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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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{ 127 comments… add one }
  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Danni June 6, 2016, 12:23 pm

    I’m seriously struggling to lose the two stone I’ve put on since starting gabapentin two years ago. It’s impossible and is making me very depressed. I don’t think I can come off it due to my health conditions but I can’t carry on like this.

  • George June 4, 2016, 4:19 pm

    Now in my fifth year of progressive idiopathic peripheral neuropathy, my doctor prescribed Gabapentin; 300 mg every 8 hours (twice a day) and 600 mg at bed time. This prescribed treatment did relieve some of the paresthesia. After two months, with no change in lifestyle, physical activity or food consumption, I have gained approx. 5% of my former body weight. That weight gain places me in the “Overweight” BMI category.

  • CWhite May 24, 2016, 5:02 am

    I’ve been taking 300 mg t.i.d. for approx one month to help with pain from an extensive spinal surgery. I wasn’t sure at first what was causing my weight gain but finally attribute it to the gabapentin since nothing else had changed. I gained ten pounds in four weeks. I’ve been a consistent 135 lbs for years. Dieting and exercise was not helping. I was actually continuing to gain at the rate of about 2 lbs a week. This is substantial.

  • alice May 16, 2016, 10:03 pm

    I have Polycythemia Vera and gabapentin has been the only thing that has controlled the itching and stabbing that is very intense. Within 1-2 months I rapidly gained 15 pounds and it has stayed with me. I am on a high dose of 800mg 4x daily. I feel it has increased my appetite and lowered my motivation. The pain without the drug is too much to stop it, but the weight gain and lowered motivation is life altering.

  • jayne May 15, 2016, 2:03 am

    I started it Feb. 3rd and have gained 13 lbs! I’m not small to begin with so this is not good. I’m way hungrier and crave sugary foods. Have no motivation whatsoever. This was to treat my muscle and all over pain. I take it with flexeril and trazodone.

  • Tammy May 11, 2016, 9:30 pm

    I was suffering from severe hemiplegic migraines for months on Topamax so they switched me to 300 mg of Gabapentin 3 times/day. I have gained at least 20 lbs and reduced my intake to 1200 calories and increased my exercise to 2-3 miles/day brisk walking. I’ve gone from a size 10-16! I’m on 100 mg lasix and still hold a lot of weight in my legs!

    I am miserable with the weight gain but without the gabapentin I was between a walker & a wheelchair! People keep saying “but you feel better…just feel better weighing more. Wouldn’t you rather be free of the headaches?” Well of course I would but… isn’t there something else?

    SOO frustrated! Doctors give you the “eat healthy and exercise” as a solution… as if I’m not already doing that! It’s nice to not be alone in the documented “3%.” I think they’re under-reporting considerably!

    • Danni June 6, 2016, 12:28 pm

      I’m also eating 1200 calories a day but the weights not shifting. I’m unable to exercise due to my condition but I’ve always been around 9-10 stone but have gone up to just over 13 since I started taking it two years ago. I agree they must be under reporting, so many people seem to have the same issue. It’s driving me crazy.. I’m do depressed being this big. It’s giving me anxiety too, I think people are looking at me and hate how I look in clothes! What are we meant to do?

  • Jennifer May 7, 2016, 12:28 pm

    I have been on Gabapentin for a year and a half. My doctor started me on 300 milligrams 3 times a day. Now I’m on 600 milligrams in the morning 300 milligrams in the afternoon and 600 milligrams at bedtime. Before I started on Gabapentin I weighed 120 pounds and now I weigh 162 pounds. I’m 5 feet 2 inches and that’s a lot to gain.

    I was in a size 2 now I’m in a size 14. Plus my hair has fallen out and now I’m bald and need to wear a wig and my sex drive is nonexistent. I’m on Gabapentin for my epilepsy I have both gran maul and petite seizures and also for my anxiety. I now have low self-esteem issues plus depression. I go to the gym 5 times a week and walk 2 miles a day.

    I watch what I eat and still gaining weight. My doctor is refusing to change me onto a new drug and actually said that I’m not exercising enough. I looked at her like she was crazy. I just wanted to share my experience with you all and hopefully by you reading this helps you. I wish you all the best.

    • Susan May 30, 2016, 11:55 am

      Thank you for your comment. I too have gained about 10 pounds since taking gabapentin 300 every night at bedtime for over a year. It definitely helps me sleep, but the weight gain is not a good thing, so I’m going to taper off it.

  • Shelly May 6, 2016, 5:54 pm

    I have been on Gabapentin off an on 3 times over the last 10 years, to treat my Trigeminal Neuralgia. The first time, I gained at least 25 lbs over a period of 3 months. The second time was about 10 lbs over 2 months. I am now taking it again, and have gained about 10 lbs over 6 & 1/2 weeks. It’s terrible. I am going to slowly wean myself off. I never realized that this drug causes weight gain until this time – it’s awful!

  • Cathy April 29, 2016, 3:23 pm

    I was 180 to 198… taking 1800 at night and 900 during the day. I could never get below 178… no matter how many diet pills I tried, diet changes. NOTHING worked – till I stopped the 1800 at night. My Dr took me off the 1800. I took myself off of the 900. I LOST 10 pounds. I am a bit stiff but with my self image restored! This worked for me, but may not for others.

