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Gabapentin Side Effects

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Q. I would like to know your feelings on the regular use of gabapentin for chronic insomnia. As a long time suffer of insomnia, my doctor has prescribed a myriad of drugs. Most recently upwards of 3600 mg of gabapentin at bedtime.

After more than 6 months of use I have noticed that gabapentin is taking a toll on my quality of life. Your thoughts please!

A. Gabapentin (Neurontin) was originally developed as an anti-seizure drug. It was approved by the FDA as an "add-on" treatment for patients with epilepsy in 1993. Although researchers do not completely understand how gabapentin works to control seizures, they think it affects production of a neurochemical in the brain called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid).

Pfizer, the manufacturer of the brand name Neurontin, got into major trouble when it marketed this drug for off-label uses. A company is not allowed to promote a medicine for things that the FDA has not approved. In Pfizer's case, these unofficial uses for Neurontin included bipolar disorder, alcohol withdrawal, migraines and pain. The company eventually paid $430 million in penalties and admitted to fraudulent promotion.

We mention this because Neurontin is currently available generically as gabapentin. In addition to treating epilepsy, the drug now has official FDA approval for alleviating nerve pain caused by shingles (postherpetic neuralgia).

Even though gabapentin does not have the FDA's blessing for treating other kinds of nerve pain (neuropathy), many doctors are using it for this purpose. Some physicians prescribe it to patients with fibromyalgia and migraines as well as to control hot flashes brought on by menopause, even though there is no official blessing from the FDA. This is not illegal. Doctors can prescribe any drug for any reason they see fit. That said, we could find little evidence to suggest that gabapentin would be helpful for insomnia. This is definitely an "off-label" use if ever there was one.

If there were few, if any, side effects associated with gabapentin we would not worry too much about the prescribing of this drug for so many off-label uses. But gabapentin has some potentially worrisome adverse effects. The FDA has issued this warning:
"Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including Neurontin [gabapentin], increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in patients taking these drugs for any indication. Patients treated with any AED for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior."

The FDA also mentions an "unexpectedly high incidence of pancreatic acinar adenocarcinomas" [cancer] in male rats that received gabapentin. The agency adds the unhelpful caveat that the, "clinical significance of this finding is unknown." In other words, no one knows whether this animal research means that men will be at higher risk for pancreatic cancer. This is not the sort of thing that the FDA requires drug companies to follow up on because the long-term research needed to detect a cancer signal can be quite challenging and expensive.

Gabapentin Side Effects:

• Dizziness, vertigo
• Fatigue and or tiredness
• Unsteadiness or incoordination
• Abnormal thinking, anxiety, hostility, confusion, amnesia,
• Depression, suicidal thoughts, mood changes
• Fluid accumulation in feet, edema of face or extremities
• Digestive distress, indigestion, loss of appetite, gas, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
• Dry mouth, dental problems, gingivitis
• Blurred vision, double vision, unusual eye movements (nystagmus)
• Headache
• Withdrawal seizures (never stop gabapentin suddenly!)
• Blood disorders
• Skin rash (alert your M.D. immediately if this occurs!)
• Upper respiratory tract infections, fever
• High blood pressure
• Palpitations
• Tremor, jerky movements
• Joint pain, joint stiffness, arthritis

No one should ever discontinue gabapentin abruptly. Like so many medications that affect the central nervous system, sudden withdrawal may lead to unexpected side effects. Some that have been reported include anxiety, insomnia, nausea, pain, sweating and even seizures. Sadly, though, the FDA gives very little guidance to prescribers about how to gradually taper patients off gabapentin.

Bottom line: Gabapentin is an effective treatment for epilepsy and the excruciating pain that sometimes lingers after an attack of shingles. Although it is quite frequently prescribed for off-label uses, the benefit/risk ratio is not clear. The drug has many potentially serious side effects. We are surprised that your doctor prescribed such a heavy-duty drug for insomnia, especially at such a high dose. The "normal" dose of gabapentin for treating epilepsy or shingles pain would be up to 1800 mg daily. Although 3600 mg is sometimes prescribed, it would have to be considered a high dose, especially for an unapproved use.

