Skin burns while taking Gabapentin! Does yours?

Posted , 19 users are following.

I've been taking Gabapentin - 800mg 2x's a day -

For a good 4 months. I have been on this drug for over a year. I'm trying so hard to get off of this poison! Yes, it did help my pain in the beginning but I'm so ready to get off of it now! My skin will burn so badly and I don't know if it's from the Gabapentin or something else. Every time I try to lower my dose I feel the " withdrawals from HELL " come on and I pop a pill to feel a little bit better. I know it's gonna be a looong battle getting off this stuff. Just wondering about the burning skin! Or am I just super sensitive, which I am- but whew, this drug is devilish! Thank you all!

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  • Posted

    Yes, Gaba.  is a deveilish drug !  So many adverse side effects. Do a drug side effect search and you will see. I had been on gaba. for 4 years because my neurlogist said I had RLS......my skin at the pressure points of my body was burning when I sit...Ok when I stand up or move.......but I finally got down from 900-1200 mg/day to now just  less than 100 per day........I have done this in 7 weeks so far in a gradual tapering off. And  yes there have been withdrawal effects, but I tolerate them better than the horrible ongoing side effects......now I am much better, happier, calmer, clear thinking, not so nervous.....since down-dosing on it.  Even the burning sensations have gotten better......I can deal with that......so form me no more gaba,  and no more drugs either....good luck
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    • Posted

      My doctor wanted to start injections the first time I seen her..I got scared so asked if I could try something else first. She prescribed GABA @ 300 mg. once a day or at night she said is better so I could sleep..I tryed it for 2-3 times until I read all the horror stories about side effects etc, I am on Methodone for heroine addiction and on a super low dose which I maintain on just fine..I stopped the gaba because after reading how people where basicly addicted to it for pain, I don't need to be taken something that could possibly make me relapse...I think I'm going to have it out with this doctor because she knows I take Methodone on a daily basis...Sometimes I think the doctors want to get you hooked??? I hate pills, needles, any medication...The only thing I took for the last 23 yrs was Methodone 30 mg per day...I don't want to mess that up...I think I'll live with the pain, burning, etc...

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  • Posted

    the thing is --- you said you have been taking methadone for 23 years for heroine addition ?  Im a bit confused.....so you are still trying to kick the H habit ?  methadone itself is still a very potent drug with all it's own associate adverse side effects....so it looks like you have been on methadone long term too !  And then why did the Doc also add Gaba. which is another drug with it's own problems.......What a dilema you have . Good Luck. 

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  • Posted

    HI 

    I CAN'T ANSWER THE BURNING SIDE EFFECT,BUT ALL I CAN SAY IS I UNDERSTAND. I AM GOING THREW OTHER WITHDRAWL SYMTOMS.  I WAS ON IT FOR 4 MONTHS AS WELL 500 TO 600 PER DAY. GOD HEALS I WILL PRAY FOR YOU.  IT CAN TAKES WEEKS,MONTHS, DAYS OR A YEAR FROM WHAT I AM READING TO FEEL BETTER.

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  • Posted

    Wow! I would really see another dr. I think 800 mgs at a time is way too much. I take 300 mgs every 4-5 hrs for bad fibromyalgia and it works great. Not sure how you'd taper off. I tried Lyrica once and hated it. I think you should see a dr who really understands gabpentin, an arthritis specialist would be good, I think.

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  • Posted

    I am currently experiencing the skin burning sensation!  It is VERY difficult.  I took gabapentin 10 yrs ago & I never experienced this side effect!!  I started to take it again for hot flashes & akathesia from anti-depressant withdrawal.  I took 300x3/day mg for 2.5 months & had mild burning in my arms, but a few weeks ago raised the dose to 600mgx3/day.  That’s when my body went crazy!! I’m trying to taper down right now, but it is very hard as every lowered dose has side effects too.  Right now I’m at 200mgx3/day.  I just read that most of the people reporting this side effect to the FDA are women, age 60 or over, taking a particular cholesterol medication (Niaspan or Lipitor) for high cholesterol. The 2nd highest group was over age 50.  Do you fit that profile?    I’ll let you know how my taper works out.  I’m anxious to get off, but also know there can be bad effects if you go off too quickly too. I read that for some people the burning sensation never goes away, even after going off the drug.  That scares me, but I’m hoping for the best.  My best to you.  Hope you are doing better now.

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    • Posted

      I am 57 & my doctor changed my medicine from Vimpat to Gabapentin. I started on it late January. Now on 600mg 3×/day.

      Another Dr increased my Zoloft to 200mg a day.

      I also take blood thinner, aspirin, & 2 more meds for my heart.

