Gabapentin Withdrawal IMPORTANT

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I spent 4 days in intensive care following a spinal operation. This was found to be the result of the sudden complete withdraawal of Gabapentin.

For 3 whole days I was, to quote my surgeon, 'on another planet.' The only drug, of the many I was taking for pain, the only one that could not been given in an alternative form was Gabapentin. Fortunately, on the 3rd day there happened to be a charge nurse on duty who had seen a [b]previous case similar to mine, also resulting from withdrawal of Gabapentin.

My husband insisted that some way was found of administrating the drug. (I myself was una\\ware of any of this until later). There were objections from the staff since I would need sedating and was unable to consent! My husband over-rode them - thank goodness - and said he would take full responsibility and 'just do it.'

Some time after he left they did sedate me and administer the Gabapoentin. Then, as now, I had been taking 900mg 3 times daily for nerve pain, so I had obviously fallen off a cliff in terms of amount taken.

The following morning I woke up back to normal and asked for a cup of tea. When my husband arrived I saw him wipe tears from his eyes. If not back from the dead I WAS back from a living nightmare.

WHAT CONCERNS ME MOST IS THAT THIS WAS DISMISSED BY THE MANUFACTURERS WHEN ONE OF MY CONSULTANTS MENTIONED IT. YET IT IS A TERRIBLE REACTION, ALBEIT NO DOUBT EXTREMELY RARE. IT SHOULD BE MAD E KNOWN:!:

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    Posted

    I have been on Gabapentin for only 6 weeks , tapered back to 300g a day and stopped. I had 5 days of hell, insomnia, the shakes, irritable, moody and headaches. I decided to take 200gs to see if it helped and it did so I am now tapering off. I use magnesium supplements to help with the depression etc . May I say i was only on this drug for 6 weeks ! The end is near and never again
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    • Posted

      Hi Pins.  I have been on Gabapentin for about 6 months.  First 300mg x3, then 600 x 3 and finally 900mg x 3.  At first it seemed to help (Osteoarthritis in lower spine, hips and knee), but then it stopped and when I was put on 900mg it just didnt work at all and my sleep was very bad.  I decided to taper off and I went back down to 600, then 300, but at 300mg I stopped altogether.  I wish I had never done this as I have been ill for nearly 10 days now.  Achey, flu like pains in my joints, headache, nausea, loss of appetite and insomnia.  My doctor wants me to start something else, but I am very close to being drug free so I am loathe to start anything else until my system is clean and I can tell what pain is due to the osteo and what is just due to withdrawing from this drug.
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    • Posted

      i AM IN TROUBLE TAKING THIS MEDICINE. mY LEGS STOPPED WORKING. i HAVE AT LEAST 12 SIDE AFFECT SYSTEMS. i AM SCARED WHAT DO i DO?
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    • Posted

      Just checking to see how your taper went...did you finally get off this med. if so, how long did it take you?
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    • Posted

      Hi, My legs are also not working. I nearly fall simply getting a few items from grocery store. What did you do? I got MRI 2 days ago, and see Dr this week. I hope you reply to me. Thank you!
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    • Posted

      Reading thi Scares me. I am a 37 year old mother of 3. I hurt myself at work as a result I have been on 3600 mg a day of gabapentine for a year and a half. I went without it for 3 days once I thought I had the flu I was so sick and didn't sleep for 3 nights. Not knowing it was withdrawl my Dr assured me it's non addictive. The 3rd night at around 4 am I was in lots of pain I looked up another medication they had tried me on I was going to take it for pain.and there was a huge thing about gabapentine withdrawal. I was so scared. The worst part was I went to pick up my prescription and i had been waiting for my medical to kick in it hadn't it was 100 like it is every month, I explained to the pharmacist I didn't have it on me can she just give me enough for that day and night I'd be back tomorrow to get my script. She said no. Being a pharmacist she would know I would go into severe withdrawal. 3600 mg cold turkey. My boyfriend came got me my boys brought my prescrption we went to his house I could barely walk straight. I laid in his bed until I fell asleep. I Was a mess for days. I'm trying to get off it now. But I'm so scared of withdrawal now

