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adam3355 adam3355

Potential Long Term Effects Of Gabapentin

I have been on Gabapentin on and off for about 7 months (since approx January). I was taking it for chronic pelvic pain, and it worked well, but it made me very emotional and made higher cognitive functions difficult. After 4 months of semi-regular use, I got off it quickly, but kept it around in case of a severe pain flare up. As of now I have gone through 2 "100 capsule" bottles of 100mg pills, so not too much. Never took a higher dosage then 300mg and never took more than 300mg in one day. 

I've used it a few times recently (in July, just a few weeks ago) when the pain really flared up, thinking it would only have minimal side effects, but it has resulted in continual severe depression and dark thoughts even though I haven't taken any in two weeks. I took it occassionally because I thought the depression was predominantely from the chronic pain, but now I realize the gabapentin was the root of it. I'm terrified because I know the drug has long since left my system but I can't shake the side effects. Doctors and psychologists won't listen to me. They say I'm just depressed and it isn't the medication, but I'm positive it is. The pain is finally improving, I'm going back to school, and things are looking up. But there is this unshakable auora that is plauging me. No matter how hard I distract myself and push through there's this cloud that impares my ability to emotionally and physical function (feelings of detachment, separation, depression, and some suicidal thoughts). Words come slower, it's harder to focus, memory is very dull. I wasn't concered within the first few days, but it's been a few weeks now and I'm alarmed that it doesn't seem to be improving.

Do the side effects ever go away... How long does it take and what can catalyze the healing process? Is it possible to incur permanent damage from a low dosage, or does it take months to heal. Can anyone explain the biomechanics behind how gabapentin can affect patients weeks after usage. 

Hopefully there is an answer and the possibility for recovery, but at the moment things are very frightening. 

257 Replies

  • william65598 william65598 adam3355

    I have been using Gaberpentin for seven months as well. I have been increasing the dosage to manage nerce pain associated with a herniated disc. I am awaiting injections that, hopefully will calm the inflamation, reducing the nerve pain. I had back surgery, sucessfully, 13 years ago, but will try the injections as this MRI, shows minamal herniation. Adam, I truly hope that you find releif, or some other releif from medicine, or possibly surgery. Best wishes, Will

    • liz0705 liz0705 tracy59216

      Hello Tracy- I'm just following up in your question to William.....are you working with a pain specialist? I am. He's real good at identifying the root cause of my pain and treating it accordingly. I'll be getting my 3rd lumbar injection in 2 weeks. Last I had was a year ago. No one should have to wait more than a couple weeks to get an injection once it is ordered by the doctor.

    • tracy59216 tracy59216 liz0705

      Somehow My answer went to Liz. I have deformed vertebra and maybe arthritis. I have to fly 900 mLies to see my specialist who says I am u operable; been twice in 4 years. Trying to get a new gp and have to travel by car 200 mile round trip to see gp. I have constNt severe sciatica leg pain and feel I am left to suffer for too long. Tried to get off gabapentin to see difference and discovered it is helpful.  I am into month 5 of a 12 month wait for an injection. I am not the same person anymore

    • jwilliams62184 jwilliams62184 william65598

      If the disc shows up dark on the MRI that means the disc has no fluid in it and it is dead. This can cause what is perceived as nerve pain. There are small nerves on the outer layer of the disc when these are exposed to the fluid from the inside of the disc it causes them to send pain signals. You s j old have a discography to see b if the fluid leaks out of the disc. if so you must remove the disc. I had an artifical disc replacement in Cleveland at the Cleveland Clinic. It's called a disc arthroplasty. I had a brand of artificial disc called a chariot. Check it out it was the best decision I ever had. Later I had to get a fusion below it but the arthroplasty was wonderful.

    • amy12290 amy12290 jwilliams62184

      i have had 3 injections, the 1st one worked for a bout 3 months but there was pain as the dr injected so he wanted to try the "coddle" for the next one & that did not work, they then tried the pyroformis injection & that did not work. i am going on a year now & just started gabapentin, but your reply intriged me as i was told i have three bulging discs & three that appear to have no fluid & i also have an extra rib on each side & additional discs.... my tailbone is also not nicely curved like normal but more of a sharp L shape..... he did talk about leaking fluid & sending me on to see someone else & possible surgery....... as much as surgery scares me the side effects of this medicine scare me more

    • lesley1954 lesley1954 liz0705

      Hi Liz

      I have been reffered to a pain clinic in September. I am still waiting to go for injection for my neck and back.

      The only thing is, the clinic I have been reffered to, can not take on any more patients, as they are booked up until December.

      So much for not having to wait more than 2 weeks

    • lesley1954 lesley1954 tracy59216

      Hi Tracey

      Your case is very much like mine. My cervical spine is very deformed and I too can not be operated on, as it is too bad.

      I also have problems with my lumber spine, which also can noused to be be operated on, as it would involve multiple discs. I also have continuas pressure on my sciatic nerve.

      I am on Gabapentin too 1,200mg 3 times a day. Not my gp or consultant have said that taking too much is dangerous. My side effects are really bad. My memory has almost completely gone, I struggle with my speech, I have the shakes really bad, and when I sit to rest, my body almost leaves the sofa by jumping. My left arm may as well be cut off as it is now totally useless

      I have been on this high dose for almost 3 years.

      I am a 61 year old lady that feels like I have been thrown on the scrap heap. Its like no one cares. I am on antidepressants and feel sometimes why do I go on. I too am not the same person I u

    • Holly1974 Holly1974 lesley1954


      I have 3 problematic discs in my lumber spine and other issues and irritated sciatic nerve and SI nerve to name a few. I have taken gabapentin 1800mg ( 600mg x 3 daily) , and also transferred to pregabalin to see if any better re side effect profile. I was started on it by pain clinic dr, the GPs really don't know that much about these drugs. I can truly sympathise with your memory probelms and the side effects on my speech too, I am 41 now but was 35 when I started on it. It was fantastic for first 12 months but then gradually I noticed effects with my short term memory, then I was saying things like''put the milk in the washer please'' to the kids etc. and still do. I weaned myself off these meds completely about 6 months ago now, slowly !!, as I got inc. pain every time I dropped down the dose, however I believe as one GP told me there was increasing evidence to support, that over time the body gets used to the dose and receptors adapt and therefore the effect on the pain is less. If you inc. dose past 1800mg daily you are unlikely to see an inc. in benefit re pain but def. would see more side effects. So, I came off. I told the drs about these side effects 5 years ago and was dismissed out of hand, I wish I had listened to my own intuition more. The sysle of pain and the meds we take to relieve it left me feeling like I had no option but to keep taking it. It was on watching the film Still ALice where she has EAD ( and book by Lisa Genova ) and I associated with a lot of the early symptoms that I said enough. and the very next week I started to dec the dose. There are other things that can be tried. pls so not put up with these hellish side effects, I got very down too and ended up on antidepressants and lack of slef esteem and didn;t want to talk to people as much as felt foolish when words came out wrong. Speak to your dr.

    • naria0608 naria0608 amy12290

      I have 2 slipped discs in my back. One with a7mm pertusion causing pressure on the sciatic nerve which gives constant pain from my tailbone area to the bottom of my left foot. I've tried acupuncture, physical therapy, etodolac, tramadol, neurotic/gabapentin, stretching, ice/hot compress and anything else to avoid surgery. Luckily my disk wasn't damaged and still had the opportunity to avoid surgery. I ended up going to the chiropractor to adjust me enough so I can comfortably have the steroid spine injection. I had two injections and then back to the chiropractor. I went from depending on crutches to help me walk, to standing upright in a month and a half. I love my chiropractor! I don't take any meds and I'm more aware of how to take care of my body. Despite the nay sayers... THE MOST NATURAL HEALER FOR YOUR BACK IS A REALLY CONTENTIOUS AND WONDERFUL CHIROPRACTOR!!! People told me the chiropractor made them worse but that may have been because they didn't do their homework, or their chiropractor just didn't care.