  • Linda April 25, 2016, 10:42 pm

    My Doctor suggested me trying Gabapentin in lieu of my Lyrica. I went from 146 pounds to 169 pounds in 6 months. I told my Doctor I wanted to go back on Lyrica as I only gained 5 pounds on this! I take Lyrica for my Fibromyalgia. My Doctor denied the fact that the weight was gained by taking Gabapentin but she weaned me off the 1800 mg a day back to my Lyrica.

    P.S. I’m still trying to lose the last 10 pounds. I’m 5’7″ and I am a very active person. I walk everyday and during the hot months, I’m in the pool swimming along with my early morning walks and I don’t eat red meat. I eat a lot of fruits and veggies!

  • Kate April 24, 2016, 4:30 pm

    I’ve been on 800mg 4 x a day for almost a year now. My weight before Gabapentin was 125lb now I am up to 138lb, height 5 foot tall. I never once ate snacks or sugar. Since taking Gabapentin, I cannot get enough sugary foods. I eat a lot of fruits and raw vegetables during the day, always have, still crave sugary foods.

  • Lori B April 21, 2016, 5:38 pm

    I too have gained unexplained 15lbs taking 900mgs 2x/day of gabapentin. I can walk and stand up straight now but I am also going to planet fitness 3x/week to get core muscles stronger (this is my last ditch chance at not hurting as my MD says there is nothing they dare do as my lower back has too many issues with stenosis, scoliosis, degenerative disks).

    Never in my life have I biked 6 miles in 30 mins, worked on muscle “machines”. And I still have gained this weight. I can’t even fit into my “fat” clothes. I have had knee replacements, and now shoulder and cervical issues but am single and care for my home, a summer cottage, have 2 small animals, work as a nurse so I have had to work hard to do all that.

    I can’t afford to be sedentary but it takes all the energy I have-no energy to have any “fun”. Am also on antidepressants/bipolar, hormones, bladder and reflux meds, vit. B/ D. Multi vit, fish oil. But I have been on them for a long time. The GABA is new to my meds. And I think it explains my weight gain.

    I was thinking my weight gain had to do with turning 60. After reading all these comments I think I will start weaning off gaba and see if the pain comes back… My hope is all that exercise will keep me out of pain, standing up straight and walking. Thanks everyone for your comments.

  • Doreen Birkholz April 18, 2016, 8:23 pm

    Been taking 300 mg per day, sometimes 600 for the past 6 months. I have gained 10 lbs and am going off it.

  • Linda April 16, 2016, 5:19 am

    I have been on 300 mg gabapentin for pain from excessive scar tissue that is wrapped around organs. Have gained 25#. Always feel bloated and am totally miserable with my weight. I thought it was my age. Does anyone know if you can go off this cold turkey? I’ve done this before with other meds and made it through withdrawals but can’t find out anything on this.

  • Jay V. April 10, 2016, 5:45 am

    I’ve been on Gabapentin for 2.5 years due to chronic pain and the suspicion that I could have fibromyalgia, but I haven’t been officially diagnosed. I take two 300mg per day. I love that I’m now able to be on my feet for much longer. My joints aren’t randomly swelling up like they used to before gabapentin. However, I always feel drowsy.

    My neurologist said it shouldn’t last, but I’ve increased my hours of sleeping per night, and I still feel drowsy. I didn’t go to my GP for a few years, and I didn’t weigh myself much, so it’s hard to say how much weight I’ve gained, but I would estimate I’ve gained 5 pounds. Also, I’ve had a strong craving for carbs over the past year or so, and I never had cravings for anything when I was younger.

    Just lately I’ve realized that I’ve just become overweight according to the BMI, so I’m starting a major lifestyle change in my diet and exercise routines. But I have to be careful. If I don’t eat enough, I become lightheaded very quickly, and I didn’t experience this light-headedness before gabapentin. Also, walking is my only form of exercise since I also have hydrocephalus and a brain shunt, and I have encountered problems with other forms of exercise.

    So far, it feels like the only way for me to lose weight is if I eat a normal fulfilling meal during the day, a light meal at night, and ignore my hunger pangs right before I go to bed. I know this isn’t the healthiest option, but I’m still figuring this out. I’m starting my cutting down on processed foods and eating more vegetables, so I know that’s a good choice.

  • Diane April 9, 2016, 12:19 pm

    I have been on gabapentin for 10 months and have put on 15lbs. All this whilst STILL following a healthy eating plan on Slimming world. I had previously lost almost 80lbs in an effort to improve my health and help with hot flashes and fibromyalgia which cause me to have sleepless nights. The 600mg of medication taken at night helped with the pain and hot flashes, but I feel bloated with fluid retention and totally lethargic.

    I’m craving more carbs and chocolate and I am surprised that I have only gained 15lbs… but as I said, I am still following a healthier eating regime. I’ve decided to stop taking it and look for another way. No idea what yet, but I don’t need to add weight-related depression into the mix!

  • Jay March 22, 2016, 12:36 pm

    I’ve been on Gabapentin for 5 months. For most of that time it was 600 milligrams per day. About a month ago I switched to 800 milligrams per day and I am up 2 dress sizes and about 20 pounds and I have not at all changed my eating habits other than to cut back on food intake to the bare minimum and my exercise level is the same.

    I regret ever going on this drug and am at this time going off because the weight gain has now grown so very uncomfortable that I just can’t take it. I would rather suffer my RLS than to take this drug or any normally used in this class. All affect brain chemistry and all can cause weight gain. Please Pharma – can you do better than this? Our health matters!

