot put myself in those places.

      Well, I’ve tried coming off these pills on my own several times this past year. And in September, pretty much lost my mind, became suicidal and isolated, and shaved my head. The withdrawal makes me crazy. I almost accidentally hit a guy and his kid with my car one day because of inattention and a racing mind. When I’m almost asleep at night, I’m jerked out of sleep with a striking pain in my legs and not to mention, itchy restless legs make sleep impossible for me. I isolate badly because everything I’ve masked with these pills comes to the surface in my mind and I feel as though its written across my face.

      I was not put on these pills for pain of any kind. I was put on them to treat a manic episode I went through two years ago where I stopped sleeping and eating and lost 13 pounds in two weeks time. I’m going to see a different doctor tomorrow, get refill, because I’m out of medicine again… and also to ask for trazodone for sleep and possibly prozac and abilify. I’ve been on those before with little to no side effects. So starting tomorrow, I will begin a new journey, and try to taper off of these pills.

      • Katie M. December 1, 2014, 6:43 pm

        How are you doing now? How can you afford to pay for your medication? Your situation is scary and it’s even scarier that your new doctor will prescribe these meds to you.

    • Linda regalado October 30, 2015, 11:21 pm

      I have been on 300mg of this drug for about 2 weeks, 2 weeks ago my Dr upped it too 600, for 1 week, than to go to 900 mg. Its been 2 weeks on 600mg and I’m a basket case. Dazed and confused at first than bouncing off the walls. Hallucinating, loss of memory, hostile, crying all the time. I’m surprised my husband is still here.

      Last night after turning into linda blair on him, I took our rifle and headed to the car, luckily I just fell asleep and went back inside. The anger, hostility and cruelty that I am subjecting my husband to is beyond words. Trying to quit this cold turkey, feel like I’m having a nervous breakdown

      • MLW September 11, 2016, 1:45 am

        You have come closest to relating what I am feeling. I was on the same dose schedule as you. I started to feel the side effects immediately. I was dizzy and needed to nap several times a day but had severe insomnia at night but could barely get out of bed in the morning after sleeping a max of 3 – 4 hours.

        The day that I started 900 mg, everything broke loose. I had an anxiety attack so bad that my doctor came close to calling the police/EMS. I literally wanted to hurt people, specifically with a bat. I wanted to viscerally feel and hear it. Some, small, lucid part of my brain kept me from doing it, but it didn’t stop me wanting it.

        My doctor took me off, cold turkey. He said that the half life was about 18 hours and that it should all be out of my system within a few days. He gave me some Valium for the immediate anxiety. It has been a few days and I still feel like crap. I am still dizzy and need to nap several times a day but have insomnia at night. And, strange as it sounds, I can’t stop eating tootsie rolls (at this point some of you are gonna think I am a troll, but hand to God, this is my experience).

        The desire to do bodily harm to people has lessened. More of a low grade road rage now, but I do have an overwhelming desire to end my current relationship. Our 20th anniversary is in 9 days and I could care less if we are still together by then. There is that lucid part of my brain that knows that it is because I simply do not have the capacity to make any concessions for anything or anyone.

        All those things that we put up with on a day to day basis because our better selves know that no one is perfect and we have to pick and choose our battles, the same as others do for us, is currently beyond my ability. I don’t want to be around other people. Thankfully, my children live hundreds of miles away and I live and work alone. The only time I feel “ok” is when I am closed off in my warehouse; by myself, with no windows to the outside world and no sounds inside except for the air conditioner.

        But, I can’t close myself off from the world forever. I tried to be around my bf for a few hours today and I ran out of his house in tears. And I can’t find the ability to coherently explain to him why. If this goes on for weeks or even months, I don’t know what I am going to do. And to top it all off, my dr originally put me on gabapentin for hot flashes from menopause. Talk about adding insult to injury.

  • deborah August 31, 2014, 5:15 am

    So grateful for all of your posts. Have been on neurontin for only very short time. 300 mg. 2x day for 2 months. For neck and lower back pain from herniations, arthritis, fibromyalgia, other inflammatory conditions. When I went from 300 mg per day up to 600mg. Per day I had crazy bad side effects…asthma/bronchitis like chest congestion, sweating, spaced out, irritable, fatigue.

    When I reduce down to 300 mg. Day most these symptoms go away but pain comes back. I don’t know which is worse dealing with the pain or not being able to breath. 300 mg a day takes the edge off pain and reduces it by about 50%. My question is if 600 mg cause asthma bronchitis and chest congestion am I harming my lungs at 300 mg a day even if lung problems are tolerable? Not sure if this is damaging my lungs if I can tolerate lower dose.

  • Corey September 3, 2014, 3:11 pm

    I can’t seem to find a forum for what is happening to me but I figured I would give it a shot.. I am 30 years old and have been on 2400mg of Nuerontin for 13 yrs and suddenly I am experiencing extreme cold sweats and I am hypersensitive to any weather changes… On top of this I dread taking a hot shower because it takes me hours afterward to control my extreme sweating and feeling uncomfortable..

    On top of these strange sensations I feel spacey but not too dizzy, and just plain out of it.. This has resulting in strange bouts of crying due to this suffering.. Are these problems from taking Neurontin all these years? Is it something else? I’m going crazy trying to find out if I should begin the process of getting of Neurontin but must be sure as it helps my neuropathy to perfection from Chemotherapy.. Sorry if I posted in the wrong section I’m just lost.

    • jennifer September 12, 2014, 7:07 am

      Chemo side effects can be brutal, but it sounds like reaction to gabapentin. Try a slow taper and see if its better…I wish you luck!

  • Jenn September 4, 2014, 6:34 am

    I was prescribed gabapentin for herniated disc in June and was taking 1800 mg a day for the extreme pain along with other painkillers. It may have helped with the pain but has made my leg and foot numb. I am not in pain now and am healing and have come off other drugs except this and paracetamol which helps a bit with the withdrawal. Am coming down slowly but symptoms are horrible especially the dizziness which is scary and the fatigue.

    Am down to 400mg – not sure from reading these posts if I should take magnesium supplement while coming down – one said not until completely off it – anyone taking it? And how much? Like everyone not warned at all about all this and doc wanted me to come down much quicker. Also any natural things that might help?

  • jennifer September 12, 2014, 7:03 am

    My doctor said that gabapentin is as addictive as ibuprofen. What a joke. She should have said it’s as addictive as heroin. Im seriously scared, just went through a week of beyond hell, cold turkey from 6000mg per day ridiculous tolerance. thought I needed a psych ward, that I was having a nervous breakdown. I caved, got my script again, and was back up to my disgustingly high dose in no time. I am so scared, I know I will run out from stupidity and be right back there in no time. My husband is tired of this cycle, and I’m a mom to a 2 year old. I feel even worse that the withdrawal was almost gone by the time I got back on it. So, so dumb. I wish everyone here luck and freedom from this hell.

  • maria disatasio September 13, 2014, 6:08 pm

    I was given neuroton 300mg twice a day for leg cramps and stiffness in fingers. I took one pill on monday at dinner. It is Saturday and I’m walking around like a zombie. Also had three days of double vision. Stopped!

  • Shelley September 16, 2014, 4:14 pm

    I am so happy that I found this forum. I was taking gabapentin 3x a day, at first 400mg, and then 300mg 3x a day. Finally, I was taking 200mg 3x a day and then cold turkey off of that dose about a week ago. I was prescribed gabapentin for mental health issues anxiety and moods. I feel so down and flat. My anxiety is worse than ever and my sleep is outta whack. Has anyone ever cold fueled off of this medicine?

  • Jackie Gering September 16, 2014, 9:35 pm

    I’ve been on gabapentin for years. Started out at 300mg 3x a day now I’m at 600mg 3x a day and 900mg at bed time. I have diabetic neuropathy worse pain ever. Gabapentin totally works for this pain my problem is I keep taking more then I’m prescribed because I keep feeling pain and I want it to stop. Because of this I run out early and I live in hell for a week or two. At first I thought I was crazy, I’d cry, itch, my pain intensified and became a down right bitch withdrawing. Everyone around me thinks its all in my head I also get horrible anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

    I just want this horrible pain to go away. I have tried liquid methadone recreationally and really don’t want to look to these kind of drug for relief I’m not a person that that likes that kind of drug. I really can’t say I don’t like gabapentin I just don’t like when I run out. Its hell! Going to the doc tomorrow to see what she thinks I want relief from pain without going to opiates not a big fan. I wish everyone the best of luck in there quest of getting off gabapentin. It’s a rocky road.

    • John Bratcher September 28, 2016, 12:14 am

      I too have diabetic nerve pain in my feet and legs. My Neurologist put me on this drug shortly after I had a mini stroke. I was put in the ER because of dizzy smells and feelings that I was going to fall. The drug did help with the pain but the side effects are horrible. Double vision, depression. They just took me off cold turkey. Severe headaches so far. Shooting pains in feet have returned 24 hours after stopping the Gabapentin.

  • Angela September 17, 2014, 3:10 am

    I saw doc for tummy pain and prescribed this in Nov 2013, didn’t help with tummy but improved back pain from fusion that I hadnt really noticed was there until it was gone. Doc wanted me to up dosage from 300 3 x daily to 600 but I didn’t as I was getting brain fog… Recently started getting dizzy spells and my gp said to come off, was surprised after halving dose brain on ‘full speed’ but body felt like hit by a bus, longest sleep in forever first night, but last night not good, dizziness improving, back pain returning but glad to be getting off this stuff have had vision issues all morning, can’t wait till it’s out of my system, reading comments looks like 2 months after final dose before I will be free. Never taking it again.

  • Marilyn September 18, 2014, 4:12 pm

    I have taken gabapentin for severe neuropathic all over body itching, which has no rash, for 18 months. It took the itch away but caused severe fluid retention, swollen feet and hands, 20lb weight gain, muscle weakness and pain, and difficulty walking and sleeplessness. I Started at 900 mg going up to 2000 mg, daily and tapered down again to 900 mg over 6 months, with added tapering over last 2 months from 800 daily to 600, taken as 200 mg 3 times daily. Tapering has caused even more severe weakness, aches, and pain in all my muscles and joints.

    I feel like I have the Flu. Neither Aspirin, Motrin, Celebrex or Aleve stop the pain. I thought I had severe Arthritis or a muscle disease, but none showed up in any testing that was done. It is all from the Gabapentin, which I must continue to take, at the lowest dose that will keep the itching away. Can anyone tell me how many 250 mg. Magnesium tablets to take daily to try and ease my muscle and joint pain? Many thanks.

    Marilyn

  • Deb September 18, 2014, 11:44 pm

    After an ankle surgery I was on 1800 mg /day for nerve pain for several months. I also felt like a ‘zombie’ mostly sleep & dizzy, but I’m sure I was like an angel! Ha! I tapered over several weeks and did not seem to have any lasting ill effects.

    Now, my dog pre & post spine surgery has been on Gab for about a year. It has been a wonder drug for his back pain. I’m ready to start his taper schedule & the vets say just take him off or taper for a week. I can’t imagine doing that. Just because dogs can’t talk does not mean they don’t have all the same or similar symptoms. Believe me . . . they have effective teeth and can use them if they are anxious, depressed or have suicidal thoughts!! So I’m going to try to do a 10% taper from a 300mg 2/x/day year-long dose. He will not be able to use the liquid as it contains xylitol; that is toxic to dogs. Did anyone successfully split the capsules into smaller portions? I have the 300mg and 100mg capsules to work with.

    Thanks! Deb

    • Julie November 8, 2014, 11:01 am

      I read in another forum that gabapentin is water soluble so capsules can be opened and mixed with water. I tried that and it worked for me to taper down the last 100 mg.

  • stan September 20, 2014, 2:54 am

    Hello everybody and i feel with you. I also have neuropathy, chronic back issues several things in back wrong, right torn rotator cuff, restless legs, carpet tunnel, etc. I do not recommend this to anyone. I have been in pain management for 14 years. They don’t educate you and unfortunately i didn’t educate myself. With that being said. I am a 49 year old male and my health took a nose dive when i started the narcotics. So I am used to taking 2400 mg neurontin, 90 mg methadone, 120 mg oxycodones. I did a slow taper on them all. Once i got out of the oxys, it was that bad.

    Finally got down to 10 mg methadone 6oo mg neurontin. Still livable just didn’t get around but i could. Now for 3 days nothing. I don’t know it y’all cant get it to that level and live on it or maintain but if you can do it. My was financial. These same doctors who started you on it years ago won’t see you if you don’t have insurance and cant work all direct results of the pain, but at least I could get around. Now its a chore to move, pain is unbearable at times. Slept 2 hours in 3 days. Restless legs is back in full force when on it it disappears.

    Baths help some, Try mega 3 fatty and i can remember my shrink and old doc told me to take that has a supplement before. If your not an active person and don’t sweat try capsacin don’t get wet. If your a sweater or around any heat or hot natured do not take this for it is an unpleasant burning. I am trying St. Johns Wort. Its is said to help with nerve pain over time. Try multi mineral multi vitamin aka centrum or similar. If your like i am and not an eater you will need nutrients and protein. Try the protein shake.

    Also have carpet tunnel gloves, i can put them on my feet and sometimes get it where it will bring the burning all the way down. I am using cold packs under thighs anything i already have to my disposal. Now am i still in withdrawals heck yes but my thinking isn’t as fuzzy and i was diagnosed with incognito recognition a few months ago so you tell me. This will be a long battle. I will have to do it with exercises. I have alot of dead nerves in feet and legs, but i want to encourage some of y’all out there even in all my pain I can remember being medicine free and being able to live just have to remember how to do with all the meds they add along the way.

    But I know there are people like me who just don’t have any other option. Just don’t give up keep going. Negative emotions contribute to pain. Try to revert your thinking to something positive when they hit. I am no doctor but i have been in pain for over 20 years and I am a qualified patient. I also have a very spiritual relationship now. Just saying. I will keep everyone updated and if anyone has anything else that works. I also heard chromium but that and magnesium both are in your multivitamins be careful not to get to much of one because that can also irritate the problem.

  • Vince September 20, 2014, 5:53 pm

    I am seeing a lot of Neurontin-hating posts, and want to throw my hat in. I am very sorry that a lot of you are having bad experiences with gabapentin. I, for one, have fought for a decade (after seeing my sister fight for two decades) with a myriad of symptoms ranging from general fatigue to general aches to stroke-like symptoms, with endless numbers of doctors, specialists of every discipline stumped.

    Finally a doctor gave up and said they’ve ruled out absolutely everything, even the most rare diagnoses, and slapped a label of fibromyalgia on me. My sister’s doctors had tried that diagnosis with her, but she fought it with the stigma (and because it didn’t even touch upon her stroke-like symptoms of losing sensation and muscle control in half of her body, confusion, exhaustion). I didn’t have such strong stroke-like symptoms so didn’t fight it, and my doctor prescribed the Neurontin. I FINALLY feel like a real human being. My energy level is up, my pain is down.

    I lost 70 pounds because I could finally find the energy to get up and do all of the things I wanted to do and my appetite (which normally went up with boredom) came down to normal levels. This drug has SAVED my life from what I’m sure would have been a long, miserable ending, and I hope my doctor never takes me off of it. Again, I am sorry so many of you haven’t had such success, but I wanted to show that it’s not some monster drug, it really does help some of us!!

  • Terri September 20, 2014, 10:03 pm

    I wanted to thank whoever wrote this article! I was experiencing terrible weight gain for the gabapentin and decided to get off of it. I was taking a total of 2400mg for nerve pain from back issues for over a year. I already knew the withdrawal symptoms from previously running out of my medications, so when I decided to taper, I dreaded the symptoms returning.

    I read in your article that magnesium could help reduce the withdrawal side effects, so I decided to give it a try. At first, I couldn’t tell if I was having little to no side effects because I was tapering or because of the magnesium. But today, I forgot to take the magnesium. The withdrawal symptoms are definitely there, so that must mean the magnesium is definitely working (today being the exception because I didn’t take it).

    Thank you so so so very much for letting me know the wonders of magnesium. It has been a lifesaver!

  • jules September 21, 2014, 1:42 am

    Naturopathic psychiatrist prescribed gabapentin for insomnia. I can fall asleep, but not stay asleep, life-long thing. the gabapentin was a miracle! I sleep through the night, almost always. And, my mild depression has worse ed to expecting I will end my own life sooner or later, hopelessness and weight gain of about 20 pounds, though I didn’t change eating or exercise patterns. I looked up side effects and all these could be side effects of gabapentin, though the doc said oh no, no side effects, no chance of addiction.

    Lies and damn lies. So now I am weaning myself off and am expecting some challenges. I’ve been on 300 mgs daily at night, so will see what cutting dose in half for next 10 days does. I am ready to be done with this, and all, pharmacological drugs. It doesn’t serve their business model to make us well. Big pharma and its attendants, the m.d.’s, want us addicted and addled. No thanks.

    • Amanda March 16, 2015, 3:16 am

      I was also put on gabapentin for sleep issues – nightmares & it helped tons, but I ran out a few days ago & can’t get new script because of expense & have felt like death! Nausea, dizziness, headache, severe depression & anxiety… I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling this way – now I know. How long were you on it, and how long did it take to wean yourself off? Thanks!

  • Leigh September 25, 2014, 6:21 am

    Hi everyone, so glad I found this forum. I’ve been on gabapentin since august and have been pretty unwell since then. I was originally predcribed them for a herniated disc in my back. However by Friday last week I was unable to function normally , I phoned my GP who advised me to stop taking the tablets straight away. What a week it’s been !! I have all of the above symptoms and some. Went to A&E 2 nights ago and they had no idea what was wrong , treated me like I was going off my head. Needless to say I’m at home in bed unable to move around without feeling like I’m going to expire at any moment …6 days in and still struggling , when will this hell end ?

  • Pat Heenan September 29, 2014, 5:17 pm

    Had a weekend of terrible restlessness, could not sit, sleep or think right. Been on this a year next month, and Dr wanted to increase one more, to sx a day…..Told her I have to come away from this horrible feeling. Down to 3 a day. Not sleeping, but wasn’t on the drug either…Cold sweats, other things, but…headache is gone, was there for one week prior to coming off. Will try Magnesium..What about Biotin? Is this a help? Site has helped me….Going down to 200 today….Lord help me….Celebrex will have to do..Have been on that 20 yrs, should have just stayed with it… Live and Learn, even at 78 !!!!! Thanks for all the info, really helps knowing you are not going nuts…. Pat

  • Gwyn Morgan October 5, 2014, 12:52 pm

    I have found reading this article beneficial! I have been on high doses for years for neuropathic pain after brain surgery & a craniotomy that left my skull severely fractured! I was prescribed MST morphine at 40mg a day & 40mg Diazepam – it took me the last 18 mths to come off all Morphine & down to a small dose of diazepam – I had to do this alone when I discovered I should not have been on those two drugs! Now my immune system is depressed! I have come to the idea that I would rather be in chronic pain than overloaded with these drugs! I thank you for this as it has answered many questions I wasn’t getting from my doctor!

    • brett April 7, 2016, 6:36 am

      Honestly, who told you ‘you should not have been on those two drugs!!!’, and who told you they’re responsible for ‘immune system depression’? Because both may very well be hogwash. Of course, both have withdrawal effects, you must taper off of both morphine and diazepam (40mg of morphine orally/day is very low dose, but 40mg/diazepam is relatively much higher, hence you’re still tapering that one)… but neither are particularly associated with ‘immune system depression’ (at those dosage level especially), and depending on WHY you had brain surgery and craniotomy…

      Neither are especially contraindicated as far as I’ve ever read, esp. not morphine during the immediate recovery period (though WHY someone had you STAY on them both, for a whole year… that is questionable, for sure). But overall, it sounds like someone ‘fear-mongered’ you, to be frank. Great you’re off the morphine, now taper down slowly on the diazepam, be prepared for a couple weeks of not feeling at ALL well when you stop. Then you’ll be done. Your immune system will be JUST FINE.

  • Donna October 12, 2014, 9:23 pm

    I think I must be having withdrawal symptoms from something I’m on after back surgery in Aug. I’ve been having headaches, left arm & leg tremors & crying a lot. It could be from the neurontin, it could be hydrocodone, could be buspirone; IDK. Took 2 capsules of 5-325 hydrocodone last night to see if tremors would stop. Didn’t seem to change anything much.

    Took 2 capsules of 300 mg. each neurontin this a.m. Seems like tremors got better for a while but now they’re back again. Recently I stopped the neurontin; I was taking 1200 mg. per day. Will try to talk to Dr. tomorrow. I had no idea that I could be having withdrawal symptoms from a prescription the dr. was giving me! I’m hating what’s happening to me but very thankful to have found this site!!! Has anyone here taken buspirone? Has anyone else experienced bad tremors?

    • Sheila Martens February 22, 2015, 7:39 pm

      I had lots of twitching, especially as I was winding down, dozing off – when I was taking morphine and gabapentin together after a ruptured disc in my lower back. As the gabapentin kicked in, I quit the morphine and the twitching quit. When I would have bad flare-ups and add the morphine again, the twitching would return, so I concluded that the 2 meds were not good together, even though the doctor said it was fine.

  • Anne October 23, 2014, 4:04 pm

    I echo Scott’s comment. I thought I was going mad or having a breakdown. Been on gab. for 7 years for post-herpatic pain and Fibromyalgia. Told to stay on by pain clinic. Put on clonazepam year ago for spasms which may be part of FM or side-effect of gab. Came off both gradually beginning January as consultant said I was taking too much clon. to deal with things – moved easier and no spasms – as it is addictive and ultimately paradoxical in effect. Thank God I saw him when I did after only 1 month on high dose. GP was so wrong. Decided to come off both at same time as I need to know if spasms are part of FM or side-effect of gab. SO GRATEFUL FOR THIS FORUM AND WEBISTE. Husband smug but supportive as he said it was the drugs affecting me. What the heck did we do before the internet?

  • cher October 27, 2014, 1:40 am

    I have been on them for 8 years and off for a week an a half maybe. I am having severe side affects . Heart racing / pounding a jittery feeling, difficulty catching my breath when barely doing any thing, severe sweating, insomnia… both falling asleep & staying asleep. I’m exhausted, no appetite, muscle aches, I get agitated easily & I hate to admit it but a rage over stupid stuff. I have never felt anything like this when stopping a medication. How long can this last?

  • Elizabeth wood October 28, 2014, 5:37 pm

    I started taking gabapentin as a migraine prophylaxis about 3 months ago, migraine being classed as neuropathic pain I reckon. My migraines were becoming debilitating, having 3 or 4 every week and sometimes 2 or 3 in one day! I thought gabapentin was wonderful at first and was just taking one 300mg capsule in the morning. I didn’t have a single migraine for weeks on end, and then suddenly started having migraines again, so I increased the dose to 2x 300mg, and then eventually 3x 300mg.

    That’s when I started to have severe side effects that were worse than the horrible migraines. I then decided to stop taking gab as I couldnt tolerate the changes in me. The mood swings, the anxiety, depression, dizziness, nausea etc etc. Of course I’m now withdrawing from the medication and am suffering like hell. I’m exhausted but can’t sleep, I’m getting most of the symptoms including of course, very severe migraine. I’m never taking prescribed toxins ever again as I’ve already been through antidepressant withdrawal ( prescribed after losing 2 sons).

    This is just as bad if not worse, although currently living it, is obviously affecting my judgement, I’ll reassess once I’m through this. I’m afraid this may be just a ‘shut up’ medication, like antibiotics for a cold. As a senior health care professional myself and with very personal experiences caused by bad prescribing by GP’s, as in the case of my eldest son’s death 5 years ago for example, I would advise anyone to do their own research, make their own decisions about tapering (prolonging the agony, but very necessary for those after long term or high dose use), cold turkey, or even considering advice from their doctor. This is hell in a capsule! I dread to think what my poor son went through after he died from way, way over prescribed medication from his doctor! Be very, very careful!

    • Jodi June 11, 2015, 2:43 am

      I hope that you are doing better now. I also wanted to see how you are doing from the loss of your sons. God Bless you and take care. -Jodi

  • Catherine November 1, 2014, 3:43 am

    I started taking a few months ago because my brain over fires thoughts at night causing insomnia. It has been great. I only take it before bed started at 100mg and now at 300mg. I recently went up to 300mg because I felt that the 200 was no longer effective. I started noticing calf cramps and pain during the day as well as shortness of breath all day long. I have asthma but it is usually exercise induced. I am not sick but I can’t breathe.

    I even take my inhaler with no relief. Yesterday I took a gaba during the day just 100mg and realized it helped the breathing. I also took aspirin though later that day because it became worse again and reading online was worried somehow I had blood clots (I think the breathing is making me crazy). As luck would have it my doctor is out of town for a week which is why I am turning to the internet. I am now wondering after reading some comments. Is it the up in GABA causing the breathing problems since I only take it at night and feel great when I go to bed, then all day long I am in detox and can’t breathe??? Opinions??

  • Amanda November 3, 2014, 8:07 am

    I have been taking gabapentin 900mg x3 a day for severe ME which has been a godsend but decided to reduce by 100mg x3 a day. I felt anxious, irritable, couldn’t sit still, and was crying all the time. I didn’t realise this was all down to reducing by 300mg a day until I found this forum. I’m so cross with my doctor that he didn’t warn me how addictive this drug is. I felt so bad I gave in this morning and took the 900mg instead of the 800mg and feeling a little better. Good luck to you all who have the will power to see it out.

  • Ben November 3, 2014, 8:16 am

    I was prescribed Gabapentin for the first time about 5 months ago for the treatment of bad headaches caused by BP meds, and to prevent seizures, 300mg 3x a day. Everything was fine for about six weeks, then I started getting dizzy spells and couldn’t figure out why, that’s when I first realized I’d been duped again by the medical/pharmaceutical tag team we commonly refer to as a healthcare system. It took at least a week for me to figure out if it was one of my BP meds or the GP, as it turns out it was most definitely the GP.

    I am now in my second attempt at freeing myself from this drug, well, I in fact haven’t taken any for about three days now and like many have posted here it’s been hell. I reduced it by 300mg per week. It’s as bad if not worse than benzo withdrawals, been there done that. Funny thing is, the night I was first given this drug, (visit to the ER), the pharmacist, said that she had known people who had stopped taking it because it made them feel weird, subtle warning I did not comprehend, I do now.

    It’s pretty obvious that some people do benefit from this drug and should therefore not stop taking it without consultation with a medical professional, (I use that term lightly). The rest of us will just have to slog our way free of it. The first time I tried I couldn’t do it and went back on, this time it seems that I’ll make it, I sure hope so. Peace be with you, no one deserves this kind of hell from something that’s supposed to be helpful. The devil is most certainly in the details, of which none of us were informed by the people entrusted to protect our health. The tail is wagging the dog.

  • Ben November 5, 2014, 12:48 am

    Day 4, no gabapentin, down from 300mg 3x a day. The side effects, especially the body discomfort seem to ebb and flow. For awhile today they were pretty much gone, I was outside and walking at the time so maybe mild exercise helps? I felt almost normal. Overall I’d say that side effects are reduced by 30% at this point(?). Seems I’m going to make it; another thought is that the physical side effects are brought on by injestion of certain kinds of food? I know that sounds crazy but can’t think of anything else I did except eat and they started up again.

    I don’t know if this site will allow it but I’m going to provide a link to something I found that provides some of the FDA’s own data from trials of gabapentin. One ‘very’ interesting thing I found is that it was classified as ‘frequent’ for pneumonia to develope (Respiratory) as a result of using gabapentin. I say this because I was treated just a month ago for respiratory infection and it never fully went away, still coughing up stuff, but , lungs feel better now none the less. May the love in your heart illuminate your every step.

  • ang November 5, 2014, 6:12 pm

    I was put on Neurontin 4 years ago for anxiety and help quitting drinking, and am just tapering off now. I became addicted to it and abused the CRAP put of it. I was supposed to take 4 600mg pills a day. I noticed it made me high early on when I would take all 3 or 4 at once in the morning, being too lazy to spread them out through the day. I loved the way it made me feel.

    I was excited about everything. Tiny things. So easily amused by life. I began taking more than twice my recommended daily dose, many days, in order to keep up with the high, and to make up for lost pills, take only one or two other days. I would feel like hell those days; out of it, tired, groggy, severely depressed and cloudy. Now that I’ve been tapering off them I’m feeling terrible bone/joint or muscle pains so bad, bending and twisting and reaching etc. is a chore.

    I cannot stand this feeling, but I have to do it because the medication was making me live in a fantasy world and it’s just not real life. I fear for long term effects which is why I’m coming off it now. I am wondering: Is Neurontin the cause of this wretched joint stiffness I keep experiencing?

    • Kathi November 6, 2014, 5:01 pm

      Yes, I am back to stiff painful muscles and joints. Feels like I break my legs to get out of bed. Try a very warm Epsom salt bath at night and anytime it’s unbearable. I hope it goes away soon, for all of us.

    • Jodi June 11, 2015, 3:02 am

      I hope that you are doing better now. I wanted to mention the joint stiffness you are having now. It could be Osteoarthritis or possibly Rheumatoid Arthritis. Have you been checked for those? -Jodi

  • Juli Pellett November 6, 2014, 12:01 am

    I have been on 600 Mg for 2 1/2 months. I have taken 2 at bedtime before but I felt sick the next day. Tried 900 mg about 2 weeks but too tired. I have been taking average of 600 mg for month. I cut (so I took 300 mg) in half last night at I feel so sick today. I would think that for the limited time and low dose I would not feel anything. I have shortness of breath and I feel hot and nauseous.

  • Kathi November 6, 2014, 4:42 pm

    I want to thank everyone that has posted. You helped me through some horrible weeks. I took my last dose abt the middle of September. I still have trouble sleeping and ringing in my ears. Like crickets chirping , louder at night. I’ll re read the posts, not sure if this is a symptom or nerves in my neck. The nerve pain I was taking it for is back in full force and the magnesium doesn’t seem to do anything. But I stay on it. I was on 2400 mg for four years. Blue Cross sent a letter in May that it would no longer cover gabapentin and Lyrica, saying there was a compound in it not approved by the FDA.

