New to Gabapentin and I WANT TO GET OFF (almost 1 week of taking it)

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I am a 20 year old male, and my orthopaedic surgeon prescribed me 300mg of gabapentin to be taken twice daily to treat my sciatic pain. I am approaching day 7 (started 9/23), and I've been noticing side effects that seem to get worse every day. I started off this academic year more motivated than I've ever been in my entire life, and that all went downhill once I started gabapentin. I have some serious brain fog, and I've lost a lot of motivation to do anything in general. I've been feeling really sad and 'dull'. Often times, my moods would swing between being irritated or depressed. This makes it worse because I also believe that I have depression ever prior to taking the medication.

I really want to get off of this immediately. I feel like I've been getting worse everyday, and I've been feeling like sh*t. Although I am planning on calling my doctor tomorrow, I would like to know your thoughts! Will I be able to stop without getting withdrawals because I'm still new to the medication and considering the dosage? Will I ever be back to normal? Life isn't looking so good right now through the lens of gabapentin, and I feel like nothing is going right.  Please drop some knowledge below!

-Best,

Fellow Gabapentin Patient

 

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  • Posted

    Prescription edit******

    300mg twice daily for 30 days. I'm about to be one week into using it, and I accidentally fell asleep and missed my evening dose last night.

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    • Posted

      I have missed a dose before but I have been in it longer.  Give your Pharmacist a call or some pharmacy that is open 24 hrs.  Hate to say it, but I often trust the Pharmacist more then the doctors.  
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  • Posted

    I am 67 years of age and I have had TN for almost 4 months now.  My doctor and I have learned the hard way that I am very "sensitive" to all meds.  I was on 2700mg a day of gabapentin.  You need to go off it slowly.  Maybe your doctor can give you some 100 mg capsules to help you do this. However for me gabapentin is the drug with the least side effects, so I had to go back on it.  I was suppose to take it three times a day, but the mid day dose gives me the same side effects as you have.  I am currently on gabapentin 100 mg twice a day along with norotrypilline 10 mg at bedtime....and I am coping with the TN.  And yes when you get off the gabapentin you do return to normal, and maybe like me a lower dose will help you with the pain and keep you normal.  Good luck.

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  • Posted

    This drug is awfull. Last time I took 100mg  x3 day for 2 weeks just stopped with problems. if I were you contact a pharmacist or taper then stop.
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  • Posted

    Yes Johnny you should be able to get off of this medication fairly quickly because of the time limit and the dosage you take.  We are all different however.  Each of us has a different body chemistry and DNA.  However, I was on 3600 mg. daily for over 15 years and only recently did I discover that I had been on twice the maximum daily recommended dose for most of that time.  I had also developed "cervical dystonia" which caused me to isolate due to the stares and questions.  My journey was terrible!  I didn't even realize that my condition was due to the large dosage of Gabapentin.  It was a discovery that was made by accident.  I have gone down now to 1800 mg. and the "cervical dystonia" has reversed.  However, the muscles in my neck had atrophied and it has taken exercise to strengthen the neck muscles.  Please hang in there!  It will get better.  Go down gradually and soon you will be completely Gabapentin free!  Keep us posted..

    Miss Jewel

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    • Posted

      Miss Jewel I'm glad your cervical dystonia has reversed and hope you won't suffer any other side effects from long term use even at a reduced dose. There seems to be no end to the horrific side effects from this drug. Some of my side effects improved after stopping it but after a year many seem permenant. I won't list them as I have posted my story several times in the past and it matches many others but your side effect is a new one to me. Best of luck on your full recovery.

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    • Posted

      This is what scares and bothers me about this gaba.  I'm already worried that there may be some lasting permanent effects.  I know you said you posted your story (I guess I can try to find it in all the postings ) But exactly how long did you take it and how long have you been OFF of it........AND what are the troubling side effects now ??

      Thanks

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    • Posted

      Hey jimbourg8. Don't mean to scare anyone just want people to be very cautious when dealing with this drug. I was on low doses for 5 years for several chronic dibilitating pain conditiions that I couldn't use standard pain treatments for. I happen to be hypersensitive (hence the low doses) and or allergic to most drugs. I was told gaba was  safe with minimal side effects. I really didn't associate the side effects that occured over the years with gaba because the doctors blamed them on everything from early onset alzhimers to parkinsons or just stress. It started with balance and gait issues then tremors, more pronounced on left side and head, memory glitches that increased till I forgot basic math skills and was calling people by the wrong name. Couldn't find words for basic things and ideas. I couldn't retain any new information and had to start relying on others to even speak with my doctors. Can't tell you  how many specialists I've been sent to who didn't have a clue in the end. I stumbled upon the gabapentin connection eventually as I painstakingly researched all my symptoms. Weaned myself off over 6 months and it's been about 2 years now and as you can see some of my cognitive functioning has returned but the tremors are still with me though not as pronounced, I use a walker on my worst days still and struggle with words and names and numbers only if I'm tired or stressed  but still can't read for enjoyment because of retention difficulties. Although I never got clinicaly depressed on gabapentin I find myself laughing so much more often and easily now even though I'm still in pain daily. So not back 100% but improved in most areas and at least no further damage is being done to my brain and central nervous system. I also developed  Sojgren Syndrome and vestibular migraines with vertigo just before I stopped the gaba which may or not be related to my prolonged exposure to it. I did find it curious that one of the medications they tried to give me for the vestibular migraine is topomax which has similar side effects as gaba and is also a seizure medication. Hope this will keep you from having to research my past postings. Hope your side effects are not as extreme or permanent as mine.