  • Rob March 17, 2016, 4:16 pm

    I am a member of the US Army and exercise regularly to stay fit. I started taking Gabapentin 7 months ago due to pain associated with cervical spine injury. In spite of continuing with a good exercise regimen and maintaining a good diet, I have gained 10 lbs and over an inch on my waist. I have spoken with my doctor and others, and I believe the occurrence of weight gain to be higher than reported in the article.

    • Jennifer July 28, 2016, 3:35 am

      Absolutely agree with you. Drug manufacturers are not going to tell the public the REAL side effects their drug causes. They don’t make great money that way. I wouldn’t doubt if the weight gain effects 30 to 40% of users. There is no way the people having this problem is anywhere near 3%.

  • Tmlm March 14, 2016, 5:01 am

    Oh I knew it. My shrink said it’s what I’m eating. I barely eat, I hardly ever eat junk. I have been on Gabapentin for a few years. Spinal surgeries, degenerative disk diseases, fibro, yada yada yada. I’ve gained 25 lbs. I look swollen. No matter what I do, it doesn’t change my weight. I don’t understand why someone can’t make a nerve pain med that doesn’t have weight gain as a side effect.

    I, like the majority of you, hurt worse from the extra weight, then they up the meds… It’s a vicious circle. Wish there was some other meds to help us. I know Gabapentin works good, but the tradeoff sucks. I’m thinking of easing myself off of it. I can’t take feeling swollen… It’s uncomfortable, depressing, and hurts my back more. That’s 3 against 1…screw this med.

  • Cynthia G March 12, 2016, 4:29 pm

    I have been on this drug for several years post spinal fusion L4-5. I stopped for two years but RLS returned and resumed. I take 100mg twice a day as needed for polyarthritis. I have RA and when it’s active I take more. I take 600mg at night or I cannot sleep through the night, and sleep is necessary for healing. I do have edema from this drug and gained a few extra pounds too.

    However, I maintain a low carb diet and do not eat heavy meals after 3:00 pm. I crave sweets and carbs, so limit my intake to early in the day. I am 69 yrs old, had 18 surgeries in twenty years for my arthritis and was on every pain med there was available. I weaned myself off of all medications two years ago, including chemo drug, Rituxan, prescribed for my RA. My only saving grace is GABApentin.

    However, I agree, it does cause weight gain, but you can control it. I walk two miles a day, in all weather conditions. My Rheumatolgist said the best therapy for me is to KEEP MOVING, and stay away from anymore surgeries. It’s heartbreaking for me to read a lot of your posts, but keeping your. I don’t positive and stopping your pain meds, keep moving and mindful of the consequences of taking too much Gabapentin is not helping your mind either.

    Although they say it is not addictive, I disagree, it works on your neurotransmitters to shut down the nerve pain, so it has to be somewhat addictive. People our age have to be more careful when taking larger doses, so my personal advice is lower your dosage gradually to sustain your health. Eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies, drink a smoothie in the morning, to boost your natural sugars, omit white flour from your diet and WALK daily, keep a diary of your progress and be nice to yourself.

    It will get better, but don’t get dependent on this drug or any others, they are harmful. Since I follow this plan, I feel 100% better, and sleep through the night! Food is not your enemy, only the wrong foods. I love sweets and carbs, but trained my brain to eat them early in the day, and salads and fruits in the evening. Good luck my friends and stay mentally healthy as well.

    • Rebecca May 27, 2016, 10:25 pm

      Hi my friend. Good helpful hints. I have been following your regimen with no luck. I am 5 8″ 135 pounds. Very athletic and in shape. Since being on neurontin I have gained 15 pounds, lost it had to go back on it now taking the higher doses 3600 now I am up to 160 and climbing. I know it is the drug but with out it I won’t sleep.

      What they don’t warn you about is the coming off the drug too. How uncomfortable I feel trying to lower the dose. I won’t die without the neurontin just feel like I am without using the word withdrawal. Can you tell me how you were able to stop taking it or lowering it? Also have you ever had tingling in your skin anywhere or all over your body when lowering the dose?

  • Dana Whittaker March 10, 2016, 3:17 am

    I started taking Gabapentin 8 months ago, for migraines. I have gained 10 lbs. I am changing to Topamax.

  • Simie February 27, 2016, 6:54 am

    Hi, I have been on neurontin for about a week now and although I suffer from time to time with binge eating, this past week has been a nightmare. Aside from being super tired I’ve been having a never ending appetite and I’ve put on about 8-10 lbs this week from eating so much. It may have also made my depression come back so as per my doctor I am stopping it.

  • Cheryl rose February 24, 2016, 4:32 pm

    Started Gaba in Aug 2015, I gained 10 lbs in 3 weeks. Prior to that I had been stable at 155 for several years. I am on 1200mg in 3 divided doses. I refuse to go higher. Have gained another 10 lbs since the initial weight gain. All of a sudden BP up and blood sugar up as well. Not good, but can’t get off the Gaba.

  • Gail February 22, 2016, 4:37 pm

    I have been on gabapentin for over a month, starting at 200mg, then taking 300mg for hot flashes. Two weeks ago I started Nutrisystem. Sadly, I have not only not lost any weight but gained 2 & 1/2 pounds in the two weeks. I am now weaning myself off of it and will take the hot flashes. Pretty discouraging situation.

