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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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{ 530 comments… add one }
  • red river March 20, 2017, 11:47 am

    Have been on 2700 mg per day past 1 & 1/2 years. Recently weaned down to 600 mg per day then quit last bit cold turkey. Had about 3 nights of bad sweating, had to change my shirt. It’s been two weeks now and I’m lucky if I get 4 hours of sleep, wicked insomnia and leg cramps. Hopefully clears up sooner than later. Had no idea I’d have such symptoms. Good luck.

  • Phil March 9, 2017, 7:37 am

    This is a horrible drug! I was on 300mg 3x/day and it screwed up my intestinal system so bad I had to stop. I was taking it as a replacement for Lyrica when my insurance stopped covering it. I have a messed up spine with neuropathy. Well, Gaba hardly helped at all, and the side effects I couldn’t stand. I felt like it was killing me.

    Well, I’ve been off it for five days and the withdrawal symptoms are horrible. I have major insomnia, very nauseated all the time, stomach pains (but could be what’s left over from when I was taking it), irritability, basically a lot of the symptoms listed here. Anxiety is bad. I thought I was having a heart attack or something until I finally searched up the withdrawal symptoms.

    For the life of me, I cannot understand why ANY doctor would prescribe this crap to a patient! It’s absolutely horrible stuff, and I’m really paying for it now. I’m fed up with doctors now for all I care, simply fed up with them. As for the pharmaceuticals, they can drop dead. I’m going all natural way from now on.

    I’ve been dealing with this crap for years and it just isn’t worth it. I’d rather deal with the feeling of acid going down my spine, sharp pains, nerve damage then anything this crap or any other “medicine” gives you!

  • J Handy February 10, 2017, 6:25 am

    Wow, I have been on this drug for almost a year. I am supposed to be taking it for Diabetic nerve pain… but I honestly do not see where this drug is helping even a little bit. I guess I am lucky the doctor has only gotten me up to 400mg every 8 hours (1200mg/day). Tonight after reading about 1/2 way down this page of responses, I am going to start to take myself off of this drug.

    Thank you (all of you) for taking the time to post here. I have noticed and remarked to my friends lately (just watch commercial TV for any length of time and some kind of an “ask your doctor” advertisement will come on promoting some kind of the newest pill/drug/injection, etc. When I am around certain friends who I might watch TV with, and one of these commercials comes on, I have started saying “take a pill”… as in… that is what medicine seems to have come to… the answer for everything is just… “take a pill”…

    I can remember a time when there were NO pharmaceutical commercials on TV… it might be at one time they were actually illegal in the USA? Not sure… but it seems like the disclaimers for these TV ad drugs are (most) times longer than the commercial itself… And do you think the Big Pharma lobbyists are going to allow these ads to be banned? Ha…

    Take a pill… I have been trying something different and I’ve had GREAT results… eating nutritional food. Wow… what a concept… instead of “take a pill” I’ve been… “eating less crap”… Somewhere between the Big Pharma-produced commercials is placed the icky food commercials. It’s like both are trying to kill us all as we hand them our billions of consumer dollars…

    Maybe they ought to “take a pill” of their own… instead of testing it on (like) monkeys and rats, then handing it out to the population for profits. I am going to get off Gabapentin ASAP… and never to return. And I didn’t even start on my rant about “Pain Management Doctors” and opiate addictions.

    I spent 5 fun days in the Intensive Care ward because of that stuff after a gall bladder operation not long ago. NO MORE opiates for this kid (howbeit I just turned 55…). Sorry doc, I REFUSE to just TAKE A PILL.

  • William lisk February 9, 2017, 7:37 pm

    I’ve been off gab for about 8 days and I honestly think I’m dying! I bought some magnesium oxide and then after further research I found out only 4 percent of the oxide was absorbed by the body. Today I’m trying magnesium citrate. I was taking way more of the gab than was prescribed. I’m at a loss, I don’t know what to do! I was given it for post amputation phantom pain. Does anyone… PLEASE ANYONE have any suggestions?

