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Does Gabapentin (Neurontin) Cause Weight Gain?

Gabapentin (Neurontin) is a medication that was developed as a treatment for neuropathic pain and as an adjunct for seizures.  It is also commonly prescribed off-label for conditions such as: restless leg syndrome, hot flashes, migraines, and even anxiety disorders.  In fact, an estimated 9/10 prescriptions for the drug are for off-label conditions.

The drug is frequently used off-label due to the fact that it is considered to have a low potential for abuse and is regarded as non-addictive.  Due to the fact that the drug elicits both analgesic and anticonvulsant effects, it is sometimes preferred by those undergoing various types of surgery.  It reduces preoperative anxiety via its mechanism acting on GABAergic neurotransmission, and provides postoperative pain relief.

Although many people find that Gabapentin is an effective treatment for neuropathic pain, seizures, and various off-label conditions – many people experience unwanted side effects.  One unwanted side effect that has been reported in a small percentage of users is weight gain.  Those that gain significant weight on Gabapentin may be tempted to discontinue as a result of a compromised body-image.

Does Gabapentin (Neurontin) Cause Weight Gain?

Gabapentin is a drug that isn’t associated with clinically significant weight gain.  It is estimated that approximately 3% of all users will experience some form of weight gain.  Most people won’t notice any significant fluctuations in body weight throughout their treatment.  For this reason, Gabapentin is often referred to as a “weight neutral” drug.

That said, there are some studies highlighting the fact that weight gain can occur on Gabapentin, especially when taken at high doses.  In one study of 28 patients taking 3000 mg per day of Gabapentin, 10 patients gained approximately 10% of their bodyweight.  Despite this finding, the majority of patients remained weight neutral, and some even lost weight (3 patients).

While more individuals are likely to gain weight as opposed to lose weight on Gabapentin, most individuals won’t notice any significant change in bodyweight.  However, it is important to understand that many pharmaceutical companies underestimate the potential of their drug to cause weight gain in effort to increase sales.  If you end up gaining weight, it may be difficult to distinguish whether it’s a result of the drug or blatantly poor health choices.

  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9263379

How Gabapentin Causes Weight Gain: List of Possibilities

Gabapentin has a poorly understood mechanism of action and weight gain is uncommon.  Since there is some confusion regarding the precise neurophysiological effects of the drug, it is difficult to pinpoint the specific cause of weight gain.  There are many theories in regards to why you may pack on some extra poundage while taking Gabapentin.

  • Appetite increase: Some people notice that Gabapentin significantly increases their appetite. If you’ve been taking Gabapentin and have been feeling hungrier than usual, it may be more than a coincidence.  Certain individuals find that they consume more because the drug is increasing their appetite.  An increased appetite can be difficult to control, and as a result, some people gain weight.
  • Arousal reduction: Gabapentin is known to act on the neurotransmission of GABA in the brain. GABA is considered an inhibitory neurotransmitter that reduces activation of the sympathetic nervous system, and ultimately reduces arousal.  Those feeling reductions in physiological arousal may have a difficult time summoning up the energy to start (or finish) a workout.
  • Drowsiness: The most common side effect of Gabapenin is drowsiness. If you feel drowsy each time you take Gabapentin, you probably won’t feel like moving, let alone working out.  This drowsiness may lead to a significant decrease in physical activity and an increase in sedentary behavior.  The lack of physical activity as a result of drowsiness can result in weight gain, especially if your dietary intake remains the same or increases.
  • Fatigue: Some people report that Gabapentin makes them feel exceptionally sluggish and fatigued. This feeling of fatigue may stem from the most common side effect associated with the drug – drowsiness.  If you feel more fatigued than usual, this may trigger a cascade effect of metabolism slowing and physical inactivity.
  • Food cravings: Various anecdotal reports have claimed that Gabapentin increased their cravings for sugary foods and carbohydrates. If you are craving sugary foods and end up following through with consumption of those foods, weight gain is likely.  Consuming excess sugary foods leads to blood sugar changes and metabolic fluctuations; all making weight gain likely.
  • Hormone levels: Any drug that alters brain chemicals and the nervous system has potential to alter hormone levels. While hormone alterations may not be significant or even common among everyone using Gabapentin, the possibility should not be ruled out.  Hormonal alterations may be significant enough to cause weight gain.
  • Low energy: Those experiencing reductions in energy while taking Gabapentin are not alone. Energy reductions commonly occur when individuals take drugs that act on GABA; Gabapentin regulates two enzymes involved in GABA synthesis.  The altered synthesis may result in drowsiness, fatigue, and ultimately low neurophysiological energy.  This low energy may translate directly to packing on some unwanted baggage.
  • Reduced motivation: Staying motivated on Gabapentin may be difficult as a result of the drug’s effect on neurotransmission and physiology. Its effect upon the synthesis of GABA commonly results in drowsiness characterized by decreased cognitive and physiological arousal.  Reductions in arousal commonly result in motivational deficits and/or amotivational behavior.
  • Slow metabolism: Taking any drug that acts on GABA will likely reduce physiological arousal. The reduction in arousal can actually slow your metabolism, leading you to gain weight even without changing your dietary intake or exercise regimen.  In other words, your diet and exercise routine may be the exact same pre-drug as during treatment, but you may still gain weight – this is thanks to the slowing of your metabolism.
  • Social eating: Many untreated medical conditions can result in social isolation, which means you probably aren’t going out to eat with friends as much. Let’s say you start taking Gabapentin for anxiety or neuropathic pain, and are now able to function better in social situations.  As a result, you may start to go out with friends more frequently, eating bigger portions and making unhealthy choices.
  • Taste improvement: It is possible for some people to subjectively notice a change in taste sensation when taking Gabapentin. While extremely unlikely, it is yet another possible explanation for weight gain.  If food all of a sudden tastes significantly better than it did prior to taking the drug, you’re probably going to eat more.
  • Water retention: Some believe that the drug may increase water retention, thus contributing to a weight increase as a result of retained water. This may result in feeling bloated and to some people, the extra weight via water retention may be blatantly obvious.  Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done to mitigate this side effect.

Note: It is important to note that weight gain on Gabapentin is largely subject to individual variation.  Certain individuals may experience weight gain as a result of a single factor (e.g. food cravings), while others may gain weight as a result of multiple factors (e.g. slow metabolism, fatigue, and appetite increase).

Factors responsible for weight gain on Gabapentin (Neurontin)

There are many factors that may influence weight gain (or change) on Gabapentin.  The most influential factors include: time span (how long you’ve been taking the drug), the dosage, other medications (drugs often interact), your lifestyle, and genetics.

1. Time Span

For some people, the duration over which they’ve been taking Gabapentin will influence their weight gain.  Some people may notice no weight gain when they first start taking the drug, but may start to pack on some extra baggage after a year.  One study suggests that weight gain most commonly occurs between months 2 and 3 of treatment and stabilizes after 6 to 9 months.

  • Short-term:  Those that have been taking Gabapentin over a short-term may notice some temporary fluctuations in body weight as their physiology acclimates to the drug.  These short-term changes tend to occur during the first few weeks of treatment.  While weight gain may be alarming over the short-term, it’s not necessarily what will occur over the long-term.
  • Long-term: It is common for people to report that they gain weight over the course of long-term treatment with Gabapentin.  Long-term treatment with any drug will alter physiological processes and the body becomes more prone to side effects – including weight gain.  Some people take the drug for years without any weight gain, while others notice incremental increases with each successive year of treatment.

2. Dosage

Some literature indicates that there is no established relationship between dosage and weight gain.  Stating that there is no established relationship between dosage and weight gain does not mean that this applies to everyone.  Some people may notice that they’re significantly more prone to weight gain at higher doses.