  • Steven February 16, 2016, 7:51 am

    I am 64 years old and male and I’ve been on 2700mg of gabapentin as result of an arm injury that I can’t shake off (I actually walked into a door frame whilst cleaning the house). This is an injury to an already arm damaged with ulnar nerve problems. I could manage the pain during the day but not at night when subconsciously I would turn on my side and wake up with lots of pain.

    My exercise regime remains the same as does my diet. My weight is 177lbs and is pretty steady. However, having been on gabapentin for around 2 weeks my weight is gradually increasing. The only difference I have is this drug and my weight has increased by 3 lbs. It’s something I need to keep an eye but fortunately for me I only see the taking of gabapentin as a short term measure for a couple of months maximum.

    Long term I dread to think how much weight I would put on. My feelings go out to all of you on this drug long term.

  • sandra February 8, 2016, 5:07 pm

    I am 5’1″ inches tall and I have gained 40lbs in the year and a half I have been on this drug. And the DR told me the gabapentin would not cause weight gain. He is wrong.

    • Leslie March 9, 2016, 11:25 am

      I’m also 5’1 and have gained 35 lbs in one year being on this med.

  • Donna February 1, 2016, 3:10 pm

    Has anyone lost the weight after stopping Gabapentin? If so, how long did it take before you lost the weight? Thank you for your help.

    • GerriB June 5, 2016, 5:43 pm

      I gained 20# in 2 months. Stopped the drug and it took me 10 months of dieting and exercising to get it off.

    • Danni June 6, 2016, 12:21 pm

      Hi, I’ve been dieting strictly for two weeks and haven’t lost a single pound. I could seriously cry. I’ve been taking gabapentin for two years and have put on about 2 stone. My weight is really causing me to feel depressed and I’m seriously considering coming off it. But what are the alternates?

  • Laurelle January 31, 2016, 6:16 am

    Oh my goodness!! I am so very glad I found this thread. I started gabapentin 6 years ago for chronic nerve pain in my legs and at the time it was an answer to prayer for the pain. However I started slowly gaining weight…2 months ago the chemist ran out of gabapentin and so the doctor prescribed me lyrics, no mention of side effect. My weight has skyrocketed.

    I weigh far more than I did at full term pregnancy and can’t even get into clothes I bought only 6 weeks ago, despite eating sensibly and light exercise (have been drowsy and tired too so less keen to exercise). I was blaming work, stress, agin (I’m 43) but I have had enough. I’m going to my doctor to get off this tomorrow!!! Ther must be something better. Has anyone stopped it and been able to lose the weight they gained?

  • Andreas Perrone January 28, 2016, 3:29 am

    I am so glad to have found this page. I have been on Gabapentin for 2 years for chronic nerve problems in my legs. I have gained 16 pounds. I can’t wait to tell my wife it’s caused by the meds and not the 12 Krispy Kreme doughnuts I eat each night.

    • Matt January 30, 2016, 12:39 pm


  • KCPeter January 26, 2016, 4:19 pm

    I have been taking Gabapentin for about seven years (initially it was prescribed in Jan. 2010). I am now nearly 67 yrs. old, so I began taking the drug when I was almost 61. It was prescribed for neuropathic pain (non-diabetic related), resulting from a scar tissue build- up at L5-S1 following back surgery in 1999. I had mild-to-moderate scoliosis and spinal stenosis. Initially, I took 800 mg of Gabapentin twice daily (BID).

    That same dosage level was increased to three times daily (TID) following a mild relapse in my pain. At the time the frequency was increased to TID, Tramadol was added. I got wonderful pain relief with the Gabapentin-Tramadol combination until late in 2014, since Tramadol had been reclassified and my PCP decided to eliminate the Tramadol and increase my Gabapentin dosage to four times daily (3200 mg daily).

    Most days, I only take the drug three times–when I get up (6:30 ish), then again at 11 AM, at 3 PM and, if needed, at 7 PM but often I do not take the 7 PM dosage. I began to gain weight BEFORE the Tramadol was eliminated but seriously gained weight a few months after the dosage had been increased to 3200 mg daily (i.e., in early-to-mid 2015). In Jan. 2010, when I began taking Gabapentin, I weighed about 232–I am 6’3″ and had weighed that amount for several years, rarely fluctuating.

    In summer 2011, I dieted, lost weight, and was down to 218 but I regained it all by the following spring 2012 when I weighed 232 again. One year later (spring 2013), I weighed the same but in the subsequent two years, I ballooned up to 272 by the summer of 2015. I dieted and lost about 13 lbs. (down to 259 ish) by last fall 2015 which is what I now weigh (Jan. 2016). As I said, I am 67 yrs. old and it is very hard to lose weight.

    I have enrolled in a Silver Sneakers program at my local YMCA where I just began taking yoga and low impact cardio classes for Active Older Adults. My PCP has recommended that I try a customized herbal blend to replace (over time) the Gabapentin, specifically due to my weight gain. I have never reported this problem to him as a side effect; he offered the option to me and I agreed to try it for three months.

    By the way, my LDL, HDL, triglycerides, and other blood work results are all within expected (normal) ranges. My BP is high (138/81 ish) but to date, I have not been prescribed any drugs for my BP. The goal is now to try to titrate off Gabapentin entirely, lose weight and also (most importantly) not experience any intolerable neuropathic pain symptoms. We’ll see how things go, although after reading the extensive list of possible reasons for weight gain on Gabapentin, I am optimistic.