      After getting adjusted, expect some pain for a day or so, then it's nothing but heaven from there. Loosen the muscles with slow controlled movements before adjusting , and ice the area immediately after every adjustment for ten minutes.

    • robin39214 robin39214 naria0608

      Hi Narnia.

      I am so happy that worked/s for you and you have relief. You are one of the lucky ones. I have degenerative disc and spinal stenosis. Didn't know until in. 2004 when after getting shoved excessively hard I went over a chair and into a cabinet. I am not a lg women, ar

    • kristine58413 kristine58413 lesley1954

      Hi lesley my name is Kristine,i to am struggling with severe side effects,i took neurontin a number of times but never again will i touch the stuff,i had a very depressed emty feeling when i took it,also i hullucinated and thought my mom was hugging a person when it was my own cat! I am currently on seroquel a very small amount and i am trying to wean off,that is making me depressed to. Have you tried to wean off? Have you spoke to your docter?

    • Beowolf Beowolf kristine58413

      I have been on 1200 mg Gaba for more than 2 years, and 2 months ago I decided to come off it. I went down from 1200 to 300 a day in about a month, and lived trough a undescribable hell. I am 60 years old,a single father, and I also have a addictonal personality. I do not use any other drugs. So I have decided I do not have the time to live trough this hell for the duration, and will stay on it to the bitter end. However, It is doing me a lot of good too, appart from some clumsiness, slight memoryloss and vision problems. But, if I where younger, I would give it a go, but very, very slowly. This drug/poison, is for some people one of the most addictional there is. Some say it is easier to get off heroin. Doctors don`t hav a clue, so keep reading the forums and listen to what people experience. Good luck!

    • victor78781 victor78781 kristine58413

      Hi Kristine, It's interesting to know that you were on Seroquel. I think that Seroquel and Gabapentin are a nasty combination because it when I got on Seroquel that all my Gabapentin problems began. I now know that my bouts of intense anxiety and suicidal thoughts and abnormal thinking are due to Gabapentin but it all started when I started taking Seroquel. I stopped taking Seroquel and expected all my anxiety problems to stop before I realized it was the Gabapentin and now I'm tappering off of Gabapentin and hoping ofr  successful taper. Wish me luck!!!

      ​Though I do wonder what will happen after I taper off Gabapentin and what will I try next? Maybe Turmeric and rigerous exercise? We'll see. Best of luck to you and I hope you've made progress in the last two months since you wrote your post.

    • kimberly45582 kimberly45582 tracy59216

      Hi...I find that massaging the leg and hip when having sciatica pain is starting is helpful especially if you do it as soon as the pain starts. I don't know if that is a possibility for you or if your sciatica pain is constant. But I have been successful at catching it as soon as it starts. I have an electric massager my boyfriend bought me like 8 years ago and it has been very helpful the last 18 months. Sometimes I don't catch it right away or massaging doesn't help but I have had success with massage numerous times so it's worth a try. Wishing you a pain free day smile

    • sandra07610 sandra07610 kimberly45582

      Hi, I too have sciatica and piraformis pain so every morning I cross the one leg in front of the other and bend so that I stretch the muscles. If you do it correctly you can feel the stretch. I went through injections and many procedures and this seems to work better than anything. Remember as you age muscles and tendons tighten. So exercise is so important. 

    • Prz.... Prz.... lesley1954

      Hi Lesley!!😝 I am so heart broken to read ur post. No one should be in that sort of condition from a medication!!! Have u discussed this w/ur Dr.? I am concerned!! Please keep me posted. I am slowly weining myself if of gabapentin & down to 600 mgs. a day. So far for 4th day. I've had to use ICY HOT & MOTRIN but I feel its safer than gabs. 3 months ago prescribed 1800 mgs a day. Most I took was

    • Prz.... Prz....

      1500. Oppss. accidently sent. Worked briefly then all HELL broke loose w/my body. Long story short, found gabs was cause. Later, curious about side effects, I checked the "net" & posed ? on this forum. Be good to yourself, OK?

    • Irishnurse Irishnurse lesley1954

      Wow I can relate to the doctors not really caring all that much. I had a laminectomy in 2014 after multiple injection failures. I was 36. I have been on it ever since as I have chronic back pain. The surgery worked although I have just a weakened leg in general. My back pain started up bad again this past summer. Both sides and straight through my back. My doctor basically told me that I could take as much gabapentin as I wanted and prescribed me 1800 mg for one script then she wrote a second script for 100 mg tablets and I can fill that whenever I want. So here I am thinking I can take all of this gabapentin not realizing that it's going to hurt me. I've built a tolerance to it and now I am sick from it I believe. I don't know what my point is here as I just drink a cup of coffee and I'm chatty but I read your post and I'm sorry that you have to go through this

    • Irishnurse Irishnurse Beowolf

      Wow! I'm 39 years old and I've been on gab since my laminectomy in 2014. This March I'll be sober two years although my doctor has me on anywhere from 2000 mg a day and up. I should've known it was coming when I just started popping them like candy now I have to wean myself off of them and I'm terrified. I believe that everybody should trust their own bodies and doctors push way too many medications.


    • Sally1957 Sally1957 Beowolf

      I have been off of gabapentin for 61/2 months now. I was taking 1200 mg and I first went down 300 mg and it was HELL!!! After recovering from that and with the help of some nutritional supplements, I started tapering down 100 mg every 3 weeks and that made it much easier to go down. The last remaining 100mg was the hardest to come off of but I did it! Anyway, even though I am still taking the nutritional supplements, I still have my days where I feel like crap.  This has left me feeling very depressed and I don't know if this is coming from the fact that I am no longer on gabapentin. I do take an antidepressant. I do recall another woman said she has issues with depression as well once being off the gabapentin.I can't stand living this way much longer. I can hardly walk very far anymore and my legs are weak. Has anyone else had this problem going off of gabapentin?  This drug is a poison and I wish I had ever taken it!! Thank you!

    • Rener Rener jwilliams62184

      I hope Your still happy with SBCharite. I was in 2001 disc Study. Texas Back Institute one of the first ones done. It was a terrible choice. I still regret making decision. For the lumbar area of spine the outcome doesn't look too promising still in2017! Research and don't take Just trust Doctors reason! You may find out too late that They just want to write it up! They lol! Mislead you!! Wasn't funny but some did a Congressional Review Board!

    • Rener Rener

      Oh yea! Gabapentin. Please make sure it's a good medication for You. A dangerous drug that shouldn't be prescribed off label. Yes it will make you suicidal. Time will tell how long recovery if possible. As for Me I'm in same boat there. Your not alone! As for Makers I'm not sure if They know because no 2 minds are alike! Plus at first it was claimed to be safe and not addictive. Not true!  Just bad or worse than any opium or benzo!  You can't breath!  Couldn't hold Me down in ICU during a withdrawal from it. They didn't know I was on it. Nothing worked for Me until I was dosed with it! Calmed right down! Upper respiratory infections are side effect. I hate to say it but ICU has become a 2nd home. In 4 years I went from 2 to 22 medications!!  Please be careful with stopping. I understand it's a process for a professional to help with. Very slow!  Good luck

    • Rener Rener Prz....

      All hell broke loose in Your body?!!3600 mg per day and I know what that means!  I don't know anything literallly that gabapentin didn't destroy. Trying to pick up pieces as I withdraw to see total damage!  Good luck and God Bless! Sn

    • Fourwnds Fourwnds Prz....

      Hi, I have been on GABA since May/June started with 300mg then 600mg, and I've gotten as high as 1500mg as symptoms seem to need more to go away. Tingling, burning pretty much jumping around my body. Have some back issues but that's become secondary to the above now. I'm starting to think this GABA is actually causing it now instead of helping. It started out helping the pins-needles I was going through after I cold turkey end the Lorazipam. I had no idea what that was when my dr prescribed for sleep when having acute spasm episodes. Anyway I was curious what you went through and if maybe you any info to share with me as this is driving me to some dark places at times. I just keep hoping it's going to go away. Thank you!

