At my wits end after taking gabapentin

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I took gabapentin for one week only, having had severe burning pain in my leg, I had to come off abruptly due to a allergic rash, in total I took only 1500 mg. i am now five days in with the most horrible withdrawal side effects, so dizzy that I can hardly stand, sickness, palpatations dry mouth nervousness, not being able to function at all. I am at my wits end, despairing and wondering how long this will last!

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  • Posted

    Hi Sandra,

    You are having what sounds like an allergic reaction. Contact your doctor  immediately. If you are having nervousness, sickness and not being able to function at all it sounds like what happened to me. Was it for pain? I would ask for Diazepam to get you out of this mess especially if you have pain, withdrawal, and nervousness. Really you should see a doctor. I am not sure what they gave you the Gabapentin for. Diazepam has been around a long time and it is my wonder drug. I cannot go outside and interact with people or function without it. I tried for 2 months and I shut myself off from the world. What about Lyrica? Cymbalta or Celebrex might cause more bad side effects. Cymbalta made me feel better emotionally but the sickness I felt all the time from the Cymbalta, the Celebrex were not worth it. They finally put me on Norco. I am ready to come off of it. Now I have a good mix of Lyrica 50 mg 3 x per day for pain, Diazepam for severe agoraphobia, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, severe anxiety. 25 to 50 mg of Trazadone for sleeplessness at night, and 500 mg of Depakote at night for my manic depression. I've been through so many antidepressants and none of them worked until Depakote. I cannot survive without the Diazepam though or I won't even participate in life. 

    Go to the emergency room or urgent care if you can. Its not worth your life. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your advice, I have no pain now, just the withdrawal to cope with. I have been to the hospital twice in the past four days, and basically they have said that it will pass, and that I have had a very bad reaction. The two different duty doctors that I saw seemed to have little or no knowledge of gabapentin, as they each referred to their hand books to look up the drugs side effects, the first doctor told me that it will take a  couple of days to clear from my system, that was four days ago, and the second doctor that I saw today said another two days or so! Don't anybody underestimate this drug and its potential side effects, I have never felt so ill in my life
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  • Posted

    The doctors in the ER should have at least given you Valium to help clear this from your system and ease your symptoms. I would go to Urgent care and insist on it. Here is why: Gabapentin Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

    Below are some withdrawal symptoms that you may experience when withdrawing from Gabapentin. Keep in mind that you may not experience everything on the list – everyone will have a different experience. These are a list of symptoms based on what individuals have reported during their withdrawal process.

    Anxiety: Some individuals report feelings of anxiety upon withdrawal. This anxiety may be subtle or severe. It has been documented that some people actually take this medication for treating anxiety. Therefore when coming off of this medication, it is common for people to feel especially anxious.

    Appetite changes: Some people may feel like not eating and will experience a noticeable loss of appetite when quitting Gabapentin. Others may experience an increased appetite – especially if while on the drug their appetite decreased.

    Crying spells: The emotions can run wild when coming off of this medication. You may find yourself crying for no reason or you may experience crying spells as a result of the depression you are experiencing. Just know that the excessive crying will eventually stop.

    Depression: Many people experience feelings of significant depression when they stop taking this medication. Even for people with no prior emotional problems may experience severe depression when they stop taking this drug. There have been cases where individuals take this medication recreationally and experience very tough depression when they have to stop taking it.

    Dizziness: One of the most common symptoms to experience during withdrawal from this medication is dizziness. You may feel so dizzy that you are unable to properly function throughout the day. Just know that this means your brain is trying to reset itself and it will eventually go away. If it doesn’t subside, you could try to taper even more slowly.

    Fatigue: Another common withdrawal symptom that you may experience is that of fatigue, lethargy, or tiredness. You may lack energy to get things done throughout the day. It is common to feel extremely fatigued while coming off of Gabapentin – do your best to cope with it.

    Headaches: Most people don’t talk about the fact that coming off of this medication can result in headaches.  There have been cases of individuals that go on this medication, and during withdrawal experience migraine headaches.  As time passes, these are thought to go away.

    Insomnia: Some people experience pretty severe insomnia when they first quit this medication. This may have a profound impact on your sleep patterns, so do your best to cope with the inability to fall asleep. Try to engage in some relaxation exercises if you are too anxious or agitated to fall asleep.

    Irritability: You may notice yourself becoming especially irritable during the acute phases of withdrawal from this drug.  It may be difficult to cope with, but take a step back and realize that your neurotransmitter levels and brain activity has been temporarily altered.  You may not be able to control feeling this way, but you can do your best to control how you react because of it.

    Itching: You may experience itching all over your body. This isn’t a very well documented or talked about symptom, but some people may feel as if they are going crazy because their body feels so itchy during the withdrawal process. Just know that if you are experiencing extreme itchiness, you are not alone.

    Muscle pain: If you were taking this medication to help manage symptoms of pain, it is no doubt that the pain is going to return. With that said, it is common to feel pain throughout the body and in various muscles when quitting this drug.

    Nausea: Some people become very nauseated during their withdrawal. This is not an easy symptom to cope with, but do your best to fight through it.

    Restlessness: It’s common to feel restless when coming off of Gabapentin. The restlessness may interfere with your ability to stay focused throughout the day on certain tasks. Take it for what it’s worth – try to push through it and know it will subside.

    Seizures: One of the biggest dangers associated with cold turkey or sudden discontinuation of Gabapentin is that of seizures. There have even been reports of people experiencing seizures from relatively low doses. Make sure that you take the time to taper off of this drug – regardless of your dose.