    • Marie February 10, 2017, 7:06 pm

      I feel for you, I’m on the 10th day off of it after 3 years of 3600 mg daily. I did a pretty quick taper, I tried to do it slowly but was so miserable. I figured if I was suffering I would try and get it over with faster.

      If you have access to a bathtub soaking in warm epsom salt water helps, but honestly marijuana is the only thing that helped with the crippling anxiety, stomach pain, and insomnia. Try and keep your mental state as positive as possible, I feel cruddy still but much better than I did even yesterday. The only thing really bugging me is the lethargy, laying around is about all I want to do, but I know that will pass like everything else.

      Do what you have to do for a couple weeks to just relax. This stuff is poison and your body needs to heal – if that’s having a glass of wine in the tub or smoking a bowl, do whatever you can to just breath for now, it will get much better.

    • Steph March 12, 2018, 11:30 am

      I have pain issues from a car accident about 10 years ago… my pelvis was shattered and I had to learn to walk again. That was the easy part. I’ve been trying to get myself off of all prescription meds over the last few years. Initially I was prescribed Vicodin and Gabapentin, then switch the Vic to tramadol.

      I replaced tramadol with Kratom, an herbal supplement related to coffee. That went well, so I tried to ditch the Gabapentin. I went 1200 to 900 daily. When my 300mg script needed refilled, I decided to not to. The first few days were BAD, shaking and sweating, crushing sadness (I had run out of Kratom and it takes a few days to have it shipped). Back on Kratom, felt significantly improved!!

      Still struggling with sweating, chills, but def seems to be getting better. I know Kratom can also be difficult to stop, but having continuous pain, I’m prob going to take something, so I choose plant material over man made poison. There are a lot of places online to buy, but big pharma is always trying to make it illegal as there is no profit in it for them…I like the green Maeng da strain. Good luck.

    • Tami G. September 15, 2018, 8:04 pm

      William, Hi, I was reading your post and decided to answer it then saw that it was written a year and a half ago. I am still going to answer because I hope that you can still use the information. You asked about a pain reliever other than Neurontin…

      I had decided to only take natural things at one time. That actually hurt me in the end, but I digress. While I was doing that, I was told about Turmeric. A lot of people have it in their spice rack. It’s awesome; it is an anti-inflammatory among other things.

      If you use the spice, look up the recipe for golden milk. You can also get Turmeric capsules. Trader Joe’s carries good ones. Good luck. Tami

    • Larry September 17, 2018, 10:27 pm

      William I am at 20 days post Gabapentin. Order 400 mg Natrol brand Alpha Lipoic acid from Amazon to replace the Gabapentin. Use Remag 7.5 mg daily from Amazon for the symptoms. Talk to your doctor. DO NOT DO Gabapentin withdrawal without your doctor. Do it on a 6 week taper. Get Reglan from your doctor. The Remag seriously helps with the symptoms of the withdrawal. Larry

  • Keith Aaron February 6, 2017, 1:21 pm

    Wow. Long interesting thread. I was put on gabapentin for nerve pain after a surgery to my testicle left me with chronic testicular pain. Went as high as 3600 mg a day. My psychiatrist co-signed on the RX as she said it may help with combat PTSD with major depression.

    The pain never really went away, even on the highest dose. I did start having all kinds of digestive problems including major constipation and digestion issues that eventually led to a small bowel resection as suspected intussusception. Suffering side effects from that surgery now. An abnormally high liver test, and realization I still have the pain it was prescribed for, led me to decide I need to eliminate gabapentin.

    I take low dose (.5 am and pm) clonazepam for PTSD/anxiety. I quit marijuana and cigarettes the same time I quit gabapentin. I went from 600 mg 3 times a day to zero in a wean of about 3 weeks. Weaned off daily marijuana use in a weeks time. Quit cigarettes the same time frame. Not easy, either one. Good for the wallet though.

