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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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{ 473 comments… add one }
  • stan June 14, 2018, 3:30 pm

    So wish I had found this site before I ever took this God awful medicine. Took 900 to 1200 daily for 6 mo. Side effects became so bad had to quit. I had virtually all of the listed side effects.

    Made the bad decision to quit cold turkey as I had never had problems quitting any of the many pain meds I have been on for years including Oxy. Have been off for almost 3 months. It has been absolutely horrible for me but worst of all I think it was almost as bad for my wife of 32 years.

    I have gone off on her more times than I want to admit. Anyway I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel as I am finally seeing some relief. Anyone who is going through this my prayers are with you. Just hang in there it will get better.

  • Angi June 10, 2018, 12:08 pm

    Has anyone else experienced horrible loose stools with coming off of gabapentin? This is awful. Have tried stopping cold turkey after only 2 months taking gabapentin (300 mg, 3 times daily for nerve pain after spinal surgery), but I am thinking this was a bad idea. I am miserable.

  • Denise May 16, 2018, 3:59 am

    Have been on gabapentin for 8 months for surgery pain in my arm for removing cancerous lymphs and also breast removal. Started on fentanyl patch for pain and now after 6 months of patch decided I was going to get off this gabapentin. Started going from 900 to 300 mg.

    Well, that was the beginning of everything from hot and cold sweating and add on anxiety, stomach problems and nausea, lack of appetite, crying, depression and thoughts of killing myself just about sums it up. I will never go back to this nightmare again.

    I still have to stay on a low dose fentanyl patch but at least maybe I will keep my sanity. I started taking CALM magnesium powder because it has helped with problems of withdrawal.

    Even the nausea med that they gave me when I first tried liquid morphine, which I stopped taking after changing to fentanyl – as its horrible side effects that kept me feeling comatose. Believe me, it is not worth it. Take as few drugs as possible. They are so bad for you.

  • Ron S. May 15, 2018, 5:22 pm

    I though that my evening bath was because of withdrawal from alcohol. Evening bath meaning: ridiculous night sweating. I know coming off psych meds, especially SSRIs will do that. So I Googled and wound up here.

    I was prescribed GABA to lessen the chance of seizures from alcohol withdrawal; 300mg 3X daily. I took it for about a month and quit CT. I survived. About 4 months ago I got on it again because the doc thought it would help with anxiety; 300mg 3X daily. It does and it’s so much better than doing BENZOS.

    BUT – I agree with just about everything I’ve read here regarding GABA’s side effects. I have most of them. I’m done with it. I’ll see how it goes. The Psychiatrist I’ve been seeing is fired; all she want’s to do is put me on more meds and up doses. Yeah, you got it, I’m not too happy.

    I’ll continue with my therapist however. He and I have been working together for about 18 months. There are no side effects besides getting to know myself better. That, I can live with. All the best.

  • Sonya May 11, 2018, 1:17 am

    My daughter has been prescribed 600mg gabapentin per day since her knee surgery 2 weeks ago. She is 15 and has Down Syndrome and for the last week she has been very aggressive and non compliant and very difficult to be around (usually she is demanding but not defiant).

    I’ve read that this drug can cause these problems especially in kids with mental disabilities. I am thinking that this med is causing the negative change in her behavior. I plan to wean her off her gabapentin (opening the capsules and dumping half of it out) to half for the next couple of days.

    My question is: If she has only been on it for 2 weeks at the 600 mg dose, is weaning necessary? Has anyone else been on it for a couple of weeks at this low dose and weaned themselves off of it?

  • Edwards Suzanne May 4, 2018, 1:54 pm

    I’ve only been taking Gabapentin for under 2 months and the hives started after I requested an increase in dose. Thought I was being attacked by bugs. Checked for every insect possible and found none.

    Benadryl didn’t work but chlor-maleate antihistamine provides some relief. Had no idea how dangerous tapering off Gabapentin could be! I’m getting in contact with my pain management doc to plan tapering off. Thankfully I still have the lower dose pills he started me with.

  • Chuck Stacey May 3, 2018, 12:29 am

    I have been on Gaba for nearly 3 years. I had nerve pain after a hernia repair. At the highest dosage I was on 1200MG a day. I dropped down to 800MG a day and started having pains in my stomach. On both flanks, and then in the center.

    Mood swings, dry mouth, palpitations to the point that I thought I was having a heart attack. Stayed at 800 for months. Dropped to 600 and was doing okay but having stomach pains still. Dropped to 300 and all hell broke loose. Headaches, stomach pain, and anxiety. Horrible, horrible anxiety.