    I took four months to ramp off, then the withdrawals hit. Every one listed! I took my iPad to my doctor of 23 years. She’s Internal Medicine and uses it a lot. I am the only one that has had this problem and thanks to you there was no question of belief. In fact, as she read your posts she was so moved and said she would research and be much more careful. She had told me to drop one every two days – I took two weeks. I went off it in that way in 1997, because I ramped up every two weeks – 4800mg without a hitch BUT – I was on Paxil, Valium and Klonopin. Klonopin this time quieted the crickets and I can get 4-5 hours sleep. Again, thank you so much. If anyone else has ringing I hope you’ll post. I’ll keep checking back. I’d like to be sure it’s not something else. Bless you.

    • RaMona January 4, 2015, 6:17 am

      I’m shocked to see all of these posts, but since you seem to be the only one that has a Dr that will listen to you I’m replying on yours. See if your Dr would know anything about all of a sudden becoming extremely skin sensitive to hair after getting off Neurontin. I was on it for a few years. I think I was taking 300mg 3x a day, then I went down to 100mg 3x a day, then completely tapered off. Immediately after the dogs hair was making my skin itch really bad.

      Then I moved in with someone that had a cat (I’ve had cats my whole life so I thought maybe I just became allergic to dogs and didn’t notice because of all the psyche meds I was on) and the cat hair itched too. Then my own hair started irritating my skin. Now the only clothing I can wear comfortably is polyester or silky type materials because I can lint roll most hair off them. Now it’s been exactly 1 year 5 months and 1 day since I’ve dropped all psyche meds including Neurontin and I’m still in a torturous hell. It’s cold and I can’t wear anything warm or it will feel like I’ve got bugs crawling under my skin, itch, sting, or feel like I’ve got needles being stabbed into my skin.

      Sometimes I can’t get the hair off even the silky clothes. I’ve had to buy new bedding over and over and as I lay here in bed I have all those itchy, burning, stinging ugly symptoms all over me. Most of the time my hair is in a tight bun, but the hairs that still come out of it are basically burning my neck. I was on Neurontin 2 or 3 years, I really don’t remember. Drs, friends, and family look at me like I’m talking to them in a foreign language when I try to explain why I’m constantly having to lint roll anything I sit on or am near. I feel like I’m in hell!

      • Kathi January 16, 2015, 12:38 am

        RaMona, I am sorry you are having so much trouble with your hair. I haven’t had that, except in the early years of fibromyalgia. I wear soft clothes, even turn under clothing inside out because the seams hurt. I was checking back because after five months I still have symptoms like itching, ears ringing especially at night, no motivation due to the increased pain in my back and the coldness.

        Dropped 15 pounds and think I look like a skeleton. Apparently the withdrawals really do go on for a long time. Thank you for the post. I feel better knowing its not something new to deal with. As for the cold I purchased a ceramic tower heater for the bedroom and don’t have to be under covers. That’s helped a lot. I don’t need to know why you were taking it, but the skin sensitivity sure sounds like FMS. For itching my dermatologist recommended an anti-itching lotion for sensitive skin called Sarna.

        It’s under $20 you use very little and it does help. Also TONS of water. Since I’m the only patient my Dr has that has gone through this she wouldn’t know. I didn’t look it up but I think our scalps have lots of nerves so I’m not surprised. I’ve only had that in my eyelashes. Never imagined an eyelash would hurt! I wish I had seen your response two months ago and hope its all over.

      • S January 23, 2015, 9:26 pm

        RaMona, your symptoms are valid (at least to me). I had these extreme sensitivities and itching only while ON gabapentin. Oh and my own hair started coming out like a boat load. Has ANYONE had this experience? Being female, it is bad enough that I am going gray, but to lose my hair as well? Did you RaMona?

        • Sally September 20, 2015, 3:22 am

          I am experiencing hair loss (67 years old) and just thought it was old age…I am on G. For both insomnia and nerve pain in my feet. (1200 mg x day). Side effects have been hair/and scalp issues, gastrointestinal problems- without resolution of the insomnia and no better pain control than alpha lapoic acid plus B vitamins. Tapering off – one capsule down (300 mg reduction) from last week with only mininal nausea and loss of appetite- no worse than gastro symptoms on full dose. So far very mild-nothing like cold turkey when ER MD took me off of noritryptyline. Thanks for all your comments- will go slowly on taper. Good luck to all!

          • Joyce October 2, 2015, 1:59 am

            Sally, I’m responding to you since you are closest to my age. I’m turning 73 soon. I wonder about dosages for those of us over 65. I’ve undiagnosed hip and low back pain for over a year. My GP refers me to the strangest doctors. Anyway, one started me on Gabapentin in February. I never could take any during the day so took 300 mg at night. Over time, I realized I was feeling terrible and that my hair was falling out and the rest was getting curlier. I read all the signs and symptoms. No mention of this happening.

            It wasn’t until this past week after searching for info on withdrawal that I find comments here and there and the terrible times that lies ahead. I’m down 100 this week and have periods of overwhelming tiredness and shortness of breath. My pain is much the same. I’m hoping that the lower dose and the 8 months I’ve been on this will give me an easier time but I am super sensitive to meds so only time will tell. I’m using everyone’s advice and going a slow taper. I don’t plan on dropping again for another two weeks. Hope you still are having light withdrawal. Let’s hope for new hair soon.

      • Nicki C September 6, 2016, 5:01 pm

        Hi Ramona, I am not sure that you are still checking this site but I am suffering very similarly to yourself amongst many other withdrawal symptoms from the god awful gabapentin. I started having anxiety and panic attacks in Feb of this year which was pretty debilitating and because I am very sensitive to medication my doctor perceived me gabapentin and told me emphatically that the side effect profile was very low and that if it didn’t suit me that I could come off it… over the first few weeks I wasn’t sure if it was my anxiety or if it was the drugs but went back to my doctor and told him of my fatigue disc ordination isolation weird detached feeling and basically feeling like I was on a class A drug of some kind.

        He told me it was in my anxious head but to stop immediately. It was horrific went into complete and utter melt down and basically woke up in emergency with a seizure. The ER doctors told me to go back on and wind down over weeks which was hell in itself. I became debilitated unable to work unable to function and all in all not living. I was determined to come off and I have weaned off over weeks at a 100 at a time and I was only on 900 to start with and it has been hell.

        I stopped 2 weeks ago and all the side effects I was experiencing on it have magnified. Hot sweats then cold, shaking, tremors, spaced out, nausea, acid reflux, depression never suffered that before, suicidal thoughts (desperation) not engaged in the world, can’t communicate, weird feelings of being spaced out and not on the planet… very scary… and the most awful at the moment which is why I wanted to contact yourself is the itchiness, burning and prickling… which I am frightened will never go away.

        My left arm is discolored and has a rash which burns and prickles constantly, my hair and scalp burns and itches, I itch all over and am very sensitive to any clothing… it’s hell and I have searched for answers and when I saw your comment it was like me!!! I hope to god you are now over it and things are normal for you…I don’t want anyone to suffer in the way that I am it’s not living… This site has been great to validate I am not going mad in the way that my family and boyfriend think I am, and my sister is a GP and she thinks I am just anxious!!

        And she prescribes it every day!!! This drug has ruined my life and many others as I read the comments on here and I feel for you all… I am just about hanging on in the hope that one day I will wake up and it was all just a bad dream… I wish everyone going through this all the love in the world and would appreciate any support you can give me as I feel very alone in what feels like a nightmare that never stops…

        • Nicki C September 6, 2016, 5:11 pm

          Sorry to go on! But this is for all the people who have commented on this site I want to know I appreciate you all, but I have noticed that few come back with the success of getting off and living a life… I am sure that once you are through its the last thing you want to do, but it would be nice to know there’s hope and this will go away especially the burning, it’s unbearable. Peace and love x

  • Brenda November 8, 2014, 6:40 am

    I was put on 300 MG 4x per day. I began July. In September I noticed extreme swelling in hands, feet, eyelids, lips and tongue. I also experienced severe heating of skin and horrid sweating. My digestive tract us inflamed and distended. I am deformed! Since all of these symptoms are considered life threatening I stopped the medication entirely. Two weeks later the symptoms persist! I am miserable! Death would be better than this. I went to the ER and was told I was mentally ill and referred to a mental health clinic.

    This is not a mental health issue. There is 20-30 lbs of yuck hanging off the front of me. I was given this medication for complications from fibromyalgia including pain from my digestive system totally shutting down. It is November and I feel worse than I did in July when I started this medication. I am dying and nobody cares including my doctors and ED staff. I don’t know what to do but staff off the medication and pray I either power through or die.

  • Joan November 8, 2014, 3:21 pm

    Thanks everyone for your comments. I was given this one week ago for neck and arm pain, and told to start with 300 at bedtime, then increase to 2, then 3 a day. I was waiting for the weekend to make sure I would not be a zombie. Glad I found this. I’ll be opening my capsule and reducing to 200 starting tonight. Hopefully I have been on this for short enough time that I won’t be too bad. I do see that some people have problems with even this low a dose – 300 mg 1x day at night – so will be careful.

    I did sleep really well, but my pain has been worse than ever during the day. Last night I had a horrible nightmare last night, probably because I needed to wake to go to the bathroom, but couldn’t because of the drug. My daughter woke me because I was yelling loudly. At least I didn’t wet the bed!
    This is scary – my daughter went through benzo withdrawal last year, another drug that gets way over-prescribed, and with post withdrawal symptoms for up to 2 years.

  • Mark November 9, 2014, 11:03 pm

    Hello, everyone – I came to this website because, starting about 2 weeks ago, I started ramping down from gabapentin. I was taking 600mg 4x daily for the last 18 months, prescribed for nerve pain from an adverse reaction to a surgical anesthetic – sciatic nerve was deadened for arch reconstruction on my foot. I’m gradually getting over sciatic nerve problem, but progress is slow.

    About 2 1/2 weeks ago I ran out of gabapentin. I couldn’t get in touch with my doctor right away, so I went from 2400 mg/day to zero. The first 24 hours were really dreadful – insomnia, pain, nausea, diarrhea, depression, fatigue and lethargy, headache. Next day was better, but still very bad. The day after, some more improvement still. Then the doc phoned in the Rx refill. But by that time I had decided I wanted to quit taking the stuff and I asked the pharmacist what to do.

    He recommended cutting the dose in half for 3-4 days, then half again, then quit. So that’s what I did. For the last 3 days I’ve been off it completely. The first day was rough, but each day since has been a little better. If things continue as they are (no guarantee of that, I realize), then I’ll be all right. I wasn’t sure I should even post, since my withdrawal (so far, at least) isn’t anywhere near as bad as what many of you folks are experiencing. My heart goes out to you all. But I want give some hope.

    Something I haven’t seen in any of these entries is anything about gabapentin causing problems with sexual functioning. I’d never had any problems in that line, but started having some difficulty after I was started on 1200 mg/day gabapentin 18 months ago. Then I had a lot of difficulty with sex when I was put on 2400 mg/day. Final 3 months or so at that dose I pretty much shut down sexually. I asked the doctor if sexual problems were a side effect of gabapentin, and he said probably not.

    So the good news, people, is that as soon as I started tapering – first to 1200 mg/day, then to 600, now to zero – the sex came back to normal. And this wasn’t something I read about, or was anywhere warned to expect – either that it would happen or that I would get over it. But there you are. This is some drug. If I had known this was what I’d be in for, I think I probably would have just put up with the nerve pain.

    • sheila February 22, 2015, 7:57 pm

      I had trouble with sexual function as well, but it is coming back now that I’m tapering off. I read somewhere online that sexual function is affected in about 60% of gabapentin users…It was a necessary evil for me, but hope I am going to be free of this stuff soon. All the best to you.

  • kim November 16, 2014, 10:55 pm

    I’ve been taken this for 3 years. I was up to 3600MG a day. I recently had to stop taking it because my husband’s insurance ran out. I had no idea the hell I would be facing. I’ve been off of it for 2 weeks and the withdrawals are not getting any better. I’m a wreck. I have every symptom from the migraine like headaches to the restlessness throughout my body. I can’t sleep. I find myself angry at hell one moment cryin the next. I’ve tried Xanax but no relief. I’m not sure how much more of this I can take. I was taking it for the nerve damage caused by shingles. I’m 36 years old and I’m hating life. I feel like giving up but I don’t because I have a family that needs me. This is not living though.

    • Kim C April 9, 2015, 5:01 pm

      Hi Kim! I’m 36 as well and your story reads very parallel to mine. I’m on 3600mg a day and couldn’t find my 3rd bottle and had to stretch my meds and noticed symptoms. I will eventually come off the gabapentin in hopes a doctor can get to the underlying cause of my groin pain. I was told that possibly my pudendal nerve is trapped. I have had 2 illioinguinal nerve blocks and my pain went down significantly. I can’t wait to go to the neurosurgeon that specializes in operating on nerves in the pelvic region. I’m glad to have found this site and hear stories and know I’m not alone.

  • Detox Hell November 18, 2014, 4:51 am

    After taking this med for the last 15 years I was advised to slowly wean myself off. It was explained to me that after 15 years the drug wasn’t helping my neuropathic or chronic pain. I was originally put on it as part of a pain management cocktail. It worked great. But over the years my pain went from “remission” to “rolling flare up” one after another. My doctor kept increasing my dose until I was taking 1200 mg, 4 times a day-way over the recommended dose.

    A new doctor recently told me that while still in drastic pain, my meds were not controlling my pain, only an addiction I wasn’t trying to chase. I wasn’t a junkie chasing a high but a woman in pain following the directions on the bottle of her pain meds. So it was time to go off these meds and see what symptoms remained after the painful withdrawals. He prepared me, weaning slowing but after so long my body was not happy. I’m grateful for this site because it made me feel like I wasn’t crazy feeling like I was a junkie even tho I was just following my doctors orders.

    Some may ask if I have tried cymbalta, lyrica or savella and yes. My minds isn’t wired for them. They make me depressed and in a terrible state. I’m looking forward to being off these drugs and finding one that works. Gabapentin/Neurontin is great in the beginning but it’s not for long term. For those that recommended magnesium-I have been taking it twice a day for a hand tremor (now I realize it was caused by this drug) as I can see it hasn’t helped for pain. Maybe I need to take it three times a day lol. Thank you for your input.

  • Kathy November 18, 2014, 4:50 pm

    I have been on gabapentin for about 2 years. I was taking 1200 mg per day for a neuroma in my foot. It really did nothing for the foot pain. I tapered off but I think maybe not slow enough. My neurologist thinks this drug has no addictive qualities. It has been almost 5 weeks and still I have this tingling burning sensation all over at times and in my legs most of the time.

    I have hot flashes and my legs ache. I have a back injury which occurred not long before I quit taking gabapentin. My back pain has increased so the drug may have been helping even though it was not prescribed for that problem. Have others had these withdrawal symptoms last over a month?

  • Linda November 19, 2014, 1:31 pm

    Thank you so much for this website! I knew from the first pill that this was doing something wrong to my brain, and it was not touching the RA pain. After a month, I called my rheumatologist and told her that I needed to come off of it, so I stopped it two weeks ago.

    Since then I have been out of control anxious, crying, ready to quit my job, etc. My GP told me that it should have been out of my system after one week, and that I just needed to see a psychiatrist. I have found more solace that perhaps I’m not going as far out of my mind as I feel since reading this. Treating pain with ibuprofen or Tylenol is much more preferred than this!

  • Lou November 21, 2014, 12:58 am

    I’m currently typing this at 1am after trying desperately to get comfy and get some sleep. I was taking 3x600mg a day of Gabapentin and had tapered myself off tonight is the 2nd night of not taking the stuff at all. I have to say I’m glad I made the decision to come off the drug but it’s hell. Night and day sweats have been the worst thing, and the hideous itching all over my legs. I was taking them for the pain in my back caused by scoliosis but they never seemed to work and after feeling like a zombie constantly for the last 9 months.

    And being told by my work colleague that my eyes were ‘going mental’ when I was chatting normally to him I thought they were probably doing more harm than good. Must admit I have felt more coherent in the last day than I have in a long time, but have been tempted to take pill because of the withdrawal. I feel like bursting into tears for no reason at all and have had really horrible stomach pain, but I have to keep telling myself it’s for the best. Just hope and pray symptoms go away soon.

  • Debbie November 23, 2014, 4:50 am

    I have been taking 2400 mg. gabapentin for close to three years now. I thought the drug worked marvelous for the fibro. And with very little side effects. I am not having many symptoms if any currently from the fibro so I want off the med. how else will I know if I need it or not. I started taking Magnesium 3 times daily for a couple of months one and swear it works very well.

    I have weaned myself today down from 2400 to 1200 to 600 and now to 300 and hope to be done with the med by the end of the month. I am taking extreme precaution in doing this as I stopped Cymbalta cold turkey and thought I wanted to die. I think the saving grace for me is the Magnesium 3 times a day. If I have to back on the drug again one day than so be it but for now I need to give this a try. -Debbie

  • Anita November 23, 2014, 8:17 pm

    Gabapentin rescued me from terrible pain. I am greatful for that but want to be done with it. I don’t see the point in drawing it out, I cut down my dosage by half (from 600 mg 3x) for a day, then two doses, today is my fourth day without it at all. I expected some pain, but not the emotional mess. It was only today that I clued in that the gabapentin might be to blame. That’s why I’m here thank you all so much for taking the time to share. Things should go much better now that I have a better understanding of withdrawal symptoms.

  • Bill November 26, 2014, 1:26 am

    Thank god I found this site and thank you all for sharing your experiences. I’ve recently been experiencing severe anxiety and depression. I found an old prescription I had for Gabapentin about two weeks and decided to take it in order to get some relief. I’ve been taking a very high dose, about 3000 mg. per day. I’m about to run out of them and now I’m panicking. Does anyone know if I’ll have extreme withdrawals after taking Gabapentin for 2 weeks? I would deeply apreciate some guidance anyone may be able to offer. -Bill

  • Katelyn November 26, 2014, 5:29 am

    Oh my god I am happy I found this article. Firstly, I was prescribed this medication to help treat anxiety. I had heard that this medication wasn’t usually used for anxiety, but my psychiatrist was running low on options to try, because I had been on many of the more common anti-anxiety medications already, but they either ended up causing bad side effects or just not helping at all. I was never on a very high dose. Many of the comments I read on this post, people were on dosages such as 900 a day, or even up to 1200 a day.

    Anyways, I never went above 400 mg a day (I don’t know the ages of anyone who has commented, but I have a feeling I’m one of the younger ones, I was 16 when started on this medication and a little over 17 now, so maybe the low dose was because of my age?? I don’t know, but that’s besides the point). I’ve been on this medication for a little over a year, but on September 4th of this year, I went into the hospital for having suicidal thoughts and severe anxiety. Well they didn’t change anything for the two weeks I was in there, they started me on Seroquel and they tried me on Prozac again.

    But something happened with my insurance I had and I ended up having to change my therapist and psychiatrist. So the psychiatrist I am seeing now apparently is not such a big fan of using the neurontin on their patients. So he advised me to slowly decrease my dosage from 400 to 300 to 200 and so on. So I’ve been doing that and I’ve discovered that it might be helping me more than I thought. My anxiety is out the roof, even on 300, and that’s causing my OCD symptoms to kick in, which were actually decreased greatly up until last week when I started the decreased dose.

    This is making it nearly impossible for me to get to sleep at night. My rituals I have because of the OCD are becoming so frequent that I actually can’t even sleep, and when I start to drift off it takes awhile for me to actually sleep. I’m sorry to leave this extremely long comment but I thought I should just share how helpful this article was for me. Thank you!!

  • Tjp November 28, 2014, 3:46 pm

    Hi everyone. I was prescribed gabapentin for anxiety about a year ago. I was an opiate addict before that and was prescribed this stupid stuff to help me with the anxiety. Well for the last year I have been up and down with the dosages bc I already know I have an addictive personality. I ran out a couple months ago and def felt some withdrawals and that made me very scared bc I already know how opiate withdrawl cold turkey is. Not fun! So now I’m terrified to get off this crap bc I don’t want to feel that way ever again!

    I have been sober for a year and recently found out in September I’m pregnant and due in May. I’ve been trying ever since to taper down bc I do not want to be on the medication and more and was also told if I can get off of it for my baby to do so. I also don’t want my baby being born on this stupid medication anyway! I’ve been in and out of the doctors and they all tell my there is no withdrawl blah blah blah well let me tell you there is! I feel like my mind is absolutely going insane BC all I do with worry about how I’m going to suffer getting off of this.

    I already battled opiates a year ago and why can’t I be strong? Enough to just give this up :( I seriously will never ever take another medication prescribed to me ever ever again. I feel like I will never be normal again. I hate this. I just needed to get that out and happy to see I’m not the only one battling this. It’s absolutely terrible. If anyone has any advice or experience while being on this pregnant would love to hear from you.

  • Pacifica2 November 29, 2014, 1:50 am

    I have been taking Gabapentin for quite a while gradually increasing to 1800mg/d for back pain. I had a back surgery for restoring function of my left leg but the back pain got worse. From this dose onward I experienced blurred vision. Curiously, nobody mentioned about this well established side effect. I decreased it to 1200mg. The vision has improved.

    However, I am experiencing profuse sweating and it is getting worse after I reduced further to 900mg. Sweating is most annoying while having a meal. I have chills also. I might want to stay with this dose as the pain is not controlled well with other medications and I do not want to increase my narcotic meds. If these are withdrawal symptoms this is a welcome news. Why? Because I am afraid that if there is nerve damage to the autonomic system for temperature regulation, then I’ll be in big trouble.

  • Matina November 29, 2014, 3:35 am

    I only began taking the gabapentin one week ago at 100 mgs. once a day only at night for shingles pain. I then began two 100 mgs. at night only on Tuesday night. I seemed to feel fine this Wednesday and thought it might even be improving my mood with the escitalopram I take for depression as an added bonus : ). But yesterday and today I have had anxiety all day even with the clonazopam I take @ .25 mgs am and pm. I am thinking after reading these posts I should reduce back to the 100 mgs. at night immediately and then get off of these monsters ASAP! Any thoughts.

  • Russelli December 3, 2014, 2:44 pm

    Hi guys. Just thought I’d throw in some input. I’ve been on 300mg 2x/day for about six weeks now. It worked great at first, but I’ve noticed in the past week I’ve been getting severe anxiety whenever it begins to kick in and take effect, which it never did before. I wake up almost in a withdrawal state but I’m not sure if this is worse than the sudden negative reactions to this stuff. Seems to be a no win situation and I plan to quit because it obviously no longer works.

    It now affects me in the sense that my body/belly is constantly swollen, heart is racing, terrible anxiety/panic for no reason, along with feeling super sluggish and zombified at the same time. This is some nasty stuff y’all!!! Anyway, I am looking to do a water titration method if possible and just taper insanely slow as I have to be functional for work/school/kids. A lot of these posts are from people going through the hell and it’s a bit discouraging as it’s like watching someone get tortured and you’re just next in line.

    No! We have more power over our minds than we can even fathom. Yes, we made a mistake and got hooked on this junk. But we also have to ability to get free again. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Just try to stay out of your head. I’ll return and keep y’all updated on my progress / experience / timeline and hope that it helps to inspire and instill hope. Godspeed

  • Erica December 3, 2014, 3:51 pm

    I have just finished tapering down from 1200 mg. I was put on Gralise (time-release neurontin) for a herniated cervical disc with pinched nerve. This happened in August. Now I am off the meds a week and some burning, pins and needles, and numbness has returned to my arm and hand. I also feel pins and needles and restlessness in my other extremities as well inability to focus, restless legs and some depression. Yesterday all of my skin was crawling and I was unable to sit still to work. I find walking helps. I will try hot baths.

    I have started magnesium. I started searching for answers to see how long I might be dealing with this. I am glad to see that withdrawal could be the cause of some of my issues, especially my low energy, restlessness, and trouble sleeping. I would not go on this medication again as I think the issues I am having outweigh any benefits!! I was not told that it could be so difficult or that there may be withdrawal symptoms. I am in recovery and although I have been sober many years, it seems to me that this has been reminiscent of the withdrawal I went through after 15 years of chronic alcoholism. I was not prepared for that at all!!

  • lawrence December 9, 2014, 3:18 pm

    I have been on gab for 5 yrs. At this time I take 5400mg. Daily, no one, including my doc. warned me of the withdrawl symtoms. I recently ran out for three days, felt like the worst flu symtoms ever recorded! It put me in bed for two days. The symtoms are marked and acute. I would like to know if there is an alternative to this medication?

    • Barb Scott January 11, 2015, 5:44 pm

      I have talked to my neurologist, spinal doctor, pharmacist and family doctor, there is nothing else in this category that does not have side effects. Some of things I have tried are Tizandine to calm the nerves and muscles, vitamin d3 and magnesium. They seem to be helping me now. The Gabapentin has been causing lots of memory problems for me, that’s why I am weaning off of it. Look for alternatives like herbs and vitamins. I have had spinal problems and MANY surgeries for 39 years now.

  • PT14 December 16, 2014, 5:01 pm

    Hi everyone, I wanted to share my story with Gabapentin. About 6 months ago, I was going through withdrawals from a different medication and was put on 600mg Gabapentin, taken before bedtime to help with insomnia. I noticed very rapid weight gain with no change in diet and I started feeling very groggy and foggy in the mornings. One day I just decided to try and taper down and get off of it before I gained any more weight. I cut my dose in half and the anxiety and strange feelings started the very next day.

    I took another 300mg the next night but my withdrawal symptoms were so strange that I decided I didn’t want to keep prolonging the withdrawal or experience the same thing once I tapered again so I quit cold turkey the next day. The worst day for me was day 2 where I experienced nausea, headaches, flu symptoms, and what can only be described as out of body experiences. The symptoms would come in waves where for a few hours I felt like crap and then felt completely normal for another few hours.

    The following days really weren’t that bad for me (compared to my detox from my other medication, anyways) and the only symptoms that persisted for the next 4-5 days were restlessness, mild anxiety, and the occasional feeling that something was “off”. I wanted to post my experience because when I was searching the internet for answers as to what to expect during my detox, I only found extreme cases that scared me and contributed to my anxiety. I wholeheartedly believe those extreme cases are true since I had an extreme case of withdrawals from my last medication I got off of where the effects still persist 6 months later.

    But in the case of Gabapentin, I was surprised that the detox actually wasn’t that bad for me personally. It really all comes down to your unique situation and not knowing what your symptoms will be until you actually try to get off of it. In my experience, keeping a positive attitude helped me significantly to get through it. I kept telling myself that I’ll feel better tomorrow, and each day did get slightly better.

    And frankly, knowing that the withdrawals can’t be anywhere near as bad as my previous ones helped me a lot as well since I had a “well if I can survive THAT, then this should be a piece of cake” mentality. It’s been exactly a week since I made the decision to cut my dose/stop taking it and I feel 95% back to normal. On a side note, trazodone and valerian have helped quite a bit with keeping the insomnia and mild anxiety at bay.

  • Sarah January 5, 2015, 2:15 pm

    I have been prescribed 600mg three times a day for just under a year for disc prolapse. I couldn’t take pregabalin as it made me unable to function at all. I have been haphazard with my tablets taking only one in the morning, and one at night for about 6 months. My moods are irrational and I’m a complete bitch and haven’t felt “well” in all that time. Recently the pain hasn’t been so bad, so have been taking just one at night. I have felt like crap ever since.

    Decided last week to cut it out all together, as the penny had dropped that it is the gabapentin that’s causing me to feel ill. A bit of background here… I was a nurse specialist in pain management, and have an MSc in the subject. I left nursing at about the time these drugs were coming onto the market, so have little clinical experience of using them. The doc who prescribed them is a pain consultant, an old colleague.

    I am also a recovering alcoholic, sober 7.5 years. The aim of my pain relief has been not to give me anything addictive or mood altering. I have to say that how I am feeling now, and have felt for the four days since quitting, is more horrendous than I ever felt quitting the booze. I feel like I have flu, but without the snot. I am freezing cold, then the sweat will pour off me. Everything aches, and I am sooooo tired.

    I am sleeping courtesy of Amitriptyline, but wake often. I know I have to quit them now. There is no question about it. I can’t allow myself to become dependent on a substance. I do think though that more info needs to be out there about how it affects you, and weaning off. I have gone from 600mg, once or twice a day to zero. Looking at this board, it makes me realize that I’m not alone. I have told hubby (a doctor), what the reason for my being in bed for the last four days seems to be, not the flu, the bloody meds!

  • Matt January 6, 2015, 5:40 pm

    I was prescribed clonazepam for sleep years ago. Benzos are said to have severe withdrawal symptoms but this is even worse. This is a very nasty drug and would encourage anyone to seek a different option. Thank God for marijuana to calm my anxiety in the evenings or this would be pure hell. I wish I would have tried marijuana for sleep many years ago and I wouldn’t be in this position.

  • Barb Scott January 11, 2015, 5:36 pm

    I was put on Gabapentin 4 1/2 years ago after a double spine surgery and severe nerve damage. I was on 3,300 mg a day for 4 years. I started lowering my dose 6 months ago. In the last month, I have gone from 900 mg to 300 mg a day. This week I am totally off Gabapentin. In the last month, I have had sweats, diarrhea, nausea and can’t sleep very long (3 hours at a time). These last few days it has been worse. I can deal with the pain but these withdrawal symptoms are the worst. How much longer? Thank you for the magnesium suggestion. I will start that today.

  • PiaPenelope January 12, 2015, 11:16 pm

    This forum has helped incredibly, since I started to taper of my very meds. I have been taking gabapentin for 13 years, due to having my arm and my leg cut completely off, in a car accident when I was 15 years old. I take 1600 mg, three times a day, I have tried many times to stop taking gabapentin, but in the last 10 years, I have been through surgery 56 times, and every time the doctors put me back on this drug from hell. When I try stopping I feel like hell: itching, sweating and a severe case of restlessness and insomnia. And trying to stop taking it feels useless, since I know my doctors will start it up again the next time I have an operation. I hate this feeling of helplessness.

