Withdrawing from Gabapentin

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Hi!  I've been taking Gabapentin for apprx. 15 years. I have been taking 3600 mg. for many, many years and decided to withdraw from it after  my husband  mentioned that I never had this disability until after taking Gabapentin and I did some research. I was surprised to find that some people had the same problem, and decided to go off of it.  At first I went off cold and that was a big mistake!  I began taking 900 mg. at first, and decided to go up to 1200 mg.  I am still having problems but so far they have been bearable--tho not pleasant.  I have fibromyalgia and bad back pain.  I have not had any problems with the fibromyalgia but am having many problems with my back.  Tomorrow I am beginning to get cortisone injections in my lower back.  I was told by the pain specialist that if my low back was a hip they would do a hip replacement.  It was depressing to hear that news.  When my family dr. began reducing the Gabapentin at my request I was already down to close to half of 3600 mg. of this drug. I have been prescribed 600 mg. 3x daily for 3 weeks and then 300 mg. 3x daily for 3 weeks.  From the articles that I have read this is far too fast of a reduction!  I will try to work my way thru the withdrawls, but I know that the reduction should be done at 100 mg. intervals.  I am holding my neck straighter.  I was getting 3 vials of Botox in my neck every 3 months as well, but quit over a year ago.  I am sleeping too much, headaches, dizziness, terrible back pain, and memory loss.  I take flexeril and valium at night before bed if I need it.  What I really want to say is please listen to your own bodies and intuition, as drs. and pharmacists don't know everything, or say nothing! I am also taking morphine for pain, but eventually I want to be drug free.  I am also doing my own research.  Please do the same, and it may prevent you from being in the position I'm in!  Thanks for listening..

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  • Posted

    Good luck and best wishes to you.  I am in the process of taking myself off of gabapentin and methadone; but, I haven't been taking it very long.  I can't imagine what you must be going through after 15 years on it, but I wish you the very best in your struggle.  You are correct....listen to your body and do your research.

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    • Posted

      I can't imagine the struggle that you are having!  Gabapentin is difficult to withdraw from, but I can't even imagine that you are coming off of Methedone as well.  From what I have read and heard from others, Methedone is a very, very difficult medication to withdraw from!  They both need to be taken down slowly, and not all of the medical people we deal with understand that fact.  You are very brave, and I for one give you a lot of credit.  Please keep us informed on your progress!

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  • Posted

    bad back pain was my first physical side effect when taking gaba (then hands, elbows, knees etc).  There are a few posts on this site from myself and others about these physical problems which started when taking gaba and have persisted after stopping the drug. Like others too, I am being tested for other conditions - RA, lupus, and signs of inflammatory diseases. Have also developed chronic IBS/IBD like symptoms.  Bloods being redone today so will keep everyone posted.  Perhaps we should start a FB group or similar.  Maureen
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    • Posted

      Hi!  I have enjoyed reading all posts on this site relating to different techniques that have worked or are working for others.  I also see that the side effects experienced by other people can be similar or very different from that of others.  I know that from what I have read and experienced that the amount of time people have been on these drugs is connected to withdrawal as well as our individual body chemistries. I have not always believed that we must listen to our bodies and do our own research because I used to believe that "Drs. know everything."  Only after being misdiagnosed many times and also seeing others misdiagnosed did I question my way of looking at medicines and medical practices.  I was also told that Gabapentin was not addictiive.We're all different and have different body chemistries.  Thus for many years now I have been a firm believer that we must do our own research.  The interactions we have with other medications are also important.  You have had a very rough time, and I can empathize with you.  Keep up with the tests that may find what your diagnosis is.  I know that sometimes it can be frustrating to have symptoms of diseases only to finally be told that it isn't that one at all.  I have also experienced this, and at times have felt very alone.  It's great to have sites like this where we can share our concerns with each other!  I know that we need Drs. and also believe that some are very good while others are not so good.  It can be a constant guessing game.  Yes please keep us posted; we are all here for each other just as much as we are for ourselves.  I'm not sure if there is a FB group already or if not but it's a great idea!  I for one will be thinking of you and waiting for future updates.

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    • Posted

      thanks for your lovely post.  Whilst friends and family are supportive, some are a little sceptical or have no experience of chronic illness and its implications.  Think I will look at FB to see if anything currently exists.

