effects from gababentin

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i had been on gababentin for at least 12 years & noticed a deteriation in my thinking, following instructions, not as sharp in traffic.  I have been blaming this on the aging process as I'm 73 yrs old. But just thought I'd try & get off a drug that has been known to cause problems. Off for a few months with no improvement of thought process, and a dark cloud seems to hang around over me at all times. That is not normal for me. I'm an active busy senior.

do not plan on going back on it but plan on seeking help to overcome the depression and seek other means of relief of severe pain from nerve damage from shingles and ostiopeania and hip damage from fall. So glad to hear from others because I have given this much thought

1 like, 6 replies


6 Replies

  • Posted

    interesting, reading this, because i have had a similar experience trying to wean myself off this drug.  However, I have only been taking gabapentin for 5 months.  I felt it was impairing my cognitive abilities, so I wanted to be on as low a dose as I could manage.  I got CRPS following a foot surgery, and the gaba was proscribed for my pain.  The gaba never removed the pain entirely, but brought it to a manageable level.  I found that my foot could manage at a fairly low dose, but my mind could not!  

    i started having very dark thoughts and feeling hopeless.  More gabapentin, feeling better, but can't think straight.  ARGH!

    • Posted

      Hi there

      Yes this medicine is an antidepressant also is used for epilepsy. Stopping impulses to the brain this is how it relieves pain. After reading chat rooms on this drug I have decided to reduce down and hopefully find another way to cope with pain. They say the walking and swimming may help by giving oxygen to the brain. Totally understand the effects you are having. We are all here for you.

  • Posted

    Hi Nancy,

    I've had the same exact experience as you.  I was on Gabapentin for 11 years and over the last 6 months I have noticed a huge deterioration in my thinking, spelling and memory.  I decided to go off of the medication but it has had no effect whatsoever on my problems.  Sometimes I feel like there is someone else in my head.  I'm 39 years old and I am an accountant. My mind is my biggest asset and losing it slowly this way has been incredibly scary to me.  The other day I was driving to a doctor's office that I've been going to for 21 years.  I thought I was lost and it scared me, I've never felt that way before.  I forget where I put things, I've locked myself out of my house twice in the last week, I can't remember how to spell words that I've always been able to spell, I can't rememeber simple words and feel like I'm playing charades sometimes when I'm talking, trying to get those words out that just won't come to me, I forget conversations I've had with people and repeat the same story over and over and ask the same question multiple times. This has begun to seriously affect my work and my ability to do the things I've always been very good at, at work.   I fear this could be something more severe.  

    In addition to all of this, the pain from going off of Gabapentin has been horrible.  I had been taking it for severe nerve pain from a back injury from when I was 27.  I was sobbing at the doctors the other day from the pain so they decided to put me on Gralise, the long acting version of Gabapentin.  Since I saw no increase in my memory issues not being on it I decided I should at least not be in the pain I've been in.  I'm going to see my primary next week to see what can be done, if anything, about the problems I've been having.  

    I hope I find some answers next week.  I hope you find some relief from your pain!  Being in pain and feeling the way we do is horrible.  I wish I knew what the problems were caused from.  I just thought it was the Gabapentin.


  • Posted

    Thank you all so much for your thoughts on gabapentin. I was prescribed this by my surgeon a couple of weeks ago following removal of my right lung at the end of October last year.

    I've been experiencing excruciating nerve pain around the site of the incision and my ribs where he removed a muscle from between two of them. As well as the gabapentin he prescribed amitriptyline. I felt very uneasy about taking either of these as one is for epilepsy and the other is an antidepressent - I am neither epiteptic nor depressed. After doing a bit of research on the internet I decided not to get either script filled but to stick to taking tramadol and panadol which I have been doing without too many major side affects since the surgery.

    Although the tramadol/panadol combo does certainly make me forget words and sometimes give me an inability to string a whole sentence together I do feel that these are minor, temporary and somewhat controllable.

    I'm currently also seeing an osteopath once a week which is of huge benefit. I take a daily dose of magnesium, calcium and zinc which helps me to sleep. I'm pretty particular about my diet and my water intake as keeping my stomach, intenstines and organs as clean and free from build up of the tramadol and panadol is high on my list of priorities!

    I've just discovered these awesome little heating pads called Hotteeze (they're made in japan, look them up online) which I can stick to my underclothing and provide 12 hours of heat - these have had a remarkable affect on reducing the pain. When I'm at home I have a hot water bottle attached to me at all times.

    I've got my fingers crossed that with this combination of treatment I can at least reduce the pain to bearable if not eliminate it all together.

    I'm extremely debilitated (as I'm sure you all are) by this at the moment. I can't leave the house (and my trusty couch) for more than about an hour. Cooking dinner is an occupation which takes several hours with rests every 10 minutes. The worst thing is that the pain literally takes my breath away and as I've only got one lung (and it's the small one that's remaining) I'm constantly having to sit down to breathe. Luckily I don't have a car so I'm not even tempted to drive........

    I'm extremely appreciative of everyone's comments here which have (oh,can't think of the word I want..........) endorsed(?) my decision not to take either the gabapentin or the amitryptiline. I wish you all the very best of luck on your journeys.


  • Posted

    I am sorry for you Nancy as I too am 73 and have been on Gababentin, 2400mg daily for 17 years!  I was diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia and underwent an operation on my brain in 1999.  The surgeon had hoped to find a blood vessel on the nerve and move it but there was none, instead he severed the nerve.  There were rare complications too and I was pretty ill for 3 months and had to undergo the surgery again to correct this.  I still suffer pain every day, sometimes it is very severe and unbearable.  I cannot come off this drug now and have learnt to live with the side effects.  My memory and concentration like you are not as they used to be. but I put this down to getting older and keep as busy as I am able with interests, gardening and helping others less fortunate than me, doing voluntary work, this gives me purpose.  I wish you well Nancy as I know it's not easy as people dont always understand but I do and will send you positive thoughts.    

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