    • Barb Scott January 13, 2015, 5:06 pm

      I am so sorry. I feel like crap since my last Gabapentin was 4 days ago. I want to go back on it to stop the itching, fidgeting, diarrhea and nausea. But I also want off of it. No doctor ever told me how bad this would be.

      • Ann January 19, 2015, 8:46 pm

        Hey, Barb, I went through hell when I withdrew from oxycodone and MS Contin and now I’m doing the Gab. It sucks, but you will make it. Hot baths are helpful with Epsom Salts and acupuncture has helped me. Hang in there, as awful as this has been, I’m so thankful to be off all this stuff, it really messes with you. -Ann

    • S January 23, 2015, 9:11 pm

      Pia, they may TRY and put you on it, but you do NOT have to take this. Wow, how many more surgeries are you going to need? That sounds like too many for me. Print this blog-show it to them (him, her) and ask: “How can you ask me to take this again?” Good luck.

  • Ann January 19, 2015, 8:43 pm

    Oh my gosh, I’m so grateful to everyone for sharing. I started a taper of the Gab about a week ago. Went from 400 twice a day to just once a day. It has sucked. I withdrew from oxycodone July of 2014 and MS Contin in September and I’m here to tell you, this is just as bad. I have taken this stuff, including the oxycodone and the MS Contin for years due to some major autoimmune issues, when it stopped working, I stopped the meds having no idea what was about to happen. I always followed Dr. Instructions so thought I was safe…not so much! It sounds like this will follow the withdrawal path of the narcotics and it does get a lot better. It will probably take a couple of months, then I will go for the other 400mg.

  • Stephanie January 22, 2015, 5:09 am

    I was on 2700mg per day for 2 years. With medical marijuana I was able to taper off and quit within 2 months. It wasn’t easy but, I knew what to expect as I had tried to quit cold turkey a few months prior. I did not expect the horrific withdrawals – crying fits and despair to the point of almost suicidal that I had. So this time planned it out. It took time but I’ve been off of gabapentin for 2 weeks now. Everyday has gotten better and better. I feel mostly normal.

    I take a sativa marijuana strain to lighten depression and an indica strain for sleep, plus a strain high in CBD for nerve pain due to inflammation. I also take calcium/magnesium at night for sleep and to stop the muscle cramps. I take a vitamin B supplement to help with regulating the depression and irritability and B12 sublingually to improve energy. Gabapentin depletes your body of biotin (a B vitamin). Now, I’ve gained about 34 pounds since taking the gabapentin. I hope that this weight will finally come off once my body regains balance.

  • Plunko January 29, 2015, 1:51 am

    I was on 300 mg of Neurontin 3x’s/day for benzo detox and to treat Bipolar II. The medication put me in a fog and interfered with my ability to think clearly, understand concepts, and concentrate. The “brain fog” I was in caused my job performance to suffer significantly, so much so that I was afraid I might lose my job. Under the supervision of my psychiatrist, I slowly cut the dose of the medication down to where I’m not taking it at all.

    The last dose being 300 mg. During the first few days after I stopped the Neurontin, I experienced insomnia, headache and anxiety. Uncomfortable, but manageable. Now I’m almost two weeks out and I’m a complete basket case. I been crying uncontrollably for the last three days, anxious, no appetite, headache, obsessive thinking. Help! Has anyone else experienced this? I would have thought that withdrawal symptoms would get better as more time passes, not worse.

  • Will Stenner February 2, 2015, 9:21 pm

    I was on Neurontin for several months. When first taking the medication everything seemed OK. Then I was at 3200 mg a day. I gained lots of weight from this medication and asked to get off of it due to my weight gain. My doctors tapered me off of it but the biggest symptom I had was massive itching and my skin felt like it was on fire. I experienced lots of tired spells and would get extremely dizzy.

    I would say starting it wasn’t too bad but getting off of it was really bad. I was taking it for severe spinal pain but weight gain and spinal pain don’t mix. I have a surgery consult coming up and am hoping that resolves a lot. The difference in opinion to surgery is 50/50. Neurontin only worked for a short time for me then it quit working after I got used to it.

  • itchy skin February 3, 2015, 9:25 pm

    Hi there, I just wanted to post in case it helps anyone else who experiences problems coming off of Gabapentin / Neurontin. I was only taking 300mg once per day. I wasn’t able to wean off since I was only taking one pill so I stopped completely. My worst side effect was itchy skin. I didn’t have a rash or anything causing the itching, it was just my brain reacting to being off the medication.

    It was a nightmare, but the more symptoms I experienced, the more I realized how powerful the medication is which made we want to be off it all the more. It took about 3 1/2 weeks for the itching to stop and I was able to get through the night. I also think the withdrawal affected my sleep and moods but that has all normalized as well, it just takes time. Things that helped me – oatmeal bath followed by medicated lotion and body powder, they have menthol in them which helped to alleviate the itching so I could sleep.

    I was also faithful with supplements and took Magnesium, Broccomax, Milk Thistle, Zinc and Biotin. These were recommended for detox and cell health. Not sure which if any helped so maybe talk to your doctor to ensure no issues, but if you are going through this, please know there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you will feel better with time. Hang in there, you can do it!

  • Kate Jones February 12, 2015, 8:59 pm

    I have read all previous comments with interest. I was prescribed Gabapentin for neural pain in my leg, radiating from spondylothesis in my lower lumbar region. At first it seemed to dull my intense pain but then the night sweats started together with a feeling of extreme depression which led to perpetual crying and a fear of death. I have always been a happy, optimistic person and these feelings were completely alien to me so I just stopped taking this med. Three months later the depression has subsided but the night sweats continue. Dreadful drug – I would rather be in pain and have control of my mind.

  • Therese February 18, 2015, 6:27 am

    I’d like to choke my doctor for putting me on this medication for nerve pain without telling me how sick you feel getting off it. And she knew I struggled with depression and never told me that it could make you depressed or worse (severely depressed) when getting off it. You know, of all the nerve! Doctors are supposed to care about your well-being but that’s so not true.

    They are supposed to know you and your history and heal not hurt you. I’ve never cried so much in all my years of being depressed. I was just coming out of it too, which really burns me up. The worst symptom I now have is severe constant, tormenting itching, all over my body. Even inside my friggin nose. This is what makes me want to choke the b*tch.

    And the nerve pain in my foot that she gave it to me for…it’s so severe that I feel like I’m walking on my bone. I basically have to limp. I will not let this ruin me. I cry on the treadmill for an hour because it hurts so bad. I just started taking the magnesium today. I’m praying for some relief. And for all of you who are suffering as well, I pray this will pass speedily with less severity.

  • Sheila February 23, 2015, 10:03 pm

    I’m glad to have found this discussion on Gabapentin withdrawal! I’ve been on 1800 mg @ 600 x 3 /day since Spring of 2014 for a severely ruptured disc at L5-S1 compressing the sciatic nerve root. I was throwing lots of stuff at the excruciating pain and finally it seemed like the gabapentin was the only thing coming close to it – not covering it completely, just taking the edge off, but it was something! I was told it was not addictive, too. But it helped.

    And if I had it to do again, I would probably still use it, even knowing about the difficult withdrawal. I was advised to do a slow taper when I felt ready, as I had a discectomy (surgery) in December. I reduced by 300 mg a week at a time, noticing only after a few weeks that I was struggling with depression, anxiety, physical aches & pains, sleepless nights, hot flushes, fatigue…recognizing that as I reduced the dosage these symptoms worsened slightly. So this weekend I started looking online for possible withdrawal issues with gabapentin and here I am!

    It’s good to know: I’m not going crazy, just out of my head :P. I only have the last 300 mg to go before I’m off completely, but thinking maybe to ask for lower dosages to taper slower (like 100mg @ 2 x day)? I am recovered enough from surgery that my husband and I are taking a winter holiday next week, but would hate this withdrawal to spoil our week away…I want to encourage anyone going through this to be strong, fight the effects of the withdrawal in natural & spiritual ways.

    I am calling on my praying friends to cover me in prayer, reading the Bible for words of comfort and encouragement, taking vitamins and supplements that help replenish the nutrients your body needs or is using up to get through this. It helps to keep busy, even if you feel lousy. I am in aquacise 3x weekly, I enjoy walking outdoors, it’s good for the body and the soul!

    Drink lots of water, go for a massage (if you can handle ‘touch’), sit in a sauna to sweat it out. I had to go through mild withdrawal when I quit morphine last summer, and while it was a little different symptoms, it still is a real battle in the mind. For me, trusting God to renew my mind, body and spirit is the only way to get over any of life’s struggles – He has not failed me yet!

    • Sheila Martens March 2, 2015, 11:24 pm

      I talked with my Dr. a couple of days ago, letting him know I had been tapering off of the gabapentin in recent weeks and suffering some withdrawal symptoms. He again said he was not aware of withdrawal issues with this drug, so hopefully now he is ;). He did prescribe me the lower dosage 100mg pills so that I could continue the slow taper through my upcoming holiday and hopefully in a month I am done…some of the symptoms have lessened, although ongoing headaches these past few days may also be attributed to the withdrawal, thankfully it’s not severe.

  • Debbie February 24, 2015, 6:00 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience with Gabapentin. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in this struggle. I’ve had three spinal surgeries, the last two being the worst due to a surgeon’s ignoring my bone density results (from his office!) showing my spine could not bear the rods, screws and cages he ultimately installed from L-2 to L-5S1. Gabapentin did help some with the nerve pain, but wreaked havoc with my emotional health!

    I decided to wean off it as fast as possible and caused extreme insomnia, depression and anxiety attacks. I’m actually better now, but wish I had known more about titrating down, I didn’t know there was a 100mg. dose to ease the pain. After a recent fall in our condo, I was given a shot of Toradol, an anti-inflammatory drug and was surprised to have total relief of pain! Who knew.

    I too lean on God for guidance, but find myself trying to do it all on my own, often failing! Even though we live in Florida, the cold spells during winter cause me the most pain. Its been a long road and I’m always looking for relief that doesn’t come from narcotics. That’s no way to live and I want life worth living!

  • Sondra February 26, 2015, 2:09 am

    Symptoms from my multiple autoimmune diseases include periferal neuropathy which manifests mostly in my feet and ankles. My neurologist started gabapentin at just 100 mg three times a day, next month 200 mg three times a day, finally 300 mg three times a day. Because I was experiencing almost all the side effects, I decided to taper by one dose a day. Even though this was a mild taper, I experienced withdrawal symptoms and went back to regular doses. At my last neurologist appointment I asked Dr Beltran if I wanted to stop the gabapentin did I need to taper or could I just stop.

    He said there was no problem just stopping cold turkey. Thank goodness for the Internet. The various posts confirmed that taper is the only way to go off gabapentin no matter what dose you are on. Once again I tried to get off gabapentin and because my doctor said I could just stop it I believed him. WRONG! I started four days ago and on this my fourth day I was so ill with many of the listed side effects. The nausea and dry heaves were intense and intolerable.

    I had phenagren to alleviate that problem and ice packs on my pounding headache. So I took one 300 mg gabapentin to see if that would help. It did; so tomorrow I will do the same for a month then try to go off that one 300 mg and then none. Moral of my story is always check online or with family and friends to verify something a doctor tells you. So glad to know I am not crazy. Thanks for the posts. :)

  • Tanner March 4, 2015, 10:44 pm

    Hello Everyone, I’m so grateful that I found this page! Like most of you, my whole world changed in one moment and I was suddenly lost, confused, sick, and scared. I found this site and all of your comments, and I found a glimmer of hope. I read your stories and saw that this would pass. I was so deep into anxiety and depression that it sometimes still felt like it was permanent, that I would have to go live in a nut ward. But without your words, there would’ve been no hope. So thank you.

    When I read these posts, I told myself that when I came through on the other side of this, I would come back here and write about my experience, strength and hope. I promised myself, and I promised all ths readers, on here still suffering, that I would contribute to that hope that faced my life. So that’s why I’m here; to fulfill a promise. Surely, you already realize that I wouldn’t be writing this if I hadn’t come out just fine on the other side. So breath a sigh of great relief. This too shall pass.

    Now I’ve always been a very “normal” person, as far as physical and emotional health. Unfortunately though, I injured myself and ruptured a disc in my neck back in August of 2014. In October of that same year I was placed on our favorite drug, gabapentin. My doctor worked me up to the minimum dose of 900 mg a day, 300 mg 3 x a day. I continued taking it for the next several months, until it was decided that surgery was required. I had an ACDF procedure done in late January of 2015, and came out, more or less, fine.

    While on the drug, I experienced double vision, mouth sores, weight gain, irritability, and mild anxiety. So I was very ready for surgery, so that I could get off the gabapentin, which through research, I realized was causing all of those side effects. The day of surgery, they didn’t give me my afternoon dose of gabapentin, though. By the next day I decided that I’d just take one in the morning and one in the evenng. My surgeon told me to ween off, one dose a week, until I was off for good. So I went ahead and took two a day the remaining 7 days, then moved to one day. No problems, really.

    On the third day of “one pill a day”, that all changed. Big time. First, I started feeling very dark. Like hopeless, anxious, depressed… And it literally came out of nowhere. I suddenly exploded, with panic, and took my wife by great surprise. Scared her half to death. I couldn’t be soothed. I couldn’t calm down. I couldn’t sleep. This went on all night. The next day, I was so scared of how I was feeling, that I had her hide my gun, for fear of hurting myself.

    I felt so hopeless that I just wanted it to end, but my mind convinced me it never would. Despite her words of reassurance, my mind continued to tell me lies about how screwed I was. We were about ready to drive me to the mental health hospital, but instead, decided to call my doctor. His office was no help. So we went to an urgent care. I just didn’t want to be away from my wife and kidaughter, you know? My wife was my last rock. In the waiting room of the urgent care,i found this page. It was my first feeling of relief. Others had been through this! Some even wrote about how it had finally passed. And a few even had advice!

    The PA that I saw in the urgent care prescribed me Atarax. It’s like benadryl. Non-addictive, few side effects, worked for the anxiety a little. I will list my symptoms and treatment at the end of this, I promise. I tried taking some advice on here too, like magnesium supplements and epsom salt baths. Both seemed to help with the night time restless leg syndrome. The insomnia was still killing me Külling. So I went to an Eastern Medicine doctor. He gave me ear acupuncture, and some herbs to help with the detoxifying, along with some diet advice.

    Now the herbs and diet stuff was prescribed for my body and what it was going through, so I won’t even begin to detail all of it. Though I will tell you that if you’re currently suffering from this, go to an Eastern Medicine doctor. Homeopathic medicine is where you will find some real relief. If you do one thing that I’ve recommended, do this. It can’t hurt. It saved me!

    My last dose of gabapentin was February 4th. I began going crazy and suffering like nothing else that evening. Today is March 4th, and I feel like my old self. I still have an extremely vague, underlying sense of something, but it’s hard to even describe, and very easy to ignore. My sleep is way better. Way better! Way way way better!

    So here are my symptoms:

    Insomnia
    Restless leg syndrome
    Anxiety
    Panic attacks
    Depression
    Uncontrollable crying
    Leg Cramps
    Headache
    Nausea
    Diarrhea
    Suicidal ideation
    Paranoia

    I may have left something out, but that means I’ve come far enough along that I’m starting to forget. I’m fine with that.

    Treatment:

    Lots of water.
    Atarax
    Magnesium supplements
    Epsom salt baths every night
    All lights off at sundown. Maybe a reading light, but no phones computers or tablets.
    Herbs, from the eastern medicine doctor, which happened to negate any need for further magnesium supplements.
    Greens, preferably juiced, like cucumber and celerey, lettuce, etc. No Kale, unless cooked.
    Ear acupuncture. I did this for two weeks, everyday, except weekends.
    Prayer/meditation
    Positive environment. Positive entertainment, music, people, etc… Love Love Love
    Find a way to help others and get out of yourself. It really helps!

    Friends, I made it. So will you. Do not let your mind tell you that you won’t. It doesn’t know. It is a scared child. Treat it as such. Reassure it that everything will be just fine, and give it’s fears no thought. Withdrawals from this medicine can have even more dangerous side effects, and you need to research those. If you aren’t sure, or are concerned, go to the ER. If you take just one thing away from this, let it be hope. Because you will get through this. It will get better. And you are loved. Please comeback after you’re all better and share your hope with others on here. Love, Tanner

    • Tiffany July 11, 2016, 6:42 pm

      Thank you so so much for the positive attitude!!! I try to stay positive everyday while dealing/coping with this.

  • Alexander March 6, 2015, 8:07 pm

    I was originally put on this drug 5 years ago from my psych doc after being weaned off Xanax. I believe it was to help me sleep. Then I went off it for a short time and my leg started bothering me (had broken my leg in 2009) and I get a lot of headaches so my primary put me back on (600 mg). I went off this drug 2 weeks ago cold turkey…that was extremely stupid. First of all I couldn’t stand up for long without feeling like passing out.

    I called my doc after the first week and he said to just stay off it. I should be OK, but it continued to totally mess with me mental health wise. Anxiety and bad depression, cannot sleep and terrible night sweats, ringing in my ears, strange tingling in different parts of my body. I have missed work, etc. I called my doctor back and he now put me back on it; 300mg for a week, 200 for 2nd week, 100 third week then stopped.

    Just started the 300 last night..but my leg is already starting to bother me! I made an apt to see my doctor on Monday (had talked to him on the phone and felt too rushed) because I hate to go through this terrible withdrawal and then have to go back on it for my leg, that’s where I am right now.

  • Jacks March 16, 2015, 12:26 am

    I came off. Tired of feeling drugged up. Experienced heavy chest pressure, outbursts of crying, depression, yelling, inability to cope, leg Charley Horses, sweating, lack of appetite, and suicidal thoughts. Getting slightly better as time goes on. Eyes feel weird though. People at work probably thinking I’m a nut, especially since my freak out last week, but I’ll hang in there. I’m not sleeping much. So very tired, but determined. I’ll keep trying.

  • Sally March 20, 2015, 6:26 pm

    Hi, I’ve been on this horrid Gabapentin 400 mg 3x a day to help with my peripheral neuropathy for 5 years now. At first I didn’t have any issues with it but lately the last few months have been awful!!! I have been trying to taper off from it but every time I do I experience flu-like symptoms such as sweats, nausea and even a fever!!! I am finding it very hard to taper off this stuff so I am still up to the same 1200 mg a day.

    Sometimes I am forgetful when it comes to taking my next dose which I hate because the flu-like symptoms come back again. Sometimes when I do take my Gabapentin on schedule I will awhile later start feeling like I have the flu again! I am afraid to go anywhere! One time I went to a movie with friends and I couldn’t see the entire movie because I felt sick so I ended up lying down on a bench in the movie lobby, it was so embarrassing!!

    I felt terrible because my friends saw me and we ended up leaving before it was over. I am now starting to get the shakes and sometimes a headache. I am so glad I found this thread! I don’t feel like I am alone anymore. If anyone has any encouragement for me I’d so appreciate it! I hope everyone’s recovery will be quick and that you will be feeling much better soon! -Sally

  • Sylvia March 24, 2015, 5:02 pm

    Question about Magnesium to help withdrawal: I’ve been on 2400 mg (4 x 600mg all at night) for sleep issues for almost 15 years. I seemed to do fine going down half a pill to 2100, then another 125mg (1/4 pill), but when I tried to step down again last night–along with 300mg Mag Citrate, I was awake most of the night. I may have stepped down again too soon (after only a week), but wanted to ask about the Mag. What is the best dose, and when should it be taken? Thanks!

    • GLOOM March 24, 2015, 9:57 pm

      Sylvia, taking magnesium decreases the amount of gabapentin that your body absorbs… Therefore you may want to avoid the magnesium until you are completely withdrawn from the gabapentin as it could [potentially] accelerate withdrawal. Best of luck.

      • Nicki Cook August 5, 2016, 9:32 pm

        Does this also go for Epsom salt baths and mouthwash? Thank you.

  • Judi April 2, 2015, 7:25 pm

    Thank you so much for the confirmation of this hell of a withdrawal. I was doing 1800 mg for 5 years for fibromyalgia. I ran out and been playing phone tag with the doctor to renew the prescription. Within 12 hours after my last dose I was in so much pain, agitated, and nearly suicidal. I also have seizures which make me glad I have Lamictal on hand. I can’t even begin to describe how much it hurts, plus it is burning, aching and 10 on a scale of 10.

  • Scott. April 4, 2015, 2:40 pm

    Don’t over-think getting off of this horrible drug, Was on 2700 mg a day for incredible mouth pain. Which it did absolutely nothing for at all! So I am getting off, been a week of weaning, not so bad at all. A little insomnia and that is about it! I guess I am fortunate after reading all the horror stories here! Just keep busy and don’t think about it! You will all be fine soon! Good luck to all of you!

  • Lynn April 5, 2015, 12:48 am

    I am so pleased that I have found this website, and been able to read all these comments. I will be back to share my story and hope that it will help others and also now know what I am going through is not me going insane. I know Gabapentin for some is a wonder cure, for me it has been total hell.

  • Lizzy April 8, 2015, 2:50 am

    Your post is very helpful and much needed. I only took gabapentin to prevent migraine, and I only took it for a few months but the side effects weren’t nice so I stopped it. I’ve been so poorly, I would rather suffer migraine any day. The worst thing has been anxiety coupled with insomnia, meaning I had anxiety during the day, and during the night too as I couldn’t even sleep to escape it.

    I couldn’t conduct my life properly, even little tasks seemed like mountains to climb and I would put things off including socializing. Sweating, headaches, irritability. I felt like a total wreck. I lost so much weight. It’s been 4 months since I stopped it and I still get symptoms of withdrawal at varying rates of severity. From my point of view, and from what I’ve read in these comments, we should all try to avoid any medication that messes with our brain chemistry unless it’s vital that we take them, and then for the least amount of time possible.

    I also had depression after losing two sons and had similarly nasty side effects withdrawing from antidepressants. Nobody knows the long term effects of these brain chemistry altering poisons have on any of us. The extent to which they are prescribed is truly staggering. Is it possible that these drugs could be contributing long term to the increase in the number of people developing dementia?

    I doubt if anyone has the answer to that unless there has been sufficient clinical research. I can’t find any studies into this possibility, if anyone knows of any, I’d be very interested to read them. At least contributors to this page are aware of the nastiness of gabapentin and how difficult it can be to come off it. Stay strong everyone, you are much better off without it, what ever you experience and however long it takes.

  • Polly April 12, 2015, 12:12 pm

    I know no-one has commented on this post for almost a year, but I just wanted to thank everyone for their comments. I have been taking Gabapentin for almost 4 years and at my peak was taking 4800mg a day for chronic migraine. My neurologist decided that it wasn’t helping me enough so he told me to bring myself off with a taper of 600mg per week. It has been absolute hell. I have come off a lot of drugs and I couldn’t understand why this one was affecting me so badly.

    I thought I was just being weak, but after I found this site I realized that I wasn’t alone in have such major problems. I have found keeping up with my job almost impossible, and I am so angry with my neurologist for not warning me that this was not an easy drug to get off of. Anyway, thank you all for letting me know that I’m not going insane and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. (I am also really glad to find out that my short term memory issues are probably caused by the Gabapentin and not that I am going senile at the age of 25!)

  • Hater of Gabapentin April 16, 2015, 4:41 pm

    I had no idea of withdrawal effects of this hellish medicine. I quit cold turkey on a Sunday and by Tuesday afternoon I started feeling that there was something wrong. I was getting very irritable with my wife, lost my temper a couple of times. Started feeling a little anxiety coming on so I went to bed real early. While in bed my mind was all over the place. Getting angry at everybody until I finally went to sleep.

    The next day all hell broke loose. Uncontrollable crying, anxiety, panic attacks, nausea, diarrhea, no appetite at all. To top it off I woke up so angry that I picked a fight with my wife. It was so bad she took off for a few hours on foot just to get away from me. I hurt her feelings big time. This whole time I knew what I was experiencing was not me. But I had no idea just what was happening. I finally looked on the internet and found out about the withdrawal potential of this terrible drug.

    I had told my doctor that I was gong to stop taking it, and she made no mention of what could happen going cold turkey. I am into day 5 now without it and my stomach is still upset, and I have lost 6 pounds since Sunday. I am still mentally fighting the bad moods. This drug almost cost me my marriage. The only thing that is going for me is that this article showed my wife just what was happening. Her love for me is what is keeping us together. This is a devil’s drug. Stay away from it.

    • Hater of Gabapentin April 18, 2015, 4:42 am

      Just an update on my condition. I went to the E.R. today because I couldn’t deal with everything. They told me that there is no other drug that can stop my withdrawal symptoms except to go back on Gabapentin full strength and then when the symptoms go away titrate down very slowly. Don’t even try to cut the dose in half. Drop the dose by maybe 1/4 to 1/3. Then go for two weeks and cut that dose down in a similar way.

      Consult your primary care Physician and follow his instruction. Drink Gatorade or some other sports drink that has lots of vitamins and magnesium. Also please eat and always, always remember that you can get through this, it will just take time. The E.R Doctor said that if I continue trying to go cold turkey the withdrawal symptoms can last for weeks to months. Do not make the same mistake I made.

    • Sarah April 18, 2015, 11:17 pm

      Hi “Hater of Gabapentin” :-) I am repeating myself here, since I responded to an earlier post with this same type of information, but I also had a hard time getting off Gabapentin. I succeeded by tapering off gradually. Once I was down to just one capsule, I would open up the capsules and pour off some of the powder each night to reduce the dosage. I took quite a few months to taper off since I would get the withdrawal symptoms if I reduced too fast. The other thing I did, which was critical to getting off this drug, was to take the supplement L-theanine which really helped with the anxiety part.

      I bought a bottle of 200 mg tablets and took 1 or 2 of them whenever I felt anxiety. At first, I took them every 1-2 hours. I took 10 tablets per day the first few weeks then went down to 4 tablets- no side effects from the tablets for me. And I normally have side effects from everything- I’ve never heard of anyone having bad side effects from L-theanine. It’s an amino acid derived from green tea. They sell it at Whole Foods, all my local vitamin stores, and online where you can get it for a big discount. I happen to use the Source Naturals brand. This might be helpful for you, you might try it and see.

  • Michelle April 17, 2015, 12:51 am

    I started taking gabapentin because my insurance company decided they didn’t want to pay for Savella, which was helping my fibromyalgia pain. I’m on 1,200mg three times a day since last November. I have not been tapering off it but missed a few doses because I couldn’t get to the pharmacy. I thought I was going to die, extreme fatigue and anxiety.

    I even feel these effects even between doses when I do take them regularly. Also, the pain is almost unbearable! I would like to thank the damn insurance companies who dictate therapy based on cost versus what my Neurologist recommended. I want off this but am afraid to after reading this. If I’m having withdrawal symptoms between doses, I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like to try to get off this crap!

  • formernurse April 19, 2015, 9:59 am

    I’ve got gabapentin to help with my benzodiazepine withdrawal as well as my nerve pain after back surgery. The more I read about gabapentin withdrawal issues, the more I want to stop taking it as soon as possible, but of course not over night. *sigh*. I usually find the info I need about the medications I’m prescribed, but I’ll be a lot happier if the info would come from my doctor/s. I’ve noticed many of you didn’t get enough guidance from your MD’s as well which is really sad. Can we do something about it at all? I wish all best to all you and a fast recovery those suffering from withdrawal. And thank you GLOOM for this site, I’ve found many helpful information here.

  • Julie April 24, 2015, 12:53 pm

    I am 2 weeks and 2 days off 900mg of neurontin a day for 18 months. Had a neurologist appt (not who put me on the the neurontin) yesterday who told me “it is impossible to have withdrawals from neurontin, obviously what you are experiencing is from something else.” I looked at him like he was crazy. I know my body very well and I never had any of these problems before the neurontin nor on the neurontin but within 12 hours of taking my last one I was miserable, in absolute hell and still am. I’m starting to think Dr’s of all kinds are quacks and just tell you whatever so they don’t have to deal with you.

    • Andrew W. Ejma October 27, 2015, 7:54 pm

      You are 100% right. You have to be careful because it is a very slow withdrawal process. I went of off Depakote after I was on it for two years and all it took was 3 weeks to come off of it, but I had a Neurologist take me off of it.

  • Joanne SB April 27, 2015, 7:03 pm

    Gabapentin is the only drug my ins would cover for fibromyalgia. I was taking 900mg 3x a day. I qualified for free Lyrica through “Pfizer Pathways” for low income patients. I think I’ve been on gab for 3 years. My pain mgmt doc has prescribed a 45 day titrate with a 5 day ‘wash out’ at the end – no gab, no Lyrica. I’ve just put in a call to him, I feel like crap. (There are some stressful things in my life that are contributing to feeling like this, I’m sure.)

    I also have non-diabetic neuropathy. The gab was helping with both the fibro and neuropathy. Thank God I found this website! I figured that some of feeling so badly was due to gab but this is such validation that withdrawal is difficult and nasty! I’m trying to quit smoking for all the usual reasons but most importantly for an upcoming major surgery. I’ll be a ‘good patient’ and continue the titrate.

    I think that my pain management doc is highly qualified – he’s a D.O. not an M.D. That’s fine with me; DO’s have a different approach to treatment and healing. I wasn’t informed of how difficult the titrate could be. Feeling the way I do now, I may be back to rant (or whine). I’ll keep you posted.

  • Chase April 29, 2015, 1:57 am

    I’ve been abusing gaba for about 2 years been taking it for 4. I quit a bad oxy habit and my gaba habit got out of control shortly after. I don’t really want to say the amount I take because it’s embarrassing but I will because I need advice. I can go through 360 800mg pills in 5-6 days. Needless to say if I let myself run out it’s absolutely hell. I’ve tried quitting and a week is about all I can handle. Any advice is welcome. Is there anything besides magnesium out there to make this a little easier. Thanks in advance.

