New and desperate

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I was prescribed gabapentin for nerve pain and I took one and felt weird but I'm desperate as I can hardly walk for the pain so I just took one. Has anyone experienced bad side effects from taking this drug?

I was on cbd oil but it isnt taking away the pain enough.

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  • Posted

    Hi Janey, yes gabapentin does make you feel spaced out when you first start taking it, but can be a great help with nerve pain. you don't say what dosage you are on, sometimes you need to start low and work your way up until you get a dose that controls the pain without the side effects being too bad. Just a warning though, its a controlled drug in the uk for a reason, its very addictive and is hard to get off if you need to, but don't let this stop you trying it.

    You didn't say if you were in the uk, if you are cbd oil is not all that helpful, without thc, and that needs to be prescribed with a good ratio of cbd to thc. At present, its only prescribed on the nhs for ms and epileptic seizures, so not available for nerve pain, though a lot of us with it believe it should be.

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    • Posted

      I'm scared to become addicted I started with 300mg and going up to 900mg. I also don't want any extra health problems got enough as it is.

      I wish I can just take the cbd oil but I cant. I wanted to trial gabapentin to see if helped.

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    • Posted

      yes me too, have come down to 600mg x 3 times daily, not helping a lot but pain is worse whenever I lower it. Ive been on it for years and it got to the stage where it wasn't helping even at the highest dose. It's a powerful drug.

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    • Posted

      Laura, gab is unlike almost any other drug. The pain you feel when you lower it is withdrawal. It can cause dependence and a person need to very slowly decrease the dosage, 10% or less in the daily dose and wait 4 weeks or longer usually before they drop again. It seldom helps for pain as research shows. However, it does affect the brain by disrupting neurons and synapses, hence the confusion, brain fog, memory loss depression etc. I'm sorry that you got caught, like millions of others.

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    • Posted

      Janey, few doctors understand the way the drug works. Even a basic search will show the list of wide effects, the fact it can cause dependence, can cause withdrawal symptoms the for some can last months and is an ineffective drug for pain.

      It was approved in the US by the FDA for only three things: it's an epilepsy drug, as it disrupts the brain's activities therefore it also was approved for small nerve diabetic neuropathy and shingles/post shingles pain (PHN). However the test results show that it helps in about 50% or less of those two groups when given for pain. However it was heavily marketed to doctors as a "nerve pain" pill. Doctors haven't followed the latest research that it can cause more harm than good.

      I was at 2700 mg 3 years ago for my shingles and post shingles pain. I'm now down to 300 mg per day it's getting off this medication has been horrible. The withdrawal side effects are numerous and not worth the drug. Please research to determine if you want to stay on the drug, and decide what to do. DO NOT GO COLD TURKEY. It can cause life-threatening side effects, but you can safely decrease the dosage by taking 4 weeks or longer to drop your dose 10% or less.

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  • Posted

    Hi, Janey.

    Like you, I was prescribed Gab for back pain. I was started on a very low 100 mg dose, and even that gave me weird sensations. Visual hallucinations are one of the side-effects, and I swore my staircase had turned into a down escalator and was moving away from me. I spent a long moment trying to remember which side of the tractor to get on as well.

    But as the dose increased to 400 mg/daily, my body and brain got used to it and it did give me some pain relief. I say only some because as it turned out, not all of my pain was coming from my orthopedic back issues and I wound up being treated for a recurrence of cancer (after 12 years in remission). I have other friends who are currently taking as much as 2500 mg (that one gave up taking Percocet to go back to Gab as it worked better for him) and one who just takes a 100 mg tab for pain from scleroderma as needed. I didn't even know you could do that, but her doc is totally on board with it.

    I had to stop the Gab (no wean-off, btw, because it wasn't for seizures) because it was reducing my kidney function, so that's a bigger issue even than the weird sensations. If you continue, be sure to have regular labs done.

