Wean Off Gabapentin

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I've been on 600 mg (3 x day) of Gabapentin daily for the past 14 years. I've gained a ridiculous amount of weight and I've gotten to the point of not enjoying life much at all. A few months ago, I was able to wean down to half the dose (around 300 mg 3 x day now). Depression and worrying and just plain not wanting to do anything but lounge around. Not sure if it's the Gabapentin or withdrawals. How often and how much do I need to lower my dose to eventually be completely off this drug. Just want my life back. Thx to anyone reading my post.

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  • Posted

    I'm also at the stage of weaning off GP. Was on 2700mg daily now on 100mg daily. From what I've gathered and from my own pain specialists advice is the slower you taper off the less likely you feel the brains adaptions. A big key for me was taking the dose at night rather than day as i was covered pain wise during the day but not side effect wise.

    My specialist said that the way you taper down will also depend on how sensitive you are to the meds. Some people don't feel any side effects on high doses and some feel crazy from low doses. The more you feel the more sensitive you are to the drug and the more important it is to taper down even slower. He said in general if you are not sensible to GP then tapering down 100mg a per week is the recommended way. Although he suggests to taper down 100mg every two weeks so your brain has adapted to the change before you reduce the next 100mg. I've done this method- every two weeks reducing 100mg as well as taking my dose of GP at nigh time. I'm extremely sensitive to GP and hardly Felt human with the effects I was experiencing. I could work and felt like a 12yr old emotionally and functionally! I'm now back in work and feeling like a wife & mom again and whilst I have been reducing the dose only had one blip of mad anxiety- over a two day period. My language retreval has been effected and I really hope I will eventually return to normal... but I'm glad to have weaned off GP with only two bad days and I honestly think it's due to the slow pace of doing it!

    Wishing you the best of luck- don't rush or jump to reduce as it seems to come back to bite!

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    • Posted

      Gosh Rachel82821, your response is amazing. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and responding. I never thought about making sure to take the GP at night instead of the daytime (when I get down to one GP a day). Thx for the every 2 week taper guideline. I'm definitely going to start that today. Say a prayer. You are a God send.

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    • Posted

      Almost forgot Rachel82821, do you take your entire days doseage at bedtime and not split it up throughout the day?
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    • Posted

      Your most welcome- I hope it's helpful!

      Once I was on 900mg I started taking all 900mg at night time right before bed. I was first sceptical from the pain coverage view but hopeful from the tiredness side. It was the best advice ever from my experienced Dr and I was fully covered painwise but was able to function much better during the day and it enabled me to go back to work.

      I've just started taking my 100mg dose and I have only done it reducing 100mg two weeks at a time. I am extremely sensitive to GabaP and experienced aweful effects- both my specialist and Dr expected difficulties once I reduce the GP but due to the slow method I'm so grateful I have been able to wean off easily. I really hope this works for you too- as easily and smoothly as I couldn't have thought possible!

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    • Posted

      I started Gabapentin 5 weeks ago for extreme nerve pain in my neck (occipital neuralgia). It helped, but didn't stop my pain. After several accupuncture appointments using a new technique than we had before, and feeling less pain I just didn't think to take as much Gabapentin. So, I dropped from 600mg morning and night, with 2 doses of 300 mg spaced out through the day (1800 mg total), to about half that. Within 2 days, my anxiety was quite literally at a level 10. I woke up sick to my stomach and was terrified of everything, all of my thoughts were in the future and focused on my never getting better and being forced to live in pain AND crazy. I was sobbing, a complete mess...incapable of working or taking care of my kids. My husband took me to my Dr and he told me I was reacting to the Gapapentin and to stop it right away. Then he kept bumping my .5 mg dose of Atavan up, along with Benadryl, until I calmed down. I calmed down that evening only to wake up in exactly the same terrifying place I had the day before. We tried the same Benadryl and Atavan recommendations, but it wasn't working. After doing research my husband came across all the withdrawal comments online, and he convinced me to take a 300 mg pill of Gabapentin. In a couple of hours my anxiety lessened. We took that as confirmation that I was indeed in withdrawals. So I continued upping my dose getting back to the 1800mg a day that I had previously been on, using .5 to 1 mg per day of Atavan to help. I've been back to the 1800 mg. dosage for a little over a week now, only using Atavan here or there if my anxiety or pain felt too high (I don't want to go through more withdrawals from Atavan so I haven't taken any more of that for a few days).

      Here's where I'm stuck: my anxiety is still high. My stomach hurts all the time, with diarrhea throughout the day. I am a mere shell of myself, unable to tolerate any stress, not even an eventful movie. My mind is not working right: depression, always catastrophic thoughts (I've NEVER suffered with depression or anxiety before). Mornings and late at night are the worst. I'm getting ready to stop working as I'm too anxious/on the verge of sobbing to do my job. I feel like I'm reacting extremely negatively to the Gaba. so I need to stop as fast as I can, and yet if I wean too fast I'll be in the same terrifying, puddle-on-the-floor mess again. My Dr is just a family practicioner and not a specialist, and I don't know that he knows quite what to do with me. I would be grateful for any thoughts, or advice. I feel so desperate.

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  • Posted

    I'm in the exact same boat! Between a rock and a hard place!

    Desperate!

    Your post helps me feel like I'm not crazy after all. Thank you

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