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    • Posted

      so i took it day 1 slept like a log, took one day 2 and had severe chest pains (i have costochondritis - inflammation of the chest wall and thought it was that...but no it was in a different spot and worse) took it day 3 and started with sever stomach pains and headaches and my teeth were starting to ache so stopped...2 days ago still have a bad stomache and still have a foggy head and of course ache everywhere..still have bad chest pains..this is so weird..what a bad reaction...and after like 3 days on the stuff so i understand where you are at..how long did it take for the side effects to stop...and how much magnesium are you taking if i can ask..?
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    • Posted

      i dont know about 3600 a day but i was on 900 a day and i went from 900 a day to 600 the second day then 300 the third day after that i tapered off of it the way my emergency room doctor told me to after trying to stop 300 a day and that caused me to be awake for 3 weeks straight no sleep but this guy under the comments says he tapered off gabapentin by going down by 100mg every 10 days so if you go that route that might work but if you end up like me and try to taper down 100 mg from 300 to 200 and you just lay awake all night then you might have to do what i did to taper off gabapentin and that was what i show in my video on youtube you can check it out goto youtube and type in gabapentin withdrawal and you will see me kirk nyman showing you what my emergency room doctor told me to do to taper off gabapentin if you want to check it out you can good luck with that i know its scary as hell going 3 weeks straight with no sleep but you can do it
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    • Posted

      Hi Kirk you provide so much good info on this site..i went on 100 mg only for 4 days...day one slept like a log, day 2 bad chest and tummy pains dizzy headaches same day 3 ...my doc warned me that i would have side effects and give it the good old college try and dont throw it out...like i was so sick by day 4 i was taking all kinds of tummy meds (i usually take as i already have a bad tummy and had just settled it down) and now off it for 4 days and still sick..and thats taking 100 mg a day for 4 days...now cant get my stomach back to  normal super dizzy tired and headachey and wish i never would have taken this stuff...went to emerg..and said when will this get out of my system..they said after 2 days but you seem to be taking longer and maybe or more sensative....well if it is out of my system...why am i still feeling so sick....scared this wont go away now..
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    • Posted

      sounds like your going through withdrawals well i used ativan to get off of it but your already off of it i would say if you can sleep then your doing fine you just have to wait two weeks exactly for the withdrawals to shut off i can tell you this much i know it feels like your going to die but you have to ignore that and dont worry best thing you can do right now is just relax and wait and it will go away if you can diet and excersize go for it it will keep you preoccupied enough to ignore the withdrawal symptoms i use to listen to affirmations from kaiser every morning i felt that helped and go online check out google news and facebook that will keep you occupied long enough to ignore it tell it goes away
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    • Posted

      I take 800mg of magnesium every night for muscle cramps. Have been for quite a few years. When my doctor started me on neurontin, he never said anything about taking magnesium and gabapentin. Why do you say not to?
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    • Posted

      because the magnesium connects to the same receptors as the neurontin does plus when you read online about going through gabapentin withdrawals they say you have to stop the gabapentin first before taking magnesium so that the magnesium will help you go through gabapentin withdrawals

       

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    • Posted

      because the magnesium connects to the same receptors as the gabapentin does plus when you read online about going through gabapentin withdrawals they say you have to stop the gabapentin first before taking magnesium so that the magnesium will help you go through gabapentin withdrawals
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    • Posted

      Was put on Gabapentin and Oxycodone after foot surgery, took for 6 days felt so terrible went cold turkey of both . Feeling terrible, pharmacist says it's withdrawl, from the Gabapentin and take tylenol, any suggestions ?

