Short term low dosage Gabapentin still experiencing significant withdrawal symptoms

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Hi all

Took Gabapentin for 17 consecutive days at 1 x 300mg capsule at night. Prescribed for lower back neuropathic pain. No impact on pain and didn't like how this med made me feel - constant "spaced out" feeling, unable to focus or concentrate at work or driving and completely flat mood. So, decided to stop taking it cold turkey 7 days ago. Having taken a relatively low dose for just under 3 weeks I thought there'd be no issues at all. How wrong can you be?!!! I'll mention that I've no previous experience of anxiety or depression and not taken any other meds recently. Last course of tablets were antibiotics a couple of years ago. So, In no particular order I've experienced the following symptoms since stopping GP - Anxiety to the point of jumping out of my skin, periods of significant low mood, whole body tremor, chills, disrupted and non refreshing sleep, severe muscle twitching in legs and an array of stomach issues. I find it incredible that this has happened and that this med can have such a profound effect in such a short space of time. Would love to hear if anyone else has suffered similarly after taking low dose for short periods?

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  • Posted

    I'm surprised, but not totally amazed-having followed this discussion for some months (when I decided to get off this drug myself) I can say that it is not impossible the symptoms are withdrawal from gabapentin. I will however say, it does eventually settle down. How long since you stopped taking it?

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    • Posted

      Hi Lucy

      I've been off GP for 8 days now. Definitely not the experience I was hoping for! I think the worst thing for me is being ambushed by overwhelming fear/Anxiety from nowhere. It's horrendous, however it does settle down. Just keep telling myself that it will get better eventually.

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  • Posted

    Hi Keith.....You can not stop taking Gabapentin cold turkey...very very dangerous...you must be weaned off of it...Alot of things you mentioned are withdrawals.......You need to go back on it and work with dr to taper off...100mg every 4 weeks    and since you are getting these withdrawals I would go back on 300 once a day for 2 monhs and then taper off.....I am sure you didn't want to hear that...I tapered off very slowly  last one was October 13....had some withdrals...but I consider myself lucky...this week I think went through some withdrawals for like 3 days....seems better now...not 100 percent bbut good......i heard withdrawals can last for months and can take up to a year to get to 100 percent....dont know how true  but key is slowly very slowly to come off......this is a dangerous drug........

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    • Posted

      Hi Rita

      i was on Gabapentin for 4 months 600mg per day and I been off since oct. I went off fast but not cold turkey.  I heard it can take a year as well to feel better. I wonder if that why I still feel light headed spaced. What do you think?

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    • Posted

      Yes I heard the same thing about the person only on 100 mg.  I was doing fine for the past month and a half...then withdrawals started again ..I guess this can happen???  My body felt all screwed up.....better know...stomach issues.....and dizziness..very tired ....
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    • Posted

      Yeah I just didn't think tapering would apply at such a low dose and the fact I'd only taken them for 17 days. Just shows how powerful this drug is and makes me wonder why none of this became evident during clinical drug trials before it was approved and marketed. Not keen at the thought of going back on it but something I'll have to consider now to taper down.

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    • Posted

      I can't blame you for not wanting to go back on it...I had to go back on 100mg for like 3 months more....was getting very bad withdrawals couldn't function... I wasn't happy but I did it then went to 50 for 2 or 3 weeks on then off......this drug is really bad......

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    • Posted

      i think once you are off of it your brain needs to learn how to function without it......it basically reprograms itself......scary in a way.....
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    • Posted

      Yes I agree

      Last taper half pill was July 18 after only a month on

      Still have occasional anxiety sneak up where I've never felt before

      So unsettling

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  • Posted

     Hi Kevin I heard that someone took 100mg for a week and they had bad side effects for some time. I am still stuggling too. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Naomi

      Yep it seems to have very potent psychoactive effects. My own fault too as I'm not one for reading patient info leaflets as I've had to take meds so infrequently. It's the waxing and waning of symptoms too that are hard. Difficult to predict what's gonna happen next. Will give it a few more days before considering whether to re-take and taper.

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  • Posted

    Well, thought I'd just update my post with events from yesterday and today. Thought I'd cracked it yesterday, had a perfectly normal day, no symptoms whatsoever, slept for about 6 hours straight last night then had the day from hell today! Horrible anxiety and crushing head pain.

    How come the withdraws symptoms can disappear one day and then back with a vengeance the next?? Feeling very dispirited.

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    • Posted

      It is your body trying to reset itself, it means that your brain is starting to disengage from the dependence of gabapentin and starting to heal itself. This is normal.. Please stay the course of not going back on it if you can.. you are halfway there and you can do this! Just keep reminding yourself that everyday you get through is one day closer to being away from this hell drug for good.. It may take a month or a little longer for your withdrawals to go away but it DOES get better..
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    • Posted

      I also forgot to mention.. Go to edens garden( essential oil website and order a 5 ml bottle of sweet marjoram.. It works great for anxiety, safe to use 1-3 drops several times a day around your heart area ( also buy a carrier oil like coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil etc) the oil helps the sweet marjoram seep better in the skin, works in a couple minutes and calms your adrenaline (central nervous system) it's a great way to calm yourself and all the excess adrenaline your brain will make screaming for the gabapentin you are no longer taking... The sweet marjoram oil is non toxic for humans) don't allow around pets or kids.. It will take about a week for it to get to you unless you pay for quicker shipping.. There are other oils available if that doesn't help but it works great! Let me know if you have questions please.. Heads up.. Insomnia is normal also as the gabapentin took over your serotonin for those 17 days, and serotonin allows us to sleep.. Take care Keith and let me know please!

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    • Posted

      Hi Heather,

      Many thanks for your kind and thoughtful posts. I notice you were prescribed GP for the same reasons as me. It's funny, but at that moment when I had the excruciating burning nerve pain from damaged lumbar discs, I would have taken anything to ease the pain. Now I'm wondering if docs realise what it is that they're prescribing and the implications for people who just need some short term pain relief. I'll certainly be trying your recommendations and will let you know how it goes. It's definitely a rollercoaster ride!!

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    • Posted

      Hi Keith, I started taking it for the exact same reason you did, for some type of pain relief! And come to find out that part of why my lower back was hurting was because I was sitting and commuting too much while I lived in Hawaii( military) and because my code is unstable from living a sedentary lifestyle.. How are your symptoms now? And how much were you taking and for how long? Sorry to ask again as you know this stupid gabapentin has our memory messed up lol
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    • Posted

      WOW my doct6just prescribed gamabintin for my pain I have not taken yet and after readings all of the side effects and withdrawal issues I WON'T BE TAKING IT. I am currently on Cymbalta that doesn't do much either and tramodol for pain not too helpful either. Everything has damn side effects that are worse than the pain sometimes. I am going to try CBD oils. Something with less side effects.....

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    • Posted

      If you're now familiar with the problems with gab and the withdrawal and difficulties getting off it I've got some more bad news. I'm sorry, but many people think that getting off Cymbalta is as hard or worse. Remember not everyone has problems, but when you're ready to decrease your Cymbalta or to get off it, do so very carefully. Ignorance may be bliss, except for getting off meds and causing serious problems, so I wanted you to avoid future problems.

      You hit on something else too many of us suspect. The meds may not help much and the side effects may be worse than the original pain. If I knew then what I know now, I'd have only taken gab for the first few weeks of my shingles. Once the pain was down to a 6-7, I should have gotten of it. Now it's almost two years later and I"m still slowly tapering so I can have a life during the withdrawal.

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