Tapering off of Gabapentin

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Two weeks ago I called about the severe problems I was having on Gabapentin and Chlonidine. The doctor who covered for my doctor out on medical leave changed me in February to these two meds and reduced me from 4x day on 2mg Klonopin to twice a day. The previous meds were fine. I am a cardiac patient with a new Pacemaker as of November. I had low blood pressure and my doctor prescribed Chlonidine for sleep and it causes vivid nightmares. A cardiologist had to prescribe the taper cause that doctor said to stop taking it. Then, Tuesday, a doctor in with my psychologist, same practice told me to stop cold turkey taking Gabapentin. He gave me a prescription for my previous medication. I was so concerned when checking out, I tried asking about the taper. He looked at me and turned around and walked out. A note was placed on my file by my psychologist who witnessed this along with 2 secretaries. I have called the neurologist and cardiologist about this and waiting to hear back. I did what he told me to do not knowing what it would cause. I was on 2400 mg a day and when he told me to stop I was on 1800 mg, since the prescriber cut the dosage down rather than change the medication,

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24 Replies

  • Posted

    I was on 3200 mgs a day and taken off way to fast. Went thru 3 months of withdrawal!

    Very slow taper is the best way.

    Good luck!!

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  • Posted

    Hi Betty,

    There is no way a person can cold turkey stop this medication from that dose. I would not start a taper until you hear back from the other doctors. Being a cardiac patient is especially dangerous to stop cold turkey because it can escalate your pulse and blood pressure very high. You might keep pressure on those doctors to get back with you right away. A psychiatrist would have a better idea on a safe taper than a medical doctor. The information that comes with the medication from the manufacture says there is no withdrawals from this medication which is the farthest from the truth. That's why the medical doctors are not concerned. I had withdrawals coming off 100 mg and had to taper at 10 mg every 21 days and still had withdrawals. I'm now off as of 5 weeks ago and still having withdrawal symptoms. Everyone is different and can handle a different taper. Make sure you are working with a doctor that is listening to you and working with your specific system so you are kept safe during your taper. I wish you the best!!

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. I am disgusted with that psychiatric practice. The doctor that stopped it wouldn't even look at the records I had with and those posted by the cardiologist just prior to seeing him on an emergency. He knew that and the heart issues.

      I have placed a second call to the cardiologist and to the neurologist. Both of excellent so I am hoping for a resolution and ability to find a psychiatrist I can trust.

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    • Posted

      Thank you! I agree with you that this was dangerous for a doctor to order. Yes, I am going to move to a different doctor and unfortunately psychologist at this point. That office has been nothing but trouble.

      I called my primary who will have to process some of the problems.

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  • Posted

    I experienced something similar. Have been on Gabapentin for a little over 2 weeks. Was prescribed due to auto accident on May 4th. Having horrible  side effects. Seems longer taken, worse reactions. Notified doctor wld like to discontinue taking, told take 1, 100 mg once a day for 5 days, then stop. Have since read many posts, articles...not the way to go. Stopping as doctor suggested is dangersous. Need to taper off slowly. Suggest finding another doctor.
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    • Posted

      Hi judeuhl! I am in the same situation as you. I've been on gabapentin for a little over two weeks and want off. How did you end up doing it? Thank you in advance for answering. I pray your still around to answer. Need help please

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  • Posted

    Hi all!

    I thought it might help to hear of my progress getting off of this dangerous drug. Yesterday, I heard back from my cardiologist about this drug specially whether because of the cardiac conditions it was causation if he wanted me back on it. In case you hadn't scrolled down from above the prescribing physician was called on the 13th of this month and told of my cardiac problems and urololigical with the 800 mg/ 3x day dosage of Gabapentin and 0.1mg 2x day of Chlonidine. I am a Pacemaker patient with cardiac conditions like congestive heart failure.

    The physician who wrote the prescription of Chlonidine told me to cold turkey stop that drug. It took an emergency call last Saturday to be given directions by the on call cardiologist how to taper down safely. As for the Gabapentin, the preceding physician disregarded heart conditions or even calling him , but instead lowered the dose on the 13th to 600 mg 3x daily. After seeing the cardiologist with note in hand, because I told her, the doctor being referred to in the same practice as prescribing physician would not believe me.

    That is what happened. He refused to read my report she posted in the portal for that day and was going to represcribe it until I objected. So, he told me to stop it and take another drug.

    The cardiologist called yesterday and does not want me back on it. My blood pressure levels are high due to the Chlonidine and I am not out of the woods yet. Thankfully I have a group of medical providers that know me. This doctor on Tuesday had no medical records but freely wrote out prescription regardless of health conditions.

    Be cautious with this drug as it is being prescribed out from under the way it was approved by the FDA.

    I have to file complaints with the state medical board and with Medicare. Doctors like this are reckless!

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    • Posted

      Wow! Hope you are o.k?

      So said that all this happens. My Rheumatoligist said there were no withdrawals??? My family Dr knew

      Very nasty drug for some being on it and some trying to get off it!!

      Scary stuff..

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    • Posted

      I am getting better, but Chlonidine is a blood pressure medicine and I was prescribed it for sleep. Gabapentin is a neuropathy or pain medication and it causes insomnia among a huge list.

      I am completely switching out of the practice that prescribed these medications, but can't add anything until I am safe. The cardiologist sees me June 1.

      Thank you for your reply.

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    • Posted

      That's the only thing Gabby did for me was make me sleep good!! Did not help with pain at all. That's why I got off of it!!

      Does anyone know why it takes so long to get over the withdrawal? It's been 3 1/2 months I am still having problems. Had EKG. It was fine. Blood work all good too!

      Mainly stomach issues yet

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    • Posted

      They say the higher the dose the longer your on it the longer it takes. I was on it for over a year. The last 4 months 3200 mgs.

      I was taken down in 15 days!!!

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    • Posted

      Yep I found out. My Rheumatoligist is who did this. When I told him about how rotten I was feeling. He said he hadn't heard of any withdrawal from it??? My family Dr was mad. She said I should of come down 100 mgs at a time over a period of months!! I didn't know what was wrong with me for over a week. Thought I had the flu.

      I just want to be normal again. Been on going since Feb ,1 St!!!

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    • Posted

      The doctor who prescribed for me had me takiing up to 3, 100 mg caps per day. I barely was able to handle 2, never did the 3.Have been on for a little over 1 month. Had terrible reactions after few days. Called her and was told take 1 per day for 5 days then stop!!! Can you imagine?
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    • Posted

      I feel very very lucky. Coming off the dose I was on could of caused seizures!!

      I never left my house in February!

      Anxiety, sleeplessness, upset stomach, chest pains. Was horrid. sad

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    • Posted

      All the problems have stopped and since my cardioligist is furious that someone has jeopardized my health, and advised me to remain off the drug. I will be very cautious before any psychiatrist recklessly treats me.

      I am fortunate that except for the GI issues, severe headaches which they think was due to the high blood pressure caused by this drug and being taken off Chlonidine.

      Drug reps give them incentives to write scripts and there is nothing you can do but file a complaint with the licensing board.

      Be careful

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    • Posted

      Hi Sandy, Hopefully better now.  I'm taking 50 mg per day and will continue to do so untill weaned off this horrible med. 
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