Those that gain weight on lower doses may experience an amplified effect of weight increases at higher doses.  Therefore it may be a good idea to take the minimal effective dose to minimize potential weight fluctuations.

3. Other Medications

If you are taking any other medications, it’s important to consider the fact that they may be contributing to the weight gain.  Unless you have been on another drug for a long-term and haven’t noted any weight changes, it’s difficult to conclude that Gabapentin is the culprit for your weight gain.  Even if you don’t think another medication is contributing to your weight gain, it is important to consider the potential of an interaction.

Certain mechanisms of action associated with your other medication(s) may interact with the Gabapentin to promote weight gain.  If you started taking another drug simultaneously with Gabapentin and are gaining weight, consider that it may be caused by the other drug.  You may also want to consider other non-pharmaceutical drugs and alcohol as potential culprits.

4. Lifestyle

It is important to consider the influence of your lifestyle on your bodyweight.  Everyone wants to use the latest drug that they’re taking as a scapegoat excuse for their weight gain.  If you are sedentary for most of the day, don’t make any effort to get physical activity, eat unhealthy foods high in carbohydrates and sugars – you shouldn’t be surprised if you gain weight.

While diet and exercise are important elements to consider as causes of weight gain, you may also want to consider sleeping habits and stress level.  Someone getting a poor night’s sleep consistently and/or an individual with high stress is much more likely to gain weight.  Consider lifestyle influences before assuming that Gabapentin is the problem.

5. Genetics

Much of weight gain on medications is subject to genetics.  Take two people with identically healthy lifestyles and put them on the same dosage of Gabapentin for the same duration.  One of those individuals may end up gaining 10 lbs., while the other may lose 5 lbs.  What would explain the difference between these two individuals? Genetics as well as epigenetics or gene expression in response to the environment.

Fortunately new technology is available like GeneSight to help predict genetic responses to various medications.  Genetics influence our physiological reactions to Gabapentin, thus dictating side effects – including whether we gain weight, remain weight neutral, or even lose weight.

  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24308788
  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23865122

How much weight will you gain on Gabapentin?

Based on the fact that few studies exist analyzing Gabapentin’s effect on bodyweight, it is difficult to predict how much weight you’ll gain while taking the drug.  One study suggested that those who gain weight will gain between 5% and 10% of their baseline body weight.  In other words, if you weighed 200 lbs. prior to taking Gabapentin and gained weight – you’d probably gain between 10 lbs. and 20 lbs.

In another study published in 2013, the gastroretentive format of Gabapentin was analyzed over the course of 24 weeks.  Patients did report weight gain, but the average weight gain was approximately 1.6 lbs.  This suggests that over the course of 2 years treatment with Gabapentin, weight gain is likely to be minimal among those who do gain weight.

  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9263379
  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23370075

Does everyone gain weight from Gabapentin?

Certainly not everyone gains weight while taking Gabapentin.  It is estimated that over 90% of individuals taking the drug will experience no significant weight change.  Of the remaining individuals, some will actually experience weight loss.  Clinical trials suggest that less than 3% of all Gabapentin users will gain weight – this means that only a small number of people 3/100 will gain weight.

Some speculate that more people gain weight than what is reported by the drug company and/or clinical documentation.  This drug is considered a predecessor to Lyrica (Pregabalin), which is associated with weight gain.  There is evidence linking Lyrica and weight gain, suggesting that 10% to 20% of users will gain weight.

Since a greater percentage of Lyrica users gain weight, and Gabapentin is similar – some believe that the reports of weight gain on Gabapentin are low-ball estimates.  Despite these theories, the bulk of scientific evidence suggests that most people will not gain significant weight while taking Gabapentin.  In addition, a very small percentage of individuals will actually lose a bit of weight.

  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16397976

Comparing the therapeutic effect vs. weight gain

Among those who gain weight on Gabapentin, it is important to consider the therapeutic effect of the drug.  Always conduct a cost-benefit analysis and determine the severity of the weight gain compared to the benefit derived from Gabapentin treatment.  If you’re getting significant relief from your neuropathic pain and only gained a few pounds over the course of several months, you probably shouldn’t care too much about the weight gain.

However, if you managed to balloon in weight, gaining a significant amount – you may want to talk to your doctor.  At a certain point, weight gain from any medication may get excessive and should be considered unacceptable.  Gaining a significant amount of weight can put you at risk for other health conditions and may be detrimental to your self-esteem – leading to depression.

If you gained a fair amount of weight, but the drug is very therapeutic for a certain condition – you may feel as if you’re in a difficult situation.  Always talk to a medical professional to assess your options that may include: Gabapentin withdrawal and/or switching to another medication.  Certain people may be able to find a different medication that better suits their physiology.

Did you gain weight taking Gabapentin?

If you ended up gaining weight while taking Gabapentin, be sure to share a comment below with some details.  Discuss how long you took Gabapentin, the dosage, as well as any other medications you were taking simultaneously that may have caused you to gain weight.  Share why you believe the drug caused you to gain weight (e.g. drowsiness, food cravings, etc.).

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{ 135 comments… add one }
  • Mary June 28, 2018, 5:54 pm

    Always been fit, healthy, normal weight. Easy to knock off a few pounds if I gained a few. Started gabapentin a couple months ago. Pretty low dose – 300 mg twice a day. Great pain relief—able to return to daily workout and walking.

    No change in appetite, significant increase in activity, but getting fat! All in the belly – haven’t looked like this since I was pregnant. And it will NOT go away, no matter how much more I increase my activity or restrict my calories.

  • Sinesta June 13, 2018, 3:57 pm

    I suffered a violent crime years ago which left my neck with a slipped disc (HNP) and very traumatic associations with certain foods that are in a phallic shape. That basically ruled out most of the awesome fruits and veggies my body would need for the last 20 years or more. Even if I want a bag of oranges which look harmless, I cannot heft them into my home alone. Even when the delivery guys show up, someone has to move the items around into the kitchen for me from the door.

    Now, at times, I go in to talk about my neck pain which can leave me with over 8-17 hour long spasms and instead of injections for pain (screw up your hormones) I opt for other therapist ideas…aqua therapy, nutritional supplements to avoid cramps (manganese, magnesium, zinc). I have had this sort of neck regime for over 20 years. We don’t touch me or disrupt my neck as physical manipulations make it far far worse. Can you imagine having a tension so tight that even getting a massage only hurts you?

    I have not gained weight trying so hard to hold down food for years. My best bet has been a medical MJ pill called dronabinol. In fact, as you can infer, I lost most of my body fat dealing with vomiting related to the neck nerves being damaged. Many doctors have tried to use either gabapentin or other nerve type blocking medications muscle relaxers etc.

    None of them seem to do the trick because the side effects become unbearable. Inability to breath, chest pain, headaches, liver damage, dehydration, UTI, cystitis, colon cancer. Then in Feb this year, I went in for what seemed like a normal surgery to detect what an ultrasound of my ovary found, some kinda lump.

    I did the surgery to remove the lump, it was not cancerous and called a polyp. I don’t know but maybe not eating right caused this over time. What I do know is this, that surgery caused some massive issues for my life and mental health. I was put on Xanax and Norco during the operation.

    I noticed a remarkable end to my PTSD on Xanax, had never tried it even in all my psych appts and was shocked how easily I was ready to possibly slice up my own body, tra la la. Well, I got a script of Xanax quickly after, impressed by the new “old me” I had found, fearless, feckless and ready to do anything. Great. Great.

    That isn’t a long lasting feeling and played upon my already thrashed hormones/adrenal gland stuff/insert fancy words for pituitary/hormone/cortisol functions here. What did I read that would help me deal with Xanax making me wired and tired? I had all this old Gabapentin in my medicine cabinet.