    Sleep disturbances: You may experience significant difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, and getting a restful night’s sleep. These go hand-in-hand with insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness that you may be experiencing.

    Spasms: Many people experience muscle spasms when trying to quit. If the spasms become unbearable, you may need to conduct a slower taper. In most cases people can deal with an occasional spasm or two.

    Stomach pain: Some individuals have pain in their stomach and/or abdominal area during withdrawal.

    Suicidal thinking: If you are withdrawing from Gabapentin and notice that you are becoming extremely depressed and/or experiencing suicidal thoughts, be sure to get help. These will eventually subside as time passes.

    Sweating: Many people report horrible night sweats to the point that they wake up in the middle of their sleep with beads of sweat dripping off of their body. You may experience excessive sweating throughout the day, but it may be even worse at night.

    Suggestion: Magnesium supplements to help ease withdrawal symptoms

    Many people have had success easing withdrawal symptoms by supplementing magnesium.  Gabapentin attaches to the same chemical receptor in your brain as calcium and magnesium. As you begin to taper off of Gabapentin, your body will make use of magnesium supplementation that you supply it, and you’ll have a much easier time coping with withdrawal symptoms. Some people experience very minimal to no withdrawal symptoms while supplementing magnesium during withdrawal. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the tips, I now  have some Valium, I had read all about the withdrawal problems connected to this drug, even about the magnesium, but hadn't  been aware of the calcium and the part it can play in the withdrawal process thanks again for your helpful tips
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    • Posted

      Hi Debra,

      I was prescribed gabapentin for relief from Shingles nuralgia on my face and head. I was told by a pharmasist to continue large doses of magnesium and Lysine while I had the shingles, but stopped once through the bout with Shingles. I now want off the gabapentin after 2 years and very happy to see your post here on symptoms.

      Today is day 3 off, I've had night sweats, headache, insomnia, the nuralgia has returned (wanting to scratch my forehead and head like crazy), also congested beyond belief (like the flu like symptoms I have seen others post about). I'm also starting back with the Lysine, magnesium and suggested dietary intakes...no peanuts, no sugars, more dairy, etc. Praying this works as yes, the gabapentin can be addictive when it is taken and does relieve everything else your ailing with. Thanks for the info!!! Very helpful to watch for the changes.

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    • Posted

      very well written on the gabapentin side effects and withdrawal syndromes.....Are you still monitoring this discussion?  I am currently going thru the gaba. withdrawal my self for about 6 weeks now and I certainly feel many of those symptoms you describe.  
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    • Posted

      Debra59438, thank you so much for all the information you provided. My husband is on day two of no gab and I have been trying any home remedy i can find for him. BUT no where said magnesium! I told him what i read (from your post) about the magnesium. He just took some so we'll see how it goes. I just wanted to tell you, that what you wrote head the most information I've read any where online. Thank you for posting! I'm praying the mag helps him. He looks like death sad

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  • Posted

    Im glad the pain has gone at least.  I was on the maximum doseage of Gabapentin, tried to taper off and then went from 600mg a day to zero.  This was (obviously) a huge mistake and although I assumed the withdrawal symptoms would go, they didnt, so I had to take 300mg a day to calm everything down and then taper down from that.  Other than that, paracetamol did help as my symptoms were like a bad flu.  Its a nasty drug to get out of your system.
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    • Posted

      It was nice of you to take the time to respond, I'm glad that you are  much better, and I presume that you are now gabapentine free! How long did you persevere with the withdrawal symptoms before you relented and went back on the gabapentine, just to settle things down, I must admit I am very tempted to do that, as I am getting desperate and no better, also how easy was it to taper down from 300mg?
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    • Posted

      I think 2-3 weeks I stood it for. I didnt want to take it again because it seemed like a step back but in the end I took 300mg at night. I was on 900mg 3 times a day at one stage though. As soon as I took the 300mg within hours I felt better. I left it a week or 2 then tried again. It was hard. I think I did it 50mg at a time. Each week dropped it down but I felt rough. It was a real eye opener for me. I had no idea it would be so hard. I think that if you havent been on it so long it wont be so hard but obviously I have no real knowledge apart from my experience. Take care. xx
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    • Posted

      Thanks again, the information that you have given me has been helpful to know, you seemed to have done really well, I applaud anyone who has been successful in giving up this drug x
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    • Posted

      It took so long to feel "normal" though.  I think this week has been the first week I have had a lot of energy.  I thought about it just now actually and I was like "damn! I feel good!" haha  The only thing that scares me is that if there is a flare up (I have osteo in my back, hips, knee and neck), then I am properly f*cked because there is no way I am taking pills like that again.  Not unless I am terminally ill or something.....
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    • Posted

      I'm so glad that you are in a 'good place ', can't wait to be there myself. I never realised what we actually take for granted, being so Poorly has given me lots of time to think. I've started to shake the headache off, and don't feel quite as sick, but the more this crap leaves my body, the more aches and pains I seem to be getting back, but I don't care about them at the moment, I'm just glad to be out of bed, and not feeling like I'm going to keel over! Nine wasted days of my life, isn't withdrawl from this drug an absolute nightmare x
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    • Posted

      Hi tabstoyou 

      Can I just ask what you mean when you say tramadol is worse? 

      I’ve been taking tramadol now I’m just getting abit worried? 

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