Pregabalin Withdrawal and Taper Plan

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Hi everyone, new member here.

I've been taking Pregabalin since the beginning of the COVID Pandemic because I started having Panic Attacks and had anxiety 24/7. I was so overwhelmed with worry that I wasn't able to function normally anymore so I started taking Pregabalin. I started off on 300mg per day but that crept up to 600mg per day over the course of about a month. After 3 months on this dose I discovered just how addictive and dangerous this medication can be and the horror stories online scared me into wanting to get off of this drug.

When I decided I wanted to stop taking Pregabalin I tried Cold Turkey. I had no major withdrawal symptoms except for one - insomnia. I lasted 3 days without sleep before I caved in and took 300mg to get to sleep. After this experience I contacted my Dr to talk about the best way to get off this drug. I was surprised to discover my Dr had no idea this medication was addictive or was hard to stop taking. She spent the night researching the withdrawal symptoms and called me back the following day with a Taper Plan. The plan is as follows:

1 week of 150mg per night

1 week of 75mg per night

1 week of 75mg every 2nd night

Tonight is my last night on the 150mg dose and to be honest I am nervous. The drop from 600mg to 150mg wasn't as rough as I was expecting but sleep is more difficult. My anxiety has gone up a notch too, especially in the mornings and evenings.

So far I am managing the anxiety with Propranolol during the day time and have started smoking Indica Weed in the evenings to help me get to sleep. I am worried though that when I drop down to 75mg the withdrawals will get stronger again.

I was curious to know if any of you have been on Pregabalin for a similar stretch of time and what your experience was in getting off the medication? Also what do you think of the Taper plan my Dr told me to follow? Is 3 weeks a long enough time to taper successfully? Also, are the doses good for a taper plan? I want to get off this medication soon but at the same time I wonder if cutting the dose by half again might be too much too soon?

Thanks for reading, sorry if I rambled a little but I'm just after any kind of advice or support I can get right now.

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Well I'm nearing the end of the 2nd week of my taper and the withdrawals are a bit worse now that I am on 75mg. My Dr wants me to start taking this dose every other day instead of daily next week and I am really scared. My current withdrawal symptoms are insomnia, diarrhea, anxiety, lack of appetite and slightly depressed. I am scared that these are going to get worse when I start missing doses, especially the insomnia.

    My insomnia is the main source of my misery at the moment - I'm only sleeping a few hours every 2 days on average. This is causing me all sorts of problems and is definitely amplifying the other withdrawal symptoms. I am hoping that this week I can get something from my Dr to handle the insomnia, probably an antidepressant. I've read that those meds can also help with anxiety so it's worth a try.

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    • Posted

      600mg is a big dose to taper down from. I was on Pregabalin (zero now), but I did it over many months (about 5) from 150mg to zero. You have to taper slow with this drug, I never got the withdrawal hits, but I was taking it very slow.

      I found that some GP's don't really have a clue about withdrawing from this drug, so I advise go slow don't rush it.

      If I have problems sleeping now, I take a Nytol tablet only when I have too, I find they ok to get you to drop off. Naturally if you have Anxiety, you will be a heightened state and that will have a massive effect on your sleeping habits.

      I am a anxious person generally, but I am trying not to use the drug route now. but sometimes if you do need to take medication there is probably better stuff than Pregabalin out there.

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  • Posted

    Just to give you some idea of my taper plan. I did as follow from 150mg

    100mg over 4 weeks

    75mg over 4 weeks

    50mg over 4 weeks

    25mg over 4 weeks

    then zero

    As I said i was taking this slow and with each step down monitoring how I felt.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the replies. My anxiety is getting worse at this dose of 75mg but my Dr says she can give me an Antidepressant to help with that and the insomnia. I'm also starting to get some pretty debilitating anxiety in the mornings that takes several hours to go away so I'm hoping new meds will help with that too.

      Can I ask how coming off this drug was for you? Did you ever find yourself struggling to function normally? During this withdrawal I find myself lying in bed until mid-day, wrestling with anxiety and worrying about how I am going to make it through the day.

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  • Posted


    I think I was maybe one of the lucky ones with Pregabalin in terms of side effects, as had no issues functioning, my sleep patterns did get better though.