    I have experienced fatigue (drowsiness), cravings for complex carbs and sugary treats, and low energy while on Gabapentin but I am also pretty sedentary. I am one of those relatively rare “patients” who has taken high dosages (2400-3200 mg. per day) over a long period of time (about 6 yrs.) so, if weight gain is a possible side effect of Gabapentin, I am a good candidate.

    I am hoping that lifestyle changes (i.e., watching my weight & eating more healthily + working out at the YMCA 4-5 times a week) in addition to shifting to a customized herbal compound to replace the Gabapentin, will help me turn the corner on this weight gain problem.

    • Laurelle January 31, 2016, 6:17 am

      Can I please ask where you went for a herbal treatment? I’d like to do the same.

    • Beverly July 7, 2016, 10:10 am

      Over 65 years of age 150/90 is now considered just the beginning of high B/P. Lower your salt intake and caffeine levels. If you drink soft drinks such as coke, it is high in caffeine and sodium. Also eat less processed food, such as lunch meats. Start being a label reader, you will be surprised how many foods are high in sodium levels. Keep in mind the ingredients are listed with the highest amounts first.

  • Lori Laws January 24, 2016, 3:33 am

    Glad I found these comments! I knew I couldn’t be alone in this. I was taking 300 mg gabapentin at bedtime for 8 months and gained 20 lbs and pretty severe edema. I stopped this drug a little over 1 week ago and am noticing weight loss. The edema is still there, but I am hoping it will go away with time.

    • Wes June 21, 2016, 5:08 pm

      Very similar story here, I KNEW I couldn’t be the only one questioning my weight gain. I was taking 600mg (300 x 2) Gabapentin for about 4 months and gained 20 pounds. While my nerve pain in my feet improved significantly (not completely), and that allowed me to get back to exercising 3x per week, I still gained all this weight. I couldn’t understand this rather backwards relationship: no exercise = no significant weight gain vs. more exercise, less pain = significant weight gain (??).

      Last week I reduced my dosage to 300mg per day and have lost 3 pounds in a week with all other factors being neutral. There’s no doubt in my mind I’m in the 3% group but if I can manage my nerve pain @300mg I’m going to do it and hopefully lose all the weight I gained.

  • Alfelia Lofton January 13, 2016, 12:25 pm

    My condition is Peripheral Neuropathy – my nerves are badly damage. I have been taking Gabapentin – 400MG’s since 2009. When I first starting taking the medication I was a size 6. Now it’s 2016, and I’m darn near a size “20”. I also have to take Folic Acid, Vitamin-B1, Cyclobenzaprine and (vitamin-D-50,000 IU D2. -but not everyday). I noticed the extreme weight gain and I told my doctor, so we decided to change the gabapentin to a new drug.

    When I read the ingredients for the new drug, which I don’t have the name of it at this time. I’m refusing to take because of the ingredients, I would be “DEAD BEFORE SUN DOWN”. I have to take 400mg 6-tablets daily = 2,400mg’s daily. I don’t sleep well and I have server muscle cramps. I am blowing up like a hippo… I need some “help”.

  • Ayr December 21, 2015, 8:28 pm

    I was prescribed 300 mg 3x per day of Gabapentin post total hip replacement plus aspirin, vitamin d3, Percocet, zanaflex, iron, and meloxicam for swelling. I have been on all of these medications at some point over the years prior to surgery with the exception of GABApentin without any weight gain. I weighed in presurgery at 203 lbs had the mandatory requirement of 2 day stay in hospital which I was given pretty much the regiment above.

    I came home at 219 lbs with considerable edema on the lower extremities. I had ditched the walker on my 2nd day home walked a mile that day. The 2nd day I rode 30 min on my spin bike. I could go on and on about activity yet I gained another 5 lbs and increased edema. All this with decreased caloric intake. I discontinued Gabapentin today.

  • freddie golphin December 21, 2015, 3:15 am

    I have been on gabapentin 300 mg for 3 months. I take it every eight hours. My weight was 210 lbs before I started this drug, now I am at 240 lbs and gaining each week. This is not good for me.

  • Lyne December 17, 2015, 11:02 am

    Hi everyone! Just so we are clear, I would not be able to function without the use of Gabapentin and Tegretol. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia. So, I have been using Gabapentin and Tegretol now for that amount of time. Dosage are 2700mg daily of GABA and 800mg daily of Tegretol. That being said, these meds have increased my appetite, my food cravings, my fatigue, and my lifestyle.

    I have gained 10% of my body weight. The weight gain stabilized after about a year. I now manage it (or it manages me?). Five years ago, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I have been taking Cymbalta since then with no weight gain. At least before I was diagnosed with TN. Hope it helps a little. -Lyne

  • Caleydog December 15, 2015, 3:11 pm

    Cyn: A lot of us understand what you’re going thru. I’ ve been on/done it all for back and other problems: epidurals, ablations, accupuncture, diazepam, baclofen, lyrica, oxy, fentynal and more. Nothing works for back problems, drop foot and odd seizures in legs which is my primary complaint as of late. Prelim. diagnosis was restless leg syndrome, but now my legs seize so badly from sundown to dawn that I have to be restrained at night.