    In the past, it had done nothing for me, literally nothing. I have sciatica and we had hoped that and some of the nerve damage in my neck would relieve the vomiting. I didn’t get any luck, since I’m sure it’s also anxiety/shoulder tension that makes me feel sick. Simply ignoring pinched nerves along my spine won’t shut up the fact that my body can tell it’s out of alignment or missing some connective areas.

    So now what? I’m off of Xanax and the Gabapentin DID help me allay all the jangled nasty Xanax crap. I do feel hungry but I want to be clear, I’m not hungry like “gosh, just ran a marathon, valkyrie needs food”. I’m hungry like a soothing child likes to chew on a ring while teething.

    It’s a problem with nerves/calmness. It wasn’t until I got into the new female gynecologist who wasn’t a jerk, and said clearly, I feel really really weird after my surgery, I am not just fat, I puke and I’m fat? What’s up with that? If just taking Gabapentin was the problem, why didn’t I gain on it before in the past by itself?

    Apparently all these things are not necessarily direct agents but play into the bodies delicate ecosystem pretty brutally. Xanax can’t be passed easily, Gabapentin can. So I have used it to taper off of Xanax. What happened when the original mean surgeon gyno put me on Xanax was I learned to destroy my hormones and the glands sent out an armada of a substance called prolactin, this hormone makes milk for babies.

    I am so not pregnant. Cut to, lowered sex drive on Gaba, def not prego. I’m laughing at the new gyno office with her. So if I ever wanted to pretend I can eat without puking, this Xanax withdrawal is the meta first way to mix up my mind. The next best thing is to use Gabapentin, less nasty jangled feelings but still the packing on of pounds.

    It started in my belly and that’s the first place the new OBGYN looked at, almost instinctively used to psych meds causing such disruption. When I quit all the drugs they put me on, and took away the jacuzzi exercises (because well our plan no longer offers gym memberships with it, not even for a copay)… uh… I def signed up for the loss of sex drive, feeling insecure as if I had original ovarian Cancer.

    It felt as though to me, this is just how we treat disabled women. We overly chop them up for spurious surgeries, over prescribe nasty meds, still allow them to have access to the nasty meds once introduced. Mismanaged, bumped from HMO to HMO. I wouldn’t say my self-esteem after a crime needed to think that, finally eating food would make me ugly. That is bad.

    My message to this entire board is. Are you also not offered medical MJ in your area for nerve issues? That I was not able to get my medical MJ if it’s legal now in the states I visit and live in seems suspect. The FDA said if I cannot process or handle other antiemetic (nausea reduction) it’s ok for me to take dronabinol even without AIDS or active Chemo.

    Medical MJ does what Gabapentin did and Gaba didn’t even do that well enough for my neck/sciatica. It’s time we get this nerve alternative stuff descheduled so that I gain wait from a real dynamic. Meaning I would benefit greatly from a direct cause/effect relationship with my food because my food is so pivotal in my day to day life.

    I have to even watch it leave me. You probably don’t have to do that, so just curious if Gabapentin is worth the trouble for others. It seems sad to pick on someone who already can’t eat and throw all these substances at her just because whoops her body made a polyp at some point. A harmless, non life threatening polyp.

    I will now head to the gastroenterologist and talk about my colon cancer. Another side effect of not eating right. If you are hungry, just realize there is a reason. If you are NOT hungry there is a reason too, take it from me. Nobody can explain the entire medical school in 3 hours during your appt.

    Ask them, is there another system in my body since I’m female that might be impacted by your OH SO harmless drugs? The way I want to feel my nerves be smoother, is the way I want to eat my food too. I feel that should be natural. If you guys know of another natural antiemetic, that’s my next goal.

    If you want help with your weight gain confusion, write me a pm. I promise I’ve been paying hawk-like attention and know that my body has reacted in various times in various ways with the same chemicals. I’ve seen people living in the sober living houses fail tests after quitting and it just isn’t cool.

    The phasing in and out of a substance like this is serious, even if nobody thinks so before their great golf tourney and the MD fundraiser ball. Thanks, Sin

  • Sarah May 8, 2018, 9:51 pm

    My story I guess is a bit different I’ve been on Gabapentin for a little over a month now after I was injured at work. I started with 300mg once a day at bedtime. Didn’t notice much of a change a little over a week ago the bumped me up to 300mg 5xs a day and my appetite is pretty much non-existent, I am literally losing weight.

    I have a lot of energy and my anxiety went away as well. The negatives so far I’m slightly dizzy, I get confused much easier and my sex drive is through the roof. That might not seem like a problem to some but it can be when it’s all the time. So far I think Gabapentin is working well for me.

    • Melinda griffin May 30, 2018, 1:48 am

      I’m never hungry on Gabapentin! Tired yes definitely, my anxiety is much better I must say! Despite being tired I’m finally in control of my anxiety! The Doctor did up it a little more which made me more tired, but it should pass!

  • Tiffany Hamilton March 22, 2018, 5:55 pm

    I was in a bad car wreck almost two years ago. The doctor prescribed me Gabapentin and the medicine worked for my pain. I’ve noticed these past few months that I have gained a large amount of weight and thought maybe it was from eating later than normal. I went from 190lbs to 220lbs.

    So I immediately changed my eating habits and the types of food I was consuming. After a few months there was no change and I had even gained more weight. I jumped up to 227lbs and knew I had to something about it. I knew thyroid issues ran in my family so I went to a Endocrinologist/Nutritionist.

    The doctor informed me that the high doses of Gabapentin and daily usage is the cause of my weight gain. It’s been two weeks since I saw the doctor and stopped taking the Gabapentin and I’ve already lost 2lbs. It’s not much but a start and I do feel the Gabapentin was the sole root cause of my weight gain.

    I will continue to take supplements, stretch and exercise not only to help with weight loss but to help strengthen my back and hopefully I will never have to take Gabapentin again. Good luck to everyone!

  • Caroline S. March 4, 2018, 1:27 pm

    Hello! My story is not different than many I read here: I am 45 years old, I had a lower back fusion 2 years ago and 2 months ago I experienced a new sciatica on my right side. I lasted for 1.5 month and the only medicine that is helping is Gabapentin. My doctor slowly increased the dosage to an amount that finally became effective on my pain. I am now at 5x300mg a day.

    Although I am thankful for the pain relief, I am so disturbed by my sudden weight gain. I went from 123 lbs to 140lbs in 2 weeks. I understand that I haven’t been able to be active for awhile as I use to but even that lack of activity never affected me to that extend. I know boredom also increased my sugar intake, yet even in my worst depressed stage in the past, I didn’t gain that much weight.

    One year after my fusion I took to swimming and Aqua Jog, 3 times a week. I am usually strong, very competitive (my back is my weakness) I can tell you that my workouts were very intense in the water. I am hoping to go back to the pool this week. Of course I will start gently and I am just now able to move freely with no pain to mostly none, still recovering.

    I am thankful to Gabapentin for relieving the pain but not for the weight gain. I can see that this weight gain is different, although located all over my body, my stomach area is swollen, like an inflated balloon. Now I am going to be more active and I want to see if I can revert that weight gain naturally as I am going back to my life.

    I will post again in 2 weeks with any weight update. Thank you for your testimony and thank you for reading me.

    • Cathy March 7, 2018, 10:17 pm

      Hi, thanks for your comment. I have since gone off of Gabapentin. I was on it for anxiety. I had to go on klonopin instead. As much as I don’t like being on a benzo, I have lost 25lbs since cutting out the gabapentin. Good luck to you!

      • J Pearson March 20, 2018, 11:12 pm

        I’m taking Gabapentin, Celebrex, and Norco after having rotator cuff surgery 19 days ago. I’ve gained 13 pounds so far, and I hate it!!

        I only take the Gabapentin and Celebrex for 11 more days. I pray I don’t gain much more weight, and I pray it comes off quickly when I get off these drugs.