    • Kris June 4, 2015, 7:29 am

      Hi Chase. I’ve been withdrawing since mid-Feb (2700 mg) and the only thing I’ve been able to do to make it somewhat better is to slow down my reduction to 50 mg per week. I’m at 350 mg right now. I still get weak, tingling limbs, leg and foot cramps, some nightmares, hot and cold flashes, and some passing nerve pain, but I haven’t had much anxiety or depression. When I get to the last 100 mg capsule I plan on pouring some out until I can be off of them completely. I’ve been on them for 6 years. though I started at a lower dose and went up to 2700. Good luck on your taper, and try taking it slowly even though we all want to be off this crap as soon as possible!

  • Frank April 29, 2015, 6:54 am

    Have had herniated disc for years and started on Hydrocodone and helped with pain while working, well years go by and not enough relief so doctor put me on low dose of Methadone 5mg daily along with the hydrocodone seemed to work! Well doctor moved on and new doctor does not agree with old doctor so no more opiates! And not very responsive to slow down, well added Gabapentin 3 -300mg a day – very tired. Fell asleep driving so says cut back. Have extreme leg cramps, hot feet and bad insomnia, have not slept a full night for at least a month. Well decide to quit the gaba 2 days in and not doing very well. Added magnesium hope to finally get some sleep, well I know the opiates were bad but at least I was maintaining some type of normal life!

  • Will - Leics., England April 30, 2015, 12:46 pm

    Hello. Firstly I want to say I can sympathise with all of you who have left comments or have visited this site for reassurance that you are not going mad. I have been on gabapentin 3X600mg daily to stop pain derived from a damaged c8 disc. This damage caused my ring finger and little finger to be paralyzed on my left hand and the back of my hand and these two fingers were mainly numb. Also I had the most terrible pain travelling from my shoulder blade to my armpit and down my arm.

    When Gabapentin was prescribed and I was so grateful it had reduced the pain. Morphine, codeine, and other stuff had had no effect on this at all, it was relentless and unbearable! After a couple of months I cut the dose in half and then quit altogether. Felt fine and then it started! Horrendous dreams, two or three hours sleep a day, no appetite, depression and sheer terror and fear in my mind. I would wake from nightmares and visions shivering and trembling with a wave of heat coming over my body – like when you mistakenly think you’ve lost one of your children at a busy venue, but they are still stood nearby.

    I could not stop the feelings of total despair and fear, a depression that engulfed me and made my head feel like a cloud that wanted to burst. I have not cried so many tears in such a short space of time. It felt like there was no way back and I would always be in this depressive state for the rest of my life – I would never feel happy again. I knew something was wrong but I couldn’t work out what? Then I started to research gabapentin withdrawal and found this website amongst others and having read peoples’ comments, I started taking it again.

    I am now taking 1500mg daily and also using magnesium as suggested by others on this site, and will continue to taper off it slowly. I feel almost back to normal, but the nightmares and memories this has raked up will be with me for some time to come. This drug needs to be banned outright until more research has been carried out. Without the support of my wife and my brother, I genuinely would have committed suicide.

    As for giving this to kids – !!!!!! Never, just never. Good luck to those people that gabapentin is helping and they are pleased with the results, but for me, as soon as I can get off it I will do and then it will never be in my household again.

  • Dan May 4, 2015, 12:37 pm

    This is all scaring me a little bit… Missing one dose, not only did my right leg go numb but I started sweating wicked, had the shakes, and blurred vision. Had to take the dose I missed and lie down to get through it so I can just imaging what is about to come. I have been on 2700mg per day for over two years, but am finally getting back surgery (OLIF). The end of taking Gabapentin is coming soon. Not looking forward to this. I am glad there are all these comments to read through to prepare me :).

    • Carol May 12, 2015, 5:42 pm

      Dan, my heart goes out to you. I hope your back surgery really helps you.

  • Carol May 12, 2015, 5:39 pm

    First thing: The doctor should tell you up front that this is a serious drug which messes with your brain. I just started tapering off 800 mg a day. Its been one week now and I have had sweats and I’ve got a constant headache. My doctor suggested I go off of it because I was feeling unsteady all the time, sometimes staggering as if I were drunk. She thought it would be good to get off before searching for more reasons which would require an MRI. So far I don’t feel great, but I have a schedule for reducing the dose and I hope I can stick to it.

  • Emma May 27, 2015, 10:48 am

    Very good article. I’m coming off Gabapentin, I was only on it for maybe 4-5 weeks but I have been really unwell coming off it. I’ve had loss of appetite, hot and cold sweats, feeling sick, headache, pain, exhaustion, tummy ache, can’t sleep…its been awful. Feeling terrible.

  • Kathy June 3, 2015, 6:54 pm

    I was prescribed Gabapentin back in December for nerve pain in the feet due to spine. They wanted me to take 300 mg per day and after a few days I stopped because I didn’t like the groggy, high feeling it gave me. When I went back to the doctors she encouraged me to get back on it and slowly ease into it. I did and eventually it helped the burning in my feet. My doctor kept raising the dose and soon I was on 2700 mg per day.

    I went into the hospital for lower back surgery and during recovery I started getting a burning in my butt, lower back and thighs that was so intense I thought I would die. The nurses just told me it was from not using my muscles and I needed to get up and walk and sit. The pain just got worse! It was like someone was holding a torch on those areas and no matter how many pain Meds they gave me I was in excruciating pain and could not sleep. A slight wrinkle in the sheets would cause unbearable burning and there was no way to get comfortable.

    I looked around the room for ways to kill myself, the pain was so bad. Then on day five the doctor came in and I said it’s gotta be my nerves and not muscles because nothing can touch my skin and I suggested we maybe up the Gabapentin . He said okay we will up you to 400 mg per day and I just looked at him and said “what, I am supposed to be on 2700mg per day”. My primary care doctor had not updated that on the computer and I suffered for 5 days for it. They immediately raised my dose and within hours the pain was nearly gone. So I have no doubt that withdrawal from Gabapentin causes hypersensitive nerves.

  • Diane June 8, 2015, 6:24 pm

    I was taking Gabapentin for pain in my thigh from shingles. I had only been on it for about a month. I only took 300 mg at night and it totally knocked me out and made it difficult to wake in the morning. 5 days ago I was staggering in the morning after getting up. The next day I could not walk without veering 10 feet from the direction I was trying to go and became very dizzy and nauseous.

    I went back to bed and got up later, read about side effects and did not take the pill that night. I woke up in worse shape the next morning and ended up with a brain scan and trip to ER. I constantly felt like throwing up or passing out. They gave me IV anti dizzy drugs and steroids plus Diazepam. Today I am able to move around without looking drunk. Started to do more in depth research and found this site.

    The comments about magnesium hit home since I seldom eat bananas but had started to eat them plus take a vitamin pill for skin and nails that had some in it just prior to my issues. I will deal with the nerve pain rather than deal with this drug.

  • Marianne June 11, 2015, 9:18 am

    Can’t believe how slippery this group of meds are. Heard someone say that they are now the ‘new herion’ in UK prisons and can totally believe it. My boyfriend and started taking it for a buzz but it’s so hard to deal with withdrawals. We are both over 50 with a long history of substance misuse and addiction that we thought we had overcome.

    The thought of going back onto opiates to help with withdrawals has occurred to both of us but we haven’t actually done this. In the UK they really seemed to be dishing them out to all and sundry but now they realize there’s a problem people are being taken off them. We’re gonna try so hard not to take again as I don’t think our relationship will survive if we keep doing this. AVOID, AVOID, AVOID.

  • anna whitehorne June 11, 2015, 8:56 pm

    I was told to take this by my dialysis doc for restless leg syndrome and it did help at only 300mg at night. Now I am trying to get off this drug which is making me dizzy, losing muscle strength, etc. but my withdrawal is hell, double hell, even at that low dose. What is a good taper from 300mg a day?

    • Dennis June 28, 2015, 9:25 pm

      I have read 50 to 100mg and week. I was on 900mg and have used 100mg caps and dropping 100mg a week. Now down to 500mg and doing ok except sleeping is a problem. Hope this helps you.

  • Sheila June 22, 2015, 8:04 pm

    I have been on gabapentin since 2000 for severe nerve damage in my right leg. The lasting results from a back injury. My DR. has had me on 2,900 mg a day. (I’m 5’6, 128 lbs). I, myself decided to take myself off of Gaba because of memory loss that I was suffering along with a few other reasons. This has been very difficult try to wean myself off this med. I am doing it with my Dr.’s help though. Some days are definitely better then others. I’m now down to 600 mg daily and this has been done by tapering myself down over a 6 week period. I have been drinking a lot of water to help flush my system out and also taking very hot detox baths. (Detox baths and drinks can be found on Pintrest). This has not been an easy road by at all, but I do think that in the end it will be so worth it. Good luck everyone.

  • Eric June 25, 2015, 2:46 am

    I was in a pretty horrible car accident last April. Drowned in a river (was under water for at least 18mins), had hypothermia (probably the only reason 18mins underwater didn’t kill me), and spent a week in a coma. I lost feeling/movement in my right leg from the knee down, but still had excruciating pain in the leg. I was put on Gabapentin.

    I’ve been taking 3600mg/day for over a year. Last week, I just decided to stop taking it. I haven’t had ANY withdrawal symptoms (aside from maybe a little bit of itching now that I read that…). My doctor told me that I would have to wean off of it (obviously I stopped taking it without consulting). Being that I hadn’t noticed any symptoms and it has been a week off of it, I came here to see what I was supposed to be experiencing.

    I honestly thought it was a joke and that they were just covering their bases when they said I’d have to ween. I now see that people on doses much lower than mine over much shorter duration are having an awful time getting off of it. I feel so bad for you guys. Considering my dose/duration, though, why am I getting off so easy?

  • Satish June 28, 2015, 4:24 am

    I am a 67 yr old male. I was prescribed Gabapentin 300 mg + Pregabilin 75 mg for a herniated disc in my lower back. I took these drugs for about 2 months but quit as they did not help with the pain. Since quitting I have had terrible insomnia – feel drowsy but the mind just won’t switch off. Forced to take 5 mg Ambien to get to sleep – works for a max of 5 hours. Trying yoga and meditation – hasn’t helped as yet. Will start magnesium now based on info from this website.

  • Sarah June 29, 2015, 4:23 am

    I was prescribed Gabapentin when I was 18, for severe vulvadynia. I am currently on 1200 mg/day. My doctor assured me it was a safe drug. Not only did it help tremendously with my pain, it also eliminated my anxiety, which I had struggled with my whole life. It has done amazing things for me, and allowed me to live a normal life – it’s even made me generally happier and more optimistic. There is a dark side to this medication, though – the indescribably awful withdrawal. There have been a few times when I couldn’t refill my script before it ran out.

    After just one day of not taking it, I went through the hell that is Gaba withdrawal. I couldn’t sleep, and if I managed to doze off, I would wake up in a panic, heart racing. One night, I even had a mild seizure. If I did manage to fall asleep for more than a few minutes, I would have the most horrific dreams imaginable. The withdrawal forces you to dwell on the worst parts of your life. It made me feel almost insane; the night I had the seizure, I was convinced there was a demon in my room. Terrifying, to say the least.

    The general feeling of restlessness, depression, and anxiety is the least of the withdrawal. I also became more irritable, and snapped at people I love. I was convinced they didn’t care about me anymore, and said terrible things. The symptoms combined produced suicidal thoughts, which I never have, normally. I just couldn’t imagine living with the horrible feelings for more than a few days. I hate the way I am when I’m withdrawing. I’m not myself, and I feel like a stranger in my own mind. When I’m taking the Gaba, I am myself. I’m happy. I’m motivated.

    So why stop? Well, my husband and I really want to try and get pregnant next year, and I feel like I have to stop taking the Gaba for the safety of our child. However, I’m so scared of what my withdrawal will do to our marriage, and our lives in general. I know I will not be able to work (which we can’t afford), I will be nasty to him, and distant with everyone else. I won’t be able to leave the house – the withdrawal gives me EXTREME social anxiety and insecurity. I just feel so hopeless.

    I never thought, as an 18-year-old who trusted their doctor, that I would be so addicted and dependent on a drug that I was told is safe. I am now 28, it’s been almost 10 years of Gaba. I haven’t been able to find any solid information about the effects of taking Gaba while pregnant. If I have to go through this withdrawal, I won’t even WANT to get pregnant anymore. Any advice, stories, comfort, and especially experiences of pregnancy and Gaba would be SO appreciated. Thank you.

  • Hemma July 3, 2015, 7:52 am

    I’ve been off gabapentin 3 week today. I stopped them cold turkey after not knowing I had to withdraw. The day after I stopped I started getting twitching all around body which I had never had before. Which I still have. 3 days after stopping the back pain started which I still have. I couldn’t sleep for the first 7 days. I was sweating. Feeling depressed. Anxiety through roof. I was only taking 900mg a day for 22 days.

  • John July 11, 2015, 7:22 pm

    Just took myself off 600mg per day for sciatica issues. Started 2 months ago. Pain has subsided enough to stop. Doc said to stay with it. After wondering why my body felt achy most of the time and tired mostly, I figured it was the drug. Started to read articles on this drug and decided I have had enough. Stopped completely over three days. Felt dizzy and irritated for two days. Now on forth day and feel pretty good and aches have subsided. Trust that it is this crap.

  • Peter July 14, 2015, 2:46 pm

    One thing that is not listed but something that I have experienced is weight loss during gabapentin withdrawal, has this been mentioned by other people who are withdrawing from gabapentin?

  • Mary July 16, 2015, 7:28 pm

    Oh thank goodness I have found this page. I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face as I read your comments and realize that I am not a mad, nasty person. I can barely get through a day without needing to sleep in the afternoon, the sweating I thought was a bad menopause or some sort of liver or kidney failure, the vivid dreams staying with me for days, and thoughts all the time about no-one liking me, I’m worthless, etc. This is a lifeline; thank you.

  • Denise July 19, 2015, 8:00 pm

    I am so glad that I found this site. I’ve been off of Gabapentin for two weeks now. I was on 300 mg two times a day. My rheumatologist said I was on a low dose so getting off of it would not be hard. He said “just take one pill every other day for a few days”, so I just went cold turkey. Big mistake! But, I felt there was no turning back. The anxiety and depression are disabling.

    Finding this site helps tremendously…just knowing that I’m not alone and that the symptoms I am experiencing are only temporary. I must say though, that trying to keep busy or exercise is difficult. I feel like I have a weight holding me down. I do feel that in the long run I will be better for it. If I had known that the medication was this difficult to get off of I would never have taken it in the first place. My heart goes out to anyone trying to get off of it. Hang in there.

  • M August 6, 2015, 2:40 pm

    I too am tapering down… have been on 500 a night… am working with a psycho pharmacologist and she is good and I trust her with my life, literally. We decided to dose down because of sexual side effects. When I went down to 400 I was fine with withdrawal symptoms but no relief from sexual side effects. We decided to dose down to 200 and I started this a week ago tomorrow and no have had nausea every day… I am able to function because I am determined not to let the nausea screw with me so to speak… but it is getting very old. Any suggestions for helping the nausea?

    • Nicki C September 6, 2016, 6:23 pm

      I had the same and found alka seltzer works quite well… Settles the stomach enough to eat.

  • Kevin August 8, 2015, 3:21 pm

    I have been taking Gabapentin for about 3 years. I was taking 300 mgs 3 times a day. I had gotten off of Fentanyl patches and painkillers that I was addicted to, and was then put on these. I already take antidepressant medicine but I feel depressed, anxious, restless, very tired all day. I wish now I never started this medicine. Doc told me to take 2 a day instead, for a week. Then 1 a day for another week. My insomnia seems to be my worst symptom right now. I do feel overall crappy, and I can’t wait to throw the bottle of these in the garbage. Seems there is never a miracle cure. So it goes another day…

  • Diane August 19, 2015, 12:33 pm

    I took gabapentin for 5 years at 2700 mg per day (900 x 3 times per day. It helped my sister with her anxiety disorder so I asked my doctor about it. He put me on it right away. In the last 6 months I have been able to get off all antidepressants and thought that now I would stop the gabapentin. My doctor told me to do this very slowly and I did.

    The withdrawal symptoms were terrible just like everyone else. No matter now slow you go I believe that you will have these withdrawal symptoms. Reading all of your posts helped me very much. After I was completely off gabapentin, I began Magnesium ( a very good one, Nature’s Calm) I started taking Valerian Root, I began a probiotic Salivarious, an herb for the stomach, Neem.

    I had already started massages, and also began detox treatments through the feet. I am slowly getting better and sleeping better at night. I split up the doses of Natures Calm and if I wake up at night I take another does along with a Valerian Root. The Neem herb really helped with the nausea. I take the Natures Calm (which is a good form of Magnesium) through the day with Valerian Root. I also take Chromium. My blood sugars were all messed up due to the gabapentin. My anxiety hit me hard again but I am working through it and getting better.

    The Valerian Root really helped this and helped calm my blood pressure. Gabapentin is a very bad drug and it destroys the very thing that we need to help pain, anxiety, depression which is magnesium. Searching the internet and this website has educated me on magnesium and it’s importance to the body. I also take epsom salt baths. I use a menthol spray for the itching. The Natures Calm and the Valerian Root also helped the restless legs at night. I have had all the withdrawal symptoms. Good luck to each of you.

  • Cyndi August 24, 2015, 2:34 am

    So happy that I found this site. Went from taking 3200 mg a day and decided to go off last week. Went down to 800 a day and for the past 3 days just 1 – 800 daily. Today I started feeling depressed and withdrawn and just started crying having a conversation with my husband. Thought I just had a lot going on this past week but now I know the reason. What to do now, stay on 1 – 800 per day and deal with it or increase it again? I would hate to waste the past 3 days of withdrawing but getting quite concerned. Haven’t even told my husband what I did. Any suggestions??

  • Patti August 25, 2015, 7:05 pm

    I have only been on neurontin for less than 3 months. MD prescribed 300 mg three times/day and said to gradually work up to 900 mg. I started at 300 mg at bedtime for 2 months. Went to 300 mg twice a day for a month with no real improvement in fatigue, aching pain in my legs related to mild to moderate stenosis at L-4, L-5, S-1. Saw MD and we discussed getting to 900 mg to see if my symptoms would improve.

    I asked specifically about brain chemistry effects and did read all the fine print before going on it but did not think about the withdrawal process. I got to the 900 md dose for 2 weeks but couldn’t bear the “off” feeling and started noticing mood changes. So I dropped back to 600 mg for a week and then to 300 mg for a week. I’ve been off it for 3 days now and my anxiety, fatigue, irritability, and some strange muscle pains where I had none before, are all increased.

    Ugh. I called MD who prescribed and his staff person called back to say go back on one at night until I see him this Thursday for scheduled appt to discuss directly. She said it would take about a week for withdrawal effects to subside. What a mistake it was to try this treatment. I was so apprehensive initially, I didn’t start for a month after it was prescribed. People who have been on it kept telling me your body will adjust. I do take really good care of myself in terms of healthy eating, exercise and trying to get sleep/rest. I don’t want one more day of this let alone a week.

  • Caitlin August 31, 2015, 2:33 am

    So I’ve been on Gaba for the majority of the last three years – 3x daily 300mg – for chronic nerve pain. Just the other day, though, my doctor suggested that I change over to Lyrica twice daily. Now I’m utterly confused on what I’m experiencing. Are the mood swings, paranoia, headaches, nausea and loopy behavior (I won’t even drive anymore, that’s how bad it is) symptoms of the sudden and cold-turkey withdrawal from the gaba, or are they a symptom of the Lyrica?

    My poor husband, he doesn’t know what to do with me, it’s like I’ve had an utter personality shift. I will note, though, that I experienced increased suicidal thoughts and depression while on Gaba, but since my not taking them any longer as of a week ago, I’ve not had any. This is just driving me crazy! I wasn’t informed of the side effects of stopping cold turkey, instead it was just “Here, try this it may help you better than what you’re taking” and wham-bam-thank you ma’am. Any advice?

  • Mackie September 1, 2015, 6:23 pm

    Been on gabapentin 3 x 300mg at night for restless legs for around 2 years. I was on this medication for 3 months roughly 3 years ago but gave it up due to my job working offshore in oil. When I first quit this I never slept for 3 nights but I put this down to the restless legs coming back. I then went on holiday about a year ago and ran out, again not being able to sleep for 3 nights.

    I’m weak and I’ve started to sleep better although having wild dreams! I feel constantly drained at work, struggling to motivate myself to do anything. These tablets work for restless legs but it’s not worth feeling like a zombie for the rest of your life. Thanks for this website, has been very interesting to read others’ experiences.

  • RTaylor September 4, 2015, 8:35 pm

    I’ve been on Gabapentin 2400mg a day for well over 5 years. I’m in a financial situation that has caused me to have to stop cold turkey and I’m afraid. I’ve had to do this once before and it was a nightmare that sent me to the ER. I’m done with this medication and what I really would like to know are what can I do to subside the withdrawal symptoms??

    I can make it through the pain I’ve lived with that for 20 years its just the itchy crawling skin sensation and the depression I can’t deal with. I’ve heard magnesium helps but what kind should I take and how much? I’ve heard sipping the magnesium type that’s in the Epsom salts helps but I don’t know how much. I may sound crazy but I’ve read enough here to see that someone has an answer for me. Please, I’m a single mom of three and I can’t go through this and have them affected. Any helpful advice is so appreciated. Thank you, RTaylor

  • janet Scott September 10, 2015, 2:56 pm

    I have taken 3x300mg for about 10 years now for trigeminal neuralgia. I was on Tegretol for 20 yrs before that for it. I was changed as it was no longer controllin the pain. To cut a long story short I always suspected it was the air con at work blowing in yen side of my face that was causing my condition to keep flaring up. I retired last year and lo and behold my pain went. I decided of my own back to wean myself off the gabapentin as I didn’t feel I needed it any longer.

    I’m now only taking 200mg a day but I have noticed night sweats (I’m through the the menopause), lethargy, not interested in anything at all, itching, joint pains etc. I’ve had a lot of blood work etc done at the GP but all came back clear. The GP rang today to say she’d left a prescription for something to lift my mood. I’m wondering if it’s all down to stopping this drug and should I take anything else or just go and get some magnesium and stop Gabapentin all together? Any Advice would be good.

  • Audrey September 13, 2015, 9:47 pm

    I would just like to say well done to everybody on this forum, whatever stage you are at with withdrawal, hope you are doing well. I’ve got down to 3 x 300mg a day from 3 x 700mg. I’m struggling with the last phase though. Got some good tips here. I started taking magnesium but didn’t realize you had to be gabapentin free before taking it. I will stop the magnesium for now. Any tips on how to come down 50mg at a time when you can only get them in capsule format? I find that I have to stay on the same dose for at least a month before coming down any further. A pharmacist suggested reducing my middle dose to 200mg every second day, but is this not coming down to go back up scenario? Anybody else done it this way? Good luck everyone. Keep smiling, we can beat this!

  • Ilah September 14, 2015, 3:40 am

    I have severe nerve damage in my left leg from a traumatic break a few years ago. I was put on gabapentin to help with the pain. It works about 80% of the time. I went for a week and a half without it and experienced 14 of these withdrawal symptoms. Nausea, fatigue, crying spells, irritability and sleep deprivation being the most noticeable. I resumed my regular prescription today. I am hoping I’ll be back to normal in a few days. If you decide you no longer want or need to take this drug, please tell your doctor and taper off. This type of drug has substantial effects on the brain and has the potential to be life threatening if not handled properly.

  • Jenni Magston September 15, 2015, 6:28 pm

    In January, I tapered off Lyrica 150mg 2x’s a day and onto Gabapentin 300mg 2x’s a day. I had no side effects. Now, I’m tapering off the Gabapentin. I stopped taking the evening dose about 10 days ago. I woke up yesterday with horrible blues that I just can’t shake. I’m on 2 different medications for depression, even though I never felt like I was depressed before.

    This low feeling is really overwhelming and something I’ve never experienced before. Also have the nighttime sweating. My docs know I’m tapering off. I just wonder how long this is going to last. I’m afraid to taper any further. On the other hand, I’m thinking of just stopping it altogether to just get the withdrawals over with. Any advice?

  • mary September 16, 2015, 1:53 pm

    I took neurontin to detox off alcohol I guess the doctor gave it to me to prevent seizures. He wouldn’t give me a benzo because basically benzos act on the GABA receptors in a similar way that alcohol does. Plus benzos are addictive and although they gave me ativan in the hospital he didn’t want to continue me on a benzo at home. So I was taking 400 milligrams of neurontin three times a day for about 3 weeks.

    I had a couple of hundred’s in my purse that another hospital has given me and I popped one of those here and there to try to taper off of it. Well just in that short time I have terrible night sweats and sweating during the day I have to keep my air conditioner on 72 and I still sweat constantly. The worst side effect that I’ve had is depression and overall body itching. I itch from head to toe to the point where I clawed my skin I use expensive deep moisturizing lotions and nothing seems to help.

    I gained about 15 pounds literally within a month on this stuff and I hardly eat. I’ve been off of it now about a week and a half or so. So I really think that this drug does have severe withdrawals even being one of the short time but I was on a very high dose. So I hope that helps somebody out there. I think my body is very sensitive to medications.

  • Bonnie September 18, 2015, 11:18 pm

    I have been on only 300mg of Gabapentin at bedtime for two months to help with insomnia, while attempting to taper off of Ativan. At first, I thought it was wonderful, but I soon realized it was causing me nosebleeds and fluid retention. I am still on Ativan, but am tapering off the Gabapentin first, although that was not my plan originally. For one week, now I have opened my capsules and taken out 15% of the powder, and then re weighing them, using a micro scale.

    I have had no withdrawal symptoms so far, and have now gone on to do the same with a 25% reduction. I started that last night and intend to do that for a few more days. Maybe I’m just lucky with such a low dose and short time on, but we will see. I do take magnesium though, just not within two hours of taking the Gabapentin. If all goes well, I will reduce in a week using two of the 100 mg capsules for a few days, and see how it goes from there. Has anyone else had nosebleeds from Gabapentin?

  • Jessie Lallier September 27, 2015, 10:50 pm

    Howdy All, I stopped Gabapentin pretty quickly under the advice of my prescriber. I had been on 600 mg 3 times a day. She had me taper down to twice a day for 5 days and then once a day for 5 days then quit. I can’t even begin to explain the severe heavy depression I started feeling. For three straight days I was so down I couldn’t do anything and I didn’t want to do anything. I’m not a suicidal person by any means, but I just wanted it to end. I have been feeling a bit better over the past 24 hours, but I’ve still been extremely irritable, I feel like I’m having hot flashes (even though I’m 27 and I’m definitely not), insomnia and head aches.

    I’m glad I had only been taking this for a few months, I can’t imagine how horrible this could have been if I had been on it for more than 6 months. Luckily my mom had some Xanax that seemed to help the irritability and insomnia. Wondering if I should try the Magnesium to get rid of the rest of these withdrawal symptoms.

  • Jennifer October 10, 2015, 9:32 am

    On July 17th I had a collis-belsey using a trans thoracic approach. I was given gabapentin about 10 days after surgery for referred neuropathy, I started with 300 mg a day and increased to 900 mg a day. It worked very well to get rid of the terrible pain but I did not like the side effects. I stepped down my dosage until I was totally off of them, the withdrawal period was not too bad for me possibly because I was not taking them very long.

    My problem is that it has now been three weeks since my last dose and I still have a layer of constant numbness in the area of my original neuropathy. What I am wondering is if this is possibly from the gabapentin not clearing my system or is this from the nerve damage itself and more importantly will the numbness ever go away. I also now have a horrible itch under the numb layer.

  • Heidi October 13, 2015, 1:42 am

    I’m an otherwise healthy 35 year old female with ankle pain for few years, post surgery one year, my pain recently labeled “nerve pain”. Doctor prescribed this and I took 300mg daily for TWO DAYS and went off it and am having severe muscle spasms in my lower back that I have never had in my life (cannot sit). Side effects when I took it were: severe GERD, undigested food in my stool, fatigue, lowered libido at body-level (normal sexual response cycle not capable of happening,) spacey/forgetfulness, general joint pain, constipation, and dry mouth. It did reduce my pain but for all the above, no way.

  • Sylvia October 13, 2015, 2:14 pm

    Trying to find out how long COLD TURKEY SYMPTOMS may last. I had been on 2400 mg of Neurontin for 15 yrs (for sleep issues) until beginning a very slow taper 8 months ago. I made it down to 300 mg but ended up going back to 600 I couldn’t function at all. At 300 mg I was adding several supplements and still not sleeping. At 600, I was sleeping decently again.

    Last night, however, my pill did not get absorbed (as happens occasionally), but this time I decided not to get up and take something, but rather just go “cold turkey.” As expected, I never went to sleep. Any idea as to how long this might last if I continue cold turkey? I am soooooo sick of this very long taper and would love to finally be done with it! Thanks in advance…

  • Joe October 15, 2015, 5:05 pm

    I have been on a high dose of gabapentin – 900 mg 3 times a day for over a year. I have tapered back more rapidly than is recommended and feel a little anxious, but all in all I don’t feel that bad. Having said that, I do empathize with those having bad withdrawal symptoms. Years back I tapered off of Paxil and had one of the worst experiences of my life. Hang in there, it will get better! And don’t be afraid to seek help or talk about it with loved ones.

  • Kate October 16, 2015, 1:15 am

    I have been on gabapentin for over 4 years and am tapering down very slowly and even when I’m still on it as I’m hitting the lower end of my taper I’m starting to feel the withdrawal symptoms. I can’t continue this medication because it does bad things to your liver and I just found out my liver is bad. Will magnesium help me while I’m still tapering or do I need to wait until I’ve completely stopped taking it for it to work? Thanks

  • ann October 16, 2015, 3:24 pm

    Have stopped taking GABAPENTIN (cold turkey) and have gone completely numb from waist down to toes on front & back side of body. Is this normal anyone, please?

  • Andrew W. Ejma October 27, 2015, 7:47 pm

    I have been on Gabapentin for about a month. I first took 200mg and then 400mg and just recently was on another 300. I stopped 300mg cold turkey and it seems to be working. I have only been on the extra gabapentin for about 3 weeks. How long will it take to go off of the 400 mg which I have been on for about 2 months? The doctors are acting strangely about it and when I was feeling better the doctor put me on more. I have stopped taking 300mg about 6 days ago. It is hard. What should I do about the remaining 400 which I am still on?