    First off, almost immediately my bowel movements normalized and my overall digestive process seems to have improved dramatically although not symptom free. Then. Misery. Severe depression, muscle pain and stiffness (legs), uncontrollable crying episodes and many visits to the ER with chest pain and muscle pain. Sometimes twice in the same day.

    They would just give me IV dilauded or morphine, sometimes Valium, sometimes an anti-nausea. Sometimes all three. That treatment always worked or so it seemed to make me comfortable enough to go home. Then next day the misery continued. It’s been two months since stopping altogether and the depression and crying have eased up a bit, the muscle pain and twitching in my legs (which I never had before using gabapentin) have increased and worsened to the point I am seeing a neurologist and vascular specialist being worked up for all kinds of things.

    I can’t tell sometimes if I’m having muscle spasms, nerve pain, or vein clotting and problems. I hope I didn’t damage my nervous system, muscles or vascular system permanently from three years of gabapentin use. Soon to find out I suppose. I believe gabapentin withdrawal should be initiated as an inpatient in an appropriate detoxification facility or hospital (NOT psych ward, but detoxification or observation unit or general hospital).

    Short of it: It didn’t help with nerve pain, it was prescribed and increased nonchalantly, neither maintenance use side effects nor withdrawal symptoms never understood by emergency department, dangerous side effects from use and withdrawal. Never accept meds for off label use. Research the hell out of proposed medications, and LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, question everything. You only live once.

    • J Handy February 14, 2017, 3:21 am

      Hi Keith, I read your post and noticed you have experienced many of the same things I have went through. I posted here first on Feb 10, 2017… at that time I mentioned here, after reading so many posts and having troubles with gabapentin as well, I decided that I was going to get off the drug and get off gradually. That was 3 days ago and I am now experiencing withdrawal symptoms already…

      I posted again today, Feb 13, it’s a post down below yours. Just wanted to give you an encouraging “chin up” and a “keep on truckin’, brother”… if you’re like me in this, you’ve come a long way, some with the doctor’s help, but all by putting one foot in front of the other… Peace, J Handy

  • Monique January 29, 2017, 8:24 am

    I have taken 900 mg of gabapentin for several years for restless leg syndrome. Over three years ago I developed sciatica due to a worsening back condition and was added 600mg 4x a day. I experienced muscle twitches which eventually subsided. I had back surgery in May and by now there isn’t a need for 3300 mg of gabapentin.

    I went to cutting my doses in half and after a couple of weeks felt as if I had the flu and had most of the symptoms for withdrawal. After some reading I realized it was too fast and I went up 300 mg more added magnesium, milk thistle and passionflower. Now I am tapering more slowly. Dealing with most of the withdrawal symptoms, but have been toughing it out. I took opiates 17 years for back pain increasing it as pain worsened over the years.

    In the last 7 months I went from 20 mg oxycontin and 25 mg 4x a day of oxycodone to 5mg oxycodone 3x a day. I am dedicated to getting off what I don’t need as there are several others I need for MS and MS related conditions. I used to just love my pills, grateful for the assistance. Now I am not so carefree about it.

    Very scary. I am not the same person I was when I was younger and not medicated. I want to cash it all in at times. Just so buried in all of this. But I am doing my best. I am here to say we are not overdoing the drama here. I just want to be NORMAL again. I pray that it is possible!

  • rhd January 16, 2017, 5:18 pm

    I took 300 mg 3 times a day for almost a year after having 3 discs fused in my neck. I developed a side effect of grinding my teeth and clenching my jaw 24/7, which became painful, causing almost as much pain as my neck had caused, so I contacted my neurosurgeon and was recommended to taper off the medication, over the next 4 weeks. I have been off Gabapentin now for the last 7 months.