    • teri 16438 teri 16438 sandra07610

      I had back surgery a year ago for a collapsed L5 it was causing pain in my buttocks and my left leg. I received relief in my leg but the pain in my buttocks is still there. When I take the gabapentin it helps but after hearing all the side effects I have started reducing my dose to 300mg a day. I do stretching exercise every morning and evening. I fell that it helps. Good luck to you on your recovery 

    • sandra07610 sandra07610 teri 16438

      Hi Terry 

      i am having the same problem but it was the result of passing out (anemia) and falling down cement steps. The pain is sharp and goes down my leg. I had back injections for sciatica and piriformis tear. I was on Gabapentin for four years and felt horrible. Couldn’t remember anything and felt like I was in a cloud. I would spike fevers for no reason. Well, I had a good case of poison oak and had to see a physician that was covering for my fmd. I told him how I was feeling and he told me to get off it so I weaned off almost for nine months. I was lucky as I didn’t have the withdrawal symptoms everyone is writing about. But I don’t think anyone withdrew as slow as I did. I feel great. Head is clear but buttocks and leg are not. Are they any worse now? No, it is the same and at times the pain escalates.  It I exercise and ice and get through it. A new doctor told me to walk and turn my feet in with long strides. Yes you must be careful but it works to stretch the piriformis and get it off the sciatic. Best place to do it is with a shopping cart in a store. Don’t overstretchas that can make it worse. Yes, I thought Gabapentin was the miracle drug but I really changed my mind. Only good thing is I lost 15lbs. Due to stomach problems and I am not over weight but a smaller jean size is good. But don’t  let that influence you. Some complain of weight gain and definitely, your bra size will change. Good luck.

    • carolyn94900 carolyn94900 Sally1957

      Hi Sally,

      Thanks for your story!

      I have been on 500mg Gabapentin for 1 1/2 yrs for severe Neuropathy and now I'd like to withdraw from it. At first I thought it continued.  But now I believe it is causing inflamation in my body to the point of burning in my chest, back, face and especially the lips.  My doctor wants me to increase the dosage...I will not as I already expect to be hospitalized if I can't withdraw.  I was on Codeine for years, plus Valium for almost daily migraines, the drugs, I think, caused the Neuropathy.  Reading your story has helped me with what to expect from withdrawal from the Gabapentin....I thank you and wish back to being healthy.  


    • juan76 juan76 victor78781

      Hello, I think what you have is called a miofascial syndrome which is muscle spams and pain that can ceat pain in other places. For example, if a muscle is too tight , it could be because there is a problem with a nerve or a muscle itself. By using foam rollers, doing stretches you are actually releasing the muscle that might be contracted creating an instant pain relief.  That usually happens to me, I usually do the same stretches as you in order to e.g. Pain relief but it last just for a she. What it needs to be done is looking for tight , contracted muscle and pit pressure on them for at least 30 seconds. That will release the muscle contraction  and elimination of reducing the pain. I have pelvic pain , it seems I manage stress and an Jett by tensing my pelvic. This creates tight muscles in my buttocks area and this type of action creates and iradiates pain all over my pelvis, more importantly my sexual organs, I feel pain,  burning and a constant vibration but according to my doctor this happens not because my sciatica, pudendal nerver or pyriformis are affected but because there are tight muscles being overwork and this creates the contraction and spams of the muscles and believe it or not a tight muscle can irradiate pain that is similar to nerve pain. Many times the nerve is not damage but instead the miscles are too tight.

    • kelly93450 kelly93450 juan76

      We delete content if it doesn’t meet the requirements in our Terms & Conditions.

    • joyce77666 joyce77666 sandra07610

      Hi there Sandra! I have the same problems with pain from the same things.  My spine doctor showed me the same stretch which I have never tried out since it looked too simple, but I will certainly try it !  I will get back to you. Warm regards, Joyce

    • Rener Rener carolyn94900

      I'm trying to follow  what is being discussed. Since I began gabapentin and through brain fog it's taken me this long plus every Doctor I've seen quoting the same thing which is it a safe effective medication for pain. Well my lab numbers are so bad!  I went from 4 to 22 meds. As soon as I began gabapentin I began having severe problems. Increase dose always the answer. 5 years now. I went from 3600 mg per day to 1100 since aug. I've had over 20 hospital stays which at least 15!were ICU. There is a huge problem with this med. phizer hit it big convincing Doctors it's good and for everything. How many deaths will it take for this non addictive but body dependent med for anyone in Government to care?!  I'm soooo mad. Please help me with this pelvic pain and I will be forever greatful!! It's a 10 daily. I know because tears hit my face before I know what's going on when I wake up!  I pass out in pain, I know because I'm talking and 30 minutes later I wake up to someone saying you passed out again pain so bad you think should I keep taking this pain daily?  Damn straight!  Don't give up until we get our answers. Gabapentin is poison!! It's worse than any benzo or opiate I've ever taken   Write your Congress and senate!  Get the word out!  It was a no money making med until phizer figured out how to make money. Now it's great for everything! Yep! I have a autoimmune disease, chronic infections, plus everything else it seems! Thank you! Phizer for making money off my health. Merry xmas to all the presents you can buy because I'm permeantly disabled thanks to you!! 

    • juan76 juan76 Rener

      Hello, have you ever been diagnosed  by a doctor? If you want please send me a message letting me know your symptoms , what kind of pelvic pain do you experience? Where? Are you anxious? Being under a lot of stress? Let me know. I too suffer from pelvic pain .  I need your answer to know if you have the same symptoms as me that way I will be able to help you. Thanks

    • Rener Rener juan76

      Many Specialist have been trying to diagnose me. It's electrical, burning throbbing and all kinds of pain. It started with use of gabapentin. I realize it now. Took 5 years but brain fog and every Doctor claiming No way had me confused. I've almost died and not exaggerating. I believe if looked into it will be found gabapentin was a or is factor!!  My Mom watched her Mom wake up from pain and stupor after decreasing dose. I went from 3200 mg to 3600 mg and could no longer work or discuss my own healthcare with my Primary. He ignored the 20 hospital stays and said if you feel sick on to ER!  I'm talking septic shock phnueminia, low sodium 117. High potassium a 7!  I don't make it up. It's proven plus now Addison's disease. I'm 54 bi would've noticed nowhigh steroids have no immune system!! I'm mad!  Help get me out of the pain and I'm ready to fight for the PTSD I SUFFER FROM TOO!, 

    • kelly93450 kelly93450 juan76

      Do you think that your pelvic pain could be due to a tumor or male anatomy issues (xrays, mri or ultrasounds?), or from tight muscle or ligaments pulling on your hip bones?

      One other question, per the Gabapentin, at this point, do you happen to have sweating from it? I am having severe burning up, sweating, & burning nerve pain all over all the time and I'm trying to eliminate what it could be.

    • b2wc97455 b2wc97455 Rener

      hi Rener,

      I couldn't help but hae to post a note here..well I worked for Pharmacaeutical Company as an ex Medical Rep.In my opinion, medicine prescribed by doctors and produced by any pharmaceutical companies are rally to help TEMPORARILY (if the patients could not bear it) however ..human being generally will not stand the pain...I used to advice the doctors or specialists to issue gabapentin only after they had been advice to change their life style..and come back after 3 months to see what happen..just like other medicine which contain opioid (tramadol, morphine) etc..also when the were prescribed as human being you need to read the leaflets inside the packet - each pharmaceutical company provides information such as : do's and Don't, contra indication, side as human being if been prescribed any drug..then not read what is in it..would that be the mistake of the doctors/pharmas or patients??, I detested my self to take any medicine - because I know despite thousands peoples were being tested on clinical trial prior the drugs being approved by is chemical..anything foreign to be absorbed by your body..WILL POTENTIALLY HAVE SIDE EFFECT, although each individual are diferent..but our body is not as fragile as people think..a short limited period of using this help (medicine) is OK..say 2 - 3 months..after that..I think we are only abusing our own healing power, because if every one keep relying in to chemical to synthesizing or replacing our own cell with GOD give us to regularize the work balance of our organ, etc..etc..I used : Gabapentin for 2 months, Tramadol for 3 months, Topiramate, Morphine, Steroid..BUT ITS ONE OFF LIMITED PerIOD ONLY..despite the pain I used to have i let my body work on it..but temporarily that medicines help me A LOT..the issue is lies on the patients themself as well, the health care professionals..never force their patients to take any is up to US to take our Own responsibility of OUR HEALTH.