  • Blurred Vision November 1, 2015, 3:41 pm

    600 mg Gabapentin 2 hrs before bed for 10 months. This was a first try for Restless Leg Syndrome as the doctor indicated Gabapentin had some great benefits: pain relief, drowsiness, and the off-label use for RLS. It might have helped RLS to some degree but did not do anything for my nighttime pain in legs that leaves me unable to sleep on either left or right side of my body. Continued to have to take Ultram 2x daily and Flexeril every other day for some relief.

    Medical marijuana helped a lot in the beginning until my THC tolerance built up and I’m not willing to go above 10mg of that per day. In the last month, I started getting blurry vision after 6 hrs of computer work, then 5, then 4 hrs, etc. I began taking 8 minutes out of every 60 minutes to “rest” my eyes by looking at distant objects. This would buy me maybe an extra hour of non-blurry vision in a workday.

    I could get by a bit by squinting and after perhaps 60 to 90 minutes during the commute home and the evening it would go away completely. Then, the next day it comes back. Being a bit stubborn and stupid, I just went to zero dosage and had intense pain in my legs and lost sleep for several nights. Also, anxiety bordering on panic, some irritability, a little depression. This is now day 10 after quitting and I hope to be normal someday soon.

  • Shelley November 2, 2015, 7:27 pm

    Wow! I am so pleased I found this website, I have been reading all of your posts and I know you are all suffering but it has made me feel slightly better knowing that how I am feeling is apparently ‘the norm.’ I was given gabapentin after having surgery for a broken ankle as I suffered with extreme nerve pain after. It was great it really worked and I didn’t have any side effects from taking it. The nurse suggested coming off of it 2 weeks after the surgery, she advised me to taper off of it as I would feel a bit poorly.

    This was the only information I was given. I was on 600mg per day and I reduced it to 400mg over a week and felt fine but as I reduced it further I have felt so ill. I can’t bring myself to even get out of bed, I feel so lethargic, nauseous, headaches, restlessness, lack of appetite. I can’t even concentrate properly on anything even watching TV! I can’t stop crying, I suffer with depression already but I feel even worse at the moment. It doesn’t help that I’m not mobile at all because of my broken ankle, I just feel so helpless.

    I still have another 200mg per day to come off of but I’ve decided I feel so rough as it is that I’m just not going to take them at all anymore. I don’t want to prolong the withdrawal! Sorry for the long moan but no one seems to understand and it’s a lonely process.

  • Annie November 14, 2015, 5:56 pm

    I was really glad to find your site. I have been on 2400mg of gabapentin for many years for phantom pain, diabetic neuropathy, and fibromyalgia. My liver function test hit an all time high and it was suggested that I go off my meds for awhile. NO ONE warned me about withdrawal. I had to figure it out for myself and this site does explain the itching, which is worse in the evening.

    Shortness of breath, fatigue, depression, severe night sweats, and dizziness. I wish I had a better idea how long this would last. I have been 11 days with no meds so I think it is too late to taper off seeing as I have already done “cold turkey”. Can anyone give me a better idea of a time frame? I am 65, 250 lbs 5’11” and was taking 2400 mg daily for at least 10 years.

  • Lucy November 16, 2015, 7:33 am

    I have been taking Gabapentin for at least a year for symptoms related to mental illness (including, ironically, some anxiety). I was given two 100mg pills for each day and was told that I could take them as needed, rather than regularly (daily). This has gradually increased to 300mg, again, as needed. I go days without, days where I just take 100 or 200 mg, and days I take 300, depending on how I feel. For a little while, it seemed to help somewhat.

    Well, I have more or less been a basket case for nine months now, uncontrollable sobbing for no reason, panic attacks, dizziness, and my anxiety is far worse than it has ever been. I thought something was off with my hormones, but tests have shown them to be normal. So, now I’m reading this, and feeling like a lot of theses withdrawal symptoms sound familiar.

    Is is possible that the very irregular way that I have been told I can take this medicine has put me into some kind of constant withdrawal with the inconsistent doses I take? When I told my nurse about the problems I’m having, she doubled my dose, and still said “as needed”. I feel so scared and mixed up with all these crazy mood swings that I have no idea what to do. It sounds like the last thing I need is more of this medicine. Any thoughts?

    • Johnny December 22, 2015, 11:44 am

      Hi Lucy. Yes I believe that’s your problem you have to take the same dose at the same time everyday or you can go into tolerance withdrawal this is where I was at for years until I figured it out. I thought I was going insane!!! Try the 200 or 300 mg for about a week dosing at the same time everyday and see how you feel then try to cut back VERY slowly like 50 to 100 mg’s every few weeks or until your system adjust. Even if it takes a month before you’re able to make the next cut and please let me know how your coming along with it. I will be praying for you, as well as for everyone else in here!!! Peace in Christ, Johnny

  • Beth A November 25, 2015, 4:45 am

    This would have been helpful to read earlier, but I’m glad I read it now. I am so miserable with nausea and dizziness, I honestly can’t even get across how bad it is. I began to take an overdose of pills and luckily stopped before it went too far. This is very, very serious and I was given NO warning whatsoever! Do NOT do this without a doctor’s help! One who knows and understands this drug! Now that I’ve read this, I will be making some phone calls tomorrow and asking if these idiots had a clue as to what I was about to go through.

  • Zane November 25, 2015, 5:38 am

    My experience with Gabapentin/Neurontin seems to have gone the reverse of what I am reading. I was prescribed 100mg three times a day (300 mg) for neural pain and a “lift” in mood. I tolerated this for two weeks. The instructions said to double the dosage at this point (600mg). Within three days I had shortness of breath, unending tiredness, blurry vision, difficulty concentrating, high anxiety and trouble making decisions.

    (I take Venlafaxine, Xanax, and Bupropion.) I was not functioning at all and slowly tapered off. The symptoms lingered the first three days and then quickly exacerbated to a level that I could tolerate. Hopefully I will not have to go through all the withdrawal symptoms mentioned. The literature with the medication said to call the prescribing physician if there were any ill effects. I haven’t had my call returned after three days.

  • Shanie November 26, 2015, 12:56 am

    I have been on gabapentin since Nov 4, 2015 100mg then on Nov 23, my psych doc increased me to 2 pills at bedtime for a mood disorder. I feel horrible I cannot breathe and I need to wean. I am planning on cutting back to 1 pill a day and I hope for the best. I cannot take my body craving this stuff. My doctor never explained how this would affect me. This is a horrible drug… Kind Regards, Shanie

  • T55 November 28, 2015, 5:42 pm

    Hello, I first tried gabapentin after purchasing it from a research chemical site. Now, that should raise a red flag. It’s sold as a research chemical, because not much is known about it. After reading about it the information I gathered was only a bunch of theories on how it worked in the human body. Anyway, I was dealing with an opiate addiction and heard it was great for that and ordered ten grams of powder.

    To my delight I found that it had recreational powers! Fast forward, I had an appointment with a psychiatrist and mentioned that the antidepressant I was taking was giving me restless leg and he perscribed me gabapentin. Yay! I was taking it only every three days, since I knew about its addiction potential. Two days after taking it I would become severely depressed, irritable, no appetite with stomach pains, and the opiate withdrawal sweats were back.

    I was so depressed that I made an appointment with the methadone clinic. My doctor thinks I’m still on opiaites and wanted me to go there. I figured that by now being off opiaites I would have zero tolerance and twenty mg of methadone would get me really high. In the mean time I was going to take a bunch of etizolam which would surely have killed me.

    In the mean time I began to see the correlation between my recreational gaba use and the severe depression and cancelled my appointment. In the mean time I made plans with my daughter to leave my husband as I saw him as the source of all my problems. This is one recreational drug I can do without! The price is too high with cloudy thinking, suicide ideation, insomnia and gastrointestinal issues.

  • Brandon December 2, 2015, 11:14 am

    Hey everybody I’ve been taking 1800mg a day for the last 3 or 4 years and am now down to 600mg at night and attempting to go down to 300mg at night. I know this is going to be very difficult to fully get off of in the next few weeks, but for everybody that has been on this medication for a long period of time, what were some of your withdrawls and how long did they last for? Are there any suggestions on how to approach this final stretch of getting off of this dangerous drug? All feedback and support is greatly appreciated.

  • Judy December 3, 2015, 10:19 pm

    I took Gabapentin 900mg-1500mg and Norco 60mg-100mg for 2.75 years. It’s been 13 months that I have been off all meds. I’ve noticed some improvements over the past year, especially compared to how I was feeling during months 1-8. I used to have 16 symptoms. I am now down to 5. I was in tolerance with Gabapentin for a year (almost all of 2014) with 24/7 nausea before jumping CT.

    Three ER visits, three endoscopies. I was diagnosed with one pinprick ulcer, then no ulcers, then 2 surface ulcers. Put on PPIs and Sucralfate. All the doctors I saw told me the opiates I was taking for my spinal stenosis pain were causing my nausea. I lost 40 lbs in 6 months. I checked myself into a detox facility August 1, 2014 and was CT’d off the opiates.

    Came home after 2 weeks still nauseous and unable to eat. I had severe constipation to boot which had been going on for two years. My pain doc told me to stop taking the Gabapentin. The next day I ended up in the ER a fourth time so out of it I was drooling, falling over and incoherent. They did an ultrasound which revealed 2 gallstones. The doctor at the ER told me to reinstate the Gabapentin.

    I had my gallbladder removed–no gallstones were found. I came home after three days and I was still nauseous 24/7. My family and I finally figured out it had to be the Gabapentin. We had exhausted all the other possibilities. I was on 900mg and I kept cutting down the Gabapentin, 100 mg a day. I hadn’t found this site or anything on the internet about how slow you were supposed to taper and my pain doc said he never tapered any of his patients.

    Gabapentin didn’t need to be tapered he said. I was sick taking the drug, I was sick tapering the drug, so my family and I decided I should just stop taking it. November 8, 2014 – Welcome to withdrawal hell, Judy. Come on in and set a spell. That’s if you can sit at all with the: roaring tinnitus, akathisia, cortisol/adrenaline surging, anxiety, panic attacks, looping intrusive thoughts that come out of Satan’s butthole, back pain, nausea, insomnia, horror show nightmares, vertigo, constant pacing, DP/DR, constipation, anal spasms, gut pain, drunk/drugged LSD tripping, cog fog, internal vibrations like I was laying on a vibrating bed, etc.

    It was like being on a cheap carnival ride after you’ve eaten a whole spool of pink cotton candy. The first three months was a steady stream of life on Elm Street with Freddy Krueger leading the parade. A real sh*t show X 1000. The next five months, if you can believe it, were even worse! Every symptom seemed to take on a life of its own. I was helpless, my white knuckles hanging onto the rollercoaster roll bar with no seat belt doing upside down loop-de-loops all day long.

    At 3 months out, the cog fog and vertigo subsided. At 4 months out, the 24/7 nausea went away. Then I started taking 200mg of magnesium at night. The constipation went away. I still had some gut issues, but these two babies were pure hell. At 7.5 months out, I was walking in my backyard in the wee hours–walking, not pacing frantically. Oh my God, the akathisia is gone! I started bawling.

    I rolled back and forth on the carpet, I howled at the moon. I got down on my knees and prayed, thanking God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, all my dead relatives, Elvis, Mother Teresa, my guardian angel, Ghandi, Frank Sinatra, Lassie, Buddha, my spirit guide (yes, I’ve read up on and tried everything on this journey) and anyone else I could think of who may have had something to do with lifting this horrible symptom from my body and brain.

    My dirty bathrobe, caked with oatmeal and bits of fried egg, was now soaked with my tears. I could lay on my back in bed for more than 5 minutes without popping back up to run outside and pace my backyard in a panic. At 8.5 months out, I was “strolling” in my backyard in the wee hour darkness and I noticed my roaring pulsatile tinnitus and internal head whooshing was quieter.

    It was not like getting tossed around in a washing machine of crashing waves. It was more like what you hear when you put a conch shell up to your ear, but with a resuscitator machine attached to it (my heartbeat). The whooshing was lighter, like a whisper of what it used to be. I began to bawl again and thank a litany of other dead people I forgot to mention when the akathisia went away the month before.

    I knew in my heart who was really responsible, but I’ll leave that for the faith board. At 9.5 months out, all my gut issues went away. I get occasional heartburn like everybody does once in awhile, I pop a couple of Tums 1000 and I get immediate relief. I still get the anal spasm thingie once a month if I have a lower intestine gas bubble, but I fart and I’m good to go.

    At 10.5 months out, the insomnia got better. I always get at least 5 hours of sleep most nights. Sometimes I still have trouble getting to sleep. I used to take half a Unisom doxy about once or twice a week for a couple of months, when I could not fall asleep due to looping intrusive thoughts, but I read somewhere that it may cause Alzheimer’s or some other dementia, so I quit, since I don’t need that crap to complicate or interrupt my lovely withdrawal adventure.

    At 11.5 months out, the symptoms started alternating, morphing, jumping around a bit. I started having some pretty gnarly waves that would last a week. A real Wheel of Misfortune potpourri. A new symptom started too. Fever-like chills coursing through my body. Weird. The internal vibrating bed symptom only happens once a month and goes away in about 15 seconds, so I’m not counting it. I also get occasional little squealies of tinnitus, but they go away in 5 seconds, so I don’t count them either.

    As of December 3, 2015, at almost 13 months out, I am left with the following symptoms: 4 A.M. cortisol adrenaline glutamate alarm clock, racing heartbeat, heart palps, anxiety and fear, overstimulation (still can’t watch TV or listen to music), intrusive thoughts, hypersensitivity to good and bad stressors, drugged/drunk veil that drapes me. I guess that’s more than five, but who’s counting? I know Who is going to pull me out of this one day.

    I will be forever grateful when that day arrives and, before that day comes, I’ll keep reminding myself of many things, like my beautiful family, a roof over my head, my beloved pug and my health, for which I am already grateful. You know we will all heal. It just takes a long time. We will heal and this will be a foggy memory (no, not withdrawal foggy memory).

    Until then, we will continue to spin the Wheel of Misfortune, we will pace and rock and cry, we will put heat and ice on what hurts, we will have intrusive thoughts that we will never heal, we will be constipated (magnesium set me free), we will have diarrhea (bananas and brown rice and protein are good pluggers), we will get revved up using our computers and cell phones, we will run to the doctors when new health issues blow our minds (because, of course, we are dying), we will try to distract, breathe deeply, do yoga, meditate and exercise and nothing will work, we will have nightmares that would make Stephen King cringe, we will TRY EVERYTHING but, at the end of the day, we will rest up for the onslaught of tomorrow because nothing will heal us but TIME.

    Our spirits will not be broken because God protects us always. He will carry us over the finish line some day. I’ve never found Gabapentin withdrawal stories this far out from the drugs, so I am here to tell you how real it is. I hope to come back some day with my success story.

    • Ollie March 22, 2016, 8:10 pm

      Loved your post. Encouraged by the spiritual/faith aspect. I pray you are continuing to heal.

    • PR September 14, 2016, 3:46 pm

      Hi Judy how you doing these days?

  • Craig December 8, 2015, 10:35 pm

    A few years ago I took gabapentin for a crushed nerve. I had suffered with the pain for about 3 weeks and was so incapacitated that I was not going to work, could not sleep, and was taking narcotics to the point of confusion. An anesthesiologist put me on 200 mgs of gabapentin and within 2 days I was back at work and was not taking any narcotics.

    I know I was on a low dose but I had no difficulty stopping the medication after taking it for a year. This drug was a real life saver for me. Almost any drug that effects the central nervous system will have some type of withdrawal. If you are going to stop one of these medications do it under the care of your physician. Hope this helps.

  • Diane Marczyk December 9, 2015, 6:47 pm

    Hi, my husband is taking 600mg of Gabapentin 3x a day and 2 at bedtime. I am seriously worried about him. He has been taking this since 2003 and was prescribed it for alcoholism withdrawal. Every day he lives his life like a zombie – no joy, no energy for anything. I am trying to talk to him about seeing a doctor to re-evaluate his medications. He has a history of depression and anxiety so I am thinking this much be all handled with care.

  • Geri December 10, 2015, 3:10 pm

    I have been on Gabapentin for 3 years following Chemo and Herceptin for one year which caused Neuropathy. When I visited the physician for Pallatve Care, I was prescribed Gabapentin and Dilaudid for the pain which flows from the top of my neck to the bottom of my feet. When I visited this physician the other day he told me that soon he will be discontinuing the drugs as my chief complaint currently is extreme fatigue.

    Unfortunately, I do not experience a restful sleep. I wake several times during the night and slowly make my way to soak in an Epsom salt bath, cry and pray many prayers that I will receive ample strength to somehow be productive the next day which begins at 5:00 AM. It does not happen and there is no magic pill that will provide me with energy and strength.

    After reading all the testimonials below, I cannot imagine how I am going to feel when I have to discontinue these medications. Please pray for me and I will pray for you. God Bless! Ignorance is Bliss!

  • Oxana December 10, 2015, 11:34 pm

    Hi everybody. I am 36 year-old female. Had severe post-herpetic neuralgia. Was taking 1800mg of gabapentin per day. Then reduce it to 1200mg per day, then 600 mg, and finally quit. Now I am 2 months without gabapentin…feel myself like I am almost dead…have all withdrawal side effects… Tell me how long you have withdrawal period with post-withdrawal side effects? Thanks.

  • Donna Balzer December 11, 2015, 8:00 pm

    I have been on this evil drug for about 3 years. I cannot seem to stop. It is wrecking my short term memory. I have trouble finding words. I am shaking and unsteady. This is the hardest time I have ever had getting off a drug. My main problem with reducing is an itchy face. It is so severe. I cannot seem to find anything that will help with the insane itching. Help me. I am hoping someone can give me advice.

    I want to stop this medicine as soon as possible. I am taking 1800 mgs a day. Every time I try to wean myself I end up with such severe itching and dizziness that I go back to the original dosage. Can I just go cold turkey? I am thinking of just quitting when I get my Christmas vacation. So I don’t have to worry about going to work when I feel horrible. Any advice on how to get off this drug as soon as possible would be appreciated.

    This is just a nasty drug. I am on it for Fibro but I do think it makes my pain worse. All I did was injure my back one day and the doc put me on this stuff. That was it. Kick the ice and damage a nerve and all of a sudden it is Fibro. My eyesight is failing rapidly and I have such major stomach bloating that my clothes don’t fit. I am desperate.

  • Sean December 19, 2015, 10:01 am

    I have been on a high dose of 1200mg 3 times a day (3600mg/day) for three years. This is for neuropathic pain caused by impinged nerves at numerous locations in my spine. Over the past month I have halved this dose and I have suffered with much of problems discussed in this article. My two top tips are transdermal magnesium supplementation.

    I use a couple of cups of magnesium chloride in a relaxing warm bath for a few hours and mix it 1:1 (volume) with filtered water to make magnesium oil which I spray on my legs a few times a day. 5kg tubs of the stuff from the Dead Sea are pretty cheap from the web. My second tip is heading for my local municipal swimming pool first thing every morning with the pres school/work swimmers. I have to wear a stiff collar and rigid flotation belt/brace to immobilize my spine and jog instead of swim but exercise is a great relief to me; especially after a night of poor/no sleep and pain.

    I hope that encouraging those suffering to try one or both of these might help at least one or two. My doctor advised me to taper by reducing by one 300mg tablet every five days and for me that was a nightmare until I had both of these to help me. Best wishes to all in regaining their health and a life post-gabapentin.

  • Sheryl December 21, 2015, 11:43 pm

    I have been taking 800mg Gabapentin for migraines for at least 5 years 3x a day (total of 2400mg daily). Really want to come off of it. Problem is it is in 800 mg tablets. Could I try going down 200mg a day for a week then 200 mg every week until off? Do you take Magnesium while tapering or when off? Have read all the horrible side effects of withdrawal and have experienced some when missing a dose, especially not sleeping and hot and cold flashes. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • mj December 24, 2015, 9:01 am

    Im aiming to get off Gabapentin after taking it for 6 months because it seems so incredibly likely that it’s causing Peripheral enema, which happens in 1% of takers. But every time I try to decrease it by 100 my chest hurts tremendously and all the muscles in my body hurt. I pull muscles so easily. Does this sound familiar at all? Thanks.

  • Mary December 25, 2015, 1:21 am

    I starter neurontin two months ago 300 mg X 3 a day for seizure control from detox from Xanax. Which I had taken for anxiety occasionally at first the eventually four years later three times a day. (Max Xanax dose 1.5 per day.) Dr prescribed. Detoxing from Xanax in itself has been a living hell. Xanax is the worst drug ever!

    I spent 10 months in inter-dose withdrawal from it before detox. Since detox I have been tapering off neurontin ending last Monday! I am now short of breath when I do anything including sitting! I have developed acid reflux where I have a hard time eating. Food gets stuck in my throat and it feels like a lump is in my throat at times. I have muscle cramping, jerky motions, palpitations, etc., and anxiety has come back with a vengeance!

    Needless to say. I feel horrible and it is Christmas Eve! Ha! Merry Christmas! Since stopping neurontin I question if the symptoms I now have are from neurontin or Xanax withdrawal returning or both? How much longer will I suffer from this? I have been to ER twice. Once in November and again last week for shortness of breath and palpitations. Had chest X-ray, EKG, blood work.

    Both times results were normal. Was told my symptoms were withdrawals . And withdrawal anxiety. Has anyone gone through this or experienced this? This has been the worst year of my life! I can’t do anything! I am so wore out from everything!

  • Leo December 31, 2015, 4:45 am

    I was on gaba for 4 months before my back surgery. 1800 mg daily. After surgery I wanted to get off this nasty stuff so I started weaning myself off. I went from 600 three times a day to 300 daily over a 3 week period. After that I thought I would just stop talking it. Bad decision. I had nasty night sweats when I could sleep. Most nights I couldn’t sleep.

    Chills and sweats all day. I went back to the 300 mg and the symptoms stopped. I took those for another week then cut back to 150 for a week then 75 for a week then off. Success! I feel so much better and only take one 5mg oxy before bed to relax my back. I have 6 more weeks in rest mode before returning to work. Good luck everyone. It can be done!

    • sarah January 4, 2016, 2:52 pm

      I was on 1800 mg gaba per day and also taking cymbalta at the same time due to ongoing injury and the cockups of the medical profession delaying the surgery I desperately needed. Depression was mostly because of my injury and the fact I couldn’t drive, go out by myself, cycle, go down gym, swim, eat 2 handed… the list went on. I have been on gaba for the past year.

      After my surgery, I first had to wean myself off of morphine, then co-codamol and then started on gaba. I also found that my blood pressure was extremely high (148/105) and both gaba and cymbalta can cause that. I slowly tapered, then stopped taking cymbalta and also reduced my gaba intake to 900 mg a day by tapering it off but have been unable to go any lower at the moment.

      I noticed that I get very dizzy and nauseous, at night I sweat a lot – this is supposed to be winter!, feel really jumpy and nervous, and my moods are very bad (had a couple of road rage incidents that are so out of character) I have been crying on and off too. This last week I have also started to have some strange dreams when I can sleep, and my pain from my injury is coming back a little.

      I am due to see my pain clinic at the end of the month – they were the people who put me on it – so hopefully I can get some answers. I stayed taking 900 mg a day for the last 3 weeks, and sometimes I think the withdrawal effects have gone away, but the last couple of days they have come back with a vengeance. I am going to try to ignore these as best I can and VERY slowly taper my dose by 100mg every 2 weeks, so I will see how that goes.

      Never thought that I would ever get addicted to anything but chocolate! But hopefully if my tapering plan goes OK, I should be free of it by April.

  • Jason January 3, 2016, 6:01 pm

    I’ve been on GABA for 3 years. Started out at 2700mg a day. I was on samples of lyrics before that to help getting off tramadol, it helped. Well about 6 months in I stopped taking it because I thought the lamictal was the drug giving me the high, 3 weeks of depression, no sleeping, not eating, blah blah. I went back on it because my girlfriend and I got back together. It helped me deal with her anger, depression and mean ways.

    Well I tried to stop taking it a couple times cause I didn’t like feeling like a zombie all the time and thought maybe that the medicine was causing my anger and irritation towards her. I also never told her I was taking it for 2.5 years till she found out 4 weeks ago. I wanted to tell her so many times but couldn’t cause the withdrawals sucked so bad.

    Well she found out and it felt like a planet was lifted off my shoulders. She was pissed for 2 days but than we came up with a taper plan. I was at 900 mg a day by this time cause I had tapered myself. 100 mg drop every 3 days. I started taking tramadol again for the first week I was off and felt no side effects. Thanks week 2 no trams. Just happy camper supplement and magnesium, felt depressed, anxious, tired, winded, buzzing body and head, cry all the time for no reason, which seeing a 6’3″ tattooed man cry all the time is funny, etc.

    I’m now on day 15, feel like body is on edge but not depressed or too anxious, still tired and wake up a lot. Music and watching firefly and castle helps. Everyone’s different. Last time it took 4 weeks for me to feel OK.looking forward to that day.

  • Tina January 9, 2016, 7:59 pm

    After 13 years of femoral genital neuroma pain/damage due to vaginal mesh sling surgery and being on Gabapentin for the past 4 years I will be getting surgery to remove the source of the pain. I have started slowly weaning myself off of Gabapentin and asked the surgeon for guidance. I did receive a phone call and I was told to look on the internet and ask my pharmacist. My pharmacist told me to ask my doctor. So I am now searching for information / guidance from sites like these.

    The lowest dose I was on without feeling foggy is 300 mg in am and 300 mg in pm. I am on 100 mg in am and 200 mg in pm after three weeks of weaning. I have an ear/sinus infection that has lasted three weeks and my equilibrium is off, most likely coincidental. Otherwise, I am doing okay. My PC thought that my approach was okay as well. Hoping and praying that the pain will be gone after the surgery and that the withdrawal symptoms are minimal.

  • Eve January 11, 2016, 1:05 am

    I was on Gabapentin for 2 years due to increasing pain in the lower lumbar. I started at 300 mg and ended with 1800 mg. I had a successful spinal fusion and decided to wean myself off without guidance from my doctor. I went from 1800 to 900 to 600 to 300 to 0 in 3 weeks! I would definitely recommend a longer taper based on my experience. Terrible insomnia, severe daytime and night sweats, shortness of breath and anxiety.

    I had no idea that I would experience any these withdrawal symptoms. I am so glad to be off the drug completely even though I am still withdrawing after 2 full weeks. After reading what everyone else has gone through I expect to have these symptoms for a while longer. All I can say is that I wish I had found this site earlier. It has helped though to know that I’m not alone in this!

  • Burningisis January 20, 2016, 9:49 pm

    I’ve been on 6x600mg of gabapentin for about 3 years now. Yes that’s 3600mg a day. Yes that’s higher than the recomended maximum dosage. I use it for RSD/CRPS in my right foot. It took this high of a dosage to even take the edge off of this horrible condition. But for me, when the half-life of this drug wears off, I get the withdrawal symptoms. It goes into what feels like a full blown panic attack.

    Difficulty breathing, heart racing, a warmth that races from mid chest and radiates through my arms. I’ve been to the ER once for this and called the paramedics once without going to the hospital for these feelings because they were very frightening. Ativan helped with the symptoms a little. What was scary about this for me, was that these symptoms rear their heads if I don’t take my medications exactly on time.

    It is really frightening to me but it does make for a scary reminder to take my medication. Also for those who have just started on this and are saying it makes them so lethargic you cannot function… for me at least, its tied into taking this with a meal. Now mine could simply be because of the high dose I’m on. But if I don’t eat before or during the pill’s duration, the lethargy isn’t so bad.

    However if I take it with a heavy meal, I feel like I’ll pass out from how tired I am. Eyelids heavy to the point I literally cannot see. Again might be related to the dosage, but without this medication, I’d likely be an amputee from begging doctors to take off my foot because of the pain.

  • Joe B January 21, 2016, 3:41 am

    Hi all, I have read some interesting things on this site. THANK YOU! I broke my back and have been on Gabapentin for over 5 years. I have had 4 major surgeries. I am in pain all the time. About six weeks ago I felt as though I was having heart palpitations and that maybe it was some of the 14 pills I take a day. I read up on all side effects of all my meds. I try not to mix or take anything at the same time.

    I became so transfixed on trying to adjust my meds myself I screwed up everything. 3 weeks ago, I stopped all my meds cold turkey. The only thing I kept taking was Norco Hydrocodone 3 a day, and a couple of baby aspirin to fix what I thought was maybe hypertension causing these severe Palpitations. Tonite it was so bad I had to again research as I have done every single nite for the last 6 weeks.

    This is the 1st time I have read anything about Gabapentin withdrawal. You have to be kidding me that this has been the source of the most horrible Physical pain I can imagine. Brutal heart Palpitations, Shakes and mental irritability. At some point I think my body just got so use to these pills that in no way could I myself try to take less. I have spoken to the Dr about this. He said, of course the less you can take the better, but be careful.

    He told me that the only thing I would probably have a withdrawal from is the Ambien and maybe the Hydrocodone. As I said, I don’t abuse them. I try and stay on a schedule. For some reason, I got really out of whack and just quit. I THOUGHT I WOULD BE BETTER FOR IT. Wow was I wrong. I just took 2 Gabapentins, INCREDIBLE. The heart palpitations almost ceased immediately. You have to kidding me.

    Maybe I just needed this to readjust my system. I also stopped Mobic and Enablex at the same time. I will see how it goes with just the Hydro’s and the Gabapentin for now. I just want you to know, this site helped me. If this is true, that quitting Gabapentin caused this brutal heart beat to be fixed. All of your experiences have really helped someone in dire straits.

    It felt like I was dying. Other that the spine, I am in pretty good shape. I actually defied the Doctors expectations and ORDERS. LOL. I just started riding a mountain bike every nite on some light trails. I pay for it in the morning but I refuse to let this beat me. What I have been through in the last month with this withdrawal crap is I think far worse that my back pain. You see, I managed it for so long that I never remember being pain free.