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    • Posted

      id say if you can sleep without a sleep aid and you have no problems dealing with symptoms of anxiety then wait tell the symptoms of anxiety go away on its own. if you cant sleep and you cant handle the symptoms of anxiety then get 100mg capsules of gabapentin and 1mg tablets of ativan and go back on the gabapentin and start tapering off the gabapentin. if you were already taking 300mg of gabapentin per day then you can start off now with 200mg of gabapentin per day at bedtime and 1mg of ativan per day at bedtime do that each night at betime you can take them together at the same time do that for 7 days then go down to 100mg of gabapentin and .5mg of ativan and do that all through your second week every night at bedtime you can use a razor blade to cut the ativan in half and then at the end of the second week stop taking gabapentin but continue with the ativan but cut it in half again with a razor blade so that your taking .25mg each night at bedtime all through your third week and then at the end of your third week continue to not take any gabapentin and cut the ativan in half again so that your now taking .12mg of ativan each night at bedtime and do that all through your fourth week each night at bedtime and then at the end of your fourth week stop taking ativan and now your going to sleep with no pills every night for the rest of your life after the end of your fourth week
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    • Posted

      just to let you know ativan is a narcotic and you cant stay at 1mg of ativan for more than 7 days and also just to let you know you cant take ativan for more than a month the doctors say it is addictive but when the emergency room doctor prescribed it to me i didnt know and he didnt know if i could get addicted to it so depending upon each persons biology you never know when a person can get addicted to it so when you take it you might be taking a chance that when you stop it you could go through withdrawals from it so hopefully your biology is the same as mine and you dont go through withdrawals from it like i did i made it safely through the ativan no problem so good luck to you
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    • Posted

      oh and dont take tylenol while doing this because i did not take tylenol while doing this my foot was smashed at work by a 300 pound valve on the job my supervisor did it to me i didnt need surgery i just had to use crutchs for 2 months so i know where your coming from
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    • Posted

      Will try tonight, you were lucky no foot surgery, I missed a step and suffered a major Lisfranc  fracture and dislocation of 4 metatarsoles in 2014, had hardware removed 2015. Now I had to have more surgery , this is the easiest of the surgeries and I never had drug problems before
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    • Posted

      niether had i tell i was injured on the job for the first time in my whole life after 40 years they prescribed me nabumetone and orphenadrine citrate for inflammaotry and muscle relaxant/sleep those drugs said they start taking effect after one week and one week exactly after the injury i didnt sleep at all for 5 days the doctor said it could be side effects of those drugs so he added a third drug gabapentin to counter act the side effects of the first to drugs to make me sleep then when he said stop taking gabapentin after two weeks i went right back to the same thing being awake for 5 days straight again then tells me its not withdrawals and to just stop taking gabapentin so i stopped again and awake again for five days then went back on gabapentin tried to stop a month later awake for five days went back on for another month stopped again by this time my job laid me off and shut off my healthcare the doctors said they were done with my foot and then said go see a neurologist so i go see three doctors and all 3 said no i cant see neurologist all three said its not gabapentin withdrawals so by the time ive seen 3 doctors all saying its not withdrawals ive now been awake for 3 weeks straight no sleep not even for a second so now im thinking this is turning into an emergency so i went to the emergency room and the doctor says its gabapentin withdrawals sends me to a psychiatrist who says the emergency room doctor is wrong and that its not gabapentin withdrawals and tells me i need to stay on gabapentin for the rest of my life so at that point i try to figure out what the emergency doctor said to do to get off gabapentin and it worked you should of seen the inside of my mind by the end of 3 weeks with no sleep space and time itself was turning into a tunnel inside my mind days were going by in what seemed like hours to me and the tunnel vision would never go away next thing i know i was struggling to eat i had to shove food down my throat and then when i took my last ativan pill .12mg to sleep and the next night it came time to go to sleep it seemed like a miracle of god happened and i went to sleep with no pills i thanked the heavens above but for two months after that it seemed like i was awake while sleeping but i knew i was sleeping because one moment it was night and the next the sun was out plus when i would lay there it seemed like 5 minutes went by but when i looked at the clock two hours had gone by so now i know for sure i sleep now
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    • Posted

      but i knew i was sleeping because i never noticed the sun rising it went from night to five minutes later the sun was already out
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    • Posted