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    • Posted

      I had some hallucinations too last night maybe why. I think I'll just take one a day. depending on how I feel. feeling drained is terrible though. even CBD did that to me

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    • Posted

      We each react differently to different drugs. Try every other day if you have to. I'm all about being proactive.

      I was just started on a new maintenance angiogenic chemo drug that is only 2 years on the market and has "NO side-effects or interactions" (according to the maker). Yeah. Right. The recommended protocol is start at maximum dose and cut down if the drug "isn't tolerated well" (translate: those pesky non-existent side-effects appear). I only lasted 3 days at the full dose before I had to call 1) the specialty pharmacy, 2) the manufacturer, and 3) my doctor all as required when I signed on for the drug. 1 and 2 swore what I was feeling wasn't related to the drug. Sorry, but passing out cold and having my BP go through the roof when I've been normal through 18 rounds of heavy chemo and 3 rounds of another angiogenic, and that those symptoms disappeared two days after stopping the drug (on doctor's orders) suggest otherwise.

      According to the FDA's report, I happen to fall in the +10% of patients who have these side effects. For me those are intolerable as this is a farm and I can't be just falling over and dropping off to sleep in mid-sentence, and I don't want to trade cancer for a stroke. "She's a vegetable, but at least she's a vegetable in remission" isn't my goal.

      If you can't tolerate what you're feeling, do what you have to do to feel better. It's your life.

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    • Posted

      US Rider, unfortunately, it should NOT be used every other day, that can cause dangerous seizures or other life-threatening heart and respiratory issues. I also believe that the percent of people who have side effects is well above 10%. There is poor data and research on this drug.

      Janey PLEASE research how to safely get off this drug. Taking just one pill a day after being on 900 mg is dangerous. BTW, the pill is available in 100 mg doses also. Many doctors don't bother with lower doses and just start patients at 300, not realizing, as you're finding out, how harmful the drug can be.

      Look at for more information. If you taper (decrease) too quickly you can end up with withdrawal that can last months or years. Please take this seriously. For my last 3 years I've known too many people who made the mistake of not taking this drug seriously and had life-altering damage.

      Moderator comment: I have removed the link(s) directing to site(s) unsuitable for inclusion in the forums. If users want this information please use the Private Message service to request the details.

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    • Posted

      I had a long reply which is being moderated. It is NOT safe to decrease to only one pill per day NOR can you take it only every other day. Dangerous withdrawal symptoms such as heart and respiratory conditions can occur. PLEASE read more about the drug before you make a decision. Look at the hand-out the pharmacist gave you and look for other support groups. Here on PT info look up other gab threads.

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    • Posted

      janey just took one tablet, Babs. also I'm well aware how it works and how to taper. I've been taking it for years. I'm on the gabapentin fb site, you can't put links on this site.

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    • Posted

      Laura, yes I know you can't put links on this page, that's why I put descriptions of the pages or partial addresses. The bots here can be a bit overzealous. I had a few words with spaces to describe the titles, no links at all.

      The other confusion is that Janey wrote this: "I'm scared to become addicted I started with 300mg and going up to 900mg." So my assumption was that she was taking 3 300 mg tablets, which should properly be given 3 times a day. IF the doctor prescribed it as once a day (which some doctors not familiar enough with this drug do) she would generally have to be careful in that taper. Generally, if people have problems taking the drugs, they'll also have problems as they decrease the drug.

      Janey, I hope you continue to feel fine, but some people don't feel the effects of withdrawal for days or even weeks. Each person varies, that's why it's so hard to make a blanket statement of what can or can't happen. Good luck!

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  • Posted

    this is a a very nasty drug and I experienced 16 side effects from it. I was on 2400 mg a day for 5 weeks and it did nothing to help my pain but I did get addicted to it. it took me 3 to 4 months before I felt normal again. I cried everyday. I would not take it ever again. it has been reclassified as a controlled substance since I took it. I wish you the best.

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