    Yet another new doctor decided to put me on gabapentin two weeks ago. On Lyrica I retained water over two years. Came off it and dropped 40 pounds in 6 weeks. Freaked me out. (Male, 59) Now I’m ‘titered up’ on the Gabapentin from 100 mg/day to 1500 and gained 10 pounds in two weeks. Doc wants me to up it to 3000 and I’m terrified I’ll gain back the 40 lbs, plus more.

    Docs don’t tell patients about potential weight gain because it’s a small subset of users who experience this side effect. Since ratio of gainers to non-gainers is 3:100, docs think we’re malingering about weight gain… but someone has to be in that 3%. Lucky us, eh? As a silly side note about unlikely side effects… I was on ropinerole (Requip) for several years as one of the meds for the RLS.

    After about a year on it, I developed a problem exactly the opposite of what the “little blue pill” is designed to treat, e.g., ED. Odd for a man my age to be ‘ready to go’ four, five, six times a day. So embarrassing I had to stop going out in public any time after 6 pm when I took my pill. This response is noted in literature as “not significant.” I told my neuro who prescribed it; she said that side effect was absolutely impossible and referred me to a psychiatrist who also said impossible; as did my internist and sleep specialist.

    Finally had my annual visit to the urologist. Told him and he said, “Oh, I have dozens of male patients who complain about that. Either learn to live with it or stop the medication.” I opted for latter, which is why I’m now on Gabapentin. It’s terribly frustrating that docs brush off so-called rare side effects, but the literature and their experience tells them certain things just don’t happen on certain drugs when WE know they do. Good luck and know you’re not alone or crazy.

  • Karen Rosic Privett December 2, 2015, 6:38 am

    I am on 2400 mg of gabapentin a day. I have been on it for 6 months. 5’3″ and weighed 130 pounds prior to starting the medication. I have gained 30 pounds. There can’t be any other reason for the weight gain. NOTHING has changed in my lifestyle other then starting this medication. I took it about 6 years ago 3200 mgs a day and I gained 50 pounds so I quit taking it and lost all the weight.

    I will probably quit taking it again for this reason. I have had 4 back surgeries and have spondylolysthesis and arachnoiditis. Its does help but the discomfort of this extra weight is almost as bad as pain. so anyone who says it doesn’t cause weight gain obviously hasn’t taken it. I know for a fact it causes excessive weight gain.

    When your entire life you maintained the same weight and the only time you gain is the 2 times you have taken this medication then you definitely know that is what is causing it. It doesn’t make me hungry and I don’t eat any different then I did before so YES it does cause weight gain!!!

  • Sally November 21, 2015, 2:18 pm

    My life partner was on 3600 mg/day for the last 2 or 3 years of her life. She was on several drugs, so as she gained weight we didn’t blame the gabapentin – but she did gain a LOT. Her injuries ruled out any real exercise; she was quite sedentary. Other side effects (lack of energy or motivation or interest in anything) made me hate gabapentin.

    This summer, my doctor prescribed it for me for anxiety – ONLY 100 mg, extremely low dose at first – I had been successfully losing a lot of weight and maintaining a size 12 (age 72, 5’6″) but I noticed the weight gain had stopped, and I was gaining a few pounds. Then my doctor increased the dose to help with sleeplessness – a really big problem for me – and I started taking 300 mg at bedtime, and supposed to increase to 600 next week.

    But suddenly my weight is just zooming up, like a pound every day. That’s what brought me to this website. Wow. I don’t know what I’m going to do. When you’ve struggled so hard and actually started to succeed with weight loss, this is awful. But so is sleeplessness.

  • Jill November 20, 2015, 10:44 am

    I have gained 14 lbs since January when I started taking the drug. It a very low dose but my body is super sensitive. It makes me drowsy, I think I crave bad foods for energy. I also think it’s severely bloating me. I went from a size 4-8! I still exercise and am active. I also take spironolactone every day 50-100 milligrams. This is known to decrease appetite. I’ve taken this for years and never gained weight on it.

  • Jill November 13, 2015, 1:53 am

    Same with me. Gabapentin definitely causes weight gain! Yet, when you live with unbearable, permanent nerve damage pain, you must weigh your options. Gabapentin does help with pain, mildly though it may be, so…, for me, the option of stopping Gabapentin is more disturbing than the weight gain! Very frustrating.

  • Carter October 20, 2015, 12:55 am

    I’m so glad I found this site and these posts!! My story: All but 1 disc is bulging to some extent, a couple are blown, 1 compression fracture, bone spurs and spondylosis, one or two other things I can’t think of right now (as far as my spine is concerned, it’s hard to remember it all) and Fibromyalgia. I’m against drugs, at one point was taking 12. I quit them all.

    When my back got so bad I couldn’t function I had to go back. I’m getting a pain pump next month so am starting on my own a taper of morphine, flexeril and gabapentin because I can’t take being so fat any more. I’ve always struggled with my weight, and was on my way to being diabetic. With light exercise and a change of diet I lost 60lbs. After a year on these drugs I’ve gained 40 of it back. Talk about depressing! And the carb cravings!!

    Whether I resist or not seems to not make a difference. I’ve been taking 1800mg of the gabapentin per day for a little over a year now and it’s not worth it. I’ve decided that I’d rather have the pain. More fat causes more pain and damage to the spine anyway, so what the hell am I doing?! My Dr told me to wait until I get my pump next month, but if I can get some weight back off before then I reason that it will make the surgery and recovery that much easier. I take a total of 6 300mg gabapentin a day, so I’m going to try dropping 1 pill every few days.