    • Staci A April 16, 2018, 3:28 pm

      Caroline, Any updates? I am going through the same thing. Been in so much pain and prescribed Gabapentin. Started at 300 mg at night and increased to 300 mg 3 x a day. I just went to the doctor and have gained 5 pounds in a month.

      I never gain weight like that! My stomach is bloated also. The medicine helps some of the nerve pain but I don’t know if it’s helping enough to have weight gain. I’ll stay on it for a bit longer and see.

    • Victoria June 28, 2018, 12:05 am

      Hi Caroline. I hope you’re doing better. My “Gabapentin story” is similar to yours, too. Can you update us on any progress you may have made, from trying to be more active and swimming? Has anything helped your bloated belly? Thanks, Vikki

  • Greeners February 25, 2018, 1:31 am

    With my condition, gabapentin has been a godsend. Yes, originally I had food issues as in the food I loved repulsed me. The only thing I can’t do after twelve years of 400mg 4x a day is have milk in tea. I have RR multiple sclerosis.

    My weight has varied between 15 and a half stone to 16 stone within those years. I don’t think that is too bad considering the benefit the drug has given me. I know as of yet there is no known cure for MS and I wish everybody well with their conditions who are prescribed gaba (etc). It works for some, happy it is helping me.

  • Jeanette February 22, 2018, 6:14 pm

    I have gained 35 pounds on Neurontin and have been on 800 mg at HS for 8 years. I also take 600 mg of Zonisamide and Citalopram. I feel like the weight gain started when the Neurontin was added. I have NO energy. I work full time, but when I come home at night and on the weekends… all I want to do is sleep. I talked to my neurologist about the weight gain and he said he had “never heard” of Neurontin causing weight gain. I see my PCP in two weeks. I am going to request a new Neurologist in a bigger metro area. Enough is enough!!

    • Cathy March 7, 2018, 10:24 pm

      My psych doc never told me about the weight gain but if you Google it, it’s all over the place. I was on it for anxiety and have switched meds. I’ve lost 25lbs. I felt terrible on it too. Good luck!

  • Diana AMAYA February 14, 2018, 6:01 pm

    I have gained 30 plus pounds in a very short time. Cravings for sugary food became an addiction. I didn’t know what was happening till now that I looked this up. The hint I got was an article that said fibromyalgia medications may cause weight gain. OMG that’s what is happening to me. Now to find out how to detox?

    • Carole February 19, 2018, 7:39 am

      Gained 30 lbs in 3 months on a low dose with no other meds. Have been 120 all my life no dieting. Now 160. No sugar cravings. Just Gabapentin.

  • Sharon Bell January 30, 2018, 4:37 am

    I take a very low dose, 200 mg, at night. I find that it increases my appetite significantly and I have gained at least 10 pounds. I would like to stop taking it but so far it is the only thing that takes the pain away, along with tylenol.

  • Jennifer Garner January 15, 2018, 9:02 am

    I took Gabapentin for 9 months to help sleep (1200mg at night). I noticed an increased appetite which I was perplexed about. The increased food intake caused me to gain 15-20 pounds in that 9 month period. I stopped taking it after 9 months, and all the weight dropped off within 3 months.

    If I have to take it again I will definitely try to get by on a lower dose, and control my eating with the increased appetite.

  • Herb November 18, 2017, 2:13 am

    I’m a transtibial amputee with CRPS and PLP. Over the eight years I’d been on gabapentin, there was a relatively constant need for higher dosing, but no weight gain whatsoever. When 4800 mg/day wasn’t enough, I switched to pregabalin. That did cause a minor weight gain (maybe 5%), but retained efficacy at a stable dose. It’s pretty amazing how differently folks react, isn’t it?

  • deb March 22, 2017, 2:39 am

    I have been on Gabapentin for about one month. 300 mg in the AM and 600 in the PM. Week 2 I noticed a small weight gain and Week 4, 10bls! I am going to see the doctor after reading every one of these posts. Will try topamax instead. The Gabapentin has helped with my pain levels, yet the weight gain is just not fun!

  • Ann-Marie Morris February 24, 2017, 3:40 pm

    I’ve been taking Gabapentin for nearly a year. I slipped a disc in my lower back and have trapped my sciatic nerve. Before doing this I was a regular runner, weighing about 180 lbs. I now weigh 200 lbs., it doesn’t matter what I try, it will not shift.

    I take 3000mg a day, without it, I wouldn’t be able to walk or work. In the new year I took up Nordic Walking, and although I’ve lost a few pounds, it’s no where near where I’d like to be.

  • Annika February 23, 2017, 4:48 pm

    I am so thankful for all these comments. I’ve been on Gabapentin for about a month and I’ve gained 15 pounds instantly. It’s just unbelievable, and depressing. I take it for seizures but I’m going to talk to my doctor about coming off it.

    It feels like my stomach is going to pop, I am so bloated. I had no idea this drug could have such an impact on my weight. What is it like to withdraw and how soon will I feel normal? Thanks for making me feel like I’m not alone in this experience.

    • Caroline S. March 4, 2018, 1:33 pm

      Hello! I am experiencing exactly the same with my weight gain and specifically my stomach. I am so bothered and distressed by it. Not sure what is next.

  • Shelly February 11, 2017, 7:55 am

    Hi. I have been on gabapentin 600mg 3 x daily for 2 & 1/2 years. I’ve gained nearly 50 pounds. Yes appetite increased, yes low motivation, yes food cravings! I have stopped taking gabapentin because my balance is off (fell and have had a concussion), and the weight gain is untenable for me.

    • Pippy February 15, 2017, 1:02 am

      Shelly, When did you first begin noticing the weight gain? I have been on Gaba a week and am craving sugar. (My dumb self)… I ate a half Costco bag of sweet caramel salted corn puffs (dang they remind me of that corn puff cereal they try to convince us is good for us). I have Celiac and since getting it, I cannot eat sugar (or most everything for that matter) anymore, it gives me migraine.

      So I have had this self induced migraine for 4 days now. I am trying hard to fill up on more protein (usually chicken) to help curb the cravings, but I still want the sugar, but with more protein, I do crave it less. I am hoping I will feel so much better that I will want to go out dancing every night and gain muscle instead of fat.

      I am looking forward to the challenge. For me, right now (that could change) it feels worth weight gain. I am so done with having pain. If I am fat because of it, so be it. What will you use if you don’t have Gaba?

  • Tinamarie January 24, 2017, 4:56 am

    The Dr. prescribed gabapentin for my nerve pain because I have spinal stenosis in the L4 and L5 region of my spine and the nerve pain shooting down my legs were unbearable. I also previously had double hip replacement and now have osteoarthritis in both hips. Since prescribing this medication 2 months ago 300mg 2x daily, I have gained 20lbs without any changes to my diet regimen.

    I also have a thyroid problem which I take synthroid and plavix for having two heart attacks with 4 stents to reduce blood clotting. After quitting smoking I also found that I went back to smoking and smoke more than I did before. Something is wrong. I take water pills and metopolol.

    I don’t know if is all these drugs interacting, but the weight gain and increased smoking I attribute to the gabapentin, since I did not smoke or have any changes in weight before taking this med prior to 2 months ago. But it does relieve the nerve pain down my legs. Will call Doctor tomorrow to discuss any alternatives.

    I am glad I am not crazy and that others have gained significant weight taking this medication. Thanks to all who posted, it is nice to know I am not alone and not delusional. lol.

    • Joanne February 7, 2017, 2:41 am

      I happened on this thread, and I’ve read all the comments about Gabapentin. I’ve been on it due to a lumbar fusion surgery five years ago. I’m just now beginning to gain weight, 10 lbs, but I couldn’t lose any which I needed to do. I started at the fitness center yesterday, and after reading all the posts, I know I must try to reduce the amount of Gab I’ve been taking (1200 – 1800 mg. daily), exercise no matter what hurts, and eat healthier.

