Potential Long Term Effects Of Gabapentin

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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. 

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  • Posted

    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
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    • Posted

      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. 
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    • Posted

      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.
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    • Posted

      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

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    • Posted

      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!

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  • Posted

    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.

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    • Posted

      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

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    • Posted

      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

       

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    • Posted

      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 !!!!
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    • Posted

      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)

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    • Posted

      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.

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    • Posted

      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....

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    • Posted

      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!
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    • Posted

      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!

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    • Posted

      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.
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    • Posted

      Do you still take Gabapentin or have you weened yourself off of it? Just curious as I have exactly the same symptoms as you do and I take 1200mg a day for neuropathy in my feet.
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    • Posted

      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! 

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    • Posted

      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.

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    • Posted

      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.
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    • Posted

      My dad has neuropathy and he has something else for it. If what they give you don't work then dont be afraid to ask for something else. Eventually you will find something that does do the job. Best wishes

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    • Posted

      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!👍🏻

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    • Posted

      Selfishly, I am quite hopeful that your addition of acetyl L-carnetine will remedy the neuropathic condition mirroring yours that I currently are bedeviled with. Also, it needs to be said I am thankful for the suggestion and truly am pleased for you.

      Prickling, burning and itching skin ... with extreme sensitivity to even the most moderate of lower temperatures in my extremities...feet feeling as there were wooden panks in sections of my soles and heels while walking...severe memory lapses all too often not to be frightening....same with mental fog.

      I was initially hosted to a 15 day monitored hospital stay with intractable epileptic seizures. The attending neurologist prescribed 1500 mg of Zarontin, 1800 of Neurontin and 500 of Dilantin . The Zarontin was discontinued due to extreme intestinal distress...the gabapentin / Neurontin decreased by 1 300 mg capsule a week until, over 3 months ago it was stopped completely. The Dilantin, at 500 mg a day is now the sole remaing med of the three tiered grouping that remains.

      Unfortunately, although the effects of the Zarontin have abated, those of the Gabapentin/Neurontin have not.

      The mini bio of what may seem a vainglorious sob sister account to some (so be it), is hopefully , despite and because these meds are often prescribed jointly, of help and/or consideration to at least one individual.

      UPDATE:. As this testament of a response (sorry, I'm no pithy Hemingway), is transferred to this site , and although developing sort of a possible convolution, word back from lab on the current level of Dilantin in my system is 29 when , as I am to understand is well above therapeutic range.

      This is I feel important to add as perhaps the over saturation of Dilantin may mitigate,intensify or in any case be associated with

      some neurological negativities which I sole attributed to Neurontin. Sorry it's such a diatribe; be well.

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