    I keep thinking that the stomach pain is colon cancer, or stomach cancer. CT Scan last November was normal form Lungs to Bladder, but still can’t shake the sense of dread. Stopped this past Saturday from 300 to zero.

    I am so overwhelmed with sorrow, crying at anything, I wake up and I am so nauseous that I am taking Zofran. BE CAREFUL with Gaba. My doc said, it was perfectly safe, nearly no side effects. You can imagine the words that I have for him.

    Colonoscopy next week just to put my mind at ease and make sure that the stomach pain isn’t something else. Praying for the best. I just want Gaba out of my life forever.

  • Jim Musser April 29, 2018, 8:57 pm

    I been taking GABA for 6 months to help cope neuropathy in my leg caused by herniated disc’s in my lower back. Therapy and injections did not help, so surgery was performed.

    My sciatic never was pinched off causing the neuropathy and pain. I was taking oxycodone 3x a day 10 mg, on top of 600 mg of GABA 3x a day after my surgery.

    After four weeks of the opioids I stopped taking it and continued with GABA. I experienced withdrawal from the opioid for about a week, mostly flu like symptoms. Now I have a GABA to deal with. Tried stopping it and noticed many of symptoms list above.

    Tingling in the face, sense of dread, fatigue, and dizziness the worst of them. I thought I was having symptoms of a stroke. These symptoms were experienced after 24 hours of last dose.

    Went back on and am trying to wean off more gradually. Your comments help me tremendously, now I just have to come up with a good plan.

  • DeeDee April 25, 2018, 8:58 pm

    Is anyone experiencing migraines? my doctor prescribed Gabapentin almost 2 years ago to treat neuropathy in my fingertips and feet, a side effect of conventional chemotherapy. I’ve been trying to wean myself off but started getting these horrible migraines.

    I’m in my 60s & haven’t had a migraine since I was in my 40’s. My eyes are really sensitive to light. My vision is blurry and I’m having difficulty focusing in on objects especially while on computer or watching TV. Haven’t lost my appetite but noticed difference in my taste buds. Some foods just have no flavor.

  • Lex April 23, 2018, 6:02 pm

    Wow, do I feel like a big baby! Three days was all I could manage on Gabapentin. First day – immediate relief for my Neuropathy pain in my feet. Hurray, but wait a minute. I can’t see very well, think well or get out of bed. This will pass, I hope. Second day same routine.

    Couldn’t do much of anything around the house, walking the dog 1/2 block sent me back to be for several hours. Between the guilt of being so non productive & the side effects, I decided the maybe Gabapentin & I were not meant to be. I won’t take any more & will see how it goes.

    • Giselle April 30, 2018, 6:08 pm

      How do you feel? I’m in the same place. I was prescribed Neurontin last Tuesday for Anxiety. I’m also gastric bypass post up, so I’m quite sensitive to medication. I received a Prescription is for 100 mg. I was to take 3 a day.

      I took two on Tuesday, three on Wednesday-Friday (Thursday, I began to experience worsened anxiety, numbness on my left side of face, and twitching in the left eyelid). I won’t lie, I became frantic, as I read its true prescription nature and I can be a bit of a hypochondriac.

      I began to freak out over the fact that it states not to take if one has kidney problems. I have Renal Cell Carcinoma (which I will have surgery for on the 15th of May). I called my Psychiatrist, on Friday night he didn’t return my call, I called him again on Saturday, but I also contacted my long-time pharmacist; my pharmacist advised that I could wean off of it, so I took two on Saturday, one yesterday, and I don’t think I can do another today.

      I will check with the pharmacist today. The psychiatrist providing me with a different weaning off plan, because it appears he wants me to remain on it which I don’t want to. The twitching in the eyelid is not as severe, the numbness as gone away, and the anxiety is a bit less. I thought I was going to die!

  • Christine Clark April 20, 2018, 6:19 am

    My doctor started me on GABA to relieve my osteoarthritis. I started having side effects 3 months at 1100 mgs of using this medication (numbness/tingling that started on one side of my hand all the way up to my right eye. Pain on the lower left side of my back; heart palpitations, dry mouth).

    The doctor that prescribed it said these weren’t GABA side effects… but I did find a list on the Mayo clinic website (uncommon/rare side effects). That’s when I said it was time to wean off this medication. It’s been absolute hell.

    Side effects night sweats, leg spams/shaking, hands and feet throbbing hot sensations, palpitations. I keep reminding myself that I have another 3 weeks until I’m GABA free, but not sure how long these effects will go on.