      I’ll talk with the Doc more often too. I’m also taking Synthroid and the dose has just been increased. Thankfully, that’s all I take. Thank you so much to each of you who has posted your information about Gabapentin and weight gain.

  • Dianne Lachowicz January 20, 2017, 7:58 pm

    Been on Gabapentin 300mg/3 per day for a few weeks for neuropathy, foot drop, numbness after 5 year old L4 -S1 spinal fusion recurrence issue. I noticed the change in my uniform slacks right away. (Can’t comfortably button them anymore!) I’ve worn the same size for years.

    Edema in my ankles is obvious. Worse when I wear socks. After reading all of your comments, I’m coming off of it. I don’t notice the medicine is helping anyways. My pharmacist said I could wean myself off of it just like I eased into starting it.

  • robin Vermeersch January 3, 2017, 6:39 am

    I have been on gabapentin for 7 months at a dose of 3000 mg a day which equals 10 pills a day. I have gained 37 lbs after losing 40 before I started taking them. I am considering discontinuing the use.

  • Cheryl December 11, 2016, 7:59 am

    I began taking Gabapentin in August for neuropathy related to Chiari Malformation and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I weighed about 205 at the time. I have noticed an extreme increase in appetite, sugar and carb cravings, and needing to eat about twice as much food to feel satisfied. I went from eating two meals a day to wanting to eat a full meal every 3 to 4 hours.

    I have gained at least 10 pounds a month since starting it and now weigh 246 pounds. I also suddenly have very high blood pressure (174/96). I have always had a BP of no more than 115/74. I am taking 300 mg in the morning and 900mg at night. I didn’t take it for a couple of days (because I ran out) and noticed my appetite almost immediately went back to normal.

    I want to stop taking it, as I am not seeing much improvement in my pain and am very concerned about these side effects, but my pain doctor insists I stay on it and that I should just see a dietician and use “self-control.” But these cravings and hunger aren’t so easily ignored. I have never experienced hunger and cravings like this.

  • Joey November 26, 2016, 8:33 am

    I started taking Gabapentin about a year and half ago, 600mg 3x a day. I eat healthy and exercise everyday. I am struggling because about two months ago, my weight went from 140 to 162. Nothing in my lifestyle has changed since being put on this medication. I am on this for nerve damage, right side abdominal, winged scapula, and thoracic nerve damage due to 5 surgeries, pretty much in the same area.

    Appendix cancer lead to removal of my appendix and 16 inches of my colon. They say that during the weight gain trials of this medication, there was little to no weight gain while taking the meds. Everybody is different and all bodies work different than others. I do believe it causes weight gain and I am glad to know that I am not alone on this subject.

  • Patticia November 12, 2016, 11:47 pm

    I’m living with a never seen before in anyone under 50 type of plasma cancer which after 2 yrs of investigation still cannot find the primary cause (tumor). Due to this I don’t qualify for treatment (plasmapheresis) until they discover it. These fake plasma cells (paraproteins) block my nerve channels and cause excruciating pain due to head to toe muscle cramps (that can last days / weeks) creating trapped nerves pain referral and unbearable muscle spasms when they release. I can have easily 7 different spasms (attempted releases) over trapped nerves per second?

    For the past 2.5 yrs I’ve gone from being house bound to try understand my symptoms and what helps and doesn’t help. My symptoms have gotten progressively worst since the beginning however I didn’t have a single treatment offered to me. I was given the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue / ME as an avenue to get me into the pain clinic where I’d be able to seek council on how to live with this debilitating disease.

    Even 1.5 yrs since that diagnosis and I’m still waiting to see the Pain Clinic. It took 4 months of barely sleeping through the pain, losing my job due to another relapse, a mental breakdown due to not being able to cope with my illness combined with a negative reaction to sleeping medication (only taken 3 times within the month prior to the breakdown) and an admission to a&e during the breakdown to finally have my GP act on treating me for the symptoms that have picked my life apart time and time again …

    After having a number of different teams write to him to question why I handy been admitted to the pain clinic, and why I haven’t had a treatment he finally prescribed me Gabapentin. It instantaneously changed my life. The cramping pain decreased by 40% therefor elevating the trapped nerve pain referral, and my muscle spasms. I still have these symptoms but they are no longer debilitatingly painful. I struggled to eat because I was in so much pain for the past 2.5 yrs. Even if I had an appetite I could never finish a meal.

    I’ve been on this for just over a week?? At only 900mg per day I have been able to do so much more socially, I have had 2 completely pain free days (until in over did it each time) after only having 3 pain 3 days in the past 2 yrs :(… because I’m still symptomatic my doctor advised upping my dosage. By the end of the weekend I’ll be on 1,800. I have been getting increasingly bloated but I believe it’s because it does slow your metabolism down.

    I usually pass stools 4 times a day even with a poor appetite? I’ve been known to go for 7! All be it healthy stools it’s still excessive… Now I go once or twice a day. So yes I have been getting increasingly more bloated. But my bowels have relaxed (they’re usually cramping too) so I do get lots of gas as the tablets kick in and relax my muscles.

    I find I’m much more thirsty on the tablets and this could be contributing to passing stools less often. However, if anything finding a medication that actually works (I really wish I’d been given this treatment a couple yrs ago…) has increased my energy levels, ability to do more things. So why shouldn’t it enable me to start an exercise program?

    I work with elite athletes. I specialize in musculoskeletal imbalances and trigger point therapy and Myofascial release for alleviating pain and correcting posture. As well as this I was working as a PE teacher and sports coach. The 5 hrs or so I was able to be on my feet I put to use by working. Doing jobs I loved. They were the only thing that got me through the passed 2 yrs?

    After recently giving up my coaching work due to the CFS/ME relapse because of too much physical exertion and cutting my clinic hrs down until I’m able to regain the strength to treat for more hours my activity levels have definitely dropped. Finally not being in anywhere near as much pain, my appetite has come back tenfold. I’m over eating for the love of eating. I missed this so much!! I’ll see something, I’ll know if it’s going to taste good and I’ll want to eat it – because I can! Finally.

    It is early days. Completely positive outcomes so far. Only side effect being dehydration and a slower metabolism. I can take the extra pounds for giving me my life back… and I’ll definitely lose them soon as I have a treatment that I know is definitely working and get back to coaching! That’s what I have to say… it’s definitely down to lifestyle choices.

    I’ve gained a food baby due to enjoying eating again and not holding back… next week I’ll be back on my strict organic, gluten free and alkaline diet as that’s the only thing that proved to better my symptoms before the treatment. No point throwing that out the window. I wish you all luck with your treatments.

  • Tom November 3, 2016, 2:19 pm

    I have been taking Gaba for about a month and a half due to referred back pain in my hip and quad and subsequent steroid injections a week ago. I am in the process of weaning off of same. In 4 days I have lost 3 to 4 pounds of weight. I eat healthy and did exercise hard prior to this latest episode (competitive basketball, weight training, running, walking, etc.)… not bad for a 68 year old. Should I be concerned? The young assistants that now populate doctors offices do not have a clue (in my case).

  • Karina M Oishei October 10, 2016, 7:15 am

    I too have gained 10 or 15 lb after weighing about 136 for 20 yr. I was prescribed 100 mg 3x a day for relentless hot flashes. They are milder I admit but this is not worth it. I take it at night and notice a little dizziness and am sometimes awake until 6 am. If I skip a day, the headaches are ferocious. I read something about it being rough weaning off it.