  • Roz October 19, 2015, 12:05 am

    I have sciatica and stenosis. Suffering lots of pain these last 10 months. Nothing works. As of the last 7 days I am on Gabapentin 4 x 300 mg. a day. It has taken more then a month of small amounts to work up to 1200. It too hasn’t helped reduce the pain. some days I am so angry at my change of life style and other days I cry. I have been told that I would need to be on it for a long time before I feel better. In the meanwhile I have put on 10 lbs. Ugh! I weigh 165 lbs. I don’t need to gain more. I have been watching myself carefully, but it hasn’t helped. I won’t give up. I can’t afford to gain weight and have debilitating pain too!

  • TG October 4, 2015, 9:27 am

    I’ve been given gabapentin to reduce sciatic pain caused by a herniated disc. Currently, I’m taking 400mg a day, which I gather is a low dose. I’ve come looking for information here because I’ve abruptly started craving chocolate. I don’t ordinarily even like chocolate, so it’s odd to be driven to consume it. At times it’s hard to think about anything except getting more chocolate. I’m diabetic so having to fight this non-stop, very powerful urge to eat something that I don’t like poses a very real health problem.

    I’m suspecting gabapentin to be the cause not only because the cravings started when the daily dose moved from 200mg to 300mg but because I had similarly strong cravings for carbs (though not chocolate specifically) earlier in my life when I was prescribed imipramine for depression. Things got quite crazy. For the only time in my life, I got out of bed on a work night at 2 am and went looking for a place, any place, that sold food. Bread or cake – I had to have it. As the imipramine was phased out, the cravings faded away, and I haven’t had anything like then until now.

    I’d like to stay on the gabapentin because it has helped with what was hellish pain, but the cravings at their current level are difficult to endure. They’re not just obsessive but kind of desperate — a feeling that my life is about to end because I’m not eating chocolate. Yes, I know that’s absurd but reason just talks to itself while desperation tries to drag me toward the door. It’s 5:28 am here now on a Sunday. Must be someplace open selling chocolate! NOW. NOW. NOW. How many weeks can I anchor my butt and not obey?

    An irony: The sciatic pain was keeping me from sleeping more than 90 minutes at a time and the lack of deep sleep was making me batty. Now, with the gabapentin, the pain is less and I can sleep. I can sleep about 2 hours, in fact, before waking up craving chocolate. I’ve gained 30 minutes there, but when the pain woke me after 90 minutes I could usually go back to sleep in an hour or two. Now I’m up the rest of the night fighting off the urge to get chocolate. It is hard to see this as progress.

    The diabetes aside, if I eat as much chocolate as I’m craving, I’ll weigh a great deal more in just a couple of months.

  • Thomas Anderson September 30, 2015, 11:17 am

    I’ve been taking gabapentin for 9 months and have already gained 2 stone. I was wondering if losing weight gained with taking this drug will be harder to lose???

    • Maggie November 14, 2016, 4:04 pm

      I was taking 1200 mg per day for nerve pain following hand surgery. I put on about 10 pounds and got frustrated so I tapered off at the end of one month. The weight came off in about three days. I saw someone recommend Topamax and a friend of mine has as well so I’m going to look into that one.

  • Gaynor September 18, 2015, 8:19 pm

    I have been on just 1 tablet in the evening for the last 3-4 wks and couldn’t figure out why I was gaining weight whilst dieting for my holidays. I put on at least 8 lb and felt bloated all the time. This has caused me to feel extremely depressed. I have poly osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia if anything I feel that the side effects on my body/mind do not benefit me at all in taking this drug. I have been in more pain and distress and will be contacting my G.P. on Monday.

  • mary September 16, 2015, 2:02 pm

    I experienced about a 15 pound weight gain on this drug which I was on for about 3 weeks then I tapered off with a lower dose. So all and all, I was on it for about a month. My most severe side effects have been intense overall body itching from head to toe, depression, and severe hair loss. Thank God I’m off of this drug… and I sweat intensely at night and during the day.

    • Cyn September 22, 2015, 12:54 am

      I have pain from spinal issues, neuropathy from scar tissue due to extensive spine surgeries at cervical, thoracic and lumbar levels. I also have a spinal cord stimulator implant. I have been on Gabapentin IR and ER, nortriptyline, Tramadol ER, & Oxycodone for almost 6 years. I know the gralise (gabepentin ER) has put 15 lbs. on my once 102 lb, 4’10” frame. 15 lbs may not sound like much but for someone who is short, 15 lbs is a huge weight increase.

      The. PM Dr. Said I wouldn’t gain any weight, but I did. Then she said I would only gain a little weight, then she said, oh no problem, if we keep you at 900mg you won’t gain but I kept gaining. Then she said oh, if you don’t gain in 2 years you are safe, but I kept gaining. I begged to get off of it. I’m still begging! I don’t want to be on the nortriptyline OR the gralise. There has got to be other drugs out there that won’t cause fat. Why do doctors lie so much about side effects? A patient has a right to make an informed choice.

      Isn’t there an obligation to be honest about side effects It’s my body, it’s my pain, it should be my decision about medication. No one will help get me lower the prescription dose. I hate my fat body, I’m so unhappy about being fat. My breasts are Huge, my fat is all over, none of my clothes fit. I hate what these doctors and these drugs have done. THIS DRUG IS A WEIGHT GAINER! JUST LIKE LYRICA. Doctors have a moral obligation to make you aware of the probability and give you a choice, not deny that it is happening.