    What still angers me is that this doctor still doesn’t think all the issues that I was experiencing were due to GABA!!

  • Jennifer Johnston April 13, 2018, 11:51 pm

    I have a question, not a comment. I believe my mother experienced severe withdrawal from Gabapentin (debilitating anxiety, stomach and chest pain that landed her in the ER 3 times this month – and where any physical causes were ruled out). My mother’s Internist agreed with our hypothesis that this was withdrawal from the medication and put her BACK ON 900 mg/day.

    In our journey to get expert care for developing the next phase treatment plan, we just landed back at the Neurologist who prescribed the Gabapentin. He has convinced her that this can not be Gaba withdraw because: (1) he has never seen a reaction like this to the medication before and (2) IF IT HAD BEEN GABAPENTIN WITHDRAWAL, SHE SHOULD HAVE EXPERIENCED IMMEDIATE RELIEF FROM SYMPTOMS ONCE SHE WENT BACK ON THE MEDS.

    She was off for approximately two weeks. She has been back on for 5 days. Has anyone had the experience of going back on the medication AFTER experiencing withdrawal and if so – were symptoms relieved right away?

    Thank you for any light you can shed on this nightmare situation.

    • Tom April 25, 2018, 10:48 pm

      It might take a couple of days to let the levels build up again to feel “normal” but after 2 hours of taking it, I began to feel the symptoms slowly but surely go away. Hope this was of some help.

  • Carol Cook April 5, 2018, 6:04 pm

    I seem to have side effects after withdrawing from Lyrica after only 26 days of taking it. Dizzy, blurry vision up close, anxiety. Is this possible after taking for such a short time?

    • Tom April 25, 2018, 11:21 pm

      You haven’t been on it that long, you should be just fine. Magnesium helped me with sore muscles, palpitations, etc. but it’s no magic bullet. Good luck.

  • Lisa April 5, 2018, 2:20 pm

    I began in 1997 to help heal my crushed but not broken hand. Went off high doses, but tapered off with doctors help. So on and off since then not wanting narcotics to avoid addiction and withdrawal. I have been on gabapentin for the past 7 years, 2400mg daily. I switched doctors – he prescribed it for the past 6 mos.

    When I called in for my refill, they refused to fill it, stating that I should contact my rheumatologist to fill. Cold turkey? How can they and what do they not understand? Horrible 2 weeks. Feel better for a short period and then total exhaustion hits, and the withdrawal waves over me all over again.

    • Emma April 9, 2018, 5:57 pm

      Lisa – I’ve had problems with insurances and pharmacies regarding Gabapentin. Have you tried leaving a message with the nurse of your doctor to expedite a prescription. My doctor authorized enough pills to last me until I got to see him for a check up.

      If he’s extremely backed up, which has happened to me too, I was able to squeeze into my primary and he gave me a refill to last until I saw my surgeon again. Just a thought, hope it gets better!

  • Gary Daemon April 3, 2018, 3:11 am

    My mother (78) was on Gabapentin for years for neuropathy. She was hospitalized for Flu and CHF and was taken off GAB by her heart doctor. She stopped eating because of stomach pain and was too dizzy to stand on her own. They ran every test, CAT scan, etc. and found nothing, went to rehab to gain strength and do PT, but declined all food and meds.

    After 10 days they determined that she just gave up and sent her home on hospice care at my sister’s house in the hope of a different setting, that she would start eating again (as she had lost 40 pounds in 3 weeks). She still complained daily about her stomach pain and we pushed the “Because you don’t eat” on her. I happened to be reading news on MSN and there was an article on Gabapentin and new addiction use and bad withdrawals.

    I decided to research the withdrawals and it was exactly the symptoms described. I called my sister and sent the findings to her and said give her a 1/4 dose of her GAB tonight and another tomorrow (which she did, because at this point, the nurses were saying she only had a few weeks at best).

    Well she slept until noon and said she wanted a fudgsicle and ate the whole thing. At dinner she wanted a burger on the grill and ate the whole thing and was talking normal without stomach pain. This was 4 weeks after she was taken off of GAB and not one doctor could diagnose her!

    • Sadie's mom April 14, 2018, 12:35 am

      OMG! How scary is that? Your poor mama. I, too, lost 35 lbs in a matter of about 6 weeks. I have absolutely no appetite and no interest in food at all. I am so fatigued, I can’t even stand at the sink long enough to do a few dishes and put them away.