    As of tomorrow, I am taking 2 a night for a week, then one a night for the next week. Wish me luck. I also notice apathy. I bought new paint and brushes for a couple of projects and they are still in the bag. That’s not me. I’ve been an artist all my life and had a paint company because I was happy as a lark restoring high end properties. Just 3 months on it and it’s changing me. No thanks.

  • Jamari G September 29, 2016, 10:34 pm

    I have never weighed more than 115lbs. My doctor started me on 300mg of gabapentin at bedtime for my RLS; it caused me to become more anxious, so he rose my dose to 600mg at bedtime and 300mg in the morning. I have gained 20lbs w/in a month. It makes my stomach very round.

    • Sara October 6, 2016, 2:10 pm

      Reading this thread has been so helpful! I have been around 115 lbs my entire adult life at 5’6″ tall. I used to take gabs at s low dose as needed and did not experience weight gain. About a year ago my neuropathy became much worse and I am up to 175 lbs, which is by far the heaviest I have ever been. I’ve also noticed water in my extreme ties and belly along with very puffy skin. I also take suboxone and was blaming that as I heard that can also be a culprit.

      I never would have guessed the gabapentin, especially since when I bring it up to Drs I usually get the whole diet and exercise talk. I am a smart girl and a very healthy eater. I am a vegetarian who stays away from sugar and and consume Most of my calories through whole food smoothies made of all natural fruits veggies nuts and seeds. My weight gain has completely negatively affected my life and I have not gotten a Dr to take the time to listen to my concerns.

      I’m also tired and lazy for the first time in my life and have zero motivation or zest for life. It is all I can do to get up and go to work in the morning. I keep hearing that this is all due to depression but I don’t feel depressed, simply lethargic and a completely different woman. Working out used to be a passion of mine but now all I want to do is nap or lay on my couch. After trying to get off of suboxone and not seeing any weight loss results I was about to give up until finally stumbling upon this page.

      Thank each of you for sharing your stories! I have edema in my arms hands and leg but it is not pitted edema. This has been such a struggle that I am actually starting to fall into a depression. But I am trying to assure my doctors that I’m depressed because of these side effects especially the weight gain and how I have no zest for life, not depressed first which of course they all think is causing the weight gain. Thank you everybody again!!

  • Cindy September 23, 2016, 1:58 pm

    I was on Gabapentin 300 mg, 3 times a day for close to a year for back problems and following surgery. I gained 15 pounds. I finally weaned down to zero (an awful process) and have been off the Gaba for a week. Desperately hoping I can drop the weight. If anyone has lost after stopping gabapentin, how long did it take? Any tips?

  • Linda Zelm September 19, 2016, 11:05 pm

    I have gained 16 pounds in 30 days with gabapentin. My weight was stable even with 5 mg of prednisone. But I need the drug for pain management. Gain due to increased appetite and sweet and carb cravings which augmented those same cravings I already had. I’ve tried to restrict calories but am not very motivated. Seems like pain flare ups also cause carb cravings too. Not yet obese but definitely overweight. The gain seems to have stopped for now.

  • Lisa Meredith September 9, 2016, 8:25 pm

    I had a horse accident on July 22 of this year. I am 7 weeks today out of that injury. I suffered a fractured back, fractured neck, a cranial fracture, and a severe closed head injury. I am on 300 mg gabapentin a day along with amitriptyline. I have gained a significant amount of weight in 7 weeks. I thought it was my lack of activity and not paying attention to what I was eating. It does help my pain but honestly I can not do this. I feel and look like a blimp.

  • Jess September 1, 2016, 2:00 pm

    I gained 22 pounds in 2 months, a year after being on Gabapentin. Nothing else had changed, my doctor was certain it was that. Went from 145 to 167. I am so unhappy. Nothing fits and the doctor acts like it’s not a big deal, but to me it is. I’m not used to looking or feeling like this. I don’t want my husband to even look at me. If I keep gaining weight I will stop the drug and just smoke pot I guess. I can’t deal with it, mentally.

  • Xanthia August 28, 2016, 11:37 pm

    I think the drug company that makes Gralise/gabapentinER under report incidence of weight gain as a side effect. My pharmacist said they do that because they know people wouldn’t take it. I think doctors continue to dismiss weight gain as a side effect because they know their patients would be noncompliant.

    Doctors think it’s more important to take for the reason given (neuropathy) and weight gain shouldn’t be the reason to stop taking. To a patient weight gain can CAUSE depression. Some patients care deeply about weight gain. Doctors and drug companies don’t have the right to lie to get people to do what they want them to do.

    A doctor is “hired” by the patient to treat and INFORM with the truth and it should be entirely up to the patient to take it or not. The doc knows that once they get the patient on the drug it’s very difficult to discontinue taking gabapentin. Doctors STOP lying and denying side effects! You have an obligation to disclose them BEFORE a patient is hooked!

  • joanne August 28, 2016, 7:52 pm

    I have MS and take neurontin for the pain, muscle spams and nerve damage. I am on the maximum dosage and over a six month period have gained 13lbs. I watch what I eat, stay active and workout. Just went to my neurologist and told her of the frustration I am experiencing not being able to lose weight.

    She told me “You won’t lose weight while on neurontin”. Great. My weight is a big issue for me, and gaining and still trying everything to lose it, doesn’t make me very happy.

  • Ann August 28, 2016, 5:38 pm

    I have been on gabapentin 900 mg for 2.5 years along with norco and cymbalta for neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia. I have gain 60 pounds on gabapentin. I have recently been more active and have not been able to loose the weight. I know other people that have also gained weight on gabapentin. Along with having depression, the weight gain does increase your depression. Gabapentin does help with the pain but at the cost of a big weight gain increase.

  • Mary August 26, 2016, 3:36 pm

    I only recently started to take Gabapentin 300 mg once a day and have noticed every morning I have gained a lb. I am taking it for nerve damage following a stroke. I am considering stopping it before I my weight gets out of control. My blood sugar is great so it’s not what I am eating that is making me gain weight.

  • TINA August 24, 2016, 12:45 pm

    I started taking 1200 mg daily in July and have gained about 15 lbs to an insatiable appetite! :( I am stopping them today!

  • Erica August 20, 2016, 7:25 pm

    I went from a size 4 to a size 10 in less than a year. I was prescribed this medication for severe, practically unexplained neck pain resulting from a car accident. Literally my MRIs were clean and I even received Trigger Point and Nerve Block injections in my C2-C4 vertebrae and in the Occipital nerves. (I didn’t know all of these crazy medical words before the accident). The accident was in September of 2015 and I began taking the medication in November.

    I was 17 at the time. This was my senior year of high school. Did physical therapy for 12 weeks and saw a chiropractor for 3 months with no improvement, the pain actually got worse. I put on TWENTY (20) pounds in less than a year. I did not change my diet or activities drastically. If anything, I exercised more. I would say that with the medication, I was hungry ALL THE TIME.

    I did not find out until July of 2016 that the Gabapentin (neurontin) is supposedly notorious for causing weight gain. Oh, and not to mention, the new doctor had told me that the medicine actually commonly causes inflammation and irritation of joints and muscles, which was part of the reason I was taking it because the doctor who prescribed it to me told me it would prevent that.

    The medicine also made it very hard for me to focus in school or just in general. I had trouble paying attention and remembering things. I would even forget what I was talking about in the middle of a sentence quite frequently. I felt slow and stupid, and I learned it was because of the medicine. I was on a dosage of one 100mg capsule in the morning and two at night. My new doctor had me take one less each week to wean myself off of the medication and I am feeling much better.

    IN ADDITION – I was extremely lethargic, my behavior was inconsistent and I was extremely impulsive. I was NOT MYSELF. I do not recommend this medication AT ALL, I gained the “Freshman 15” my senior year of high school. And I’m really hoping I’ll be able to get it off. Also, I received the injections in my neck in early June of 2016, I began seeing a decrease in pain at the end of July 2016.