      I missed one dose and thought I had been plugged into an electric box! I had been tingling, numbness in legs. But now every night, right away, my legs begin to sting under the skin. It feels like I am in a frying pan in a way. Last night I missed another dose and within an hour my legs, arms and my upper chest was buzzing, stinging so bad I didn't know what was happening.

      So. Thank you for posting here. Now i know more about what is causing this terrible stinging in my legs every day. When I lay down, sitting, standing.

      Awful!

      Heart surgery 10 yrs ago

      Strokes

      Then I fell, hit my head, and because of lesions on brain from strokes (tias) small ones. I began having seizures.

      I thought if i skipped one tablet of Gabapentin or one of two Zoloft, the pain would get better, but NO. I am not missing anymore but my legs sting/burn? all night to the point of being painful. It hurts! And the insomnia does Not help?

      Has anyone recieved relief since you posted here?

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    • Posted

      Just wondering at what rate did you taper down?  I'm currently on 700 mg daily (200 morning, 200 afternoon and 300 at bedtime) for anxiety.  I've been on it about five months and I'd like to start tapering off slowly.  

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    • Posted

      I was wondering how you were feeling and if your conditon has lessned? My doctor prescribed me 1 dose of Gapapentin 100mg for Fibro and I had to stop taking it due to the increased body tingling and worst pain then i was in before. After being off of it for 48 hrs my period starts and i experience horrible pains in my upper and lower stomach (the pain felt like i was going into labor) for six hours straight, then it finally stopped and then the pain started to worsen in my back, butt, legs, knees and arms! Its crazy!! I took one dose and this happens! I really hope it goes away but i doubt it! 
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    • Posted

      Hi Laura.  I'm so sorry that happened to you with one dose!  My most severe reaction happened when my dosage was increased.  Though I was already dealing with agitation and breathing problems that I didn't realize were correlated with starting gabapentin, after 2 months of taking it, my dosage was increased from 300x3/day to 600x3/day.  Immediately I had a severe skin burning sensation, EXTREME difficulty breathing, panic attacks (which I've never had before), sleep problems,  digestion issues, and much more.  It's been 17 months and all of the issues are gone except very slight skin burning in my inner and top of thighs and groin.  It is very tolerable and I only notice it when I sit or lie down -- but it doesn't bother me.  Almost all of my severe symptoms let up at about 6 1\2 months after the increased dose and 6 months after complete stoppage of Gabapentin. I hope and pray they end soon for you!  They should lessen and lessen and go away completely, if you are like most people.  But it may take some time, unfortunately.  Best wishes!

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    • Posted

      Thank you Linda. I’m so glad to hear you are doing great and that all the symptoms went away. I pray that mine do also. I seriously didn’t think taking one pill would have caused such pain. Burning pain is the worse. And I scared it’s not going to go away. 
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    • Posted

      Laura, I was absolutely convinced the burning would not go away.  It just didn't seem to be letting up at all for what seemed like such a long time.  It was hard not to think I was going to be different than the others (I'd be the exception to the rule) and it would continue in intensity forever. But as I said, it did eventually lessen and became so mild that I can function fine without noticing it.  Everyone online kept telling me that it would get better, but I wanted it gone and couldn't imagine how less burning could be better than intense burning. I just wanted it to go away!  It was so difficult!  But it really DOES get tolerable and I assume the mild burning I have now will go away completely in time.  But even if it doesn't, it's so mild and so much better than it was, I'm not worried about it.  Hang in there!  If you can do anything to distract your thinking -- solitaire, TV, walk, exercise, or whatever might work for you, try to distract yourself.  For me, not much worked, but solitaire and TV sometimes helped. I also marked off the days to get to my goal of when I hopepd it would get a little better.  Your getting on this site is a good choice too.  Encouragement can help get through another rough day.  Hang in there!  Things WILL get better!

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    • Posted

      Today marks a week since i took the first and only dose of gabapentin. It seems the more i stay inside in the air conditioning the better i feel but when i go around anything that gives off heat or go outside in this 90degree humidity weather my skin starts to have that burning feeling  again. So then i get discourage and think it isn't going away at all. Is that how yours was too Linda? I also want to say thank u for continuing to talk to me through all this. 

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    • Posted

      Laura, there were many times I thought with hopefulness that I was getting better and optomistically tried to convince myself that I was getting better, only to realize that I wasn't.  I mostly remember dealing with it in the winter and didn't go outside in the summer because I was suffering so much -- so I was always in air conditioning and have no memory of being in humidity and it getting worse.  But I have no doubt that heat and humidity would have made me feel even worse (if that was possible). 

