Do Gabapentin withdrawals really happen?

Posted , 6 users are following.

So, a few months ago, I had restless legs and had to go to the ER because I was sleep deprived and needed relief.  They gave me Gabapentin, 1 X 300mg at night.  I took it for awhile and the RLS went away.  Then it came back about 10 days ago, and its getting more frequent.  So....my doctor doubled the Gabapentin and it worked the first night but now for 5 days it hasn't worked.  I then saw some things online that said that Gabapentin causes horrible withdrawals, especially at high doses - so, anticipating that my doctor would just keep increasing the dose, I decided to stop taking it.  My doctor says that Gabapentin withdrawals don't exist, but all of this started due to Abilify withdrawals and there are a lot of testimonials that support Gabapentin withdrawals too.  So I'm treating it, twice a night, with cannabis - which is the only thing that works - mind you, its a colossal waste of weed.  Am I being too cautious about Gabapentin at doses of 900mg and up - or should I investigate some other drug for RLS? (I've ruled out Iron and Magnesium deficiencies, tried massaging my legs, tried Epsom salts, tried eliminating caffeine and alcohol) Thanks!!!!

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  • Posted

    I tried gabapentin and it didn't work but I didn't have problems when I stopped it.  They do prescribe buckets of that. They claim clonazepam withdrawal is horrible, I never had any trouble with it, I took it for four years every night, now take it when I need it and it works like a charm. I went on low carb high fat diet for high cholesterol and my RLS pretty much went away. And my high cholesterol. A friend of mine takes  Mirapex and there is one more medication like that they sell for RLS. Every now and then the Drs get agitated about clonazepam but it really works for me at a very low dose. 

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    • Posted

      You're the only other person on this thread that I've read about who, like me, finds that clonazepam works a treat. I'm heartened that you can manage on an as needed basis. My go put me on 4mg at night back in 2000 and when I realised how addictive they were I slowly weaned myself down to 1mg at night with the very occasional further 1mg in the night if needed. Reading your post I now want to wean myself off them and only use when needed. I've never understood why my go put me on such a high dose back in 2000. I am only thankful I had the sense to gradually wean myself down to a quarter of that dose which works fine.

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    • Posted

      Truly that's a Very High dose. I started with .5mg and now I take .25mg if I need it and sometimes I get up and take another .25mg. It has a 40 hour half life!

      My friend that takes mirapex got up to 2 mg of clonazepam so her dr said it wasn't going to work for her. I'm glad it works for me, I'm not sure you can take the others on as needed basis. 

      On a long airplane ride that's a different story. RLS can get awful. I've taken as much as 2mg on one flight. 

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  • Posted

    As a nurse I know Gabapentin withdrawals can happen. This is usually when high doses are stopped suddenly. It should be managed with advice from your doctor.

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    • Posted

      I agree here.

      I'm taking 1800mg per day for chronic headaches from a concussion. I Tried to lower my dose and woops.

      Aside from headaches getting much worse (don't know if it was withdrawal or just the headaches without drugs), my mood went REALLY BAD. Depression, anxiety, frustration, angry at everything. It was bad.

      After a week of lower dose, I went back to my normal dose and it all went away.

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  • Posted

    Gabapentin was my first medication for RLS on advice of specialist. It worked for about 9 months (at 3x900mg) then GP told me to change to. Dopamine agonist, just stop one and start the other - I lost a fortnight, didn’t know what I was doing, dizzy, peculiar sensations, smelling things etc, crazy! After all the DA’s I found Tramadol and have been on it about 3 years till about 2 months ago when it also stopped working. Today I have started Gabapentin again along with the Tramadol and if successful will try to reduce Tramadol. I would never stop or start any of the RLS meds’ without a slow ramp up (or down).

    Good luck!

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