      Got about 2 hours sleep, feeling terrible this morning, phoned telehealth and have been advised to see doctor nwithin the next 4 hours..
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    • Posted

      emma i forgot to mention after you go back on the gabapentin the gabapentin doesnt start to take effect tell the second night thats what happen to me after i got out of the emergency room the way it works is by going back on the gabapentin since your taking such a small dose the gabapentin doesnt start to take effect tell the second night the gabapentin  starts to relax you to stay asleep longer while the ativan just puts you to sleep so basically the ativan makes you go to sleep and the gabapentin relaxs you enough to stay a sleep longer like 7 hours
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    • Posted

      but since your taking such a small dose of gabapentin you have to wait tell the second night for the gabapentin to take effect
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    • Posted

      that first night after i got out of the emergency room i only slept 4 hours but trust me by the second night after i got out of the emergency room the gabapentin finally kicked in and i got 7 hours sleep i got so excited that morning i called the emergency room doctor to tell him it worked
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    • Posted

      trust me emma i know its easy to freak out when your body is doing something it shouldnt but you just have to trust me and just relax this is going to take time but it will work
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    • Posted

      if you take ativan all by itself it only helps you sleep a couple hours its the gabapentin taking effect after a couple nights of taking it that makes you sleep longer
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    • Posted

      sorry about that emma i should have forewarned you that that same night i got out of the emergency room the emergency room doctor injected into me ativan into the side of my arm and i got the 100mg capsules of gabapentin at walgreens and then i slept only 4 hours that same night but the next night i slept 7 hours so to anybody out there doing this method of gabapentin withdrawal be forewarned that if you have beeen off of gabapentin for a while and your going back on it for the first time it does take a couple of nights for the gabapentin to take effect
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    • Posted

      especially if your starting off at a lower dosage of gabapentin like 300mg or 200mg

       

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    • Posted

      Thanks for all your helpful advice, my regular doctor does not want me back on gabapentin and as I can tolerate the pain,thanks to a cryo/cuff , has prescribed something else for a few days, not sure what as my husband has the prescription
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    • Posted

      oh ok cool when you said you only got 2 hours sleep on the gabapentin and ativan i remembered leaving the emergency room and sleeping only 4 hours after taking 300mg of gabapentin and 1mg of ativan and thinking this isnt working but when the next night came and i did it again i slept 7 hours and thanked the heavens above so you slept only 2 hours? was it the pain that caused it?
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    • Posted

      I started taking gabapwntin due to chiari malformation and herniated disc and was on 900 mg 3 times a day but was to groggy all the time so doctor dropped it to 600 mg 2 times 4 times a day. I hardly sleep so i been taking it now only when feel pain but now i feel like im getting panic attacks i hate this

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    • Posted

      your hardly sleeping now because you went down on the dosage so your experiencing a little gabapentin withdrawal panic attacks is caused by going down on the gabapentin dosage so that to is caused by a little withdrawals it might go away after a week or two after your body gets use to 600mg gabapentin a day actualy after two days it might go away anyways you should be ok at 600mg gabapentin if you suspect side effects always let your doctor know about the side effects
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    • Posted

      I don't know what planet you're on but Ativan is not a narcotic. It is classified as a benzodiazepine which is a tranquilizer.  It is however a controlled substance. Please stop giving information that is incorrect. Your advice concerning magnesium is also a problem. Taking magnesium and gabapentin is not necessarily off limits. One withdrawing from gabapentin can certainly take it to kept the body happier since both use the same receptors. That said, taking both without considering that could cause one to not receive the desired effect of pain relief etc. Rehabs use magnesium as an adjunct during withdrawal.  Don't post bogus, inflated or uninformed information.

