Does gabapentin work immediately or do you need to be on it for a period of days or weeks?

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Will gabapentin relieve nerve pain within an hour or so of taking?  Can it be taken periodically or do you have to be on it daily for it to work?  I was prescribed gabapentin for neck and shoulder pain but I didn't continue taking it for more than a few days because it made me feel foggy, cloudy...just plain weird.  But I have been laying in bed for 3 hours tonight with horrible constant burning pain in my neck and between my shoulders.  I am unable to find any relief.  Ibuprofren has done absolutely nothing.  It's different than my usual aching and deep muscle like pain and I think it's nerve pain. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Shelley. With Gabapentin you need to take it regularly. I know how weird it makes you feel, but it needs to be taken without any stops. I have been taking it for 3 years in February and I am on maximum dose, 1,200mg three times a day.

    Or you could go back to your gp and ask for an alternative. Someone on this forum did mention there was an alternative.

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  • Posted

    Everyone is different, but for it works pretty quick and lets me sleep. Because of the spacey side effects I only take it at night now so I can get a decent night`s sleep.
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  • Posted

    Hi Shelley,

    I used to take 1800mg a day, spread over 3 doses ( 600mg 3 times a day sprad evenly as possible over the waking hours )....it does make a lot of people feel speaced out / groggy for first few weeks, usually start dose low ( everyone different, and case diff,, so see what your dr suggests ) and then build dose up each week to the dose they think you will need to control your pain.I took it for about 5 years, and then swapped to it's competitior pregabalin to see if side effect profile any better for me, as long term I started suffering cognitive side effects ( memory problems, forgetting what I am talking about mid sentence, misplacing things etc , more common that a lot of drs admit to )....anyway untimately I now tolerate the nerve pain and I live on slow release morphine for my back pain and sometimes more meds than that when v bad. There are not many things that work well on nerve pain. My experience with gabapentin was initially I felt yukky for 6 weeks or so and lost my appetite too...then after a few months I thought it was like a magic bullett for the nerve pain no one else had been able to treat, but then eventually it didn't seem to work as well as it did when I was initailly put on it and the memory problems were getting worse, so I wothdrew myself from it gradually. Actually, my nerve pain now is the same as when I was still taking an active dose. So for me personally I have mixed thoughts about both of these drugs when taken long term. Be a good idea to see what the root of your problem is ? Do not take as required though, that's not how it's meant to be taken. I was told by my pain consultant at hospital that it was rare to go over dose of 1800mg a day, as limited data to show benefit of decreased pain, but there is evidence on increased side effects for sure ! Good luck.

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  • Posted

    I actually take Gabaoentin for stomach pain related to GI issues.  Not sure how long I have been in it, probably around a year or more. Was started in a low dose then gradually increased.  I presently take 1500 mg split into 3 doses.  You have to take it regularly and give your body a chance to adjust to the new dosage.  Yes, it can make you feel groggy.  I notice sime memory loss also.  Annoying.  I would love to get off this med but have tried to decrease and my stomach issues worsen.  

    Had something interesting come up recently.  Have been having bilateral foot pain and burning in the balls if my feet and both big toes are partially numb.  My PCP tested me for Diabetes, which was negative.  He said they usually prescribe Gabapentin for this but I am already taking it!  Sent me to a Podiatrsist who wanted to know what the heck I was doing there. I need to see a Neurologist but have to wait two months. will be interested to see what she says as I was wondering if the Gabapentin was causing it.  

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  • Posted

    Gabapentin works for nerve pain. I use it at 1800 mg daily in combination with Nortriptyline 50mg for miserable postherpetic neuralgia, the nerve damage that can result from shingles. Gabapentin needs 3 weeks to kick in and for acclimatization. As you titrate up to 1800 mg, different side effects kick in. You have to hang in and ley your body acclimatize. Most symptoms will leesen or disappear. I'm 3 months in at 1800 mg. First side effect is sleepiness. wouls sleep most of day first month, need lees sleep now. Weakness, tiredness, occasional nausea. Ginger tea or Metonia relieves nausea quickly. Unstable on feet, goes away. Memory problems. Generally dumbs you down a notch. Pain relief a definite benefit.
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