      I hope this help.

      Think about it..people live longer now than 100 years ago..due to in a way..using it sensible will definitely help to heal our self...

      I hope that would give a broad open minded opinion, not bcause I used to work for Pfizer or GSK or AstraZeneca..but its because..that is the truth..Pharmaceuticals have to sale drugs to get their RETURN OF INVESTMENT - as doing clinical trial cost them millions..or billions....

  • allison 75402 allison 75402 adam3355

    I wish you well in your further recovery. I still have not been brave enough to take the tablets, my lower back must agree as my pains have eased to a manageable state. I have having my back injected in a couple of weeks so hopefully that will help

    • liz0705 liz0705 allison 75402

      I hope your injection has eased your nerve pain. I have had 2 injections myself, the last one was 1 yr ago. I'm getting another in 2 weeks, it will be my 3rd one. All this time I've remained on the gabepentin, 300mg twice daily. It helps me with other nerve pain I have. I'm lucky to not suffer any serious side affects, other than it makes me sleepy. I hope you are feeling better. 

    • tracy59216 tracy59216 allison 75402

      I live in Canada. I am into month 5 of a 12 month wait for injection. I have been unable to work since last summer. I am currently in the process of getting a new doctor which is another difficult thing to do here. I am in unbelievable pain and am not taken seriously enough.

    • kimberly45582 kimberly45582 tracy59216

      Hi...I live in Canada too...northern Ontario and the wait time for any specialist here is 8-10 months. I am in the same boat as you and havent worked since last summer. I have 4 health issues I am dealing with and 2 years ago I thought I was healthy because I alway went for regular physical and dental checkups. I have had a very good nurse practitioner for the past 12 years who works with me and within 3 months the I was seen by a surgeon in Ottawa. I hope you find a new doctor/nurse practitioner who will work with you and listen to you because you know your body better than anyone else. Good luck smile

    • Prz.... Prz.... tracy59216

      HI TRACY!😛

      I feel for u. Might I make a suggestion that may help a wee bit till u see Dr? I found that taking Vitam B12 dissolveable under tongue ONLY & Vitamin B3 help. I'm a regular user if topical creams such as ASPER CREME, ICY HOT, ...I know it's not a cure but eating properly, plenty of fluids, doing whatever u can to alleviate the pain, just do it. Good luck!

  • Jayive Jayive adam3355

    Hi Adam

    I have been taking gabapentin for over a year now and would say that, from your description of how you use this drug, you are not getting the right effects from it.

    It has to be started on a low daily dose and gradually built up to a much higher one.It cannot be used occasionally as your brain won't know whats happening but, if you follow medical advice and progress to a high dosage (1800 mg or more) and take it constantly you may find relief - I wouldn't be without it now.

    • KarKar KarKar Jayive

      Hi Adam 3355. 

         I have  experienced similar yet many more symptoms and effects from taking Gabapentin. I found your post helpful to me. I thought I was the only one going through this. I have been on Gabapentin for aproximately 13 years now. I feel so horrible. I can't even explain what it does and has done to me. I feel it should possibly be looked into, and perhaps be considered on the list of medications that cause Medically Induced Lupus. I have developed many autoimmune dosorders since taking Gabapentin, one including the antibody tests of Lupus. I am down to 300 mg. of Gabapentin a day and want to get off of it entirely. I want to make people aware of this. it is so hard on the body, mind emotions. I understand exactly what you are going through and am very sorry that you have to go through this. Also, I am sorry that I am going through this, and also and many others. I have to do more research into this and also another medication also. It is time that I start taking control of my health along side of medical professionals. Thank you. KarKar

    • olivia32387 olivia32387 michelle73035

      Dont take it try n find something else for the pain please !!! I was put on it after an operation which i feel they stuffed up n admitted to me there is damaged nerves, it plays havoc with your brain, you have pain for a reason an i really dont think this drug solves any problems at all jus adds more to other issues, shouldnt be on the market !!!!

    • plushly plushly michelle73035

      Hi Michelle

      Please go to the manufacturers website and read the instructions on taking this drug. Gabapentin and Pregabilin are not something you take occasionally like paracetemol. They are drugs that alter than brain chemistry to change the perception of neuro pain signals. Taking the drugs occasionally can leave you with withdrawal and rebound pain that me be worse than what you are experiencing now. They can also affect the balance of brain chemicals like seratonin that can trigger mental health issues. This seesaw will start teeteriing if you do not have a regime of steady regular doses.

      Please get a second opinion from another GP before you starting taking gaba drugs in this way.

      (see the comments regarding a similar question from adam3355 about a year ago also on this thread - 2 points down from here from where i'm looking at the moment)

    • linda90756 linda90756 Jayive

      I have been on Gabapentin for 7 years, for peripheral neuropathy.  I take 1800 mg a day and still it doesn't stop the pain.  I'm very concerned about the side effects.  It doesn't seem like it helps anymore.  I'm at a loss as to what to do.  My pain is excruciating at times.

    • kay16649 kay16649 olivia32387

      I was just put on Gabapentin 300mg. daily.."My doctor wanted to start the injections right away but I got scared when she said I was getting the shot in my neck...I to.d her I wanted to think about it so she said to take the Gabapentin and see if it helps...I took it for 2 days only and I'm stopping it right away...I'm going to try therapy next week and hope it helps so I won't need shots or pills....After reading all these terrible things about this medication, I am throwing them down the toilet....Glad I ended up on this discussion or I wouldn't have known....

    • elizabeth 97005 elizabeth 97005 linda90756

      I also am on Gabapentin 1200 mg due to peripheral neuropathy from Taxol, the chemo drug. I have horrible edema in my feet and ankles and am losing flexibility in my ankles. I have been checked for blood clots , etc. It does help with numbness but not much with the pain so after reading these stories I am going to stop taking it. I also read a side effect is edema so maybe that is the problem. I think you should try something else also. I think there are several neuropathy meds. Good luck!

    • kay16649 kay16649 Jayive

      I was just put on Garapentin 300 mg once a day to start..I took it for 2. days and stopped after reading all the horror stories in here...Well now after a week I am in so much pain I decided to start again until I see my doctor for shots....She wanted to start me on the shots the first time I seen her but I wanted to wait to try something Else first...Well since I started back on the Garapentin I been getting really bad headaches.....I'm really scared now and think I'm going to just deal with the pain until I see her again....I didn't want the shots but I think I'll give it a try...She said it a eperdermal like they give when you have a baby...I'm scared to death it's gonna hurt bad even after they numb it......I don't know what do but I'm will keep reading to see if these shot hurt really bad...I have arthritis in my neck and it affects the nerves down my spine, my arms, hips, legs etc...I think she said I'm getting the shot in my neck then I thought she said back????  Well I hope everything works out because I really don't want to take pills for the rest of my life...I want to get better not just put a bandaid on it, so to speak!

    • Beowolf Beowolf linda90756

      Hi, linda90756. As I mentioned earlier, I too has a lot of problems with Gaba. Also peripheral neuropathy. I could not walk barefoot and my feet where constant ice cold. But then I discovered acetyl L-carnetine. In just a few days, my feet where nice and warm again, no more pain when I walk barefoot, and amazingly, my energy and mood has improved greatly. I incourage everyone using Gaba to give this a try. It is a fantastic remedy. I use about 2000 mg a day.

    • L-cat L-cat kay16649

      Hi, I'm not sure what's transpired since your post, but sometimes when we fear side effects they can become a self-fulfilling reality. I've had good luck with gabapentin, I hadn't read reviews before starting :-) I loaded up my dosage slowly per doctor's orders, and now at just 600 it's helped 80-90% of my back pain and arm numbness. I'm contemplating going up to 900 as advised. Or maybe just keeping the status quo and hoping with PT and time, the rest takes care of itself. Hope everything is going well for you now! 