    However, I’m not sure if that is related to the injections or if this is just something that decided to heal over time. It took 11 months for my pain to go from a chronic 7/10 to at most a 3/10. My new doctor who is a headache pain specialist says that it could be because I recently experienced a change in environment (I went on vacation). In other words, the prolonged pain could be stress-related. Regardless, I should’ve been off of this medication a long time ago.

  • Linda Allen August 17, 2016, 12:13 am

    I have been taking 100 mg of Gabapentin for almost a year. With no change in eating behavior, I have gained 25 pounds.

  • Julie August 16, 2016, 3:23 am

    I found this site searching for “Gabapentin bloating” So nice to know that I’m not alone. I feel like a Macy’s Parade balloon! My middle is puffy and it feels really uncomfortable. I’ve gained 5 pounds in three months.

    I’m going to try to lower the dose and see what happens. I am a healthy eater and very active so this is very frustrating for me. I actually could learn to live with the weight, but the bloated, full-feeling is awful! It is definitely a side effect of Gabapentin.

    Best wishes for everyone on this site.

  • Jesse August 4, 2016, 7:03 am

    I’ve come to a realization that my medication, Gabapentin, prescribed to me by my doctor for around two years, may be the cause of my abnormal weight gain. Before I ever took this medicine, I never had a slow metabolism, and even at my laziest doing nothing a whole summer, I could still go back to school running seven minute miles. I looked up the side affects of the medication, and it stands true.

    I’ve had consistent food cravings, drowsiness, slow metabolism, and water retention. Slowly over my year in college I’ve gained over 20 pounds from 150-170(while working out as well), and before that, summer before senior year, 130-150. I can’t say for sure it’s my “eating choices” because I’ve never had good eating choices before this medication, and never got fat.

    I’ve been working out but this summer I still gained weight. I am now 173. Also, like my friends who are skinny and eat unhealthy or do nothing all day, never got fat, like how I used to. And before I took this medicine, weight gain was never an issue.

  • CMB July 29, 2016, 3:30 pm

    I have been on Gabapentin twice in my life. The first in 2009, after a neck surgery c567 – I began having burning and stabbing pain throughout my body and increased over the years in my hands and feet. I took a very high dose as the pain progressed and the drug seemed to wear off. I went from 600mg a day to over 3,000mg a day.

    I did not gain weight as I ate very little. I seemed determined to not gain weight, and I exercised every day. It didn’t seem to effect my hormone levels, but it definitely affected my sex drive. I went off of it after 8 months due to so many other side effects. Recently in 2016, I started again, up to 1200mg. a day, the pain reduction is within 24 hours of starting the medication and very effective.

    BUT, I gained a pound a week, as this time the food cravings were so strong, so I controlled that as much as I could and worked out a lot. I still gained. So, the above article really gives you a measure of reality, reasons and helpful knowledge. I take it as little as possible now, only when during the Summer months I know it will be hot out. The heat makes my burning ignite and I cannot tolerate it.

    So, the rest of the year I live in pain. My advice, if you have neck or back surgery… see a Laser Surgeon. Not a Neurosurgeon. I have CRPS or RSD, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. I will have for the rest of my life because my nerves were damaged permanently in my neck, during that surgery. I urge you to see what Laser Surgery can do for you first…

    I will see one soon to deaden the nerves and clean up the root base that fragments of tissue and bone are irritating. I have suffered too long and there is no relief other than these drugs with all these awful side effects. I wish you well, I hope this helps. God Bless. CMB

  • Jennifer July 28, 2016, 4:03 am

    Reading all of these comments, I know I have to stop taking Gabapentin. I wondered why I had become very bloated, my hands and ankles feel full of water. My chest has swollen up, my belly feels like it is full of jelly. I have been putting clothes together to donate that no longer fit, items that fit a few years ago when I weighed more than I do now.

    The last Rheum. I saw I had explained all of these side effects. He told me to exercise more and use swimming as an exercise, yeah because we all have access to pools! Then his answer was to throw more of this Gabapentin at me. What a flake. I was on 900 mg, maybe actually taking 60 a day. After increasing to 1800, I ballooned up, I feel like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man!

    He wanted me on even more, 2700 to 3600. He was not listening to my weight gain stories. Other strange side effects: confusion, not remembering what I am saying, unable to think of words when speaking, recall for nuggets of data in my brain such as needed for Jeopardy is gone, my head feels like all of the blood has rushed to it resulting in daily headaches, not being able to put weight on ankles right after standing up, crazy food cravings that make no sense such as for chocolate, and having my attach actually physically growl loudly after just eating a meal.

    I am hungry all the time, I also go to the bathroom far less. I have gained about 20lbs in being on this crap drug in about 6 months, the increase happening a month ago. I, for one, am tired of these drs not listening to us patients. Such as studies show only 3% gain weight. BS! I am here in front of you telling you the drug I am taking has caused massive weight gain and bloating.

    I am proof. But they want to INCREASE the dose even more. Outrageous. Further, drug manufacturers have a long history. Of lying about the side effects of their drugs, all the way up to our and out faking their own testing. You can bet the weight gain on this drug for all users is closer to something like 40 to 50%. The 3% makes it seem like a wonder drug.

    I will be stopping this drug over next few days. I hope I can lose some of this jelly belly I have unfortunately obtained.

    • CMB July 29, 2016, 3:35 pm

      I feel your pain. I felt the same way. Most people that I know who take this drug gain weight and have memory issues. I had red spots, yellowing eyes, lost my sex drive, got plump, then depressed, etc… Read the side effects, they will happen and it is just a matter of time.

  • Corissa July 7, 2016, 2:11 am

    I have been taking Gabapentin for almost a year now. I started at 100mg 3 times a day and am now taking 600 mg 3 times a day. In november (soon after I started gabapentin on 10/31/15) I gained 10 lbs in one week. After that, I figured it was just because my birthday and thanksgiving. However, I constantly felt hungry and the pain continued. I had them take my meds up twice and within the next 2 months I gained 20 more pounds.

    After feeling like I was crazy, (since I started at 120 pounds and never had issues in the past) I talked to my doctor about this weight gain ( not checking the side effects of the meds). My doctor advised me to diet and basically told me when you get older (I’m 22) your metabolism slows down. So for the next 3 months I went on a diet.

    So far I have lost 5 pounds and gained 10 and that brings us up to date. I’m positive its Gabapentin making me gain the weight. I have tried working out. I’ve even dropped my calories to 1000 or less a day and I am doing nothing but maintaining the weight I am at. I have also felt very tired lately and unmotivated to do much as well as some depression over the weight gain.

    I’m not overweight yet but I am getting close and I am so confused as to how I have went to my doctor 3 times over this since I started the meds and am just finding out this is a side effect (from my own research nonetheless). I haven’t even got my back pain to go away. Sometimes it does and it’s probably less than when I started Gabapentin but I do not think its worth it.

  • Marilyn July 2, 2016, 4:44 am

    I have been taking Gabapentin 300 mg. 4x/day for almost 2 years for sciatica, fibromyalgia, neuropathy and lower back pain. I was also put on Norco 10/325 mg. for severe arthritis in my vertebrae and feet because I take Coumadin and cannot take aspirin products. In the last 8 months, my doctor increased the Gabapentin to 600 mg. 4x/day.

    I have started gaining weight which has put me into panic mode! I had weighed 225 before the Gabapentin. In spite of eating right, exercising and seeing my doctor regularly, I have gained 30 lbs! My legs and hands swell up, I’m tired, lack motivation and I just want to lose the weight. I know it has to be the Gabapentin. I don’t take anything else that would cause such weight gain.