Since you report that gabapentin is affecting the quality of your life in a negative way, perhaps it is time to talk to your doctor about reconsidering this drug and discussing a gradual withdrawal process. You may need to consult a sleep specialist to help you deal with your chronic insomnia in a more integrative manner.

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I have been on this med. (Gabapetin) for many years for poly peripheral neuropathy in both legs. I take appx. 3600 mgs a day for the pain in my legs and feet.I do have controlled blood pressure and am on heart meds also. I take hydrocordone acet. also for the pain. When I get an attack in my legs and feet it feels like a stun gun on both legs, almost unbearable. They say it is caused from diabetes, is this correct?

Why take a drug, Gabapentin, to stimulate the production of GABA in the brain when GABA is available as a supplement in health food stores? Granted, it lacks FDA approval, but it has been recommended as a natural sleep aid.

Has The People's Pharmacy looked into this supplement and recommended dosage?

I have neuropathy and have taken Neurontin, then Gabapentan for many years. I do not take over 900 mg a day, though. If I forget to take it at a meal, my feet are just ablaze and there is nausea. I also take 50 mg. of Ultram generic twice a day for pain. At night, .25 mg of Xanax that does help me sleep. I do have terrible coordination, hand tremor and imbalance but never Was well coordinated. I feel this medicine has helped me a great deal.

I have been taking 400 mg. of gabapentin at bedtime for years for anxiety and unexpectedly found it also to be a very effective treatment for my lifelong insomnia, migraines, and irritable bowel syndrome, which disappeared completely once I started taking it. I had to stop daytime doses because of sleepiness and lethargy but continued taking it once daily, at bedtime. It helps me to fall asleep and fall back to sleep if I am awakened during the night.

I had tried behavioral treatments and relaxation techniques, as well as over-the-counter sleep aids, but nothing worked. I also follow a bedtime routine to unwind of reading the newspaper or a magazine under a dim incandecent lamp while stretched out in bed. Occasionally, I will still be wide awake at 2 a.m. and get up to check my pillbox. Sure enough, I've forgotten to take my gabapentin. The small dose I take at bedtime has greatly improved my quality of life.

Gabapentin caused me to loose perspective when I drove or walked. I took only 100 mill. pill a day (low dosage) for 3 weeks and realized I was in trouble
when I smashed up over a curb on a street that I had driven many times...that and other weird I stopped suddenly and had no ill effects with the stopping, and begin to get my life back.

I have a friend who gets along fine and has a better quality of life taking it but not for me.!!

There are those people who are not helped by any of the conventional sleeping medicines. Many are helped by a very old anti-depressant, Elavil® (amitryptiline) taken at bedtime. Its side effect is sleepiness, and it has helped many of my patients who were not at all depressed.


Dear Dr. Judi,

We are well aware that many physicians prescribe amitriptyline at bedtime for older people to help them fall asleep. It is a very sedating drug, so it is no wonder that it would help people with insomnia get to sleep.

There are some serious problems with amitriptyline, however. The drug has a great deal of anti-cholinergic activity. That means it could easily affect cognitive function in an older person, making that individual sluggish mentally...or worse. Amitriptyline is on the BEERS list of no-no drugs for older people. We would suggest that you might want to read our chapter on drugs and older people in our book, Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them:

Sometimes solving one problem (insomnia) could lead to an even worse complication...forgetfulness and mental confusion.

I have responded to the use of Gabapentin before and how it totally affected
my quality of life now. Originally, I complained of severe pain in my feet
and I couldn't sleep. I went to a low-cost clinic and they said this was
a non-narcotic and should be helpful.

In a very short period of time, I
had numbness in my feet and because I have psoriasis (I do not believe this
drug should be given to people with this condition!) the reaction was intense. It spread all over my body. I also had the fluid accumulation in
my feet (and still do even after stopping the drug), constipation, coordina-
tion problems, and tremors, and intense joint pain and stiffness.