    • Beowolf Beowolf chris40060

      I am still on 1800 a day, and it works ok for me. I have solved the problem with cold feet with Acetyl L-Carnetine. Great stuff. The only thing I am afraid of, is if I have to stop taking Gaba. Suspecting I have an addictive personality, it would take years to get back to "normal." But also back to square one. It does help to stabelize my mood.  If you are still young, I wil reccomend you to weene yourself off it. But other mind altering drugs are sometimes equally difficult to get off.

    • joseph35496 joseph35496 olivia32387

      I was just prescribed this du to an injury at work. There doctor I see dont believe in narcotics. I took one just one pill the morning after I was prescribed them and i was in pain not only from my discs In my back but then I got burning pain in my side that was very u comfortable and it messed with my head like I was dreaming and everything felt foggy. I have not taken it sense. I been looking on forums and side effects and this is an extremely nasty drug. I do not want to go no further with it and i will ask my doctor to give me a narcotic. They might be addictive but the side affects are way safer than this drug.i feel if I keep taking it tgat it will cause severe internal and mental problems for me. Thank you guys for the input and sorry for some of you that suffer the side affects my prayers and best wishes for all of you.

    • carolyn94900 carolyn94900 Beowolf

      Hello Beowolf,

      I know you wrote this 11 mos ago but hopefully you will get this!  

      Do you know if you can take the acetyl L-carnetine while withdrawing from 500mg Gabapentin?  I'm wondering if taking them at the same time will aggravate the severe peripheral neuropathy that I have suffered with for a year and a half?  I am miserable to the point of desperation.  Thanks for your story and I wish you well!👍🏻

  • plushly plushly adam3355

    Gabapentin is not something you use occasionally for pain relief like paracetemol. It works by altering the brain chemistry in a way that is beneficial for the relief of neuropathic pain. Some of these brain chemicals, like seretonin, are also important for our sense of well being. These drugs should not usually be stopped suddenly, just like most anti-depressants should not be stopped suddenly even if you feel fine. Sudden cessation can result in a 'rebound' effect of symptoms - often making it even worse than before.

    You state a pattern of "semi regular use" and also taking it as 'required'. I fear this pattern of use may have contributed to some of your issues. As some have stated, the drug is usually tapered up and down in dosage rather than stopping suddenly. The current symptoms you descibe ("feelings of detachment, separation, depression, and some suicidal thoughts"wink sounds like textbook clinical depression.

    Whether the gabapentin was responsible for onset of this depressive episode is partly irrelevant at this stage. What you really need to do is to see an appropriately experienced GP to discuss the depression symptoms ASAP and go from there. Don't be surprised if they suggest starting on anti-depressants; and if they do, please take seriously any warnings about not stopping abruptly!

    • Holly1974 Holly1974 plushly

      I agree with how you say to use gabapentin and the same with pregabalin, they are both built up gradually and also tapered off slowly if discontinuing treatment, It is always best to do this under the advice of soemone at Pain Clinic, as I find GPs often do not have the necessary skill set to understand how these drugs work, they do not have to know about these drugs at this level. Firstly though, be aware that antidepressants can be used for depression, and there are a wide number to choose from ( I sold them for diff. pharma companies for over 14 years ), depending on the level of depression and/or anxiety. Anybody experiencing suicidal ideation should be straight to the GP same day to be evaluated. When you start an antidepressant it takes 2-3 weeks to have an effect, and the first thing to come back is ''motivation'' - clearly if you feel suicidal and are motivated it's not a good combo, so you need to be under GP of Psych/CPN care and supervision. Secondly, I have taken gabapentin and pregabalin for over 5 years, I am coming off slowly, hopefully another 2 months max and I will be off, as I take other meds no point rushing it ! These drugs do work on brain chemsitry, and more and more is still coming to light about the side effects of gabapentin etc - I was ignored when I first reported side effects of memory loss, effects on language centre of brain about 4 years ago, then switched to pregabalin, as the new dr thought it had a cleaner side effect profile, as far as I am concerned they are much of a muchness, My Pain Consultant at the hopsital told me it would be a few months before I notice if there is a positive impact on my cognitive function from stopping the drug. I have also been told there is some new evidence to show that it's effect lessens after a perios of time, so may have been taking it and getting side effects without the benefit of pain relief. 

      I think anyone experiencing depressiona and/or suicidal thoughts should visit their GP initially. 

      GABA is a chemical in the brain , a neurotransmitter - and these drugs gabapentina and pregabalin are known as GABAergic drugs, are GABA analogues, and were primarily develpoed as anti-seizure medication. 

      Antidepressants (old ones, occas used in pain clinics though) such as Amitryptilinework on neurotransmitter Noradrenaline. It was later discoverd that serotonin also can play a part in depression ( working to the Receptor Theory of Depression ) ( note there is a high % of patients on dummy pills get better too ) newer AD's work on serotonin ( all the SSRI's'wink...and there area few that work on both, used at Psych level only these days, cost more too !!

      Cost does come into a lot of decisions that drs have to make, they are incentivised to come in on budget. My GPs are delighted I am coming off Pregabalin as costs about £18 a month, gabapentin is peanuts in comparison. 

      Please be aware that is you read the DATA SHEET for both of these drugs. MOOD CHANGES etc are a side effect, and each person needs to be evaluated indivually. I think it would be dangerous to second guess which drug is doing what online, as even the drs are still finding out more about how these drugs work and how they interact etc.....

    • michelle73035 michelle73035 plushly

      I was just prescribed this today for nerve pain and the doctor told me to take it only as needed, I was on here checking into it before I take it, for severe nerve pain, so I guess they are prescribing it wrong because the Dr didn't tell me any of this

  • DrGonzo DrGonzo adam3355

    Dude you have no idea how identical stories we share I mean down to the pelvic pain. It's been months since I've got off that Me's and it has screwed my life and my head up bad and it's just starting to get where I can go to work again not because of the pain but all the crap the Neurotin left me to sort out. Your the only person I know this is happening to. I wish I could sue that drug company . It's made my life complete hell and I just want to see some light at the end of this tunnel

    • KarKar KarKar DrGonzo

      Hi Adam 3355. 

         I have  experienced similar yet many more symptoms and effects from taking Gabapentin. I found your post helpful to me. I thought I was the only one going through this. I have been on Gabapentin for aproximately 13 years now. I feel so horrible. I can't even explain what it does and has done to me. I feel it should possibly be looked into, and perhaps be considered on the list of medications that cause Medically Induced Lupus. I have developed many autoimmune dosorders since taking Gabapentin, one including the antibody tests of Lupus. I am down to 300 mg. of Gabapentin a day and want to get off of it entirely. I want to make people aware of this. it is so hard on the body, mind emotions. I understand exactly what you are going through and am very sorry that you have to go through this. Also, I am sorry that I am going through this, and also and many others. I have to do more research into this and also another medication also. It is time that I start taking control of my health along side of medical professionals. Thank you. KarKar

    • olivia32387 olivia32387 KarKar

      Know exactly how you feel an yes medical professionals seem to not be reponsibke for peoples lives more and more today, they certainly need to be accountable for this drug!!!! Ive been taking this drug for 5 months now an didnt know the full extent of it until now as it was given to me after surgery when doped up an given it to go home with an never explained the drug at all ever!!!! Now i find out theres nerve damage after i wanted to be off it!!!! If anyone gave me the choice i would have said no, but i wasnt !!!!!

  • ione84557 ione84557 adam3355

    I have been on Gabapentin for 10 years at varying doses due to nerve damage from a 3 level spinal fusion which went not as expected. I lost the ability to spell and am now having periods of short term forgetfulness. I am over 65 and could have aging memory issues.  However how can the source be determined. I hope to see a neurologist in the next 2 weeks to discuss the matter. I now have a 10 level fusion which went very well and my discomfort is tolerable. Im down to 1200mgs per day down from 2100 mgs.  Chronic pain also has its own effect on the brain. There are other medications to block nerve pain which I'm going to try. Go with your gut.   I wish us well.


