3 weeks off of gabapentin/methadone cold turkey

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For anyone who is interested, here is my latest update as I have stopped 1800mg gabapentin and 15mg methadone daily for 4 months.

After 3 weeks off of the drugs, things are noticeably better and I have much greater clearity of what the drugs were doing to me while I was on them.  I still have a little difficulty getting to sleep, but I am now sleeping at least 6 hours/night without the use of any sleep aid.

Remember, this is just my experience; and, I was only on the drugs for 4 months.  Your experiences in getting off of these things might be quite different.  And also please keep in mind that I quit cold turkey, against almost everyone's advice.

Week 1 - Absolute misery.  I don't believe I ever became suicidal, but I did consider it as an option a couple of times.  Severe Insomnia.  During week 1 off of the drugs I only slept 1 - 1 1/2 hours each night; couldn't sleep at all during the day and was constantly exhausted.  When I went to bed I just tossed and turned.  I got agitated much more easily/frequently than normal.  I started taking a magnesium supplement and a B12 pill.

Week 2 - Insomnia got a bit better.  Toward the end of the 2nd week off of the drugs I still had a difficult time getting to sleep; but, I started averaging 4 hours/night most nights.  I began taking benadryl before bed.  It seemed to help.  Absolutely no energy.  Walking from one end of the house to the other wore me out.  Started to notice that the agitation was diminishing.

Week 3 - Much more improvement.  Stopped using benadryl before bedtime.  Still a little difficulty getting to sleep, but now getting 6 hours per night.  Agitation gone.  Slowly noticing that I'm regaining a little stamina, but I still wear done quickly.  Most importantly, I'm thinking much more clearly than I have since I started taking the drugs.  

Again, this is just a snippet of what I've experienced as I've taken myself off of the drugs; your experience might be much different.  Regardless, I encourage anyone out there who is trying to rid themselves of these things to hang in there and go into it knowing that it might seem to get worse before it gets better.  My best of wishes to all of you who are dealing with this particular monster.

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  • Posted

    That's great news! Happy for you. I was on Gabby way over a year.. Was up to 3200 mgs.

    My Rheumatoligist took me down way to fast. In 2 weeks I was off of it. First 2. Ones were horrid. It's been 10 months now and feeling pretty good. Still having a few stomach issues but I can deal with that.

    Just glad to be off of it..

    God speed!! smile

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  • Posted

    I am sooo happy for you. You give the rest of us hope as well. I am 9 weeks off, after 4 years, and things do seem to be getting better but it isn't linear: I had a couple of horrible days (and nights) this past week, but today is a good day. I added B12 and Biotin (both depleted by Gab, deficiencies produce symptoms of weakness, pain, and fatigue) so maybe that is helping. Please keep us posted

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  • Posted

    Shumate,

    What were you taking the meds for was it neck back related? i am just wandering how you handle the pain issues if this was the reason for meds, i have been on gab for 3-4 yrs i started with 300mg a day, and at this time 4-5 300mg a day, along with soma, and some over counter like ibupro, etc. i still am getting alot of help from the meds not anything near perfect, but what drug is with out any side effects, however i dont have the side effects others do with Gab, i had several on the first night then they were gone next day. I am trying to research all my meds to try and stay on top of whats out there to help, i have cervical bulging nerves etc issues, had them for yrs, and tried all that i think is out there that the insurance will pay for. And have added ( had my thumb joint replaced, with Carpal at same time) i am open to anything out there to research it. i think the way to take Gab it to go up gradually, but i know we are all different, it will effect some worse than others. 

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    • Posted

      Here's the deal.

      February of this year.  Sitting on couch watching evening news.  Out of nowhere stabbing pain in right tricept.  9/10 on pain scale.  Went to VA GP who said possible pulled muscle or possible rotator cuff issuse.  Gave me a bunch of hydrocodone, told me to take 2 per day. If problems went away, ok. If not, come back in 2 moths.

      Pain went away after a couple of days. Stopped taking the hydrocodone.  Almost exactly 2 months later, out of nowwhere, same pain returned under right soulder blade.  Put on gabapentin and methadone.

      See above for further details.

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    • Posted

      wow thats wierd to just happen like that, any ideas now that your off the meds? what if it happens again, it really can be neck related,cervical will cause all sort of arm pains as well as numb, tingling, its different depending on what nerve is effected,  i get simular pains, not as  much anymore, because of my meds, i'm off work now, but if i can get off some of them for daytime and still be able to do enough physical things to work, at my age it sometimes seams doubtful. but time will tell.

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    • Posted

      I/we have no idea what the cause is.  I've had 2 MRIs and 1 CT scan which have showed everything suspected to be the cause to be normal.  I'm going back for a 3rd MRI, on yet another part of my body, this coming week.

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    • Posted

      have you been told you may have Chair malformation?, just a chance, sinse you are still being diagnosed, i have mld case, it is a issue at the base of the skull, that can mimic a lot of other things, from headaches, to numbness, in a mild case they don't do surgey only medicate, but it will be there on your mri of the neck spine, i  was told 8 yrs ago, but am only now revisiting that as my arm hand neck issues and i'm sure age all play a factor, i am 59. all my jobs have been using my hands to do work, a lot of very intricate detailed componets repair, electrical etc. i do hope they find what your issue. 

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