      Agree about having symptoms but no clear diagnosis. This is another area that I find friends and family struggle with.  We all need labels for our problems but that is not always available.  In the meantime we struggle on and I understand completely when you speak of feeling alone.  M

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    • Posted

      Thanks again for posting your thoughts and ideas.  Yes, sometimes I find that friends and family simply don't want to hear about these types of problems.  I've had problems like that in the past.  There can be  words spoken such as "the jury's still out on that one" or sometimes it can be as simple as not wishing to talk about health problems.  That can make people feel very much alone, while at the same time be very frustrating.

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  • Posted

    Also meant to say that one of my side effects and one which is continuing in withdrawal is the desire to sleep all the time.  Think that is a body's response when something is wrong.  Odd because others are suffering insomnia.  Weird.

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    • Posted

      Not unusual Maureen from what I'm reading here and other research of how variables affect brain receptors etc.

      Depending on age, weight, and other medications as well as any previous medical/psychological challenges. Each individual reacts differently. I started out that way then went into inability for restful sleep. I pushed myself beyond the comfort zone to eat right take vitamins and get out in fresh air. Vital

      I am now averaging 6 hrs sleep per night with an occasional cat nap

      It does get better.

      Finding il almost needing to re-create myself

      Seek your source

      This is why AA is so successful

      Reach to your higher power and find strength to love on you

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    • Posted

      I'll say again that my experiences may be different that those of others because I was only on the drugs for a short period of time.  However, the severe insomnia I experienced, especially during the first week off of them, seems to be subsiding.  Last night I slept 6 - 61/2 hours; and, I didn't take any benadryl before going to bed as I had done the few evenings before.

      There seems to be little doubt in my mind that this drug affects different people differently; and, the withdrawal seems to do the same thing.

      Again, understanding that my experiences may be very different than everyone else's, all I can say is hang in there and don't let it beat you.  Things will get better.

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    • Posted

      I agree.  From what I have read, I have come to believe that the effects of gabapentin must be influenced to some degree by what other drugs, if any, are being taken in conjunction with it.  Just my opinion, but it sure seems that way based upon what others have reported, both while taking it and subsequently trying to get off of it.

      Best wishes to you as you move forward.

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    • Posted

      Yes I think you are right about the effects of GABA interacting with other drugs...I've had that experience.  Just Gaba itself is enough to cause alarm...I've been taking it for 5 years now....alternating does between 300 m/g per nite to 1200 mg per evening....go look up the horrible multiple adverse effects of this substance (on www.drugs.com ) and you will see.......awful....I have expirenced many of them.....and those side effects are minimized by the warning labels and healthcare professionals in general !  We can listen to hour own bodies and make our determination ourselves.  My goal is to completely come off and/or drastically reduce medication intake.  It has to go very very slow though.  Regards.....Jim B.

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    • Posted

      I am sure the effects are influenced .  In fact all drugs entering our bodies are affected by any other additional drug as well as the one we are taking. It's very complex.  How can they not be ?  All this drug interaction has a very complicated  effect on our sensitive brains.  It's no wonder we have so many side effects. I don't think our brain likes it.  Your opinion is justified ! 

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    • Posted

      Yes I agree with you!  A higher power gives us insights into ourselves and also the realization that we are stronger than we sometimes think we are.  We are not alone in this world, and there are many ways that we can connect with others.  Depression is a side effect that I and many people who I have come into contact with suffer from when people consider us to be hypochondriacs, or for some they think that it's just a ploy to try to get attention.  There are groups out there that we can be a part of If that is our choice.  These groups are successful.  Some groups become very well known because people are helping people.  I have been reticent about sharing this but I am striving to find some other ways to deal with pain.  Meditation and focusing on that which is outside of myself is helping.  Sometimes it's baby steps, but baby steps lead to a more sure footing...and for some they can lead to giant steps.  Thanks for sharing!

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    • Posted

      You are not alone!  I also have had this side effect.  It differs only from your sleepiness in the fact that my energy levels are jumping around.  First I have lots of energy, and then I sleep too much.  This drug has so many diverse side effects you never know what to expect!  I'm so pleased to be a part of this group!  I find that it helps me...listening to others.

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    • Posted

      You are certainly correct; knowing others are having similar struggles helps me to stay motivated.
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    • Posted

      Yes it really helps.  I'm in the process of trying to sell a house in a small town, and trying to get back to the city where there's help!  It's overwhelming and depressing and I think that it's part of my struggle (especially when the house may not sell) and I need to think of alternatives.  This group helps a lot tho..I'm finding that there are others who are withdrawing from Gabapentin (some like me are withdrawing from several medications) and it can be very overwhelming at times.  Thanks for the imput!  It does help!

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