    • noelle95924 noelle95924 ione84557

      I have been on Gabapentin for over 10 years as well.  I had an injury and then disc replacement surgery at two levels when I was 29 years old.  Over the last 6 months I have noticed my memory has become increasingly worse and it is beginning to affect my ability to work.  I've been forgetting words and phrases, details about my life and mid sentence have forgotten what I was saying.  I had this side effect when I started talking Gabapentin 10 years ago but it went away after awhile.  don't believe I am old enough to have aging memory issues and have to believe it's from the medication.  I've asked my doctor to wean me off of the medication, I cannot funtion this way.  Does anyone know why the medication would suddenly be affecting our memories after so long of being on it?

    • Jayive Jayive noelle95924

      I have also been on gabapentin for about 2 years at high dosage (3x300mg four times daily) and have had various problems, weight gain, very,very dry mouth and throat,plus the muddled feeling and forgetfullness.

      A few weeks ago I decided to self-wean and started cutting out 1x300mg tablet each day for a week, then a second one till now I am down to only 3x300mg tabs daily. next week I want to cut down even further, so far I've had no bad side effects so I'm hoping it's a case of easy does the trick.

    • ione84557 ione84557 Jayive

      I'm intersted in knowing if you lost the ability to spell. I went from 2400 mgs per day over a period of months to now.. 1200mg/day.  There has been no improvement if anything, I think thing are worse. I also started on an antidepresent several months ago and am wondering if this as made memory worse,  So many thing to consider and being scared doesn't help.  The best to you.

    • Jayive Jayive ione84557


      I think things are improving for me but I am not taking antidepressants. I did take them some time ago and felt really 'out of things' so went off them again. Can you try cutting them down?

      Let me know how you get on.

    • Holly1974 Holly1974 noelle95924

      yes, the language centre of my brain has been higely affected by these drugs as has my short term memory.....I didn't notice until a year or so into treatment, and was on gabapentin and pregabalin ( diff, drugs, same class - work on GABA receptors ).....I have come off it pain dr can not tell me how much or if it will improve. One thing I can tell you is that I was told my one dr there is a chance of tolerating the dose, and so becomes less effective in treating the nerve pain as time goes on. My pain levels are no worse off it !!! As for my memory and words etc I will let you know !! I know exacltly how you feel

  • ione84557 ione84557 adam3355

    Wow, that IS interesting and yes I think you are a little young. All of the doctors say Gabapentin has a long history of no side effects but these memory issues seem a little suspicious. I hope to have more info after a neuro aptt.  Some time ago I tried Lyrica but it wasn't strong enough to stop the pins and needles in my leg. I look forward to more people commenting.

    • Holly1974 Holly1974 ione84557

      that's what my pain dr told me initially, they are cleaner drugs than what was prev. around, but the more years a drug is on the market the more side effects are reported, and even then I would say under reported. i think the memory problems with this class of drug are a lot worse than drs think ...we need to tell them !!! I was a medical rep for 14 years, they should file a yellow card for side effect monitoring, havent seen one filled in yet !! no comment

  • travis13790 travis13790 adam3355

    I Have been taking gabapentin now for 12 years and have significant memory impairment as well as trouble with phrases speaking reading and concentrating. Gabapentin truly makes it hard to put things together in a structured way. This I can attest to. I can not get off of it as I have tried in every time I have come to Great Depression and dark thoughts. I wish anybody that takes it the best of luck and wish them the best to find a alternative replacement.

  • ione84557 ione84557 adam3355

    Dear Adam and Travis et al. I am well familiar with the " dark cloud " hanging over sensation.  The only antidepressant I have ever taken is Cymbalta.  I had a  "wow" experience after a couple of weeks of my start date.  Its expensisve and has many conflicts with other drugs,  so I eventually stopped. I am becoming more and more surprised at how  many people responding to my initial question about "memory issues" with gabapentin have reported the same issues and now depression. Every Doc I have asked about the safety of long term usage have said how "very safe" it is even for long term usage. 2 and 2 arn't adding up here.  I am in the USA and don't know much about UK's drug clearance protocols. My new neurologist told me there are indeed people who are senitive to GAB, even small doses.  I am also weaing myself off Wellbutrin over the last 3 weeks now and am feeling a little better about memory.  My doc has ordered a brain MRI and a sleep apnea study telling me how many patients she's discovered have sleep apnea disturbance... other cause of memory.  I am very appreciative for everyone's feedback and hope we can  all find our way.  Signing off now til I have more info.  rolleyes

  • kathy88161 kathy88161 adam3355

    I have been Using gab for 17 yrs. I am on 2400 mg a day.  I find using Effexor instead of Cymbalta wirks well. Not as well as the Cymbalta For the fibromyalgia but it does work.  I thought the trouble with words and memory were from my migraines and seizures. Now I am wondering. If it is from the gab. The doc told me when he put me on it that I would be on it for the rest of my life.  Good luck Adam and everyone. The depression and dark thoughts yes they happen. Just look for the best in everything and there is always something to be glad about.  Be glad your not having migraines everyday like me! 😃

    • petethexman petethexman kathy88161

      I too have taken gabapentin and a ton of other meds for damage to my lumbar discs, etc.  But re: Effexor, I quit taking it when I discovered that it was causing a lot of memory problems.  It depletes the Co-Enzyme Q 10 in your brain, so you need to take it to help ease the damage that was done.

      Good luck in your fight to stop the pain.  I consider it to be a terminal illness -- a condition that will never get better.  I've had the "Well, you don't LOOK disabled" BS from my ex and others who think you need to have external signs, like the Elephant Man or other gross physical and outward signs.  Just hang in there.  You have lots of people in the sm condition, and our thoughts snd prayers are with you.

      Well, MINE, anyway! 

  • KarKar KarKar adam3355

    Hi Adam 3355. 

       I have  experienced similar yet many more symptoms and effects from taking Gabapentin. I found your post helpful to me. I thought I was the only one going through this. I have been on Gabapentin for aproximately 13 years now. I feel so horrible. I can't even explain what it does and has done to me. I feel it should possibly be looked into, and perhaps be considered on the list of medications that cause Medically Induced Lupus. I have developed many autoimmune dosorders since taking Gabapentin, one including the antibody tests of Lupus. I am down to 300 mg. of Gabapentin a day and want to get off of it entirely. I want to make people aware of this. it is so hard on the body, mind emotions. I understand exactly what you are going through and am very sorry that you have to go through this. Also, I am sorry that I am going through this, and also and many others. I have to do more research into this and also another medication also. It is time that I start taking control of my health along side of medical professionals. Thank you. KarKar

  • Holly1974 Holly1974 adam3355

    Hi, I took Gabapentin at a dose of 1800mg for a few years as prescribed by the Pain Clinic where I live, then I was swapped over to pregabalin 100mg twice a day. as I was omplaining about problems with my short term memory, words and names, almost like the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease if you watch the film Still Alice ( or book by Lisa Genova - very good ). Anyhow, I still find it hard to concentrate on one thing and stay focused, My memory is getting worse, I have a 2i BSc in Pharmacology so I wasn't daft, but this medicine has left me feeling quite depressed. When I first told the drs about this I was dismissed. I am seeing the Pain Clinic drs and my GP soon  - I am SLOWLY decreasing the dose or Lyrica ( pregabalin ) - yes it was like a migic bullet in the early days once I was over the initial side effects, nausea, loss of appetite, feeling flu like. I keep getting hot flushes but at 41 am unsure if it's the menopause or probably more likely, the side effect of stopping this medication. I would never have taken it if I had known about this side effect at the start. I have problems remembering what I am talking about, I forget peoples names, I cannot find the word I need to finish my sentence - I feel foolish !! I was a bright educated woman, who just happened to get peripheral nerve pain from 3 bulging discs and more lower back problems that I still suffer from. I think I had started to tolerate the pregabalin, as it was not very effective anymore and I still suffer horrenhous nerve pain in my hips and legs and buttocks. Bewrae of this medication, it is not the easiest think to stop once you are on it....wish me luck...! I just want to know if the effects on my memory and cognitive function are temporary or permanent ???? 