    So I cope. Really amazing if this was the root of this ANNOYING, AGGRAVATING, PAINFUL MONTH… WOW!!!! I wish you all the very best and will keep you informed. I just thought that 2400 mg of this one medication a day was a waste of my Organs. I really never knew there was a withdrawl from it. Like I said, I broke my spine and have 2, 10″ rods to deal with. I figured that if I could deal with that pain, I COULD DEAL WITH ANYTHING. Boy was I wrong! Sincerely, Joe B

  • Name January 26, 2016, 6:13 am

    I’d been on a low dosage of the same combination of meds for several years for bi-polar depression and the effects wore off in late November, so I voluntarily admitted myself to a short-term psych ward to get on new medicine, knowing how hard it was to find a psychiatrist on the outside. The doctor immediately took me off the meds I was on cold turkey and put me on 1200 mgs of neurontin (400 3 times a day) and 25 mg of lamictal.

    It was a new facility, violating patients hypa rights for everyone to see. They also didn’t separate violent patients from non harmful depressed patients. Violent fights broke out. Long story short, I left early, with a meeting with the CEO and the Dr. that prescribed me the meds. He gave me 5 months (yes 5 months) worth of refills, and never warned me of any side effects, addictiveness, or withdrawal symptoms.

    The next day, I was watching a basketball game and said to my dad “What’s this? I’ve never seen this before.” We called the doctor and he said it was nothing to worry about and to take 300mg daily and that everything would be okay. Like most of you, I experienced crying spells (I hadn’t cried in 20 years), verbal hostility toward my family for no reason or things they said to me years ago, even scaring my dogs.

    I also had shortness of breath, dry mouth, tightness in chest, loss of appetite, and tremors among other things. (Before the hospital stay, I rarely even got a common cold. Just had really bad depression.) On top of it, the doctor recommended a psychiatrist friend of his who talked to me for literally a minute or two, had his doctor in training do all the leg work, and upped the lamictal to 50 for no reason.

    He did warn about a rash, but not about Steven Johnson’s disease. I noticed a rash immediately and looked up lamictal side effects and mentioned “potential life threatening rash” Immediately I went back down to the 25. Eventually I found this board and showed it to my mother, who read it a few days later. I wasn’t happy about it, but I went to yet another short-term psych ward who immediately took me off the lamictal and weened me off the Neurontin.

    I’m very sensitive to most medication and the only thing that has worked for me has been klonopin. Unfortunately, with bi-polar disorder, I need something else as a mood stabilizer, and the doctor in there put me on the minimal dosage of Latuda…which from what I read has no drastic side effects and if they were to happen would have happened already (I’ve been on it for a week and a half now.)

    The only two things I’ve noticed are 1.) No sex drive, which for me is a good thing. 2.) Sleeping more, but I guess that goes away with time. The bad news is, even though I don’t crave Neurontin, the physical side effects are still there. The anger is gone, but the stomach/chest aches, loss of appetite and overall feeling of nausea, along with rashes from the lamictol and possibly Neurontin are still there. I’m also still crying randomly.

    It’s weird for me because I’m used to feeling really, really depressed but not any of these physical symptoms. I’m glad I found this board, because my mom had read about side effects but wanted to believe that this med was working, and after seeing this board did the right thing and had me admitted for a week to taper off this stuff. I guess one question I have is, given the relatively low dosage I was on, and that I was only on it for 4/5/6 weeks, how long it might take for these withdrawal symptoms to go away?

  • Jodi January 26, 2016, 2:18 pm

    I have been on 900x 3 times a day for years (due to nerve pain from 4 herniated discs). I have just started the painful journey of getting off gabapentin as it was believed to be causing kidney stones. To say I am more than a little bit worried as I read all of your posts. And I do not know if I am worried more about the withdrawal effects or not having gabapentin in my system, therefore potentially not walking/especially not moving as well.

  • Drew January 28, 2016, 5:37 pm

    I recently cut 1800/day down to 900/day. It’s been rough trying to get through. but Nature’s Bounty High Potency Magnesium has done WONDERS. It takes away that “itch” and calms you, literally. Apparently, Gabapentin affects your magnesium levels that affects the transmission of neurotransmitters. Hope this helps someone.

  • Anonymous February 1, 2016, 4:19 pm

    I must say all of you are amazing for sharing your experiences with gabapentin. Reading what each of you wrote helped me to stay the course for getting off gaba. Just like some of you, I had three back surgeries. Spinal injury from car collision caused a level of excruciating pain that I never knew the human body could reach. I was on oxycodone for five years and was taken off of it and prescribed gaba and amitriptyline.

    I definitely thought I was doing the best thing getting off all narcotics to gain freedom from any drug dependency. That is my belief even today; however, I discovered it doesn’t have to be narcotics. Matter of fact, withdrawal symptoms from gaba were far worse than symptoms from oxycodone. I was taking gaba for three years which was two years less than the narcs. But, I’ve said all this because after reading and trying what some of you suggested along with a little more research; I found a natural way that stopped all those horrendous symptoms.

    Here’s the list of mine–insomnia, muscle ache and weakness in arms and hands, anxiety, and irritability. Four days and three nights I wanted to scream until night number four, I slept all night and woke up refreshed. We all have our unique physical and mental challenges, so here’s what working for me.
    Nature’s Bounty Magnesium (maximum strength 500mg); General Nutrition Corporation GNC L-Arginine L-Ornithine 2500 (1500mg L-Arginine 1000mg L-Ornithine); Nature’s Bounty Melatonin (maximum strength 10mg)
    Morning 1
    ⦁ 1000mg Magnesium-supports bone muscle health
    ⦁ 5000mg amino acids L-Arginine L-Ornithine 2500-fuels muscles and calms anxiety
    Night 1
    ⦁ 500mg Magnesium with dinner
    ⦁ 2500mg L-Arginine L-Ornithine 2500 at bedtime
    ⦁ 20mg Melatonin at bedtime

    Workout what dose will benefit you most for our bodies naturally produces the above, but gaba just derailed and got us off track. You can get your body back to normal just be patient, diligent, determined and most of all don’t give up HOPE and quit. You can and will be gaba free. Well that’s all I have to say–thanks again everyone for being here and Godspeed.

    • Elana Patchin May 6, 2016, 1:04 pm

      Thank you so much for your post! Here I thought the Melatonin I was taking was not doing anything; I just needed to take a higher dose. In combination with your other two suggestions, I am able to sleep fairly well now, and this has made such a difference for living my life during the day! I can’t thank you enough. May you have all the blessings of the Universe!

  • T February 1, 2016, 5:51 pm

    I have been on gabapentin for a little over a year. I was super tired and zombie ish for a month or two while Drs were trying to find the perfect dosage for me. I’m now on 600mg 2x a day. I’ve been feeling great for 6 mos or so so I decided (on my own) to cut out my morning dose. Boy, what a mistake! I felt extremely tired and slow, both mentally and physically.

    I didn’t sleep for 5 out of the 7 days I skipped the morning dose. I suffered SEVERE muscle spasms and pain from head to big toe. I was trying to figure out if it was the meds or my neuropathy pain coming back. The muscle spasms/pain came around day 4 of being on meds once a day. Charley horses everywhere. Headaches too.

    I went back on my morning dose and took a Valium for 3 nights and I’m back to feeling “normal” again. Any clue if this is from the meds or do I just really need these meds to mask my pain? I’ve been diagnosed with NMO but my new neuro says it could be that or MS or from shingles.

  • Shari February 4, 2016, 12:19 am

    I was put on this medication (300 mg 1xday at bedtime) to help with peri-menopausal night sweats. My doctor told me it would do the trick. Well, it did a trick on me, for sure. However, she didn’t even tell me what this medication was truly intended to treat (in the 10 minute visit I had with her). After 2 days, my night sweats were pretty much nonexistent.

    I was extremely happy with the results until, after about 5 days, I became very unhappy with the results. I was on it for 10 days and found myself extremely dizzy & moody with uncontrollable crying bouts. I decided, on my own, that I didn’t want to take it anymore and stopped. As a result, even for having been on it for only 10 days then going cold turkey, I am experiencing the worst anxiety attacks I have ever had in my life.

    Almost debilitating and to the point that I open my front door and sit in front of it with phone in hand thinking I am going to have to call 911. I have a prescription for Lorazepam 0.5 mg (PRN) that I usually only fill every 3-4 months. I have been eating them like candy just to calm me down. Had I known what this medication was really for or even that I would need to wean myself off of it, I would have never taken it.

    Once again, I just listened to my doctor thinking that she knew what was best for me. I really have never had any side effects from any other medications I have been prescribed in the past. I am currently 10 days removed from when I quit and while the anxiety has lessened, it is certainly still there. I end up getting anxiety now just in anticipation of a future anxiety attack.

    AHHHH! I came upon this link while searching for side effects and am so very happy I did. I was beginning to think I was going crazy. Although I didn’t come across any posts with my particular situation, just reading some of yours really helped me feel like I am going to be OK. Thank you to everyone who shared their experience. Just typing this right now is helping me.

    I truly hope this doesn’t last much longer… Lesson learned on taking medications without, at the very least, looking up side effects and how to come off of it. Never again.

  • Nicole February 4, 2016, 5:41 am

    Two of my specialists (retinal surgeon, and GP) have told me about new studies that find gabapentin not as effective as the FDA first advertised. My eye doctor says it’s obvious it’s not helping my trigeminal neuralgia or migraine prophylaxis. So I am wanting to taper. I do admit it helped the excruciating restless legs (also not limited to rest of body at times).

    It did not go away altogether. I still have a severe anxiety condition and must take bentos for it or else crippling panic attacks ensue that last for hours before I realize I need some lorazepam. THEN, I go see this naturopath and she goes through all my meds and recommends a huge bag of magnesium flakes, a bath twice a week, and a liquid supplement twice a day.

    All my muscles were cramping and I felt fever ship and glued to the bed with sweat. Not to mention migraines. So you are all right about magnesium contraindicated with this drug. I’m so pissed at this so called doctor or whatever. I’m gonna see my GP, get on a tapering retiming and just use Benzos and codeine. I’m pretty sure I will have most of those withdrawal symptoms as I have a sensitive nervous system.

    I’m wondering if I should take time off work for a few weeks because my job is extremely dangerous if I am experiencing even two from that list. I hope to join this forum. All of your comments are so very helpful and educating all ready. I don’t have much of a support system in place. Sorry for the long post.

  • Cat February 10, 2016, 8:47 pm

    Started getting off my gaba 5 days ago. Was taking 900-1200 mg a day for 4 years. Noticed anxiousness, shortness-of-breath, and stomach / chest aches. Went for a walk took some turmeric. Exercise has helped take mind off it. I take naps when I’m tired and the pain is helped with the turmeric.

  • Donna February 17, 2016, 7:53 pm

    I tried posting a few weeks ago when I first started having problems. But it did not post for some reason… now I am grateful it didn’t. I had a horrific time coming off cymbalta a few years ago and was scared to death. I over reacted when I read this forum. I am embarrassed to think what that post sounded like.

    Not sure when I started tapering. I waited for a return phone call from pain specialist that never came and tried tapering on my own. Ended up seeing my GPs partner a week and a half ago as she was out of office. He said I was doing it too fast. As I was already at 150 twice a day he gave me 100 mg three times a day. I was OK…not great but OK all week last week then Sunday nauseated and terribly dizzy.

    Can’t sleep and anxiety and depression are peaking. Weird pains all over and my original back pain returning. Pretty much everything described above. And just not functioning well at all. Doc said to bring it down a hundred kilograms next Monday. Yikes. Scares me a bit as I would have thought it would be getting a little better at this point not worse.

    Any advice? Could the magnesium in my multiple vit be making things worse? I was only taking them for 6 weeks or so. Should it be this hard at such a low dose? Thank you all for your posts. It helps a lot to come here and read as the loneliness is probably the hardest part.

  • Lisa February 22, 2016, 9:52 pm

    So grateful I found this website before I started Gabapentin!!!! My doctor just have it to me to help with abilify withdrawal! She said there are no withdrawals, but that’s what she said about abilify as well! So now I will suffer through the abilify withdrawal without taking the GABA! I am so sorry you are all suffering! I feel your pain!!! Bless us all!

  • Kathy February 26, 2016, 2:02 am

    I’ve been taking 600mg x 3 daily, for a total of 1800 for the past 10 years. Started on Lyrica, but the cost and side effects quickly moved me to Gabapentin. It did take care of incredible shooting nerve pain that had curtailed my life drastically, but I gained 50 pounds and have never gotten that off. (Granted, I haven’t truly tried) I cut down to 1200 this past week and I am exhausted, unmotivated and hurting more than I expected.

    I also cut back on a painkiller at the same time, will see doctor in a few days, but this blog was great information. I recall being told it wasn’t addictive as well…but never thought I would need it for this long. I may have to continue usage, because it does address the nerve pain, but will work with my doctor to taper off a bit slower. Thank you for all the comments.

  • jim March 3, 2016, 1:57 am

    Hi everyone. I just spent hours reading all these comments. I would like to share my experience and get some feedback. I have been on gabapentin for almost 4 months now for extreme anxiety. I gradually worked my way up to taking 900mg 3 times a day, this seems like way too much based on other peoples comments on here. Just last week I stopped taking it for 3 days, cold turkey.

    I now realize how dumb this was but I was not informed of the dangers of stopping cold turkey. I experienced extreme anxiety and depression(worse than before I started taking it) and also had a very scary episode where I felt like I was having the worst panic attack of my life. After doing some research I think I was on the verge of a seizure and could have died. It was very scary, I could barely breathe, I was dizzy and seeing stars, my coordination was off, I had to crawl up the stairs, and I felt like I was going to faint any moment.

    My face was very pale, almost greenish looking. This lasted for almost 15 minutes. I think my dog is the only thing that calmed me down. Once I calmed down I immediately fell asleep. Thank god I woke up in the morning. Does anybody know if I was on the verge of a seizure or if it was just a very bad panic attack? I have since gotten back on gabapentin and am in the process of slowly weaning myself off of it.

    I feel better now that I am taking it again but I’m still experiencing shortness of breathe, anxiety when I’m not involved in something like work, and foggy short term memory. Thanks for reading and commenting in advance.

  • Jenny March 4, 2016, 6:09 pm

    I have weaned off 3 x 700 mg gabapentin daily and it took me six months. I was on this for three years. I have now been without for nearly two months but I feel I am still suffering withdrawal or I think I am !! Is this possible or am I pathetic? This drug is hell and I was not given the hard facts to say the least.

  • Tara March 15, 2016, 12:02 am

    I just want to say thank you to everyone that is sharing there experience here. I’ve been taking Gabapentin for epilepsy since I was 15 and I’d obviously prefer not to have to take it for the rest of my life, but when I start tapering off it at the end of the year there is a 50/50 chance I will either start having seizures again or be absolutely fine. I’ve been feeling nervous about this, but reading everyone’s comments has really helped. It makes a big difference to know you’re not alone in an experience.

  • Donna March 16, 2016, 10:08 pm

    Just an update. I am still working on tapering off. I have been dropping 100 mg pill every two weeks. So far it takes 5 to 7 days before the w/d symptoms kick in each time I taper. Those last for 3 to 5 days then I am OK again. Unfortunately its time to taper again shortly after. Those few days of symptoms include very high anxiety and deep depression…just really negative thinking for a day or two.

    Night sweats and anxiety ridden insomnia on those nights. Light sensitivity. Head aches. Dizziness. And no appetite or nausea. Can’t taste anything and everything smells weird. I am sure I am forgetting something because that is one of the worse symptoms….forgetfulness and confusion. As it happens I was on gabapentin longer than I realized. I was on Horizant before the straight gaba…. I didn’t know it was also gaba.

    Just found that out last week. I suspect the doc didn’t check my file before prescribing it. I should have been more attentive to my own healthcare. But then my doc doesn’t seem to think there should be any problem getting off this stuff besides seizures. I am soooo grateful she wasn’t available when I had to see her partner who told me to taper. Next Monday I stop taking it completely. Scary stuff.

    I am going to get magnesium to start then too. I have read that the last 100mg should be done very slowly…but I have to give it a try. I am soooooo done with this hell. I have read posts from people who have had it much harder than I have. My heart and prayers go out to them. My best advice is to just keep telling yourself that its just the Gaba! Feel what comes as it comes and remind yourself this too shall pass.

    Try to be sure to take your pills at the same time each day as I found this makes a difference as I tapered. I will come back later when I have been off for a while to let you all know how it goes. And thank you all again for sharing….the loneliness is a killer with this crap. My family was very supportive but now I feel like they are as tired of this craziness as I am. Good luck to everyone and hang in there. You can do this!

  • ant March 20, 2016, 11:02 pm

    It’s been a week since the withdrawal symptoms started. I have been on gabapentin for about 7 months taking them everyday I was taking 4 600 plus. In the past I’ve come off gabapentin and maybe became a little depressed, but nothing like this been having full-blown panic attacks for the majority of this last week. I’ve been to the ER twice.

    At first I thought I was having a heart attack or a seizure my heart starts pumping hard my body became becomes numb and tingly and then the nightmare begins. My heart starts to feel like it is pounding out of my chest. I get Wicked dizzy and every bad thought imaginable pops into my head. I am good at calming myself down, but no matter how hard I try, it sticks with me all day.

    I am a daily weed smoker and every time I smoked, my symptoms got ten times worse… marijuana is my coping mechanism so every time I have a panic attack I was reaching for some weed and it was making it ten times worse. It still sucks and the anxiety is still there with chest pains all day just not as severe as when I’m smoking. I am back on the Gabapentin.

    My doctor is an idiot and and they scheduled me an appointment for two weeks. My main question is it normal you still feel the withdrawal symptoms? I am taking 3 a day instead of 4 please get back to me I feel like I’m going crazy.

  • Ali March 26, 2016, 8:39 pm

    I have had Microvascular decompression for Trigeminal Neuralgia and along with a sack load of other meds was on 2700 mg of gabapetin. I have reduced by 500 mg over two weeks and now taking a break to assess pain levels. My condition means that I won’t get off it but hopefully can significantly reduce it. I have had some symptoms of withdrawal but biggest thing is low mood, tearfulness and exhaustion. I am lucky so far but a little nervous. I am in the UK, guessing that a lot of you are in the US. Good luck to you all.

  • elizabeth sarah March 28, 2016, 1:52 am

    I’m happy I found this site! I have been on 1800mg of gabapentin for about five months now, prescribed for anxiety. It hasn’t been working very well so I’ve decided to go off of it. For the last week or so I’ve been taking 900mg a day (300 in the morning and 600 at night). I’ve been so nauseas and itchy! It’s horrible! I’ve hardly eaten in days. Could not figure out what was going on, then thought maybe it was gabapentin withdrawal and apparently it is! I was planning on ditching the morning dose tomorrow. This is so weird. I’ve never had an itchy medication withdrawal before. Can’t stop scratching!

  • kathy t April 1, 2016, 11:36 am

    I’ve been tapering off after having been on the medication for about a year and a half. Highest dose was 600 3 X’s a day. Now down to 100 once a day for 3 now days. When I reached 100 twice a day, severe insomnia hit. Nothing helps me sleep. I’m becoming more anxious, more sleep deprived, agitated and depressed. Going to try magnesium to help. The insomnia is killing me though. Waking up every hour or not sleeping at all.

  • Robert Kerchoff April 4, 2016, 1:57 pm

    I have been on Gabapentin for a little over 2 months now. I am tapering myself off of 1200 mg to 900 mg and even lower. I want off of this drug! It has caused havoc with me. I am taking this for diabetic neuropathy pain a wonder drug in my book because the pain is gone, but I have gained over 20 pounds, I am tired all of the time, zoned out like I cannot concentrate, short of breath all of the time. I am retaining fluid like crazy and my doctor put me on Lasix which my kidneys cannot tolerate. I am not sure what else is out there but I can’t continue to stay on this medication.

  • MYLINDA BONEE April 20, 2016, 3:22 am

    I have been taking 900 mg 3 X day for 3 years… I just tried to go cold turkey 4 day’s ago and OMG, I thought I was going to die from the sweating and craps in my muscles. I started researching withdrawal and came across this page, needless to say, I took my 900mg dose and will now start lowering my dosage to see what happens. It is scary because I was also told it was not an addictive drug.

  • Wanda April 22, 2016, 6:56 pm

    Did anyone have diarrhea using this med? I’ve been using it for about 2 years and have developed diarrhea and I’m told side effects doesn’t often show up right away. And also I am weaning myself off of it as I’m thinking the Neurontin is causing the diarrhea. I haven’t had to go as often as I had been.

  • Mike April 24, 2016, 1:09 am

    Ok, I rarely comment on these but felt it necessary here. I was on 800×4/day of Gaba but was abusing it such that final 8 days of having script went thru month supply. I’m now on day 5 without any Gaba and am thinking worst of its over with. Day 3 was a little tough, felt feverish and anxious.

    I used Advil with Benadryl, helps with sleep and itching and anxiety. This drug Gaba sucks, but people can get off it! It’s not as bad as coming off opiates, slightly reminiscent of benzos but not as bad (for me). Was only on this thing 3 months, crazy the withdrawal that came from it!!

    I was getting suicidal on the pills and felt like couldn’t come off without drug relapse but that was not the case.

  • Helen April 24, 2016, 6:36 pm

    I was on 1800 mg/day – all taken at 5 pm with dinner – for two years. My doctor had me go down to 1200 mg for a week, then 600 mg for a week and then 300 for a week. I am down to the 600 mg week and all I do is cry. Anxiety attacks are horrendous. I am practically dysfunctional. Should I increase the dosage back up and then do it more gradually? I will definitely get some magnesium.

    • Helen July 1, 2016, 2:03 am

      Update: I took myself back up to the 1800 mg a day and started a much slower weaning process. I go down 100 mg. each week. I also followed the suggestion on here and have been taking magnesium supplements. I am down to 700 mg. a day and I am not experiencing any of the withdrawal symptoms I was experiencing before. I am hoping the rest of the weaning process goes as well. Good luck, everyone. This stuff is downright nasty to get off.

  • Carol Labuschagne April 25, 2016, 11:07 am

    I was taking 3 x 300mg, 3 times a day for a year. After my back operation, I tapered off. First week, 2, 3 times a day. Second week, 1, 3 times a day. Week 3, I stopped. I took the last tablet 9 days ago. Since then I feel so ill. In bed nearly all day. Heart racing and cannot even talk. Doctor has checked all is OK and says, “Give it time”.

    I just want to go to sleep and wake up feeling well. I am nearly 66 and want to enjoy life! I will NEVER again take any pain relief without checking what the withdrawal is like! I am a Christian and spend my days praising God for His healing hands and also ask that He continue the work He is doing in me.

  • David Millar April 30, 2016, 11:13 am

    I currently take 2700mg Gabapentin daily. I suffer from back and nerve pain. In conjunction with these I also take 225mg of Venlafaxine for depression-and painkillers on occasion. I tend to grind my teeth with these a lot which Perhaps is more habitual than not. For now I’m more concerned about my dependency for Gabapentin as I can’t see myself doing without them.

    They make me feel more relaxed so I can move more freely. I have a very bad habit of taking drugs for the feeling they give me. I have an addictive personality. I stopped drinking 2 yrs ago as this was killing me. I stopped taking recreational drugs such as ecstasy/amphetamine when I was 22. (I’m now 41). Drugs, drink, coffee, exercise, food. All of these I take to excess.

    I trade them off one by one. I am currently seeking help. Any one else out there with similar issues I’d like to hear from them. Kind regards. Davie M

  • LBast May 2, 2016, 6:02 am

    I am 27, was put on Gabapentin for neuropathic pain. It’s caused by scoliosis and was affecting me when at work, sitting or standing for long periods of time. I was in a lot if pain but I’m doing physical therapy now and while I’m still on gabapentin, the PT is helping so much and the pain that I used to experience between daily doses is gone.

    Therefore, I’m so upset that my doctor thought Gabapentin was right for me! I’m gradually withdrawing from 1200mg/day, now on 600/day and I’m a mess. I stabilized on 600 and tried to step down too 300 but the symptoms were so terrible. I’m in grad school right now and can hardly deal with the insomnia, depression, panic attacks. I’m wondering, has anyone gradually stepped down by even smaller doses than 300?

    Even if it means it will take longer to get off, I’m willing to do anything to make the symptoms less severe. My doctor seems to think I just have to get through it, and she is surprised I’m reacting this way after all the success previous patients have had. I’m so over this drug. It’s ruined the last 6 months of my life.

    • Carolyn Labuschagne September 7, 2016, 9:47 am

      Hi LBast, I was on Gabapentin for a year 2700mg per day. First time I tried to withdraw I stopped 900mg the first week which was ok. But the next week when I came off another 900mg (so down to 900mg per day), I got severe symptoms. Couldn’t walk, shivering, stopped eating etc.

      I saw 5 doctors who couldn’t help as they didn’t know what the problem was! After 3 weeks in bed I took matters in to my own hand. Went back to 2700mg per day until symptoms subsided. Then dropped 100mg per week. If no reaction after a week, tried dropping 100mg every 4 days.

      Every now and again my body reacts so I stick with the dose until I feel ok again before dropping another 100mg. It has taken my 4 months to get to 600mg per day and so far, so good. The only thing I will say is that I just would never advise anyone to just stop taking Gabapentin! I wish you well.

  • Barbara Holliday May 6, 2016, 3:58 pm

    I’m tapering from my Gabapentin now. 900 milligrams a day. I’m tapering off myself. I’m having withdrawal symptoms. Headaches, muscle spasms and aches. Irritability and dizziness. I plan to continue regardless. I was put on this medication and Cymbalta for back issues. Once I’m off the Gabapentin, I will taper off to Cymbalta.

    I had no idea when I was taking either drug that they’re withdrawal would be so difficult. My plan is to stop taking them both. I will never again take another medication without first knowing how hard it will be to stop. I think everyone is responsible or knowing the effects and withdrawal of all medications we take.

    I made the mistake of starting them however it will not happen again. Good luck to everyone who is trying to withdrawal from Gabapentin.

  • Ruth Wilding May 12, 2016, 11:10 am

    I got these horrific dizzy spells while on Gabapentin. I went off them and took magnesium as I could not get rid of the dizzy spells. Now how long do I take these magnesium, 250mg? I only took the Gabapentin for about a month 300mg once a day. I have tried to wean myself off the magnesium, but the dizzy spells are still there.

  • Chris May 15, 2016, 1:19 pm

    Thank goodness I found this website. I’ve been taking gabapentin since November 2015 and have started to taper off since my back surgery. I’m down to 300 mg/day and the withdrawal symptoms are awful. I’m dreading how I’ll feel when I’m totally off this horrible drug. I’m going to try 200 mg, them 100 mg, then off completely.

    So far for me the nausea is the worst symptom. I feel very depressed and I’m crying a lot, too, but I’m trying very hard to remind myself it’s because of the withdrawal and it will pass eventually. I really wish my doctor had never prescribed this drug.

    It didn’t help that much with the pain, made me gain 15 pounds, and now is terrible to discontinue. Reading others’ experiences helped me to understand what’s going on. Doctors don’t seem to have a clue. Thanks to everyone for sharing your stories.

  • Jay May 21, 2016, 3:33 pm

    My doctor prescribed gabapentin and clonazepam when I hit tolerance withdrawal on Xanax. Little did I know the mess I was getting into with any of these drugs and honestly, I think making them should be criminal! The drug companies are not honest about what these drugs do to you (if you tell your doctor about what the leaflet says – they’ve been trained by the drug companies to down play that and say – the percent chance of you experiencing that is very low) and what happens to you if you even remotely consider getting off of them.

    I took the gabapentin at night to help with sleep. I started reducing it in March when I was getting close to finished with my clonazepam reductions. I was taking only 300 mgs from October to January. Then I increased to 600 mgs until February and 800 mgs in March. I reduced 100 mgs a week until the end of April. It wasn’t bad until I got to the half way point with gabapentin.

    To get to 300 mgs, I had to open the capsule and dump out a little powder every day. When I got to 300 mgs. I held for a few weeks. I’m now very close to 200 mgs and the symptoms are more than irritating but not bad when you reduce very slowly. I’m a little anxious, my fingers, toes and lips tingle, I have a lot of muscle cramping and spasms, my stomach hurts often, I feel nauseated off and on, my vision (which had returned to normal for many months) is now going back to blurry and do not get me started on weight gain.

    I’ve gained 20 pounds in the 6 months I was on clonazepam and gabapentin. I’ve been off the clonazepam for nearly a month and my weight is wildly swinging right now. Sometimes it is as much as 5 pounds a day which is really uncomfortable on the upswing. My skin hurts, it is so dry. I get frequent headaches, bone pain off and on and my memory is really bad.

    I should have done better research before I took this medication. Shame on me. But you know what? I think – shame on the makers of the generic and brand name of this medication, shame on the FDA for approving it without sufficient long-term studies since it is being prescribed for long-term use. It should be taken off the market. How many suicides have their been from this drug and benzodiazepines? Psych drugs are bad, bad, bad news.

    There are better alternatives. The NIH released a study recently about how mindfulness eases back pain! Mindfulness – just breathing has a better effect than drugs and its free – no doctor visits – can be used while driving, walking, working, sitting in nature or your living room! Never ever never will I touch another psych drug for anxiety or sleeplessness. I will also never allow my family to come anywhere near psych drugs. I honestly think the creation and distribution of it should be criminalized.

    In the US, you can go to the FDA and complain. I have and I hope many of you that have run into problems with this drug, do the same thing. Look at your Rx bottle, cite the manufacturer and complain, complain, complain so others do not have to suffer what we have suffered. The thought that I have at least 6 more weeks of this ridiculous tapering to do is unbelievable (and others have to do it far longer).

    If I had known, I never would have taken these drugs. It is not a good drug to transition from benzos – it acts just like one in every respect in terms of the human experience of it. Forgive my long-winded post. I’ll be quiet now and apologize. I’m just so mad about what I’m going through and what all of you have and are going through.

    It needs to stop. Maybe we need to get litigious! Sorry – really putting soap box away now. A parting word of hard earned wisdom… Research any and all drugs you are prescribed, realize the manufacturers are not honest with your doctors about the drugs they are making and pushing, realize many doctors are even paid by pharmaceutical manufacturers to write a study or sign their name to it.