  • Alex July 1, 2016, 2:07 am

    I’ve been taking Gabapentin since about June 7th, 300-1200 mg a day, for shingles pain. In just over 20 days I’ve had a rapid increase in my size that can’t be due to diet – I’ve actually been eating less – and isn’t really that attributable to exercise either. I’ve been exercising less due to the shingles, but as I stated already, I’ve also been eating less due to the appetite-numbing effect of the other drugs I’m on.

    What I find intriguing is that, once in the past three weeks, I stopped taking Gaba for a couple of days and immediately I started to go back to a smaller size. I subsequently had an outbreak of shingles pain, started taking it again yesterday and lo and behold, today I look like a plus-size version of myself.

    I also noticed that in the same 36 hour period I went from peeing about 5 times a night to only 1 time per night, and much less. This drug definitely causes water retention – it’s the only explanation. As a result I will be avoiding it because, like many women, I have had eating disorders in the past and am still sensitive enough about my weight to become depressed by such rapid ups and downs in how I look.

    The second thing that I find intriguing is this comment above: Clinical trials suggest that less than 3% of all Gabapentin users will gain weight – this means that only a small number of people 3/100 will gain weight.”

    The same article then goes on to state that longer term Gabapentin users frequently report weight gain. I may be mistaken here, but have any pharmaceutical companies ever done long-term studies? AFAIK, they always do the absolute minimum of testing that they can get away with, and in most cases, that means that they only do testing on healthy *men* for periods lasting *less than one month*.

    So the moral of the story is that, just because ‘studies suggest’ something doesn’t mean it’s applicable to you, and the way that you are using the drug. In my opinion, it’s simply a fact that gabapentin causes weight gain in many people, in the long term. The only reason why the studies suggest otherwise is because they were badly done.

    So the second moral of the story is that you should get off gabapentin as soon as you can get by without it, or else switch to something else for pain relief if you’re sensitive about your weight. Oh and if any pharmaceutical workers are reading this… stuff like this is the reason why no one trusts you guys!!

  • Jen June 24, 2016, 7:36 pm

    I’ve been taking Gabapentin for my bipolar disorder and it has helped me greatly with anxiety and depression. However, I noticed that it was harder for me to lose weight after taking the medication because I tend to gain a few pounds in the winter and then bounce back for the summer. I started to take Gabapentin in late 2014 and because it made me so sleepy I stopped exercising as much as I used to but I still loved it.

    I became more vocal in my opinions and more confident. Being able to socialize with people was so wonderful I figured I could just exercise more if I need to later. I continued to take about 900mg a day and lost weight because I worked at a very active job where I had to lift heavy things and walk around a lot and I also ran a lot. But where I was once 5’3″ 120 lbs, found myself stuck at 130lbs, no matter what I did.

    I was confused because I was not eating very much due to personal problems. But in 2015 I got a different job that was mostly sedentary and though I did continue to exercise and maintain my weight I found it was not as easy to lose the weight as it use to be so I did have to work out profusely to maintain my weight of 130lbs. But in 2016 I broke up with my boyfriend and coupled with my ex husband dying I went through a deep depression and started to increase the dosage.

    I started taking 1800mg a day and sometimes even 3300mg a day. I had gained a significant amount of weight since then. My job now is sedentary and I stopped exercising as consistently as I used to. I also drank more than I used to. I really love this medication but I am finding it extremely hard to bounce from the weight gain. I was up to 148lbs so I started a weight loss program recently and am struggling to lose the weight I gained.

    It’s hard to exercise when I am so drowsy on this medication but I try not to eat so much but it is still really hard to lose a pound so I am thinking of getting off the medication. I read that it slows the metabolism and increases water retention. You also get cravings. I just can’t deal with this weight gain anymore it’s making me very depressed so I am going to stop taking it. I will just have to deal.

  • Wendy June 23, 2016, 2:12 am

    When I 1st started Gabapentin @100mg I hadn’t gained any weight. But when I got home from Rehab the dose of 300mg 3 times a day wasn’t helping me with the RLS. So I went to my Doctor & she raised it to 600mg 2 times daily. Took this dose for almost 2 weeks. It wasn’t working so my Doctor put me on 700mg(a 600mg + 100mg) 3 times a day. So with this all being said.

    When I started taking Gabapentin I weighed 140lbs & a size 9 pants and medium sized shirts. I started noticing that my clothes WEREN’T fitting me anymore. But I chalked it up to being SOBER & finally eating more than I used to. But when my size 12-13 size pants didn’t fit & my daughter said try on these they might fit(she wore them when she was almost 8months pregnant) so I tried them on and they fit perfectly.

    I was excited til I looked at the size that they are “size 16”. I now weigh over 170lbs. When I weighed myself I said there’s NO WAY I’ve gained this much weight by the small amount of food I’ve eaten in 2 months. So I typed in can Gabapentin cause weight gain… Hence is why I’m writing this & making a Doctors appointment in the morning!! Sincerely Yours, Wendy J.

  • Anne June 20, 2016, 11:59 pm

    I have been on high doses of Gabapentin for nine months for nerve damage and extreme pain. I have gained 10% in body weight to the extent that I am now breathless on exertion. I feel bloated, my face is very puffy and there has been no other change in medications. I force myself to walk 2kms daily, sometimes up to 4 klms and swim 20 mins 3x a week.

    I feel so down as I cannot fit into any of my clothes. The small benefit in relief from nerve pain is not worth these other side effects. When I went to reduce the amount of Gabapentin, I had a reaction with severe mood swings. These issues should be addressed.

  • Alison June 18, 2016, 2:56 pm

    I’m taking 600 mgs 2x daily for symptoms associated with Multiple Sclerosis, which I was diagnosed with last summer. I’ve gained 14 pounds but it looks like 3 or 4 stone because I’m so bloated. I’ve got massive spinal issues (fusion c4-5, herniated discs in my lower spine) and managed both of these issues through a daily walk but now I’m so uncomfortably bloated and sluggish that I can’t even walk!

    I had to miss a family wedding recently because my back was thrown out so badly that I was bed-ridden for a week. That’s never happened before – I was always up and about after a day. I’m going off this medication asap…and I would encourage everyone with pain to at least try to supplement your daily intake with magnesium. 500mgs a day mitigated so much of my pain before I went on gabapentin that I’m wondering if it is even necessary for me to take it at all.

    My doctor was the one who told me about the magnesium and it immediately made me feel so much better.

  • cassie r garrett June 17, 2016, 1:43 pm

    I started taking Gabapentin 900 mg at night to help me sleep. That was 6 months ago and I’ve gained 20 lbs! I gained 10 lbs the 1st 2 weeks! 45 minutes after taking it I notice I’m hungry. I haven’t changed what I eat but now I’m following a strict diet and walking 2 miles everyday for 2 months. I’ve only lost a few pounds. I’m so glad for all of the comments on this website!

  • Jamie June 10, 2016, 4:06 pm

    I am on Gabapentin 300 mg twice a day. I’m also on meloxicam, Armour thyroid, tizanidine. I have thoracic outlet syndrome. I am 5’8 and normally weigh around 127-132. I am currently 147 and despite trying to change my diet or exercise more I am not even losing an ounce.

  • Lynne DiSanti June 9, 2016, 10:20 pm

    I am not overeating. In fact, what I eat now is pretty much what I ate when dieting (& would lose weight quickly). Gabapentin increases blood sugar level. A high blood sugar level causes weight gain.

  • stacia June 7, 2016, 10:27 pm

    I have now been taking 3600mg of gabapentin per day for 2 years now. I have gained in excess of 30 lbs. I’m reluctant to change the medication because the pain I was experiencing from my trigeminal neuralgia was so severe that I’m not sure I want to risk the possibility of trying a new medication and it not working. This medication has truly been amazing for me. I have been pain free for 2 years now. If anyone has any suggestions, please advise.

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