    • ShawnD ShawnD Holly1974

      As far as my situation, it is temporary. I had a really bad herniated disk into my spine and was taking 600mg 3 times a day. I thought my memory lapses weird but thought nothing of it. It got so bad I forgot my wifes name even. I stopped taking gabapentin in march and now am noticing less frequent memory gaps. I get into a funk still if I think about it so keep myself busy. Im not back to normal after 2.5 months off them but I AM getting better.  Hope this helps you.

    • lynaria lynaria Holly1974

      Greetings Holly1974

      This is my first post ever plus I suffer from multiple cognitive and physical neuro. symptoms so appologies in advance for mistakes. After many attempts to diagnose the cause of increasing symptoms and being dismissed when tests came back negative I started to look at the obvious; long term medication I'm on for several chronic pain issues. I've taken gabapentin for 5+ yrs. at a daily dose of 300 mg. but I have multiple drug and chemical sensitivities. I was assured this would have minimal side effects. I now have many of your symptoms as well as tremors and balance issues so bad I was given a walker and in home caretaker. They've thrown everyting from alzhimers to M.S. at me and when tests couldn't confirm any, turned their backs and said I was probably so stressed I caused these symptoms and should try yoga therapy.  I suppose I did cause it by trusting the Doctors and their medications. I am now weaning off and hoping the damage isn't permenant. Iam stressed now but only by the fact that I'm losing so much function and the doctors are not helping and the symptoms came well before the stress. Much luck to us both.

    • tracy35015 tracy35015 lynaria

      Have you been tested for a B12 deficiency? You can have neurological symptoms when it is low. If your B12 isn't in the upper half of the range then yours is low as traditional doctors are using outdated information for the range.

  • Holly1974 Holly1974 adam3355


    I have very recently visited my Pain Clinic Consultant at the hospital. I was initailly prescribed 1800mg a day ( 600mg x 3 daily) of Gabapentin, but about a year into treatment noticed my words didn't come so easily, language centre of brain been affected, short term memory shocking, so eventually I was swapped to pregabalin, but they are both much of a muchness. I can honestly say I have found no difference between them. I have found out that gabapentin costs the NHS peanuts compared with pregabalin, and drs are being encouraged to use gabapentin over pregabalin due to cost !! Suffice to say they are pleased I am weaning myself off after about 8 years of treatment. I have had some pretty horrid days/night with nerve pain in my hips and legs, but then I had this on the drug too, I have also been getting some bad hot flushes, a lot in fact. Reducing the dose has to be done slowly, I am now at half my original dose after 2 months of coming off it. Another 6/8 weeks and I hope to be off it. I was told my the consultant that most people have noticed an improvement in memeory etc when come off it, but wasn't too specific ! I have a background in Pharmacology and was a Med Rep for 12 years, I am pretty worried that there may be some permanent damage, but only time will tell. It took a few appointments for my reporting of these side effects to be taken seriously, so will have to see.....I have never taken these meds on a prn basis ( as required ), I always took same dose on the dot every day as I was told to do. I can say that the initial side effects do settel, the nausea, I didn't want to eat for a few months, I losta  lot of weight ( can go the other way too, has an affect on appetite centre of the brain too ). These drugs work on the GABA receptors in the brain, other than that I haven't done much reseacrh into it. Beware, these drugs can cause seizures in people coming off too quick even if you don't take them for epilepsy. they work in the brain, their initial License is for the treatment of Epilepsy, peripheral nerve pain is something that came later on. 

  • Mitsimog59 Mitsimog59 adam3355

    adam3355. I was put on Gabapentin after Pregabalin caused me problems and I feel it was the biggest mistake I have ever made.  I have endured all of your symptoms and then some.  I know you have not been taking these meds as directed and if you are sure that it is them causing you these problems you must take as directed.  I did this, and it was the GABA drugs that caused me further depression and worst of all, one infection after another.  It knocked my immune system for six.  These drugs are anti-epileptics, not analgesics.  I have been off them 3 years now and am still suffering with what I fear is permanent memory problems.  Be aware that Pain Management prescribe these drugs in place of opiates because they are cheaper and as chonic pain sufferers are a huge drain on nhs resources it does not matter to gps and the nhs whether they work or not.  What concerns me most is the damage (short and long term) that these dangerous drugs do.  Your gp alone should be able to judge your level of pain and prescribe accordingly.  Nowadays you are sent to a pain management clinic where they put you on old fashioned trycyclic anti-depressants (for sleep!), Tramadol for MODERATE pain and these pernicious GABA drugs allegedly for nerve pain.  They are in effect a "chemical cosh" and interfere with your thought processes so much that you cannot think straight.  I do not believe enough research has gone into these drugs and they do affect people differently.  Just because your gp may say that it is depression that is causing the problems remember it is in his interest to do so because they are cheaper drugs.  I would urge anybody considering going on these drugs to find out as much as possible about them.  They can do untold damage as I have found to my cost.  A drug is meant to help you not cause you in worse physical and emotional pain.  It has not helped that you have only taken them periodically as this will be used as a weapon against you by the medical profession.  I'm sorry Adam, but it is about money these days and the nhs does not give a damn about your pain.  Pain causes depression, not the other way around as they would have you believe.  I wish you all good luck, keep yourself as fit as you can and practice your cognitive behavioural therapy.  Every little helps.  Please do not ignore unexplained symptoms and whatever you do, do not be fobbed off with the diagnosis of "fibromyalgia".  Having a name for a condition you do not understand is no substitute for correct treatment, especially when it translates as "muscle pain".  We all have a duty of care to ourselves and must do our bit towards our own recovery but you must also trust you instincts - if it feels wrong, it usually is.  All the best adam3355.  I hope things work out for you.  

  • lilybean lilybean adam3355

    I was just Googling "long term effects of Gabapentin" and found this discussion.  My reason for researching this is my increasing memory loss and ability to concentrate.  I've been on a dosage of 400mg x 3 daily for 2 1/2 years for fibromyalgia.  The drug works very well for keeping the pain managed (plus I take one Tramacet daily).  But I suffer from short term memory loss, I'm very easily distracted, can no longer multi-task, and have difficulty finding words when trying to talk.  Its only been the last few months that I started to suspect the drug.  At 54 I was thinking it could be my age... or a brain tumor... (laughing)... but then I had a conversation with a woman on Gabapentin who also has the exact same symptoms, so we decided it has to be the drug.

    Problem is, the drug works so well for me I cant see myself weaning off of it and trying something else (like what?).  I know my fibro pain is lurking underneath there, and I don't really like the idea of starting over again trying to get it under control. And I don't know of another drug that isnt also going to havesome kind of side effects.  I'm lucky that I dont have to work anymore, so being loopy doesn't have too many consequences for me, other than frustrating me.  ☺

    I just wanted to weigh in on the discussion, and also say I'm glad I found you guys and can confirm my suspicions.  

    • plushly plushly lilybean

      Hi Lilybean

      I have come off pregabilin (and previously gabapentin) for the exact same reason. I even started only taking the medication at night in an effort to function better during the day. Like you, I was terrified of going of it because it worked so well for the pain. I eventually concluded that the side effects were too much.

      I went onto Palexia SR that had few side effects (initial itching and drowsiness were tolerable). I found, however, that I could only get 8 hours pain relief out of a 12 hour dose (most GPs usually won't prescribe this for 3 doses per day). This was hard to drop because my memory and cognitive function were coming back!

      Finally I went back onto Tramadol SR 200mg. Only side effect for me is some short term memory issues; nothing like Gabapentin however. The tramadol seems to work best for me with tolerable side effects - no drowsiness in my case.