    Demand information, go search for it if you don’t get it, exhaust all resources on your own for alternative therapies and find your way to health as best as you can. Wishing you all the best.

  • Piper May 28, 2016, 12:55 am

    Been taking 3600MG of gabapentin everyday for 10 months. Stopped cold turkey a few days ago. Not by choice but because I’m waiting on my refill that the doctors office hasn’t gotten around to yet. Feeling very depressed, terrible anxiety, crying on and off, no appetite, bad headaches, generally ill feeling (stomach upset), unable to think clearly and extremely lethargic.

    Not a good time, when I was put on this I didn’t know that coming off of it would be so difficult. I also start feeling really hot or really cold sometimes now. I’m taking it because of back problems. I have a blown Disc in my lower back causing tremendous pain and the gabapentin at 3600mg a day barely helps with the pain.

    I also have seizures due to a brain surgery 3 years ago. The seizures from my brain hemorrhage caused my back problems. I’m 35 years old, I feel like it’s all too much. I’m going to look into something more natural to help me cause these medicines doctors keep throwing at me are making life more hard, not easier.

  • Brandy June 1, 2016, 3:31 am

    I have taken Gabapentin on and off for years for burning in my feet. It helped temporarily but then I noticed the burning much worse then before until I stopped and went through the withdrawal process and it was 100% out of my body. It’s because of the short half life the med stopped working. I was never addicted but was dependent to help me. It worked for 8 hours at first and then wore off around 4-5 hours.

    The half life is 5-7 hours. The first time I quit 2400 mg cold turkey. My main symptoms was severe night sweats and my legs and feet would go into a fit while I slept, they jerked so bad that it would wake me up. That along with hot flashes all day. I said I would never take the med again and I did years later but have never taken more then 400 mg twice a day, low dose.

    I can tell some days it wears off earlier then other days. I’ve also went down to 200mg twice a day, breaking them in half. Taper 100% works VERY WELL. So tapering was easy for me, no ill effects from the taper. I don’t mind taking the drug knowing that I am able to taper and come off easily with no problems.

    Gabapentin can cause vitamin deficiencies. I had to start Calcium because my calcium levels were low despite I get tons of calcium from my foods and skim milk. 200% of the RDV (recommend daily value) and there should be no way of having a deficiency. It can also deplete several other vitamins. I will also say that I have taken SSRI meds Paxil in the past and I read withdrawal is horrible but honestly it was NOT.

    I came off cold turkey and had mild anxiety, a few crying spells. Not bad… But tapered for 1-2 weeks and quit easily. Gabapentin was much worse. I quit Gabapentin and Paxil both before cold turkey and that was a huge mistake too. I highly recommend tapering!!! It makes it very easy and pain free. Good luck! :)

    Note: You shouldn’t take Calcium/Magnesium/folic acid or antacids like tums, malox, etc within 2 hours of Gabapentin because it blocks 20% of the Gabapentin from being absorbed. In 2 hours it only blocks approx 10%. That being said wait at least 2 hours if you take those supplements separate your vitamins from the Gabapentin.

  • Wade June 5, 2016, 7:54 pm

    I just had a real bad experience. Got thrown in jail because I mouthed off abit to the judge and they knew I was on these medications because of injuries while working in the middle east. They knew what meds I was on, they knew what would happen and they locked me in a cell and made me go through withdrawal from 3 different meds.

    1. 600mg gabapentin 4 times a day.
    2. 150mg of tramadol 4 times a day.
    3. 300mg of sertraline 1 time a day.

    This was completely insane…hallucinations and not the fun kind…flashbacks from my 12 years living in the middle east… absolute horror… I was sick beyond any flu I have ever had muscle cramps and spasms throwing up fevers uncontrollable shaking and rigors. I had diarrhea so bad and it was urine yellow.

    My doctor said this is heading towards jaundice, my skin was turning yellow from liver damage. Seizures and visual hallucinations. Crazy electric “zaps” that hit with mega migraine power… This was used as a weapon against me… just like they beat me with a baseball bat. Bruises all over… My lawyer says this is assault and is taking the fight to them now.

    If you are on higher doses like I am… be careful…. once the bad $h!T starts it’s too late and you will not be able to help or take care of yourself. My doctor was asked to give a statement and he ending statement was that he would rather be water boarded every day for the rest of his life than go the withdrawals I did…

  • Laura June 7, 2016, 7:26 pm

    I took 300 mg of Gabapentin 3 times a day for approximately 2-3 weeks. Before researching withdrawal symptoms, I stopped taking it. The day after I stopped I started experiencing crying for no reason, extreme fatigue, depression and sweating. Guess what? When I looked up withdrawal symptoms, included were crying for no reason, extreme fatigue, depression and sweating.

    I couldn’t believe I was experiencing these symptoms after such a short time on the drug. I am trying to taper off this drug and I’m down to 100 mg per day. I am also taking chemo for ovarian cancer, but I had none of the psychological symptoms until I started going off the G. I have my last treatment tomorrow, June 8th, and I’m of a mind to stop taking the G during the week after treatment when I already feel miserable anyway.

    Any thoughts on going from 100 mg to zero? I also thought about dividing the powder in the capsules and doing 50 mg for a few days, but I just want to be off this drug so desperately! Still crying and depressed and fatigued at a point in my chemo cycle where I felt fine after prior treatments.

  • Donna June 13, 2016, 6:10 am

    I am trying to help my 88-year old mom come to grips with what might be side effects and withdrawal from gabapentin. I’d be interested to hear comments/suggestions. Her neurologist prescribed it in Sept. 2015 to help her with pain and numbness in her legs and feet. She was on a pretty low dose – initially ramped up to 300mg/day, then backed off to 200mg/day.

    In March 2016 she went in for checkup, and her neurologist wrote her a prescription for 300mg tablets because he misunderstood that she was taking only 200mg/day. My mom took the higher dosage for a few days, but it made her nearly nonfunctional – very dizzy and fuzzy. Instead of backing off to 200mg, my mom went cold turkey, and was barely able to lift her head up or walk.

    After a few days of that, she went back on the gabapentin at the 200mg dose, but began having anxiety and panic attacks. Her doctor told her to stop taking the gabapentin. She reduced the dosage to 100mg/day for a few weeks, and then stopped taking it. Mom has been completely off the drug for about 2.5 weeks now, but the anxiety attacks have gotten worse. She has gotten to the point where she is afraid to leave the house and is very depressed.

    She says she also feels very tired, doesn’t feel like eating or doing anything. She describes it as feeling like her brain is completely gone and her “nerves are shot”. Her doctor prescribed xanax to help with the anxiety, but that makes her pretty nonfunctional, even at a low dosage. Before all this happened 2.5 months ago, my mom was a highly functional, independent senior.

    It feels like she’s rapidly plummeting into a situation where she’s going to need major care. Do you think she’s going through side effects and withdrawal from the gabapentin? Is there a possibility that this is going to subside?

  • Angie June 18, 2016, 11:19 am

    I had these 300mg capsules sitting on my counter for 2 months not wanting to start these for some unknown reason. I hadn’t done any research on them and that could’ve been my hesitation. I decided, from tortuous back and neck pain, to just do it. Whyyy did I do this??? I hate medication for one thing. After ONLY 3 DAYS I decided to quit and do more research.

    I skipped one or two days…I don’t know because I became automatically foggy headed, lethargic, weepy, depressed, restless, insomniac, and irritable. And I constantly felt itchy all over. I wigged out emotionally on my dear sweet boyfriend and I woke up the following morning feeling like I was going to die…paranoia.

    My head was throbbing, I was HOT despite the a/c on and a fan directly on me. I had to turn the fan off because it was tickling my skin if that makes any sense. My heart was pounding as well. So I went online and read all this dreadful stuff. I immediately got up and took my pill and will be calling my Dr. to get me off this crap.

    I just have one thing regarding some of the negative thoughts. Please please try to keep in mind we are withdrawing from this medication and it makes us emotional and over-sensitive abnormally. Please be forgiving knowing that this drug is what’s causing it. Peace and love to all.

  • Patrick Winter June 22, 2016, 6:04 pm

    I was up to as high as 3600mg and stayed there for about a month. I did not receive a ton of relief for my nerve pain. I did find a sedating affect that made me less focused on the pain. I didn’t obsess on the pain, thereby it didn’t worse. Distraction is a powerful thing. A year later, I am down to a 300mg nightly dose. I would like to get off of it because of the side effects.

    Every now and then I would wet the bed while sleeping because of gabapentin. And it was worse when I was at higher doses. I read somewhere that that is possible once you go to 600mg daily. Even at 300 mg at night it will happen on occasion. Very embarrassing. I tried a while back to get off of it completely and titrated down to 100mg a day.

    Then I stopped completely and the withdrawal effects were too oppressive for me when combined with the nerve pain. I may have tried to wean myself off too quickly. This is certainly addictive. It seems that getting down to that very last dose and stopping is the biggest hurdle.

  • Dave June 28, 2016, 1:35 pm

    I’ve been using Gabapentin for about two months for neuropathic pain, starting a 100mg. 3x, and working up to 300mg. 3x. The medication has helped with the pain, but is causing urinary retention and I am trying to wean myself off. I’m particularly interested in the use of Magnesium supplementation, such as dosage and the best time to take it. I’m also on Xanax, which should help alleviate the anxiety. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Dave

  • Katie July 4, 2016, 11:51 pm

    I have been taking gabapentin for 2 years now, for bipolar disorder. It has proven to be very effective for bipolar disorder, however I am fuzzy, forgetful, and a total space cadet. My doctor is slowly weening me off of them, however I am experiencing ALL of the withdrawals EXCEPT seizures. Nothing seems to work, and now I’m on all kinds of other pills to help with the withdrawal symptoms. Lunesta, klonopin, and wellbutrin. Damn the man and these terrible pharmaceutical companies that create this stuff knowing how bad it can possibly be. There has got to be another way.

  • shawn bozarth July 11, 2016, 3:53 pm

    Ok guys, I have only been on Gabapentin for 3 months and only one 300mg per night before bed. I instantly have noticed weight gain and brain fog the next day. I totally stopped cold turkey and I am feeling a bit edgy and irritable. Do you guys think it is dangerous that I quit cold turkey after only taking such a small dose for a short time? I mean I’m on day 3 and doing ok…a little weird feeling and edgy but I’m not doing horribly.

  • Tiffany July 11, 2016, 6:22 pm

    I have taken Gabapentin for almost a year 300 mg 3x a day. I quit cold turkey and I’m now 3 weeks into it. I was addicted to these as well as abusing them, so I wanted to quit for numerous reasons. I assure anyone who is trying to quit the withdrawal symptoms are real!!! They suck!!

    I’m hoping my days get easier as time goes by. I will say that the nausea was my first step it only lasted about 2 days at most. Now I’m fighting the depression which is really rough. At times all I want to do is sleep. The fatigue is gone and only lasted about a week. I just want to sleep to escape. I have always dealt for years now with depression so now this has magnified it.

    I won’t go back to the medication seeing as I have made it this far, but I wanted to share my experience with everyone going thru it, thinking about going thru it, or has already been thru it. I’m also wondering how long the depression lasts? Is this the last stage or what? Anyone who has been thru this please help… If you have any positive advice for me I could sure use it. Thanks.

  • Elizabeth July 17, 2016, 3:36 pm

    Three months ago, I took gabapentin only 300 MGs per day for a few weeks due nerve to pain running down my scapula from scoliosis. The very day I increased to 600 MGs, I got severe double vision. So I tapered myself back off the entire drug and I’m still experiencing bouts of double vision. Not very often but enough to drive me crazy.

    I also had what I could only call “neurological storms” when I could barely see, barely think, and couldn’t keep my eyes open. Thankfully it wasn’t for extended period of time because of the low dosage and short time span I was on the drug, but here I am three or four months later still feeling vague effects. Immediately after discontinuing the drug, I had an evening when I got lost in my own neighborhood at night, it was a brief but scary moment of confusion.

    In the mornings I still feel a little bit cross-eyed and have to actively think to keep my eyes open while driving (Even though I obviously do). This drug is no joke!

  • Mark July 19, 2016, 12:02 pm

    Great forum and very interesting to hear everyone’s experiences. I have been taking 3x 300mg gabapentin a day for the past 5 weeks for neuralgia… Not convinced it helps and I would rather the pain than the way it makes me feel – unable to concentrate, lethargic, trouble sleeping, constant ache.

    I have decided to stop taking it (I think I would rather the pain!)… I know this is not recommended but I’m going to try cold turkey and I will be dosing myself with magnesium. Thanks for the magnesium tip whoever posted that. I am off work for the next 7 days so hopefully I will have reached some level of normality by the time I return.

  • Kyle July 25, 2016, 3:19 pm

    Great article and thank you all for commenting on your experiences. I was a nurse in a psychiatric setting, and I had noticed that psychiatrists are beginning to use gabapentin for everything. For anxiety, they tend to prescribe 800 mg three times a day and tell the patients consistently that there is no withdrawal issues as they would be with benzos. Well, I had been on gabapentin for pain for just about a year and I feel that it’s withdrawal symptoms are just as worse as benzo’s.

    I now work with a group of about 10 psychiatrists and thankfully they have been very accepting of this new or evidence that gabapentin is dangerous. See, the problem is the gabapentin is not a old medications. It is relatively new and we haven’t seen doctors take patients off often so we have not really noticed the effects of withdrawal and discontinuation.

    My advice is if you want to get off, initiates a long taper. Take your time and listen to your body. You do not have to take a 300 mg can’t just because the pills maybe 600 mg or so. If you have capsules, or tablets, you can mix it in a fixed solution of water (ex: 100 ml water measured the exact same daily), get an oral syringe that you can buy or get for free at any pharmacy, and gets a mason jar.

    Puts the water in the mason jar and then put your pill in. Then start taking it out water and since your pill is dissolved in there, you are freaking a cut as dosage but it could be as little as 5 mg. I would start off by taking out maybe 10 mL of water and then drink the 90 mL left which will give you your med, then hold off for about a week so that your body does not go into Trenton.

    After that, I would make smaller cuts and you can simply listen to your body. Every time you make a cut, stay on that regimen for at least a week. So for example, if you are making 5 ml cuts, do so every week. So, your mason jar will continuously get emptier and emptier until you are off! My advice is listen to your body.

    You can always make a pretty big cuts, and if you feel sick, you can go up on your dosage again until you are stabilized, and then you can just make smaller cuts in a longer duration. If you made a 10 mL cut and you feel absolutely no side effects, perhaps the next day you could try 15 or even 20 mL cut. But eventually you will know your tolerance level. Take it slow and listen to your body. Some may think that tapering it for a year is silly, but it’s not. Plain and simple.

    Look, your doctor is not going to take you off of Gabapentin because they seem to think it’s the holy grail. To be honest, they will dismiss probably this tapering method which is known as liquid titration and you could find videos on YouTube on how to do it. But the goal of medicine is to help you, and if you do not need such a big dosage and you can cut, then that is absolutely no problem. Most people who are on the gabapentin will probably be on it for a very long time.

    Hence, as the years go by we will see the devastating effects of withdrawal. In my opinion, gabapentin withdrawal can be just as dangerous as benzo withdrawal and is certainly worse then opiate withdrawals if you are not taking to hard-core of opiates. Even then, most opiate withdrawals go away in about 2 to 3 weeks. Do not let yourself suffer if you can be patient and listen to your body.

    I have seen patients very successfully come off of gabapentin through tapering with very little to none with drawls. I work with four psychiatrists of the 10 who specialize specifically in chemical dependency. Thankfully, they are smart enough to understand that’s the minority of patients who are tapering are suffering very badly and most medical professionals do not understand the severity of it because their patients are typically on the med still.

    I really hope they can find a non-discontinuation med or at least a very less side effects type medication for medical purposes that gabapentin seems to help. Sadly, you will be surprised at how much safer the older medications are then New Orleans that are coming out. You would be very surprised. But anyways, good luck see you all who are tapering and I wish you all the best of health.

    I actually as prescribed gabapentin but I only take it as it is so I did not take it daily even if I have pain that I feel could be helped by the pill. Moderation definitely is the key

    • Ruth August 20, 2016, 1:26 pm

      Kyle, All I can say is thank you thank you! I have been on a low dose of 300mg for 4 months, tried to increase for a while but felt strange so went back down. Currently on 200mgs and am suffering bad. Just ad someone on a high dose. Taking for pain. I’m afraid to tell my Dr because she just helped me discontinue Tramadol after taking daily for 5 years so I could continue to work.

      And I thought that was bad! My Dr will think I’m crazy. I asked her if Neurontin was a safe med and she said oh yes just taper when you stop as it could cause a seizure. That’s it! This is hell. I have 109mg capsules thank god and was taking 1 every 12 hours but started experiencing WD in between so emptying, ballparking 50mg every 6 hours . It’s helping a bit more but my body was used to 30o mgs at bedtime.

      I’m stopping them because WDs in the day were just awful. I will you tube the water titration. I am currently on 1.5 mgs of Clonazepam for many years. Another nightmare I was put on back in the day. So that will be next. Even bought a scale for tapering that evil drug. So thank you for the hope. The headaches are just maddening. Do you think I should start over since I cut one third to start? Thank you! I hope you get this.

  • BT July 26, 2016, 4:31 pm

    Wow. Just wow. Thanks y’all. Why the he!! didn’t I find this site BEFORE I started taking this drug?!? Oh how I wish I had. But I didn’t, and am now suffering many of the same effects described, above. I had carpal tunnel release and a metacarpopheal joint [MCP] replacement surgery on March 8th of this year. At nine or ten days out, post-surgery, I started having contraction-like spasms in my hand – pain like no other I’ve ever experienced, pain so intense it cause me to scream out loud!

    On the day it started, I called my surgeons office, in tears, to say “something is terribly wrong – is it supposed to hurt this bad?” At the time, due to my “negative” pain tolerance, I was taking Dilaudid for post-surgical pain. My doctor wasn’t available so I had to speak to the doctor then on call and he said, “Well, you’re not even two weeks out, so I think the pain you’re experiencing is probably normal.”

    I questioned why I’d not had such severe post-operative-pain up until then, and he continued to assure me that everyone heals differently, but I had no reason for concern. “Just take your pain medication, and tell Dr. C. about this when you see her in a few days.” Okie dokey, then. NO, NOT OKIE DOKEY! That was, I believe, a Thursday, and of course, even though I’d experienced the pain, which started late morning or early in the afternoon, I waited until the office was about to close before calling.

    The office closes at 5PM, and I called at 4:58PM. The phones had already been turned over to the answering service. No biggie, and according to the surgeon on call, perfectly normal. It was the following Tuesday afternoon I was scheduled to see my doctor to have what was my second cast removed. I spent all of that Thursday night until the following Tuesday afternoon experiencing these sudden, unannounced, horrifically severe, contraction-like spasms of pain, shooting into my hand that felt like violent stabs, one after another after another, from a red-hot knife being plunged DIRECTLY into the surgery site of my new carbon knuckle that the Dilaudud couldn’t come close to trying control before seeing my surgeon who, when I told her what was happening – thru tears – calmly said, “It’s RSD.”

    What? I’d never heard of such a thing. She explained in medical terms about the sensors being wired to do such and such and that RSD causes them to do blabetly blah blah blah. It was all gobbly gook then. She said, You’ll need physical therapy, see so-and-so on you’re way out and I’ll see you in a week. I spent the last two weeks of March, all of April and May, going to PT, at first three times a week, then in mid-may, going two times a week, with a hand that continued NOT getting better, and both a physical therapist and a surgeon chastising me for “not working hard enough.”

    At one point, the surgeon said, “How’s the pain?” And when I told her that it felt like something was still very wrong, she said, “Well I’m not writing you any more ‘scripts for narcotics, just take some Tylenol and continue doing your PT. Oh, and I’m referring you to a ‘pain specialist,’ here is his number. I will send the referral over.” I checked the “pain specialist” out on-line and after seeing what the program offered there was all about [an intense, month-long, daily from 8AM to 5PM program where “coping techniques” are taught, breathing / yoga type classes are given, along with intense physical therapy sessions, and both individual and group sessions with psychologists and “counsellors” who teach patients to deal with whatever affliction you’re sent there for, to live, drug-free, and deal with their maladies].

    It was then that I decided I was done with Dr. C. So, I went to my PCP and asked for a referral to another hand surgeon, and found my own “Pain Clinic.” Although Dr. C., and the therapists who work with her are know for their knowledge of RSD, I felt like she was being dismissive of my pain, and almost punishing me for not getting better under her care, like it was somehow MY fault. I have now had the opportunity to be examined by the doctor at the “Pain Clinic,” and after his review of all of Dr. C’s notes and records, X-rays, etc., he prescribed Percocet and Lyrica.

    I went to go get the RX’s at the pharmacy and that’s when I learned that my insurance company had declined coverage for the Lyrica, but left with a bottle of Percocet and immediately called Dr. V’s office, the “Pain Clinic,” to let him know that I couldn’t get the Lyrica. No problem, he prescribed Gabapentin. I’m taking it, as noted, above, and I feel worse than I did before I started taking it. Man-oh-man, I wish I’d visited HERE before ever taking that first pill! I called Dr. V’s office yesterday to say, “Do you think I need an anti-depressant, to?”

    I talked to my assigned nurse, and she called me back late afternoon to tell me that she had talked to the doctor and he said we could discuss it when I see him again on August 5th. I don’t need an anti-depressant; I need to STOP taking Gabapentin! As I already stated, I’ve got much of what y’all have described in many, many comments, above, and now I am scared to death to stop taking these capsules which are making me a mess!

    Sweating, uncontrollable crying – at nothing, can’t sleep, don’t want to eat because nothing tastes good, angry at the world for no reason, can’t focus – literally [like I need new contacts, or something], and feel as though my attention is elsewhere [it certainly wasn’t with me as I was driving to the store yesterday – the perfect conditions for an accident or speeding ticket!]. I will continue taking the Gabapentin, as prescribed. But you can bet your life’s savings it will be the first thing we discuss when I see Dr. V. on August 5th – that, and the weaning off process, the withdrawal I’m going to have to endure, because, apparently the RSD isn’t quite enough suffering… Yikes!

    And a huge thank you, to all of you, for the intense education with regard to taking Gabapentin!!

  • Daphne Redd July 27, 2016, 2:46 pm

    I have taken from 900 mg to 1200 mg of Gabapentin for over a year. It was prescribed for lower back pain that was causing neuropathy down to my feet. After surgery I started backing off the dosage, but stopped cold about two months after my successful surgery. The Withdrawal Symptoms were present in 48 hours for about two weeks before I realized with the help of a friend what was going on in my life.

    My doctor originally told me that there were no addictions associated with Gabapentin and I had to send the Doctor the information about the withdrawal symptoms and the ones I was experiencing. He recommended I take it, just because. I had to inform the doctor that the only reason I had the drug was for lower back pain and the side effects of the back pain.

    The VA, instead of seeing the problem and going to surgery decided to treat the condition with a host of drugs and experiments with drugs over the course of 4 years. The lack of education and mis-information in the medical community is frightening. I called all my doctors so we could make a plan for a better tapered withdrawal of using the medication. I had irritability, horrendous sweats, insomnia, and general anxiety.

    My BP was nearly out of control until I started taking the medication again. I gradually tampered and tampered down until I was starting to have severe withdrawals again. I again contacted my doctors and made a new plan. I am still coming off the drug and have about 6 of 8 weeks to go with the step down dosage plan. At present I still experience mild anxiety, sweating, and some insomnia.

    The most significant side effect is now the depression. Exercising has been the most beneficial assistance with coping. That and talking to friends have made a big difference. Exercising is also good for me as I tend to gain weight at the sight of food and need a counter balance and that has always been steady exercise. Having a friend that has been through many withdrawal effects in their life has been beneficial.

    He was the one that said, exercise and sweat it out as often as you can. It helps in all aspects and even the depression. It has not been fun. I am prepared for the long version of symptom withdrawals lasting several months. I wish I never had taken the medication and that the VA would have saw that the condition was not treatable through anything but surgery. Education seems to be the key for me and it should be for the medical field as well.

  • Kim July 28, 2016, 2:31 am

    So I was on neurontin for 2 months for restless leg syndrome, 300 mg for a month and then 600 mg for a month. This on top of two other meds, ropinirole and klonopin. I am very petite with a history of being very sensitive to meds. Adding the neurontin was a disaster for me. I have almost literally laid on the couch for the past month, too tired to move and too foggy headed to do anything about it.

    I also have gained about 5 pounds (a lot for my size) and am very bloated. I have been off cold turkey for a few days. I didn’t intend to go cold
    turkey and may start back on a tapered dose. I just ran out and didn’t get a refill and started to realize how bad the drug had been making me feel. I had a few good days, but now have a headache, feel itchy and am sleeping restlessly.

    Here is my question: is anyone smelling weird smells as they withdraw? This is my third day running around the house spraying Lysol and febreze. I keep looking for something in the kitchen that might be smelling. My husband doesn’t smell anything. I don’t know whether it is connected to what is going on or not.

    I will say that other than those things, my symptoms are pretty mild so far. I am hoping that my short time on the drug and smaller dose will help.

  • Cindy August 2, 2016, 6:43 pm

    I attempted to come off of gabapentin following the recommendations of my psychiatrist (I had initially been prescribed it for anxiety). I was on 600mg 4xs a day. He had me go down in the following way:

    -600 mg 3xs a day for 4 days
    -600 mg 2xs a day for 4 days
    -600 mg 1x a day for 4 days
    -300 mg 1x a day for 4 days

    This was one of the most horrific experiences of my life. From the beginning of decreasing I started having horrible nightmares, anxiety like I’d never experienced before, and horrible depression. By the time I was finally off of it completely I was nearly suicidal. I tried yoga, magnesium supplements and epsom salt baths, counseling, etc.

    Nothing helped. I finally broke down and started the gabapentin again, 200mg 3xs a day. My anxiety did not completely subside but my extreme depression and suicidal thinking went away. I hadn’t realized just how crazy I’d been feeling from the withdrawal! I have since begun decreasing the gabapentin but have done it at a much slower pace.

    I bought a milligram scale on Amazon so I could pour out small amounts from my capsules and decided to decrease by 20mg per dose every three days. This is what I have been doing:

    -180mg 3xs a day for 3 days
    -160mg 3xs a day for 3 days
    -120mg 3xs a day for 3 days
    -100mg 3xs a day for 3 days…etc.

    I am on my last day of 80mg 3xs a day and this time the withdrawal has been minimal. I am trying to eat healthy, I have been exercising nearly every day, doing yoga, and trying to maintain a positive attitude. I want to be off of this medication so badly. I recommend to anyone dealing with extreme withdrawal issues to try decreasing as slowly as possible.

    Drs do not know enough about this medication and do not warn you what you will go through if you ever want to quit it when they prescribe it to you-my doctor described it as a completely benign medication. I wish I’d never started taking it, but with the method I described above I finally feel like I will be able to be off of it someday. If I start to have the extreme depression again I will probably start taking a low dose again and decrease at an even slower rate, however, this rate seems to be working well for me so far.

    Good luck and much love to anyone dealing with this, the withdrawal is certainly real and severe for many people, but I believe it’s possible to come off of it if you do it slowly.

    • Daphne August 3, 2016, 7:17 pm

      My withdrawal has been similar to yours. I down to 100 mg per day from a high of 1200. Friends help, exercises help, and eating correctly helps. Uncontrolled anxiety, sleep issues and generalized depression are my worse three at the moment. It is a real and difficult struggle. I have beaten caffeine, nicotine and I know I can beat this as well.

  • lucy wright August 3, 2016, 12:21 pm

    This is an appalling drug and I would recommend anyone who is doing their homework prior to taking it…DON’T!!! I was on a low dose 600 x 2 daily but for two years and in those two years the side effects became unbearable and ending in no less than 18 hospital appointments in different departments. The problem is, whatever is written – when you really delve and do your homework NO ONE knows for sure how this drug works, not even the drug company.

    Meaning that all the doctors missed the main cause of my complaints even though they knew I was taking this drug, a lot of the common side effects are not acknowledged or listed by the manufacturers and I also discovered an article claimed that in the drug trials doctors were paid to review the drug favorably for pain relief. If you are on this drug and have started suffering skin complaints, hair loss, dizziness, racing heart beat, headaches, nausea etc etc then yes it is the drug, have a look at other forums and other patients experiences.

    Detox very slowly, use magnesium sulfate – it helps and don’t trust a doctor when they tell you that a drug is safe, remember they are influenced by their surgery budgets and drug manufacturers.

  • Peter August 5, 2016, 9:59 pm

    I was taking 3x300mg three times a day for 16 years for nerve pain after several back surgeries, I wanted to quit. For one week I reduced to 3x300mg twice a day, the next week 3x300mg once a day, at that point the itching started, and I started looking for mosquitos. I though I must be being bitten… that’s the type of itching it was and the way I normally feel after being bitten.

    I then reduced to one pill a day 1x300mg for a week and the itching went on steroids. I found this page, and learned about Magnesium. It works, but what worked even better was another supplement I just happened to have. Chelated Calcium Magnesium Zinc with vitamin D3, from Organika, right after the first dose of two caps the itch was gone.

    I take two caps three times a day to control the itch, hope this helps someone, because there is no way one could stay sane with an itch like this. Now I am on no dose, and feel fine don’t know what to expect next.

  • Louise August 9, 2016, 10:24 pm

    I was on gabapentin for 8 months. I was taking 1800mg per day. I reduced my dosage very slowly as advised and timetabled by my doctor. I suffered slightly with the shakes but that didn’t last long. My appetite is non existent and I have totally gone off chocolate. I have been a chocoholic for as long as I can remember but nothing tastes the same.

    I eat to exist I don’t enjoy food anymore. I am quite grumpy too my children say but I am trying my best not to be. I feel cold all the time and struggle to get warm enough to be able to fall asleep. I know these symptoms are not as bad as some people are experiencing but when they affect your family they’re tough to accept. I hope they will be short lived. (It has only been 2 weeks since my last dose).