    I did have the hit when first taking it, but after a few days, no effects whatsoever. I even did drink on them and didn't get drowsy. Though I found myself a bit more emotional around Christmas time, not sure if that was the meds or just Christmas time normally!

    If it was helping my suspected Fibro is another story, after 6 months I decided I would take a more natural approach and started tapering off, as didn't want to be on meds long term.

    Though, about 1 month after going to zero I noticed my Tinnitus much louder, not sure if that is the Pregabalin or just my hearing gotten worse normally, as had Tinnitus prior.

    I do think there are better meds for anxiety and more natural ways to treat that. This drug I hear so much conflicting story's about Pregabalin, my pharmacist (who always talks sense and truthful) says it is safe to take for a long time, the NHS says the same, yet there are so many bad stories from people, which this drug not agreeing with them. This drug isn't like normal pain killers, it gets into the very heart of your brain, it was that, which didn't sit well with me, I am middle age and I didn't want to be on these for a long time then discover my brain synapses fried in the future.

    Discuss with your GP about alternatives and maybe take some classes, I am naturally an anxious person, though I am not completely sure medication sometimes is the way to go?

    All IMHO!

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  • Posted

    So I had my Tele appointment and it was a different Dr today. This new Dr actually was quite knowledgeable about Pregabalin withdrawal and was very impressed that I had been able to go down from 600mg per day to 75mg per day over 2 weeks. She actually made me feel quite good which was a welcome change from the negative thoughts I have been running through my mind since tapering.

    We talked about how I was doing and I told her every symptom I had. They are insomnia, upset stomach, no appetite, "zaps", anxiety and mild depression. After hearing me out she strongly suggested Mirtazapine 15mg taken once per day before bed. This should help with insomnia, lack of appetite, anxiety and depression she said and my own research backs this up. I'm aware that this medication has to be weaned off the same as Pregabalin but that is 6 or more months away if I don't have a bad reaction before then. When I come off of Mirtazapine I'll be doing a slow taper and hopefully it's easier than trying to quit Pregabalin.

    May I ask if anyone has used Mirtazapine to come off of Pregabalin? I'd love to hear your experience if so.

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  • Posted

    So today marks the beginning of Week 4 of my Taper Plan and I am currently down to 37.5mg per night and good news is that the withdrawal symptoms are starting to go away. The upset stomach went a few days ago, the "brain zaps" happen very rarely now and sleep is getting easier. My anxiety has dipped considerably too. I think it is the Mirtazapine that made the biggest difference as it helped a lot with the mental aspect of withdrawal and also helped my sleep and my appetite. My only regret is not getting on Mirtazapine from the very beginning, could have saved me a lot of suffering in the first 2 weeks.

    I must say though, despite things getting better I feel like I now have this void in my life. You see, everynight I would look forward to taking my Pregabalin because not only did it erase my anxiety completely but I enjoyed the "buzz" that it gave. That feeling made me actually enjoy my evenings and nights during Lockdown and enabled me to do the things I enjoy like playing guitar, read a book, play videogames etc. Without that feeling, doing these things doesn't feel the same and I find myself getting bored and restless every night. I basically finish work, eat something, then struggle to find things to pass the time until it's time for my Mirtazapine dose just before bed.

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  • Posted

    Jesus, this insomnia is ridiculous! I am down to 37.5mg each night and my sleep pattern right now seems to be 4 - 6 hours of Sleep one night then no sleep at all the next night. Thank God I work from home or else I would be out of a job right now! I thought I was over the upset stomach phase too but that has returned and I am also struggling to eat enough food each day too. I am just so sick of this drug and what it is doing to me.

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  • Edited

    I just wanted to let everyone know I got off of Pregabalin. It was a grim 5 weeks of tapering but the symptoms got less severe every week. I still have some problems sleeping but other than that I have made a full recovery. If I can do it you can too!

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  • Posted

    I have been taking pregabalin for 4 months 150 2x a dayit was not working for my pain and making me feel weird I talked to a pharmacist and they told me to wean off cut the dose in half for one week then the second week take one a 150 dose dose every other day I am on the 8th day and I feel absolutely terrible I mean scary terrible I talked to another pharmacist and he said that was too big of a reduction at once now I'm waiting for my doctor to call any advice?

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