      I have only been on Gabapentin since last November or December as my psych prescribed it while weaning off of Effexor. She told me there were NO side effects, non addicting, yada, yada, yada. My gynecologist told me the same thing!

      WTH is wrong with these doctors? After reading all of your comments this evening, I’m going to call my doctor Monday morning to try to get off of ANOTHER poisonous drug. Best of luck to all who are struggling to get healthy without pharmaceuticals…

  • Bevin Allison April 1, 2018, 10:38 pm

    My worst symptom is tingling in face, especially the right side and in right eye, arms hands and right ear. Sometimes it burns or falls like I’ve rolled in ice. It’s better than it was. It eases while I move. It is worse some days or times of the day than others. I am so frustrated! I hate this -will it ever stop?!

  • Kate McAlister March 29, 2018, 4:17 pm

    I stopped taking gabapentin gradually. I have been off it about one month. Took at least 600mg a day. Sometimes 900mg. I was on it about 18 months. I still feel very fatigued, anxious and very warm at times. The fatigue is the worst. How long can I expect this to go on?

    • Kate May 15, 2018, 5:10 pm

      I am interested to hear how you are feeling now. Of all the comments I have read, your symptoms seem to be closest to what I am experiencing. I stopped taking it 2 weeks ago and the fatigue is horrible.

  • Carlene March 24, 2018, 1:21 am

    Slowly tapering off Gabapentin – taking it for over 12 years for migraines, neuropathy and pain. I was told it was easier to take this than an opioid. Don’t believe that. I have taken an opioid off and on for over 12 years and I can stop that and not have the issues I am having with gabapentin.

    My stomach feels like it has been thru a shredder – my abdominal area is sore to the touch. Am down to 900 -1000 mg a day from 1800 – this has taken a long time. Cannot take Aleve, Advil or aspirin due to stomach issue – so Tylenol & gabapentin.

  • Sandra Marion March 21, 2018, 7:17 pm

    I strenuously believe there should be several studies on Gabapentin withdrawal-induced psychosis. Everyone is talking about it, no one is doing anything about it. My son had never experienced any psychotic episodes until he tried to stop the use of massive doses of Gabapentin prescribed by his pain management doctor in lieu of narcotic medication.

    I had not realized this was off-label prescribing. It makes sense, gabapentin effects the whole nervous system, including the brain. It particularly scrambles neurotransmitters and receptors. “This is your brain. This is your brain after Gabapentin.”

  • Kate February 27, 2018, 11:59 am

    I have a question to everyone who has detoxed successfully off gaba. I was taking 3600 mg a day sometimes even more depending on my pain (as the “dr said I could do”) 🙄 .. I am having every withdrawal symptoms and have been for the past 3 months of trying to gradually decrease dosage. It is hell and I pray you all find relief!

    I find natural remedies helping me… magnesium and other herbal supplements. They help but I would like to know when this will get better it’s been so long of just feeling like hell… night sweats and nausea all day is the worst not to mention the toll it took on my central nervous system.

    I highly recommend using this med as a LAST resort it sounds safe but you’ll be sorry. Can anyone help? It would be greatly appreciated. I am suffering. Thank you! God bless.

  • Andrea Dunlap January 5, 2018, 8:07 am

    I’ve been on 800mg 3x a day so 2400mg, for 4 years now. I spoke with my neurologist about tapering off the medication because I can no longer handle the brain fog, cognitive, and eye problems I’m having. He told me to break my 800mg tabs in half and take 400mg 3x a day for 2 weeks.

    Today is the first night and I’m already having a really hard time breathing and very weird sensations in my arms and legs. Is cutting back from 2400mg to 1200mg safe? I don’t think he would try to harm me honestly, but it seems like other people are tapering by way lower doses than he suggested for me.

    • Jody Merrill April 23, 2018, 8:10 pm

      Hi Andrea, I would strongly suggest that you taper off much more slowly. Usually 1/4 reduction at a time… and I would see how you feel after a couple of WEEKS at that dosage. If you’re not having horrible side effects, go down another 1/4 for a few more WEEKS until you can wean yourself off.

      These doctors have NO idea how horrible the side effects of these are. It may take a little longer but I think the withdrawal will be much more manageable…. wishing you luck for better health.

    • Tricia May 16, 2018, 9:10 am

      I was on Gabs 1,800 mg for 2 years. Gained 45 pounds and have severe acid reflux. I am now down to 100 mg daily and had to get there by decreasing 100 mg at a time. Originally the Dr. suggested tapering down 300 mg every week. So, that means I would be off it in 6 weeks.