      You are welcome for helping you through.  I just know that encouraging words from others who understood, helped me.  

      I do have a question that I wonder about with people who get strange reactions with very few doses of gabapentin.  Have you ever taken any benzodiazapines? -- valium, xanax, klonopin, librium, ativan, etc?   (Just have a theory I'm curious about -- whether there's any merit to my speculation.)  Again, I wish you the best.

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    • Posted

      Was it bad in the winter time? I’m so nervous when I have to turn on the heat. I’m more scared it will never go away. This burning has effected my entire body...from toes to neck.  I go around the oven and I can feel my skin  started to burn right away. I’m scared to cook bc I’m worried it will bother my hands or arms and I don’t want to feel that pain anymore.  I pray for the day I wake up and I’m in no burning pain from it. They gave me Xanax after this happened but I never took it. I was scared to add anything else in my body until this heals. I haven't been on anything in a couple months. The last depression med they gave me was Zoloft, which I took maybe for a month but that was back in March and I don’t take it anymore and haven’t been on it for awhile. 

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    • Posted

      That's interesting. I had stopped zoloft just before my bad reaction happened.  I don't know that had anything to do with my reaction since I had some very bad medical care that started my senstive reactions a few years ago, that now make me very sensitive to lots of things, but it is an interesting coincidence.  I'm sorry to tell you that the burning was bad all the time.  I didn't notice anything that made it worse, it was just bad all the time.  I did get some relief if I took magnesium or took an epsom salt bath (since the salts put magnesium in the water that soaks into your skin and helps a little.)  (The problem with taking magnesium by mouth is that it can give you diarrhea unless you take liquid or a more expensve form.)  I also put ice packs on my skin and that gave me some relief.  Like you, I had burning all over.  Even my mouth and tongue burned!! 

      What I can tell you is that it WILL let up if you let your body adjust and get back to normal and don't add anything else to the mix, but it took me 6 months to make any progress.  It WLL get better.

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    • Posted

      Hi Linda,

      How is your burning now? Has it gone away? How did you get off the Gabapentin. Hope you reply. I'm in the same boat. I tried tapering too quick from 900 to 300 (after 3 years use). All my pain come back, couldn't eat,and burning really intensely all over tyorso/arms/shoulders. Panicked, went back to 900mg. Its been5 weeks and still in pain and, burning. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Quails! The burning reaction started when I increased my dose from 300mgx3/day to 600 mgx3/day after finishing tapering off completely over more than a year's time 18 months earlier. This time I was shocked by the intense reactiion and though I tried to taper off, the suffering was so intense, I sped up the taperng and got off in 3 weeks.  It took 6 months for any relief, but I did start to feel better.  I have very slight burning left in my inner and tops of thighs and groin, but I hardly notice it (unless I'm sitting still or laying down) and it never bothers me. I have been told it could take more than 3 years to go away completely, but I'm not worried because what I have now is totally manageable. (It's been almost 1.5 years.)

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    • Posted

      hi Linda, 

      I have been on Gabapentin for 3 and a half months. I originally started at 100mg 3x a day. They increased it to 900mg 3x a day (2700mg total) when it wasn't covering my pain. Once the increase was 300mg 3x a day all at once. I had exteme burning on my body all over. After the 900mg 3x a day wasn't working , my neurologist said to start going down on it. I came down 900mg in 9 days and extreme burning began. My tongue, lungs, and heart even hurt besides the burning all over my body. I went 7 days with only 1 night of sleep. It was horrible. Only by the grace of God did I finally get a night of sleep and when I woke up the burning was gone. I started swimming and that has helped along with epsom salt baths and magnesium spray. I waited for a few days and then began to go down 50mg every 3 days. I am now down to 1500mg a day total. Three days ago I accidentally missed a dose so when I did take it I took off a 100mg that day because it was close to my night dose. Now the burning is starting again and I had no sleep last night. How were you able to sleep when the burning is so bad? I use cold packs behind my neck but it isn't enough. I cannot go through that many days of no sleep again.