I feel like everything has fallen on deaf ears. I just want someone to know
that there could be a very severe problem with this medication. I am
permanently disabled with peripheral neuropathy (I am not a diabetic). Also,
I took no other drugs or vitamins at the time I took this. The swelling in
my feet goes down at night but gets very bad during the day, sitting or

I am a person who is scared of pharmaceuticals but sure wish I could take
something to ease the pain and help the swelling.
If I could be of help to someone else, it would be a relief.

I weaned off 2600mg of gaba about 15 or more years ago because it was no longer helping my neuropathy. The process is slow, reducing by 300mg every week or two, you must be patient. Prescribing this for sleep problems, as mentioned, is very off label!!!!!!

Unfortunately, as my neuropathy worsened, I needed help. Tried gaba again to no avail, went on lyrica. This too carries a boatload of side effects, but, in my case, it keeps the burning down to a bearable level and allows me to sleep at night. When I first started it, 100mg, taking a dose meant an involuntary nap about 15 minutes later. I just loved it! That effect is gone, I have others. Tho I would love to discontinue it, thus far the benefit outweighs all the side effects.

I was rx'd Gabapentin for nerve pain in my left arm/shoulder area after breast cancer tx. Although it did help the nerve pain, within 3 weeks, I had a terrible skin rash on my legs and arms. The MD took me off of Gaba but it took more than three months for the rash to disappear...miserable time!

I was prescribed gaba for restless leg. I take 300mg at about 6pm and another about 10pm. My husband says I am sleeping much better now! I have found that if I forget the 6pm dose I have trouble falling asleep. I also found that cutting way back on caffeine helped a lot. I have tried to quit but could not handle being up all night. So for now I will cont taking.

I used to use Neurontin, then Gabapentin when it became generic. It made me drowsy during the day, but otherwise was effective in reducing my sciatica and neuropathy pain. My doctor transitioned me to Lyrica about two years after it came out. Lyrica does not produce daytime drowsiness, it is a bit more effective in reducing pain and I have responded to it very well. Of course, it is much more expensive than generic Gabapentin, but I think Lyrica will go off patent in 2014.

I take 1200 mg gabapentin/day for post herpetic neuro. I have taken this for over 4 years since I had shingles. I've tried many things acupuncture, meditation, etc. Nothing has helped. What else can one do for this?

I would like to hear more about this as I too take Gabapentin.

Elavil was prescribed with indocin for non-existent migraines,
the combination caused a 40# weight gain and 75% hair loss in 4 months. I was
recently given Gabapentin for Shingles pain. It cause the same problems. I
no longer take any drugs but aspirin, Donnatal, and vitamins.

I've been taking Gabapentin for about 8 years. I've been taking it for what I was diagnosed with "Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy". I'm not diabetic. I'm curious as to why my so called condition is no less or greater than it was when I was diagnosed with it. I'm wanting to know if anyone else has the same problem and what they do about it. All this talk about the side effects that others have with Gabapentin, is scaring me.

To Kate M: I have responded on this subject before about the effects
of Gabapentin but only reported the permanent neuropathy and the
horrible psoriasis outbreak. You mentioned weight gain and hair
loss on both the Elavil and Gabapentin. I also gained weight and
even though I don't eat much, I have not been able to take it off
due to the problems with my feet--less exercise (but I try and do
what I can, including housework, gardening, etc). Also, I had
forgotten about the hair loss. My husband was finding it all over
the house, on his clothes, in bed etc. It was thinning so much,
I really thought I would go bald! After stopping Gabapentin, my
hair has filled in some.

Anyway, I applaud you for cutting this medicine out. They say
that you know your own body and if these side effects affect your
life, then you have the right to stop taking them. I still feel Gabapentin should not be used for anything other than the original
intention--anti-seizure medication.
Good luck.
P.S. I am 61 yrs old and perhaps certain meds just don't work
for me.

Dear DJ,
I just want to say that being 61 years old has nothing to do with medications working on you or not. Age is irrelevant. Nerve pain is a mystery. Doctors do what they can but it's all hit or miss. As far as your feet pain goes, have you tried laser therapy? My mom uses it for you feet neuropathy.