      It is worth adding that I started taking MagPhos (don't confuse this with Magnesium supplements). 4 tablets a day and occasionally more if required. This relaxed cramping muscles (from fibromyalgia) from the first day. Within 2 weeks of starting my physio noted my hamstring extension had increased by 5cm! She assumed that I had diligently been applying the stretching exercises she had assigned me. The fact is I had only done them about 3 times.

      For those that have fibromyalgia type symptoms, definitely give this a go. It absolutely works for relaxing the muscles and increasing inherent elasticity. I can now perform some physical activity without fearing the pain and feeling like a cripple the next day.

      Emis Moderator comment: I have removed product/company names as we do not allow repeated posting of these in the forums. If users wish to exchange these details please use the Private Message service.

    • lilybean lilybean plushly

      Hi plushly, thanks for responding to my post.  I'm going to talk to my NP about other options.  

      I know about the mag phos, have used it during bad times.  Thanks for reminding me. smile


    • plushly plushly

      Dear Moderator

      Schuessler MagPhos tissue salts is not a brand. They are manufactured by a variety of supplement companies. It is important to distinguish that Magphos and MagPhos tissue salts are two different things. By removing the term "tissue salts" the potentially beneficial information in the message is substantially obscured.  Removing the term "Schuessler" is like removing the name "Bowen" from Bowen Therapy. Can see the point?


    • plushly plushly lilybean

      Hi Lilybean

      Just to clarify; the moderator removed the reference to MagPhos "tissue salts" or otherwise known as cell salts. Want to make sure there is no confusion.


    • Emis Moderator Emis Moderator plushly

      Ok, thanks for the clarification. I have removed the rule around this so won't go for moderation in future. The problem in the past was some users were promoting it in what sounded like an advertising way also mentioning a specific brand/site. 



    • rose61507 rose61507 lilybean

      Hi all, I was injured in 2011 and thus began my journey.  At first we began the typical conservative therapy of medicine and PT.  I became bed bound and had to have surgery. When they got in my lumber spine , pieces of disk matter wrapped around my sciatic nerve to my right leg and cut it completely off. I have been on both neurontin and Lyrica. Lyrica made me gain excessive weight and I had continual sinusitis. So I switched back to neurontin. I experience everything all of you experience and it can be quite the uphill battle, however the pain experienced without this drug is much worse.  Try getting your vitamin d levels checked as this drug can effect the absorption of this vitamin. This has helped me tramendously. And another added benefit is helps with the horrible depressive symptoms also.  As I can not do a lot of exercise I have found a new found love of swimming. It has worked better than any therapy given thus far. And helps to keep my weight down that I gained being on Lyrica.  Wish you all the best. May you all be blessed and hope you find a regiment that works for you. And be sure to take those vitamins😀

  • Holly1974 Holly1974 adam3355

    I think it is important that this discussion is on here, as I thinka significant % of patients suffer, many in silence about these side effects causing further worry, worry over dementia , brain tumours, etc. All I will say is that I had many a dr tell me from 5 years ago that it couldn't be the drug, I am afraid I think pregabalin and gabapentin are v similar, I have taken both and am now facing up to the pain as I wean myself off under drs advice. slowly, as fed up of feeling  like I have dementia at 40. Been going on for a few years and gotten worse over time. I wish the medical profession were more aware of these side effects or at least able to discuss when a patient queries them about it. I have chronic back pain and live on slow release morphine that I top up with other pain killers also, I am not going to be reactionary and stop decreasing the dose yet, I have many a horrendous day on a strong dose. I just want to know if my memory and cognitive function will come back ? 

    • plushly plushly Holly1974

      Hi Holly

      I was only on pregabalin (similar side effects to gabapentin) for 6 months at maximum 600mg per day; memory went from that of a goldfish to that of a flea. It is worrying. One of the websites used the term "dementia" as a common side effect.

      However, once I stopped taking pregabilin my memory started returning; even long term memories that had been lost. It didn't happen overnight, but after a couple of months I noticed I was  remembering a little more each week. Even the involuntary "body jerking" side effect has diminished substantially (happens perhaps once per fortnight now instead of everyday).

      So to answer your question, at least in my case, memory and cognitive side effects are reversable once off these drugs entirely. It does take time, but take heart that it is possible.

    • plushly plushly

      It's worth adding I have started taking memory and focus supplements like Huperzine A, Rhodiola etc. (as I still have some memory problems associated with tramadol - nothing like pregabalin though). I have not noticed them helping too much with memory, but focus and concentration have improved noticably. I can now work at my computer for several hours at a time without being distracted.

  • justinbrick justinbrick adam3355

    Hi my brother is in jail for doing something simple tell out of charector. He was taking gaberpentin and he has been off it for about a week or two now but he is still talking crazy and not like himself. We thought he was just having a spirtual awekening but after he got arrested and continues to talk not like himself, I am worried his medication gaberpentin is causing him side affects even tho he is not on it any more. Please tell me if u are still experience in your symptoms because I am worried about my brother and if this is permanent what should we do about it next. He is in jail right now for assault but he is facing a litany of charges and inknow it has to do with gaberoentin. I just need to know if it is going to be long term or if Th ere is a time when the side effects wear off. I cannot get a straight answer from any doctor. And we in my opinion the doctor over prescribed my brother 120 pills a moth and we found a 3 month supply in his car. I understand it is used to treat addiction. My brother said he used it for pain management. I'm just worried he is displaying side effects weeks after not taking this drug. Please if anyone has any answers I need to know if my brother will never be the same again so we can get him the help he needs.

    • plushly plushly justinbrick

      Hi Justin

      Any medication that affects brain receptors and chemistry is complex. Many people react differently and also they can interact with other medications which may not affect some but will affect others. Similarly, going off these medications, particularly if done in a hurry, can cause rebound symptoms. Antidepressants, muscle relaxants, anti-convulsants (like gabapentin) etc. can all be involved and cause out of character experiences if stopped suddenly.

      Ideally your brother needs someone to look at his medical history, what medications and dosages he has been on (both legal and illegal if applicable). Also consider that the gabapentin may have been masking other issues to do with mental health. Considering the experiences you have described with your brother, it sounds like real medical and psychological expertise is required.

  • Holly1974 Holly1974 adam3355

    I have 3 prolpased discs in my lower spine and associated nerve pain down my legs which varies in intensity but can be unbearable. Other bits have not got arthritis and degenertaion too now. I am 41, and was prescibed gabapentin and then swapped to pregabalin as told the side effect profile was better and I was complaining it was affecting my short term memory and also the language functionning part of my brain. I was Universirt educated with a 2:i in Pharmacology and a med rep for 14 years, so knew sthg was not right. Anyway, after being ignored by the doctors and no one being able to tell me if I would manage off it or not ( it was like a magic bullet when I first went on it ), I thought I coan not stand this any longer. I have tapered my dose off slowly as am on other medication mostly for my back pain to enable me to function, I was on 1800mg for a long time of gabapentin, then swapped to 300mg of pregabalin an then went to 200mg. I honestly wasn't sure of it was working any more, and with my background wondered if poss. to build up a tolerance to it ( like many other psychoactive compounds, I know I sold some for pharma companies )....anyway, it's taken me 5 motnhs or so, but I am off it !! And the nereve pain can be bad, but I honestly think that after 5 years it wasn't doing anything any more. My pain dr in UK tells me it could me months before I find out if my memory etc improves, I hope it does, but I am certainly no worse off re pain and am willing to give it a try. I read a book called ''Still Alice'' ( film too) about someone with EAD, and I can tell you there was a massive overlap between the early symptoms of EAD ( alzheimer's) and taking both of these medications. I also now a few people who don;t realise it can happen and are olde than me and are worried they have dementia and are on these drugs ! Just my personal opinion, but I will not be going back on it !! And yes, you do need to build up these drug levels each week, and the same coming off, taper down, as it works on GABA receptors which are in your brain !! Don't ever go cold turkey or do too quickly an escalation in dose....

  • justinbrick justinbrick adam3355

    Hi adam. I'd love to know if ubr still having problems from gabapentin. My brother has been off for a week but still acting erratic. I'd like to know if the symptoms subside over time and what we can do to help make the symptoms go away. Thank u


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