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    • Posted

      I been given Gap.for Sciateca but I checked  first about  this med. and seen  reaction, but so far is very dangerous for your body, with therapy I’m ok I can control pain without this  narcotics 

      Thank you God and people who post their experience with this medication 

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    • Posted

      I'm living proof that magnesium as well as aluminum and calcium can cause the onset of withdrawl symptoms if taken within 2-3 hours on either side of taking this medication. I read that magnesium helps ease withdrawl symptoms so I started taking it....wrong!!!.....it shares and competes for the same receptor site. Same as oxygen and carbon monoxide, which can cause death. Sever and sudden withdrawl of gabapentin can also cause death.

      Ok...I'll give you the narcotic blerb; however, benzodiazepines are considered mild tranquilizer at best. Tranqeluzers have been pulled off the US market decades ago. 

      Do not minimize all the good help the writer has provided to many of us. As of yet there is no/zero/zip gabapentin ween schedule for clinicians to implement. Most clinicians are not aware it's addictive. 

      Thanks to all contributors as we are making progress as we titrate down by trial and error. 

      Remember, don't give up we can and will do this!👣

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    • Posted

      Hey there, I was wondering how you had fared? Reading this post is eerily similar to what my husband has been experiencing. He was on 1600 mg of gabapenton for several years, we lost our insurance and he went off it completely last March no one telling us not too. He has been "mysteriously" ill getting steadily worse. I'm wondering now if the drug is involved.... he has severe nausea and vomiting, has lost 60 lbs in 6 months, has tremors, muscle loss, loss of coordination, and can no longer walk unassisted. On top of bone loss, and unbearable joint pain... not one doctor has mentioned Gaba problems.

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    • Posted

      no doctor will mention gabapentin problems and no doctor ever will mention gabapentin problems i mysteriously lost 30 pounds going on gabapentin and mysteriously lost 30 pounds again going off gabapentin and didnt sleep for 3 weeks because everything the doctors said to do wouldnt work and all the doctors kept saying gabapentin withdrawals is impossible also your not suppose to stop taking gabapentin until the doctor tells you to stop taking gabapentin or else really bad things can start happening
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    • Posted

      Jennie,  Please give my sincere sympathies to your husband.  As someone who has experienced a very severe reaction to Gabapentin (both start up the third time and then discontinuation and withdrawal), I hurt for both of you. I found many of my symptoms to be similar to those of people suffering from benzodiazepine withdrawal.  (Both gabapentin and benzodiazepines are Gaba medicines.)  I found a lot of support and encouragement from people on this site and the benzo buddies site.    I did experience nausea, weight loss, and tremors, but because I did not have balance issues I cannot comment on your husband's exact symptoms. I know for my symptoms, I was told it could last anywhere from six months to 3 or more years.  I am now at the one-year mark and I'm doing much better.  I still have a few minor symptoms, but they are barely noticeable and do not interfere with my daily living.  I hope you get a chance to  consult with a physician regarding your Gabapentin  suspicions. Since many doctors seem to be uninformed, it might be helpful to print out some information from this site and maybe from the benzo buddies site, if applicable,  to support your theory. My best to both of you.

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    • Posted

      hi the closet potter. how are you? all you said was why? and who told me that? what is the question why about? and what did you mean by who told me what?
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    • Posted

      i can only assume what you mean by your questions of why and who told me that was from the last comment i made to jennymayd the fact that doctors wont mention gabapentin problems stems from real life experience of what really happened to me in real life i think the fact that so many people smoke weed is what causes doctors to not know what can really happen with gabapentin with the withdrawals from gabapentin when people have a problem sleeping they smoke weed with me weed makes me go insane so i cant just smoke weed to goto sleep and when i went on gabapentin i lost like 35 pounds while doing nothing that was really strange i thought the foot injury caused it but at this point i think gabapentin caused it or the antiinflamatory might have caused it but stopping the gabapentin i was off the antiinflamatory for 3 months at that point so the only thing that could have caused me to lose 35 pounds again when stopping gabapentin would have had to be only the gabapentin because that was the only thing i was on at the point of stopping the gabapentin as for the 3 weeks of no sleep that was because all the doctors i saw didnt know it was gabapentin withdrawal so they had me taking z quil benadryl doctor prescribed sleep aid and ambien and meletonin and ambien was the only thing that put me to sleep but only for 4 hours and id wake right up for no reason but once the emergency room doctor told me to go back on gabapentin with ativan it worked and from what i read you do have to stop gabapentin only when the doctor tells you because i know from experience every time i stopped the gabapentin i went 5 days with no sleep from begining to end that was real and 99 percent of doctors out there will tell you its stress when you know its not stress it turned out to be gabapentin withdrawals and i have the emergency room medical report to prove it it states withdrawals from doctor prescribed prescription very clearly
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    • Posted