      Meanwhile, your body gets used to taking it and then withdrawal and more pain is inevitable. I go to the only pain clinic in my area, there is no where else to get help. I asked a pharmacist about the weight gain potential of gabapentin. The pharmacist said everyone gains at least 5-10lbs. I asked why the company and doctors don’t tell the truth about it and the pharmacist said it was because they know no one will take it if they know the truth!

      • Nikk April 24, 2016, 1:52 am

        I’m in the same boat. I’m 5’2 and used to be 110 lbs give or take. I’ve gained 20 lbs at least when they upped me to 800mg 3x day. I had just lost 10 lbs from the last time they upped my dose. This time I’m lucky if I can get the gaining to stall, never mind losing it.

      • Beverly July 7, 2016, 9:53 am

        Try cutting the pills in half. Do a little experimenting on your own, pill cutters are cheap. Maybe try taking a half or one quarter and see which works best for you.

    • Jan December 9, 2015, 7:00 am

      Hi. I have been on the Gab for several months for fibro…neralgia… I have gained 20 pounds. My dose was 400 mg a day. Hair falling out like crazy. It is excellent for pain. I had to stop. Depression from my weight… And hair. I have gained weight from antidepressants before this… still fighting that. Off all pain meds now and still of antidepressants No progress losing any weight. But my hair growing back I hope soon?

  • Crystal September 2, 2015, 4:52 am

    Hi, my name is Crystal and I have been on Gabapentin for about a year now. I take it for pain and anxiety. I have spondylosis in my neck and lower back. I also have Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia. When I started Gabapentin I weighed 140 and I am 5 foot 6. I have gained forty pounds since taking it putting me at 180 pounds.

    This really depresses me because although I watch what I eat and do some low impact exercise, I can’t lose weight. I had an eating disorder when I was a teenager, and I am afraid because any weight gain makes me severely depressed. I guess my best option is to get off of it and beg my doctor for something else.

    • Karen April 16, 2016, 8:20 pm

      I also take this 800mg 1 @ bed time. Since I started 800 increased from 600 I have put on like 10 – 15 LBS. I cannot seem to lose any. At the same time I also cannot afford to buy all new clothes. I also am thinking of going off this med. I take it for fibromyalgia. But the extra weight is not helping me any.

  • Jane August 15, 2015, 9:13 am

    Thank you for these comments, makes me feel not so alone.

    • Julie July 10, 2016, 10:29 pm

      Same feeling here.

  • Whitney August 11, 2015, 3:49 am

    I was prescribed Gabapentin for my Trigeminal Neuralgia a year ago. I take 300 mg 3 times a day, along with 50 mg of Tramadol as needed. I am 44 years old, 5’3 and have always weighed between 105-115lbs. I am now struggling to lose weight at 135lbs.

    • Jackie dittmer January 19, 2016, 9:16 pm

      I have been taken gabapentin for little over a year now. I start with 100 mg x 3 times a day, just recently went to 300mg x 3 times day. I’m struggling with weight. I’m a person that hits the gym everyday. I work hard at it. I eat pretty healthy I think. I’m feel like I carry a lot of water. I’m not losing anything. I feel like I have gained 10-15 lbs that I can’t lose.

      • Matt January 30, 2016, 12:36 pm

        I am not alone! Same medication prescription and lifestyle. Yet, unable to shift the extra 18 lbs whatever I try. Whilst many people are struggling with weight gain here, possibly due to gabapentin, I recognize that I am so fortunate to be able to exercise. Many are struggling/suffering. My heart goes out to you all.

    • Linnea July 1, 2016, 1:11 pm

      Try asking for topiramate (topamax) instead… it actually helps you loose weight and helps with the Trigeminal nerve pain. I lost a pound a day for the first 21 days effortlessly… after that, you have to start working at it, but hopefully by then, you have the energy to start working it! I was on gabapentin for neuropathy pain for 22 years, and had gained 100 pounds while on the gabapentin.

      It was horrible drug withdraw getting off the gabapentin, but so worth it (no more fog brain!)!!! Tramadol works great for nerve pain (pink fluffy clouds), but is very addicting…just like xanax or valium…be careful building a tolerance level to that. ;) Good luck!

  • Amy Bowman August 10, 2015, 2:27 am

    I have went from a size 8 to a size 14 in one year. I am on 2 of the gold Gabapentin. But, it helps with the neuropathy in my feet and legs. I also have been told by several people that I look like I am swollen. I do have a hard time with motivation now and am always tired.

    • Jackie Aumiller August 10, 2015, 1:50 pm

      If I did not take Gabapentin I would not be able to walk. I have had 2 back surgeries and I walk with a cane. I also take tramadol, percoset, trazodone, and now Cymbalta, so when I went from a size 12 to 16 I didn’t know what I should blame for the weight gain. If the gabapentin helps the pain perhaps that will allow for more excersize and thus some weight loss? It’s hard to be fat, I know. It hurts. However there are websites that help with how to dress to hide some of the weight gain. Everything is a trade-off so says my therapist. Best wishes for you.

      • Cally November 30, 2016, 1:20 am

        I have been taking Gabapentin for over year and have packed on over 20 pounds!! I take 2400-3000 mg/day. I can’t seem to shake a pound, 😢 but I don’t have a choice – I can’t live with the nerve pain.

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