You can also try acupuncture and Vitamin B complex. I have neuropathy in my thigh. It's been over a year that I've been on Gabipentin. My hair is falling out, too. I can't stop taking the meds, though, because the pain is too severe. I'm looking for other med options and was recently told about Lyrica, Amiltriptoline or Nortriptoline. All the meds have side effects, of course, and you have to find the ones that are tolerable for you. I also tried Cymbalta but to no avail. It's been very frustrating and depressing and now I face the fear of losing all my hair. It's already so thin it barely curls anymore.

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that you're not old! And that your age has nothing to do with meds working or not. This kind of pain is just hard to treat.

I was taking Neurontin 900mg/day for atypical trigeminal neuralgia for 1.5 months. I was tired all the time, depressed most of the time, it didn't help my pain, the only good thing was that I slept throughout the night. Now I'm switched to Lyrica, starting dosage at 75 mg/day, and overall I feel better except I don't really sleep much at night (have loads of dreams though on Lyrica!). Everyone of us is different, it takes time and searching to find the "silver bullet".

Barbara F
I have been on gabapentin for a yr. or more for my trygeninal neuralgia. The pain was so bad in the left side of my face. If anyone has had this it is the worst thing you can have happen to you. It has after a year controlled it mostly. I seldom get shocks in my face now but it does concern me will I have to take this for the rest of my life. The only alternative is have surgery which means going in to my head. thank god for gabapentin.

Migraines have been considered headaches, but are actually a seizure and Gabapentin eliminated migraines for me. I had severe migraines several days a month, sometimes lasting for 4 to 5 days. Nothing helped, even when I went to the ER with migraine and I was given so much pain medication, I couldn't walk without strong assistance, the migraine aura was still there, pain was lessened, but not gone.

With Gabapentin, I feel 100% better, am migraine free for several years now (40 years of migraines), and my quality of life is so much better. I still get an occasional headache, very mild, but nothing like a migraine that left me unable to function at all. Different medications work for different people. And health food store GABA is not even close because I tried it.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Indeed, GABA is not the same compound as gabapentin at all.

I was diagnosed with idiopathic neuropathy in both feet and lower legs nearly 2 years a ago after having a gradual increase in numbness, tingling and burning pain for about 2 years prior. Prior to going to the doctor, I could only walk about 20 minutes before the burning was too severe. I am now on 2100 mgs of Gabapentin and 60 mg of Cymbalta. I take 900mg and the Cymbalta at night and sleep real well. I also have a compound pain cream and 25mg hydrocodone/acetemanphin to use when I am going to be on my feet a lot. I am back on the treadmill running, but I use the cream before or after for the pain. I have some side effects. Tiredness and forgetfulness. I have gained 20+ pounds in the time I've been on Gabapentin. Dieting and exercise doesn't help me lose any weight.

I have started using gabapentin for neuropathic pain which was feeling unbearable especially at night time - in my buttocks at first but now spreading to sides and feet. I have not taken the full dose recommended as I am already feeling so soporific I can hardly function - as well as hungry and a bit dizzy and dry mouthed - and I have responsibilities in my life. I am thinking of giving it up - but I don't know any other way to control the pain which has been getting progressively worse - it started after an op. and just spread. it is hard to know what to do - I don't like what I hear about this drug. there must be an alternative??!

When I say pain, it is not really pain as such, but a high level of discomfort as if all nerves are jangling and 'noisy' - stops me sleeping, like cramp, a bit.

Hi, I`m new to gabapentin too for neuropathic pain. My pain`s in my side, back and groin and was diagnosed by a pain specialist as unexplained neuropathic pain, after tests and scans showed clear.

I`m on day 8 of taking it at 3x300 per day.

Back to day 3, I began to feel some pain relief and day 4 was great with barely any pain. Then yesterday the pain kicked in with a vengeance again.
So last night I took an extra pill, leaving me like a blithering idiot today.

I`m wondering too if I can cope with these side effects, which have ranged from confusion, dizziness, headache, cold symptoms and now back to horrible confusion again!

I don`t like what we`re hearing about this drug either, but I suppose we`ve got to weigh up the pain relief v the side effects and hope our doctors know what`s best?
I`m hanging in there, hoping the side effects will pass and eventually with pain relief my body will mend.

As we`re both new users, I`d really like to compare how we`re doing.