      I have asked this before but not to you.  I will first tell you that I was on gabapentin for at least two years.  about two months ago I tapered off of it completely.  Right after I started having bloating and stomach pains.  So my question to you is did you continue having stomach pains as a side effect? 

       

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    • Posted

      side effects are when your on a drug but if you have been off gabapentin for two months now then its called withdrawal so it sounds like gabapentin withdrawal causing bloating and stomach pains i personally never had any bloating or stomach pains but the problem is doctors know nothing about gabapentin withdrawals and from what i read online it sounds like everyone experiences gabapentin withdrawals entirely differently from everyone else so no one knows how long there withdrawal effects will last but your best bet is to diet and excersize and wait tell all the withdrawal effects go away in time hopefully sooner rather than later but you will have to be really patient and only time will tell because gabapentin withdrawal is a big deal and withdrawals can last a year so i would give it at first a good 6 months and by then hopefully you will no longer have any problems by then it could be two years on gabapentin has caused your body to be thrown out of wack big time after stopping the gabapentin and your body is taking longer than others to go back to normal but in time i think your body will get back to normal and any withdrawal effects will go away
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    • Posted

      Hi Garnella.  I, personally DID have stomach and intestinal issues after stopping Gabapentin, even though I titrated off.  They did end eventually, but it took over 6 months.
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    • Posted

      Garnella, I know I had bloating and probably had gas too (though I didn't write that down in the notes I took).  What I mainly remember is that I was very  uncomfortable and in pain and slept with a heating pad on my belly and abdominal area at night and also laid down with the heating pad when possible during the day.  The heating pad seemed to help a little.  I lost weight because I didn't feel like eating.  It was definitely NOT a fun time!

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    • Posted

      Could you let me know why I can't take tylenol while trying to get off gabapentin?  It was helping with headaches and I take it at night with benadryl to sleep.

      Thanks

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    • Posted

      Hi d.  I'm wondering if you can't take tylenol because someone told you not to, you read something, or it has negative effects on your body in some way.  If it is affecting your body in an unusual say, I can tell you that  the withdrawal does weird things.  For almost a year after getting off "g", when I took Tylenol, i felt "buzzed."  The withdrawal affects everyone differently, but that's how it affected me.

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    • Posted

      Hi Linda,

      No, I was not having trouble taking tylenol but I had read on here that you should not take it during  the process of coming off gabapentin and was wondering why.  It helps me and I couldn't find any other information anywhere with a reason not to take tylenol, along with benadryl. I took it last night and slept well.  I slept 7 hours, this was my second night without any gabapentin.  I have been only tapering from 100 mg. at night, but had pretty bad withdrawl effects for 2 weeks when I went from 100mg to 50mg.   I hoping the rest of the tapering goes better.

      I hope you are feeling better now.

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    • Posted

      Hi again "d".  I am pretty much back to normal now.  I sincerely hope the rest of your withdrawal goes well.  You are doing it the best way -- tapering slowy to minimize side effects.  I've done it the right way and the wrong way, but also learned that once you've been on and off, you can get a different reaction if you go on again.  While the 1st time I had a great reaction, I've also suffered the most severe reaction possible going on and withdrawing, so I  never plan to ever try the medication again for any reason!!!!!  As far as tylenol, I have learned from others that some handle it fine during withdrawal and others do not.  I did not for awhile, but if I was in real pain or suffering, I did occasionally take it.  It just  made me feel more "buzzed" after I took it.

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