    I had A LOT of itching, I almost felt like I was going to come out of my skin (that lasted about 2 weeks), severe insomnia (2 hours a night if I was lucky) and a heaviness in my chest that I still have most days, even 7 months later. I still have the grinding and clenching of my jaw and no one has had any answers; my internist nor my dentist has any idea how long this side effect lasts or if it will ever go away.

    In the process, I found out that this seems to be a ‘rare’ side effect. So I now feel like I have to be more conscious of the grinding during the day because I have ground my 2 front teeth on the bottom so much they look curved, like an upside down archway. I have tried tooth guards at night but I clench my jaw so tight I wake up with chronic neck pain and headaches on my left side.

    I work in a medical office with patients so I can’t wear the guards during the day. Has anyone else had this side effect or know someone who has? Any ideas or recommend any solutions?

  • Ronnie January 12, 2017, 6:11 am

    I am on 1st week withdrawing from 3200 to 1800 it’s been pretty much a bitch. Lots of pain and insomnia. But that’s me. But I am going to get it done 1 week at time. I am going to cut the dosage in half each week until I get to 300 then stopping completely. If you have any encouragement please post it.

  • Patti Jones January 8, 2017, 11:47 pm

    Horrid time getting off this drug. Please, think about it before starting. I was on a much smaller dose (and for only 9 months) than any of you and can’t imagine taking that much and trying to get off of it. Blessings to all of you.

  • Mary Bennett December 18, 2016, 1:26 am

    I am 77 yo female – was started on Gabapentin by a neurosurgeon for headache and neck pain likely caused by a bone spur in my neck between C2 and C3. Initial dose was 300 mg 3x/day and it worked well for the headache. I have been on gabapentin x 1 month. I noticed that I was anorgasmic with self stimulation (never was before taking gabapentin).

    Are any others aware of this as a side effect? Because of this, and because I received a cortisone shot in my neck, I hope the pain will subside, and I can discontinue gabapentin. I have begun tapering off in the past 2 days, taking 300 mg twice daily, along with Mg glycerinate 400 mg between doses. So far, no side effects.

  • Dave December 13, 2016, 7:54 pm

    I was grateful to find this site. I was prescribed Gabapentin about 15 months ago for back pain and sciatica. The dose was gradually increased to 2400mg. I did not think the Gabapentin helped my back, in fact my back and sciatica problems have worsened. I decided to stop the Gabapentin and quickly learned that was not easy.

    I am on my third attempt to stop. I have been decreasing the dose by 300mg a week per my doctor’s suggestion, but have still experienced most of the withdrawal symptoms described by other writers, in particular anxiety and the related confusion, inability to concentrate, restlessness and increased desire for nicotine. I was surprised to learn that my shortness of breath may also be a withdrawal symptom, as well as pain in my feet, which I assumed was caused by my back problems.

    Like many others I was not advised of the downsides of the drug before it was prescribed. Ativan seems to help with the anxiety, but from what I read on this site I still have a long, perhaps even more difficult, route before getting off the drug completely. I am glad to know I have source of information and support. Thanks.

    • PR December 15, 2016, 2:27 pm

      Hi Dave: I have had a beastly time getting off: took the max dose for 5 years, and even though I tapered down to 100 mg a day. When I jumped to 0 I had hideous withdrawal that lasted for months. Found that Ativan helped, but I got hooked on that & its effect was only temporary (12 hours). So I switched to an equivalent dose of Valium, and am slowly tapering off that.

      Let me tell you it is a miracle!! I sleep, don’t have the withdrawal anxiety, and my mind is clear!! I am gradually going down (like a 1/2 ml every two weeks) without any increase in my withdrawal symptoms. Please let me know if you want any more details.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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).

  • 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.

    • Linda February 17, 2017, 8:49 pm

      Peter, I appreciate your comments since I am dealing with burning and itching/tingling and think that the solution would probably be the same. Did you experience any diarrhea with the Chelated Calcium Magnesium Zinc with vitamin D3 you took?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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…

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