      Well, the side effects from that aggressive approach was too much. Then I tried tapering every two weeks. Nope! Same thing happened. I called the Dr. and requested 100 mg capsules the supplement tapering off 1 week at a time!

      Guess what… it has worked… 17 weeks now and when I finally have it out of my system in 5 more days the taper will have taken 18 weeks. I feel like the pharmaceuticals companies have lied about this product and Doctors are too quick to prescribe this dangerous drug.

      It was prescribed for me for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, a type of neuropathy in my foot after an accident. Good luck with your taper.

  • Mimi January 1, 2018, 3:21 pm

    My pain doc prescribed for herniated cervical disc pain. Sometimes I will take one when all else has failed because it relaxes me, but I inevitably get a migraine as it leaves my system which can last the entire day. When I take more than one, my breasts will swell and get painful. The migraine is much like pms headache or when I tried estrogen/progesterone replacement therapy. Omg causes so much pain!

    • Jody Merrill April 23, 2018, 8:12 pm

      Mimi, I don’t know how severe your migraines are but have you tried OTC Excedrin Migraine? I used to have severe migraines and took all kinds of prescription medication but nothing worked.

      When Excedrin came out with their migraine formula I thought what the heck… and gave it a try. Most of the time, it relieves my headache within 15 or 20 minutes but it DOES make you drowsy so don’t plan to drive after taking it until you see how it affects you.

  • Mary Gerlinger December 22, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Brenda, I think it’s the Gabapentin. I was on 900mg for 7 years. Started tapering down Sept 2017, quit Nov 17, 17. Was hell, it is bad just not every day, all the symptoms everyone else has mentioned, fear, crying horrible headaches, depression, loneliness, can’t think, hard to talk.

    Hard to sleep, skin burns, sweating until I soak the bed. Last week was good almost human again, now this week has been hard. My daughter reminds me that I am doing better, I forget and don’t remember, so it’s good if you have someone who can watch and see your improvement.

    I believe as others have stated this is the ” drug from hell”. I have never been depressed ,or an unhappy person before in my life. I have no idea how long this can go on. I thank everyone who has told their story here, you all have kept hope alive in me. If I hadn’t have found this site I don’t know if I could have fought this long, and I will keep fighting. Thanks everyone.

  • Craig December 20, 2017, 11:53 am

    Thank you all for posting all of these comments, it helps those that do not know or understand. I have cluster headache and was prescribed gabapentin on top of the mixed bag of pharma that I am on. 1200mg a day total. The mix made me feel horrible with already tough side effects from the main drug of Topamax (dopamax), however it keeps me alive, we were in fear that the Topamax was failing.

    I could not handle what the mix was doing. The depression, the anxiety, everything coupled with the already memory loss, searching for names, words, huge fatigue, quality of life completely diminished. When I finally broke through for a minute and said this is enough I was crying, the apparent depression/anxiety was way set in. I was going crazy.

    I started to taper talking with the neuro. I had had it really, I was against the wall losing control. I switched neuros went to the PCP and started to try to recover from all of this. This is still in the process. I have started recovery. I have been off of gabapentin for a few weeks and am still having what I feel are side effects.

    I dry heave or vomit every morning. If someone can help me with that? I’m getting small tremors in my right hand. Scary. I am starting to feel much better, the fatigue is there but I know that is the topamax. Any input you might have would be wonderful. Thank you, thank you for all the above input.

  • Brenda Greenway December 11, 2017, 11:27 pm

    I was taking 3600 mg. of Gabapentin for over 5 years. It was prescribed by my psychiatrist for bipolar disorder. Another doctor decided I didn’t need it, and took me off of it over a 3 week period.

    I have been absolutely miserable. I have “rage” responses, I shake, I am so depressed, suiciadal thoughts, fatigue, and confusion. I am unable to function. My doctor thinks it is worsening depression. I think it is gabapentin withdrawal. What do you think?

    • Rojo March 4, 2018, 7:27 am

      Sounds like the GABA to me. You may have gone off it too fast!

    • Tricia May 16, 2018, 9:18 am

      Gaba withdrawal 100 percent. Taper 100 mg once a week. Took me 18 weeks to get off it.

  • Bob Lewis March 23, 2017, 1:22 am

    I was on 3600 mg per day for 3 years. I tapered off over a two month period of time. It’s been 6 months and during this time I’ve lost 15 pounds and have a big problem with insomnia. I’ve tried most of the methods posted here but still have the weight loss and sleep problem. I just had a total physical and everything was normal. Could this really last for one year?

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