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    • Posted

      You know what ?  What is a low dose anyhow ?  i Suspect what someone may call a low or maintenance dose could be a high dose !  For instance maybe 100 mg is high for any given person.....but they started me out on two 300 mg  Twice daily for RLS and Anxiety.  So that's 1200 mgs.  How much was your "low" dose over 5 years ? 

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    • Posted

      They could only get me up to 100 mgs. 3x per day. Thats only 3oo mgs. a day for 5 years. I'm like a baby though when it comes to drugs. The elavil they gave me to boost other low dose medication effectiveness actually gave me RLS which is usually given for RLS. Same with nortyptyline. That's at child size doses. I don't know what a normal dose would do to me. I have to carry an Epipen due to all my allergic reactions to drugs. Doctors get frustrated trying to treat me without sending me to the ER. Once the paramedics thought I might be having heart trouble (it was my gall bladder) and they made me take a baby asprin in the ambulance which I promptly threw up.Even low doses of Ibuprofen gives me fevers and dizziness. Sorry so much detail but I need you to understand that  I am an exception when it comes to drug tolerance. I'm even fatally allergic to alcohol. (I'd be easy to kill.) So is it any wonder that someone like me got permanent neurological damage from long term use of gabapentin? Hopefully your an average person and won't get permanent damage like me. I sense your anxiety over this. My son has ADHD with anxiety but inherited some of my drug intolerance and can't do anti-anxiety meds. We found alternative methods. So far he's coping. Hope your withdrawal goes smoothly and you come out wholly healthy. Just pace yourself and keep good records of your progress.

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    • Posted

      Oh yes I am doing the right thing and keeping track of  my progress. And  I am feeling so much better since I have down-dosed from 600 - 1200 mg per day to now  100 mg per day !!  It's like I am a new person now...I'm getting my "self" back and my emotions and memories from the past are opening up!  As I was saying before, nobody really knows what a "low dose " is ?  It's pretty much trial and error. Doctors think they know what a low or maintenance dose is but really they don't. We have do do our own research from our own expierience.

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  • Posted

    It seems obvious to me that your adverse side effects are directly correlated to the Gaba. intake.  Since you have only been taking it for 7 days , it should be a fairly quick tapering off for you.  Your brain has not gotten used to it yet......however I still would not quit abruptly...like someone else just posted, it is a good idea to taper off...maybe even  for maybe two weeks or so at a dose of probably 100 mg  per day.......it's better to go slow than too fast. It is astrounding to me that Doc's immediately try to get you to take a psychotropic drug like gaba. for pain ??  Why not just use a common analgesic like Ibuprofen which can be helpful, safe,  and still manage the pain .  Besides Gaba. really does not work very well for chronic or acute pain relief. I had been on Gaba. for 4 years straight and taking between 600-1200 per day !  I have backed off due to bad side effects recently (about 5 to 6 weeks now ). Now am taking about  100 mg  2 times daily....12 hours apart to smooth out the withdrawal.  I am feeling very much better.......BUT am still having some withdrawal side effects. Since I have been on it for 4 years , I think my withdrawal is going to take a few months!  We don't know the long term effects of being on these kinds of drugs, and I am anxious of some long term undefined irreversible changes .  You are lucky to only have started  ....and now you can quit with prob. no lasting effects....good luck.

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  • Posted

    Hi Johnny91770. Others have posted lots of good advice here to follow but no way to tell how you will respond to withdrawal or if full normalcy will return. That's the danger of this drug. We all react so differently and there's no way to tell ahead of time. One reason you might feel like nothing is going right is due to the way gabapentin can alter your perception having messed with your brain chemistry. Just remember that and everytime you start to feel hopeless just keep telling yourself it's just the drug. It's not you...it's just the drug and once you get it out of your system lifes challenges will be easier to navigate. Just take it one step at a time. Some people find it helpful to daily document their progress as they withdraw and it can provide useful information for the doctors that are treating you. Good luck and know we are here for you.

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  • Posted

    Johnny, I understand completely, I am just like my mother...and you...I get every side effect in there is and more.  When I have surgery, etc something always goes wrong, so far in the end everything turns out okay.  I am currently coping with my TN pain with gabapentin 100 mg twice a day and norotrypilline 10 mg at night...the later really helps.  Hang in there and trust what your body is telling you.
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