  • roger August 10, 2016, 6:18 pm

    Was taking only 100mg per day for approximately 2 months for radicular pain SX’s. Due to side effects decided to stop. Understood about tapering of dose. However, since this was a very low dose I stopped all at once only to find out I had experienced gabapentin withdrawal syndrome. I was very restless… severe insomnia with restlessness.

    In addition having radial brachial pruritus (RP) this abrupt stoppage caused the most severe exacerbation of itching of my arms and shins I had ever experienced. To the point of living with ice packs strapped to my arms with an ace wrap for approximately 3 weeks post-stoppage. This abrupt stoppage caused a heightening of my C-fibers within the central nervous system this triggering the most intense itching and stinging sensation of my arms, forearms, shins, and facial area.

    • Nicki C September 6, 2016, 7:08 pm

      Hi Roger, I am so sorry you have suffered this but I had no skin issues pre the gabapentin horror but now I have a rash and discoloration of one arm that burns and prickles and the same burning in my hair with all over itching and sensitivity… Do you think this may be temporary? I really hope yours has settled. Nicki x

  • Craig August 30, 2016, 7:13 pm

    Please know there is hope. I came down with Guillain Barre Syndrome in June of 2015. After 2 stays of 69 days in the hospital I was released on September 9, 2015. I came out of the hospital on Morphine, Lorazepam and 2700 mg of Neurontin a day. My neurologist bumped me up to 4200 mg a day a week later. I first weaned myself off of both Morphine and Lorazepam.

    Morphine wasn’t too bad, but I went through 2 months of hell getting off Lorazepam. I really didn’t notice a difference between 4200 and 2700mg of Neurontin so I decided to drop back to 2700. At the time I was suffering terrible anxiety, depression and insomnia. My neurologist convinced me that it was the Guillain Barre that was causing this. Little did I know that the Neurontin was the cause.

    After finding this wonderful site I knew that the Neurontin was responsible. In November I began weaning myself off of it 100mg a week. Each time I cut I had 3 really bad days, followed by a couple of OK days until the next cut. The worst part was only sleeping 3 hours a night for over 8 months, and bad anxiety. If it had not been for my faith in God, a wonderful family and lots of good friends, I probably would have killed myself.

    I finally took my last 100mg in June. I didn’t feel too bad for the 1st two days, then all hell broke loose. The anxiety, depression and insomnia were terrible. After 3 weeks of this I went to my Doctor and we agreed to start me on a low dose of an old drug called Elavil. It made things tolerable within 24 hours and really helps my nerve pain.

    I have been Neurontin free for almost 10 weeks now and fell like I am slowly getting my life back. I am still only sleeping 5 hours a night, but am getting better every day. Please know that you can get off this stuff. Make sure you surround yourself with people who care and be patient. I can’t imagine doing it without a strong faith in God. If I had it to do over again, I would probably take it slower.

    • PR September 3, 2016, 4:22 pm

      Hi Craig – I am 8 weeks off Neurontin, after 5 years at the maximum dose. I am still struggling with weakness, all kinds of nerve-sensations in back and spine, and horrible anxiety and insomnia. Did you experience pain and weakness with your withdrawal? – You are my hero.

      • Craig September 14, 2016, 7:28 pm

        Hi PR, I still have lots of pain in my feet from the Guillain Barre, but Elavil really helps that. I did have a major increase in pain once I was off neurontin and before I got on Elavil. I have been off almost 3 months now, and still am feeling the effects, especially insomnia. I am now sleeping around 5 hours a night. Keep fighting, it will get better every day.

        • PR September 15, 2016, 3:02 pm

          Thanks for the encouragement. I am at 10 weeks, and find I’ll have a couple of good days and then one that’s just as bad as at the start. Also the major rebound pain – which might just be a Lyme relapse – is real difficult. I sleep 4 hours a night. Keep posting updates & I will too – some people here seem to have had withdrawals that lasted as long as a year… So glad you are better.

    • PR October 5, 2016, 3:27 pm

      How are you doing these days Craig? Do you still take the Elavil? How is your pain? I ask because I am now about 13 weeks out and still struggling with my old pain, and the sleeplessness. My stomach is better, so is my energy, but the anxiety, pain & insomnia don’t seem to be budging much…

      • Craig October 18, 2016, 4:47 pm

        Hi PR, I’m finally starting to sleep between 6 and 7 hours a night and I’ve been off almost 4 months. My anxiety and depression are just about gone. I have noticed my foot pain is slowly getting better, but still have a long way to go. I’m starting to get off of Elavil. I cut from 50mg a day to 37.5mg a day last week and really haven’t noticed much difference. I am going to cut down to 25 mg next week if nothing changes. Keep fighting, you will get better.

  • Shyla Kellogg September 5, 2016, 7:00 pm

    I’ve been taking 300 mg 2x daily for 9 years and have noticed a dramatic memory issue. I’m not ok with this so stopped taking it cold turkey 5 days ago. My question is, will my memory issues improve now that I’m off this or just not get worse? Since my Momma died from Alzheimer’s, I’m rather concerned about it.

    • PR September 7, 2016, 11:19 am

      I got off a massive dose after 5 years, and found that my short-term memory improved noticeably. I am brighter, more alert, and have stuff at my mental fingertips for the first time in years. This is one of the the things that keeps me going through horrific and unending withdrawal.

    • Craig September 14, 2016, 7:30 pm

      I have been off 3 months and my memory has really improved. Still have a ways to go, but much better.

  • Melanie September 10, 2016, 5:53 am

    I HATE THIS DRUG! It’s seriously THE WORST drug I have ever taken! I’m diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder and just a month after starting it (at 800mg, 100mg UNDER the usual starting dose), I quickly started becoming extremely irritable, increasingly depressed, so incredibly tired, so anxious, I couldn’t remember simple things. I didn’t enjoy anything anymore, my sleep pattern was greatly disturbed and I was totally unmotivated to do anything.

    I just felt so crappy, both emotionally and physically! I would run out of breath while talking SITTING DOWN, I was so clumsy, half of my left hand would go numb at night. I was so restless, almost to the point of twitchy restless and I would sweat randomly for no reason during the day and wake up in the morning just drenched in sweat. This drug is just absolutely disgusting.

    A day after stopping, I almost immediately started to feel considerably better. I WILL NEVER TAKE THIS NASTY DRUG EVER AGAIN. DO NOT TAKE THIS DRUG! YOU WILL REGRET IT!

  • Val September 12, 2016, 11:24 am

    900 mg 3x a day and my neurologist said add another dose if you need it! Meanwhile, trying to function paying bills remembering what life is suppose to be like fades away. 7 years!!!! About 1 yr ago I took it down to 600 mg 3x day. Part of my life/ brain function started to return. Now that extra weight that jumped on with every dose increase DID NOT jump off.

    Nope it stuck hard like the stomach pain. Silly me, when I felt the stomach pain something in my head said take the meds NOW because the nerve pain is about to hit hard… Hurry! So I never missed a dose by much time… Until was also on Tramadol 200 mg 3x. So sick every morning. Sweating, up and down all night every night. About 2 months ago my body wouldn’t let me take it.

    I new I would throw up if I put them in my mouth. So cold turkey off tramadol. I do not suggest it. HAVE A SUPPORT TEAM in place. I live alone and didn’t realize how bad it was until afterwards. Now for last weeks gently weaning off Gabapentin. At 200 mg 2x started feeling withdrawals. Down to 100mg 3 x a day. By next week I am done. Magnesium in the ready!

    Your bowels will correct. Stay away from sugar! I am angry that doctors prescribing these drugs do not share with you the side effects or how hard they are to live with and get off! If it weren’t for this and other info online I would have gone crazy!! Thank you for the support. The stomach pain is real!!

    I called 3 of my doc, regular, Neurologist and Pain Clinic… None of them had HEARD of stomach pain!! To all I said, “No one has ever complained of stomach pain?” No said all 3! Please keep adding your experiences because it does matter to share with others. This may be all of the support someone gets. Bless everyone who is supportive on here. To anyone who is not, just move on to another blog.

  • Joe September 14, 2016, 8:39 pm

    I’ve been on a high dose of gabapentin for three years and started tapering down a few months ago. I was on 900mg 3xday (2700mg total per day). I initially tapered down far too fast and ended up having issues with insomnia, shortness of breath, and anxiety. I went back up to the full dose and have dropped by 300 mg (one pill) each week. Even this is probably too fast of a taper for some.

    I noticed that my withdrawal symptoms were far worse when I started tapering (e.g., going from 9 pills a day to 8, 7, etc.) than it was in the middle of the tapering cycle (e.g., going from 7 to 6 to 5 pills). I hardly even noticed any withdrawal symptoms for several weeks in the middle of the tapering. Now I am down to taking one 300mg pill in the morning and one 300 mg pill at night. When I shifted down to this dose from 300mg 3 times a day (morning, afternoon, before bed) I was hit by another wave of withdrawal symptoms.

    I’ve had trouble sleeping and a stomach ache for several days. Very low expectations and patience are helping me through this. For me going down a small amount each week has made the withdrawal symptoms fairly manageable. It hasn’t been easy, but for those considering going off the drug, some people do okay tapering slowly.

    I do wish, however, that the doctor who put me on gabapentin, who referred to the drug as “pretty benign,” would have told me about the withdrawal symptoms. I never imagined it would take me months to get off the drug.

  • Theresa September 17, 2016, 11:26 pm

    I was lucky… I have a good doctor that is very aware of the withdrawal symptoms. I had to withdraw from Paxil after 22 years and even with tapering it was a nightmare… I was having awful pain and muscle tremors. After trying several different ways to reduce these symptoms with no luck my doctor suggested gabapentin (neurontin).

    She told me it could be hard to withdraw from so she wanted me to be on the lowest dosage (100mg) once a day to see if I could then live with the pain. It was amazing the difference it has made. She only wants me to be on gabapentin for four weeks and then taper off and see how I do. I was very happy that she was cautious and talked with me about this med and why she felt it might be worth trying but emphasized that she didn’t want me to be on long term.

    If you need a good doctor in Fort Collins Colorado let me know. Good luck to all of you. Please try to report back when you have successfully beaten the withdrawal symptoms so people know how long it took and can see that it is possible. We all need to have positive reinforcement.

  • Bonnie September 20, 2016, 4:49 pm

    I have been on Gabapentin for 6 months. A herniated disk with a bone spur stabbing a nerve so it was prescribed to me by my Doctor for nerve pain. The dosage was upped to 300MG 3x day after the first month. I was prescribed multiple medications taken with the Gabapentin too.

    Now I have had surgery to repair the problem causing the pain so I wanted to get off of the multiple meds as soon as possible. It has been six weeks since the surgery and I gradually took the dosage down myself. I had spoken to the surgeon’s PA afterwards who offered another refill or two but I refused. I went from twice a day to once a day.

    The move between 2x a day to one DID give me some awful dizzy spells, even rolling over in bed was as if I had been spinning around in the middle of the room. So I moved slower, spacing out those twice a day pills to finally getting to once a day. I stopped the once a day this past Friday. All weekend I had some tiredness and Fatigue but the dizziness is not showing itself currently.

    This is Day 4 with only fatigue and difficulty sleeping. My fiancee and I did a carpool since my surgery and we are going to continue that until there are no symptoms apparent. This drug is no joke or laughing matter. Each has their own experience and I thank God that thus far mine are not too horrible. I pray those that do can get through to stop.

  • NickiC September 24, 2016, 7:24 am

    Hello fellow sufferers of gabapentin… I have posted on here already with regards to the horrors of this drug whilst on and it and trying to get off it… and for me it just seems to the gift that keeps on giving. There are very few forums on here that are up to date and there seems to be very little activity on this site now but I am finding it very difficult to get any support from family loved ones and even my GP with regards to this.

    I am hoping that somebody out there will be able to shed some light on their experience and any similarity to mine.It has taken away my life in more ways that one900 mg of gabapentin prescribed in February 2016 off label for anxiety insomnia, blurred vision, rashes, fever, extreme fatigue where I couldn’t do anything plus many more… Had to give up my home, work, driving, and no life… GP kept saying side effects would dissipate, they didn’t.

    He told me to stop taking it over a week I stopped 300 Mg and went into the most awful withdrawal, he still refused to accept that Gabapentin produced withdrawal and told me it was my anxious mind, until I had a seizure and woke up in the local A&E. I was then put in a liquid titration that was agonizing at a 25 mg drop over each few days… I can only describe it as hell… very similar to many of you poor people on this site…every one if them… 5 weeks off of the drug and I am now semi conscious but am now experiencing awful things that I am concerned may be permanent nerve damage.

    I have now got the most painful situation with my feet, they are constantly burning on the sole but much worse at night electric pains shooting through them feels like I am walking on the bone. Pins and needles, little electric shocks all day in my feet, arms and legs. I have a permanent burning and irritation on my left arm and a red rash under the skin on both arms. Still experiencing itching all over especially my back and hair but can be all over its random. Also irritated by clothes and fabric sometimes and that comes and goes.

    I am diabetic, but never suffered any neurological things like this in my life! And I am petrified that at 49 that I am going to be left practically unable to walk and with constant discomfort. I am hoping that someone on here will be able to tell me is this temporary, or am I damaged by this poison?

    I know withdrawal can take a long while and I can do that after what I have been through already, but the worry of the permanent issues is killing me. Haven’t slept in weeks, I am so mentally and physically exhausted I am not sure I could get through it if there was no hope. I am hoping that someone out there may be able to give me a glimmer…

    Many thanks and I hope each and every one of you is feeling better each day I really do, and for me it is just getting worse… Big love and support to you all. X

    • PR September 26, 2016, 11:00 am

      I too have experienced incredibly unbearable nerve pains as I come off – and this is 11 weeks after my last dose!!! I was on it for a lot longer than you, but am experiencing myself how the anxiety – night terrors, pounding heart, fears of death and suicidal ideation that I never had before – combines with the migrating/morphing neurological symptoms to paralyze you with fears that your life is over. I am seeing that it takes a very very long time to recover. Have faith that you will.

  • Kristen September 24, 2016, 9:17 am

    Wow! I seriously thought I was dying. Between shortness of breath, crying jags and night sweats to the point of my husband thinking I reverted to a potty training child!!!! I’m buying magnesium ASAP! Oh and the vivid dreams/nightmares! Off the chart! Thank God I came across this website… talk about peace of mind! Thanks!!

  • Marilyn September 27, 2016, 2:48 am

    My neurologist had prescribed gabapentin as a preventative for my chronic headaches/migraines possibly caused by occipital neuralgia. I tried it for 5 months without much improvement and decided to begin weaning off of it with my doctor’s instructions when the side effects increased (balance issues, joint pain, irritability, fatigue). I had no idea there would be such devastating withdrawal symptoms.

    I had weaned off of Topamax before with the only problem being a couple of nights with trouble sleeping. But this was horrible – GERD, cold extremities, muscles aches, nausea, and the worst…unrelenting headaches. I was beginning to think that there was something seriously wrong with me until I finally found this site and all of your comments.

    What a reassurance, and yet frightening as well. I do have a question. My neurologist has, in the past, given me Prednisone to treat intractable migraines…short-term, 80 mg per day for only 3 days. has always worked. A week after I began the gabapentin withdrawal, he recommended I take the 3-day Prednisone to break the unrelenting headache.

    It worked, but unfortunately after the 3 days plus part of an extra day, the headaches returned. I must admit I get fearful thinking that I might have this withdrawal headache for weeks, months… Have any of you been given Prednisone treatment/treatments during the withdrawal period?

    Please know I cannot take any analgesics or triptans as I suffered Medication Overuse Headache Syndrome 3 years ago (all taken under doctor’s advice), went through withdrawal from those and cannot take them again. Thanks for listening.

  • susan lewis October 11, 2016, 6:42 pm

    I started taking gabapentin for nerve pain after a shoulder operation about 4 years ago and was told that this was not addictive nor were there any withdrawals. He put me on 300 mgs at night then upped it to 600 but none during the day. This is the worst drug I have been on and am now going through withdrawals due to another shoulder surgery and a mix up in my meds. I am just now trying the magnesium to see if it helps.

    My insomnia and sweats are horrible along with the vivid dreams but I really don’t want to ever go through this again so I am going to try 300 mgs when I can get it refilled and then taper off slowly. This drug should be in another class with all kinds of warnings as it’s much worse than any other med I have ever been on.

  • Tom October 17, 2016, 6:42 pm

    I have been on 600 at bedtime for 6 months previously on 500 for 3.5 years. I have had withdrawal problems just going down to 500. One night I forgot to take it and didn’t get to sleep till 3 am and I used antihistamines to stop the itching. I noticed Cal-mag tablets help with the withdrawal symptoms. I am seeing my dr. today and want to try alternating days of taking it and taking cal mag every day to see if that helps with the withdrawal symptoms of sleeplessness and itching. Any thoughts from anyone on trying every other day with cal/mag supplements?

    • PR October 23, 2016, 10:03 pm

      Just doing every other day is going to be really rough. Most people have success with going down tiny increments over many months. I have been off since July 11 after reducing from 3600 to 100 over about 9 months. After all that, going from 100 to nothing over about a month, I still have horrible anxiety, though my insomnia and pain are finally getting manageable. I have found bioavailable magnesium to be a great help – the tablets not so much. Good luck.

  • Holly Hollister October 25, 2016, 8:57 pm

    I’m on my 5th day without Gabapentin. I tapered down for a few months to where I was taking only about 75 milligrams twice a day. I feel lucky because my withdrawal has been only somewhat horrible. I started taking magnesium as well as calcium that helped with the breathing and the muscle spasms and quite a bit with the abdominal tightness that stops me from eating anything. My naturopath told me to take magnesium till I had diarrhea but I have not yet had it so I keep taking about to every 4 hours and it helps.

    She also told me about a supplement which I started taking as soon as I possibly could for the anxiety. I take more than the suggested to 3 times a day but it works beautifully. It is called L-theanine. I guess that is an extract of green tea. I also have been using a magnesium rub and Epsom salt baths plus the Magnesium supplements are helping the breathing becomes more easy.

    Since I know magnesium helps the heart muscle I imagine that that has a little to do with the heart lung thing making it hard to breathe. I kept my lungs clear with herbs so they wouldn’t infect. My pain increased the first 4 days of the withdrawal but now is settling down and being handled by another medication. I was very close to going to the hospital 3 times but thank God for family and friends helping me through and forcing me to eat two or three spoonfuls of soup at a time and suck down lots of water with electrolytes.

    I’m going to send this blog to my doctor so he has a better realization for what people are really up against with this horrible drug called Gabapentin. My niece ended up in the psych ward three or four times over a few months as she was getting off of Gabapentin and she did not know that her problems were from the drug so they have her drugged up for being bipolar now yet she originally needed the Gabapentin for pain and was not a mental patient or depressed at all before she came off gaba. Good luck out there. I have a great natural doc and acupuncturist helping me or I’m afraid I’d be dead.

  • STOIC SURVIVOR November 3, 2016, 10:04 am

    THIS IS A HORRIBLE MEDICINE!!! Be warned, do not let anyone convince you it’s good for you. At the very least you will be in for a detox from hell. (Opiates, benzos – pshaw – those are eaaaaasy in comparison to neuROTTEN!!!). I don’t remember when I started it exactly, but it has to have been 10 yrs at max dosage. When they decided I could no longer have Rx pain medications for fibro pain, I innocently (having been told by many doctors that gabapentin is suuuch a wonderful, harmless med) decided to take myself off it as well (and face the pain without their control and say-so over my pain relief rights, cuz f*ck them – sorry, a little angry)…

    And – omg so many problems – I woke in the night gasping for air with my heart hammering, shaking, in an ice cold sweat. I felt like I almost died. I was under a “pain management” doc’s care (read: they considered me an addict and the only thing that asshole did was take away Rxs, make insults and innuendoes and then try to push suboxone on me – thank GOD I was smart enough to start turning these medical pushers down on their treatment of the minute, cuz f*ck them, and they’ll rip you off that soon and you’ll be stuck detoxing on your own) – I told him about waking up like that and he didn’t even bat an eyelash.

    Idk about you, but I’ve had this happen over and over and over with doctors – it’s like they just don’t hear. Maybe they just don’t care. Don’t even try to challenge them – they are god, y’know. The mental emotional changes were bizarre and baffling. I literally went insane. Didn’t know what was happening, b/c gabapentin is such a great med, right? I was suicidal, homicidal, aaaaangry, confused, paranoid, everything was so distorted and weird I couldn’t trust my perceptions at all. Panic attacks. Rage attacks. Couldn’t shut up. Couldn’t be still. Couldn’t relax.

    Believed the strangest, scariest things. Blah blah, lots of emotional stuff that I’m sure they would chalk up to existing emotional problems, but no, this stuff was waaaaay out there. Now I can see that, but before I realized what was causing it (namely, neuROTTEN), I truly thought people were out to get me, doing things like tunneling under my house and gassing me, making me have the choking sensations and itching and heart palpitations and trying to kill me and/or my pets, directing heat rays at me causing the severe sweats and impossibly hot feelings, secretly videotaping, listening to me and stalking me and everybody was cooking meth and committing major crimes in my neighborhood – I was convinced of that for several long strange, outraged months (lol it’s funny almost now, but it was dead serious for awhile – people were in danger).

    Thank God I figured out what was going on and could manage to talk to myself. B/c no doctor was going to understand, much less help me. The best thing I can say about this experience is that I’m much much stronger, wiser, and have a steely endurance now. I’ll die before I’ll blindly trust any medical/pusher ever again. I finally realized (I had to do my own research – thank God for the internet!) I had to do a long, slow taper of this awesome(ly BAD) drug.

    That in itself was horrendous b/c I was pretty much locked in – it was almost as bad to take it and be in worse pain for four hours. Six months ago I couldn’t go 4 hours without taking two gabapentin. Eight days now, I’m completely off of it (with one and a quarter bottles of pills left, and the pharmacy still filling the damn thing, calling us to come get it. Eat it!).

    I’m still struggling with massive sweats, chills, ITCHING, stinging, pain, restless legs, insomnia, crushing fatigue, horrid panicky I’m-gonna-die/go craaaazy feelings, irritability, gastro disturbances, intolerances, spasms, tics, crazy nerves, bladder spasms, vision problems – double, blurry, watery or dry or “gunky” eyes, sinus crap – runny nose/dry nose, crusty sticky scabby, itchy choky drainage, gawd, etc etc. Or then it could just be FMS, CFS, ME, Lyme, MS, menopause, yeast/bacterial overgrowth, or the ever popular, it’s all in my head.

  • Corina Collin November 18, 2016, 8:15 pm

    I was started on 300 mg of Gabapentin for 3 months then gradual increase by 300mg a week till I was at 1200mg a day total for nerve pain. At 1200 mg a day I didn’t notice any change in my nerve pain, but I noticed I started to gain weight so I wanted to get off it right away since the increase in weight became a problem for my walking in previous years. Rheumatologist that originally prescribed the medication took me off it cold turkey and didn’t mention anything about withdrawal effects.

    I called the day after I quite when I noticed I couldn’t sleep due to hot flashes, my feet were burning like crazy, then stomach pains later when I would sneeze (keep in mind I had stomach surgery 4 yrs ago) and it’s winter time. This was just the first day! I called the nurse and she said after reading the doctor’s notes that there is no tapering off needed of this medication. Huh? What?!

    Well, I beg to differ I told her after I found all the info here and the withdrawal symptoms I was experiencing. She is suppose to have the doctor get back to me but I’m already lowering my dose by 300mg a day each week, but to confirm I’m doing the right thing I am waiting to hear back from my rheumy. I should have known something was up when the doctor didn’t bother to examined me after my PCP referred me and then didn’t mention any possible withdrawal effects and to call them if any occur or the fact that they don’t know that a pill that effects the neurotransmitters of the brain needs to be tapered off!

    This isn’t the first time I’ve taken a drug that is a neurotransmitter, so why would you taper one pill and not the other when they are chemically the same??? Idiots!

  • Allie November 18, 2016, 10:21 pm

    Thanks to all for your comments on your experiences. I have been on 1200 for a couple of years, due to a work injury on my L2-L3 on my spine. I found that initially the irritability almost drove me crazy, but over time it subsided considerably, and the pain relief was so significant that at least I could keep working until I had the fusion surgery. Since the nerves take a year-a year and a half to recover, I continued taking it.

    However, last May I started having a lot of irritation in my sinuses, which I finally pinpointed to my gabapentin. I did some reading and discovered that this was one of the issues with long-term use. I very slowly began taking one less a day, and when that gave me some relief in my sinuses, I very slowly began taking 2 less a day of the 300’s.

    I see my dr. once a month and in discussing this at my last visit he recommended beginning Cymbalta, but not completely cutting the gabapentin out. After reading all of your posts, I understand why, so I appreciate all the input. Thanks again to all.

  • Sam November 28, 2016, 9:03 pm

    Having had a horrific experience coming off of Abilify for mixed state bipolar, I decided to try a more “gentle” medication to deal w/ the symptoms, so I was put on Neurontin. Neurontin helped w/ intense anxiety, but I was so exhausted I felt like I was on sleeping pills all the time (I started the medication as a 115lb 5’2″ female, taking 400mg/day of Neurontin). All I wanted to do was sleep; it was horrible.

    Also, don’t listen to the dishonest minimization of side effects, particularly that of weight gain. Pharmaceutical companies want to sell their meds, and they know they are less likely to sell if they cause weight gain. Neurontin (aka Gabapentin) causes weight gain, no question. Within 2 months I had gained 10 lbs, which was almost 10% of my body weight…not cool, and I never fluctuated in weight prior to this med.

    While I wish it were water weight, it was/is not. Neurontin basically doubled my appetite immediately, and it was consistently high, with my feeling hungry quite often, including late at night. B/c I was sleeping so much and my nerves were dulled, I didn’t notice the weight gain until it was too late. (In a fit of feminist “I refuse to let society insist that I be thin” moment, I threw out my scale…big mistake.

    If you do a lot of research you’ll find that almost everyone gains a fair amount of weight on this medication. Between the sluggishness/incessant fatigue and weight gain, I decided to get off the medication (after ~3.5 months). I’ve been off it for about 11 days, and so far I have not lost any weight. I hope I lose the weight; it’s probably too early to tell.

    Now that I have more feeling (I assume nerve sensitivity) in my body, I actually *feel* the weight on my body for the first time, by just simply existing. It now feels like I was transported into another body, which feels foreign, swollen, and odd. Keep this in mind, women: all medications that are not female specific are tested solely on *men*. We are biologically different in terms of hormones, etc., so no side effects particular to women are listed in any of the medical studies or information.

    Thanks, patriarchy. Anyway, don’t ignore your symptoms. I remember when I was 17 and taking lithium, I started having periods every other week. I told my psychiatrist and he said there was no way it was the lithium, since menstrual irregularity is not a listed side effect. Guess why not?

    Meds aren’t tested on women, b/c our male-dominant society thinks that female hormones will skew the results. So who knows what side effects are undocumented yet common to women… I presume weight gain is one of them. Also, guess what happened when I stopped taking lithium? My periods immediately went back to normal. The psychiatrist was wrong. Listen to your body.

  • Ben j December 3, 2016, 5:19 am

    I’m in the process of coming off of gabapentin. I am currently on 900 mg that I take once nightly. I have taken it for about 4.5 years. It can be a monster. I have been coming off of psych drugs for a number of years and have some pretty extensive experience and knowledge for how to do so appropriately.

    This is one you don’t mess around with. Some may be able to an aggressive taper and get away with it but many won’t. You can do serious damage to yourself by coming off of this drug too quickly. So if it gets severe quickly go back to a dose with minimal withdrawal symptoms. You can be destabilized and not able to function for years. That happened to me already from a different drug. Pharmaceuticals are fun eh? Lol

    Anyhow, what you need to taper with is the 300 mg capsules. The capsules are better for tapering. Get yourself a small graduated cylinder, an oral syringe, and some vegetable glycerin. Glycerin is basically just fat and is what is used in the liquid gabapentin formula but is super pricey. Gabapentin is fat soluble FYI. Just make your own and it will be much cheaper.

    Personally I would dilute it down to something like 10 mg/ml that way you can precisely make cuts that suit your needs. It’s called dosing volumetrically I’m sure there are instructions on you tube just keep the math simple. You can make it much stronger depending on your needs up to 100 mg/ml or even more but you won’t need to make it that strong. Don’t store it for more than a four or five days at a time.

    For sensitive folks 10 % reduction every four weeks is the guideline. The next month would be 10 % of your last dose not the original dose. Once you get down to 50 mg or even less you should be able to jump off without too much difficulty. Don’t rush! Hope this helps. Best of luck.

  • Ben j December 3, 2016, 5:47 am

    To add to my last comment, my own experience is that you can get down to 900 mg without much difficulty. 300 mg or so a week wasn’t an issue for me but don’t rush things too much. Others I have known seem to have a similar experience. Below 900 mg is when things get hard and I fully recommend the 10% rule but no point in dragging it out and being on this stuff longer than you have to.

    Just listen to your body but don’t panic. To be more clear from 900 mg the math breaks down like this:

    First month: 810 mg (90mg reduction)
    2 mo: 729 mg (81 mg reduction)
    3 mo: 656 mg (73 mg. Reduction)
    4 mo: 590 mg (66 mg reduction)

    So at 10 mg/ml to take 810 mg I would take 21 ml of solution plus two 300 mg capsules (300 +300+210). There are absorption issues with gaba that you also might want to consider but I don’t want to over complicate things. I space my 300 mg doses out by 15 to 30 minutes. Or you can Just take it on a full stomach with plenty of fat to keep it simple.

    Taking it on an empty stomach may cause you problems BC it might pass through your system with very little absorbed resulting in too high of a cut which is bad for tapering and can make withdrawal worse. But keep it consistent in the way you take it bc of you don’t normally do this you could start getting more than you usually take.

    Sorry if that’s confusing I’m trying to be clear but the absorption thing might be causing some people issues so I mention it. As you can see this takes some time to do it right. But better safe than pay the consequences BC long lasting withdrawal is pure hell and torturous.

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