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Rhonda! So sorry about the burning!  It is soooooooooooo difficult to deal with.  I don't really have a good answer for sleep.  I did find that epsom salt baths before bed did help a little, but never enough.  Sleep was always a problem and I actually was jolted awake every 1.5-2 hrs with a kind of "electric shock" which was terrifying and only caused me to have to deal with the burning all over again that I may have been able to sleep through for a short time.  I would leave ice packs on my body and fall asleep that way, but the sleep was never very consistent and I could never sleep the whole night.  One other thing that did help a little was taking an antihistamine.  It didn't take the burning away, but it made me a little "groggy" and I was able to relax and sleep a little.  I was actually able to sleep some in spite of the burning! (and a couple times after I started taking it, slept most of the night)  I did find that though my docs told me an antihistamine was totally safe and could be taken a needed, there was something the gabapentin withdrawal did to my body that caused me to need to take a consistent dose and their "as needed" advice was not the best. After the burning subsided, my docs still wanted me to take the AH, but around 9 months post gabapentin, I got messed up on the dose when traveling and the burning started back again.  I decided to stop the AntiH completely and fortunately, when  the antihistamine was stopped, the burning went away completely -- even with no tapering.  But I had taken the Antihst for about 9 months and that never happened until the very end, so if I would have just taken a  consistent dose (2x/day or 3x/day) of AHst for the 6 months when the burning was bad and then quit, I think  I would have been fine.

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    • Posted

      It’s been a month and almost two weeks now since I took the first dose and only dose. I have covered all my windows in the house so the sun doesn’t get in a cause irration to my burning skin. I haven’t been able to cook because being around anything hot worsens the burning, such as the hot weather. The only relief I get is when I stay locked up in the house away from the hot weather, sun, and stove. I feel like a prisoner in my own home and I’m going stir crazy in here!! I wanna be able to go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather but I can’t because it will trigger the burning pain and I don’t want to feel it! My question is was that how ur pain was too? I go outside and within like five mins of being out their and in the sun the burngn pain starts. I just wish I would go bck to my normal self but that’s never going to happen...I’m pretty sure it would have done it by now. Being in the air helps too a whole lot but if I’m burning already it helps calm it a little but I will have to use ice packs too to help it go away. I hate that it’s all over my body....not just one part! Is their anything I can take to help relieve the pain, or maybe help it go away? I’m so worried it isn’t going away, and then I start to panic horrible!! I have kids and just want to get my life back. So I try the magnesium or epsisom salt? I’m so scared anything will make it worse? I’m just freakin out, I’m so sorry for bothering u...thank u for ur help. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Laura. Magnesium and epsom salt baths never made me feel worse. They did help a little.  Ice packs helped a little.  I didn't have the problem you have with heat.  For me the burning was consistently bad for 6 months no matter what  did.  It never got better if  stayed out of the sun or heat.  It just stayed bad all the time.  I actually developed a slight sun sensitivity around that time, but am not sure what it is related to.  I think it's related to an antidepressant I was coerced to go on and now don't want to mess with.  But what I have is not severe and I can be out in the sun for 5 or 10 minutes or out in the shade whenever I want, which is fine with me at this point.  At least I'm not suffering and the skin sensitivity/burning/itching goes away in about an hour if I am out in direct sunlight too long.  I was told to try sunscreen to help with my sun sensitivity, but the one time I tried it, I still reacted.  I don't know if I would have put the sunscreen on thicker or used a different kind, if that would have helped.  Oh, there was one more thing that actually did help me that i forgot to mention:  Solarcaine or aloe vera lotion.  I really didn't think it would work when someone suggested it since it's for sunburns, but it actually did help relieve the painful burning sensation somewhat.  You could try aloe vera on your skin when it's burning and see if that helps.  I sincerely hope you can get some relief.

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    • Posted

      Rhonda, I remembered one more thing that helped me with the burning -- aloe vera lotion.  When someone suggested it to me (or solarcaine), I was skeptical, since it is for actual sunburns, but it actually did give me some relief.  I guess it sort of numbs the skin and even though what i experienced was a nerve reaction to gabapentin, I guess the aloe vera must have helped numb the nerves in the skin maybe somehow too.  Not sure why it worked.  I just know it did help.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for all of your help. I have bought the solarcaine alovera and it does help some. Last week I went to a new neurologist and he recommended alpha lipoic acid tablets about 600mg a day. It is all natural and part of the protein chain. It can be bought at any drug store over the counter and is used for diabetic nerve pain and burning, tingling pain also. It has worked wonders! I would recommend to anyone sensitive to medication like I am. Most people lack it and it is totally safe.

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    • Posted

      Hi Rhonda.  You are welcome.  I'm so glad the alpha lipoic acid tablets have worked well for you.  Maybe it will help someone else reading this post.  My best to you!

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    • Posted

      Just seen your comment about alpha lipoid tablets.  I am getting the burning skin from taking Gaberpentin and wondered if the tablets have helped you
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    • Posted

      They worked wonders! I take two 300mg tablets a day of the alpha lipoic tablets. It took about a week to get no burning at all after starting taking them. I am in the process of getting off gabapentin completely. I have been going down 100mg every 5 days and will be off of them by the end of this month. The only time in this process when I had some burning was after acupuncture and it only lasted 2 days. 
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