And good luck.

Finding all your info helpful. I had a disc extrusion and nerve compression, resulting in neuropathic pain. Pain control was good on Amitryptilline but side effects ( dry mouth, constipation, excess sweating) were too much so just weaned myself off with GPs support. Started Gabapentin today, 300mg at breakfast but within 3 hours I was dizzy and unsteady on my feet. Can side effects start so quickly? Or could it be due to something else? I want an effective pain killer but need to be functional and able to drive. Can side effects be so severe ?

Migraines several times a month for 27 years. Started taking gabapentin (neurologist prescribed) 2 months ago 600 mg at bedtime. Migraines are better, sleep is great but I have noticed joint dryness (popping, bone on bone grinding sounds) in knees, shoulders, ankles and neck. Twice in the past week I have woken in the middle of the night. I get up to go to the bathroom and found the vision in my left eye (lower half) blind. Any idea if these issues will subside once I get off the gabapentin?

I was put on Gabapentin for neuropathic pain and it did absolutely nothing to help. In fact, this medication made my head feel funny. I would take it in the evening before bedtime, and then wake up in the morning feeling like I was out all night boozing it up! Bad ju ju. I quit taking Gabapentin after trying it out for a month, and then began researching alternative, more natural methods to help with neuropathic pain.

Eventually I started taking tart cherry capsules (two a day), alpha lipoic acid capsules, and Vitamin D along with Vitamin B complex (all one each a day), and have been following this regimen for the last seven months. Do note that I ensured the Vitamins and supplements were top quality as well. I'm now pain free and am not suffering any side affects whatsoever. It took about a month before I experienced these results, and I'm sure happy to have found something that actually works for me.

Dear Cappy,

I have had peripheral neuropathy as a result of developing reflex sympathertic dystropy after rupturing 2 discs in my neck and damaging my spinal cord approx 15 months ago. Do I understand you correctly that it only took 30 days of vitamin therapy for you to experience full remission of your symptoms? Would you be willing to provide me with the strengths of the Vit D and ALA that you were taking? I have been taking GABA for a while and tried other meds, but just keep having terrible side effects, so I have to stop the drug.

I want to get off all medications asap. Also, why the "cherry capsules" - do they help with pain? Thanks so much for your help and for sharing your success. I am so glad you are pain free.

I had such a hard time starting on gabapentin. It literally took me three months before I could take the full thing!

hiya.. I have cervical disc bulge for 8 months now with nerve compression. I've been on gabapentin since, now on 1800 a day.. 3 x 600 shots. It doesn't kill my pain, takes the edge of it.. so now on lyrica 150 a day, slowly increasing.. I have got used to the sleepiness, no energy, it has taken a lot of time to get to a "normal" state! but am not safe to drive even now. it has decently slowed down my thought processing, coordination.. and with the pain and side effects from the drugs, has definitely changed my life.. not for the good.. am putting my faith with my neurologist that they will find something that works..hopefully that doesn't include any more meds!! take care

I just started taking Gabapentin, I am on Dialysis and was doing some research on what the side effects was. (there are many) I am taking it because I have gasses that build up and make me sick, I am unable to keep any food down so far so good with this medication. As I stated I just started about a few weeks ago. Well I hope the ones who had not so good exp with it get better or find another medication, And I will keep you posted....:-)

I have been on neurontin for 2 months now only 300mg at night daily before bed. I thought this was non addictive as it does nothing for me except keep my els at bay and help me sleep but if I forget to take it, I wake up 2 hours later and can't sleep all night. Also I get extreme rage from not being able to sleep. Is such a low dose of this really addictive? I'm gonna throw it out today and maybe go with liquor until my sleep returns.

First, I want to thank all of you for posting your comments, and experiences with this medication. What on earth did we do before computers??!! LOL!

I have just been prescribed Gabapentin as a trial drug while awaiting an MRI...(which sadly will be months before I get in...ugh). I've been having some major medical issues over the past 2 years, from unexplained kidney failure, chronic pain in my stomach and back, persistent vertigo, numbness tingling and burning in hands and feet and a change of vision in my left eye. Also I have ZERO vitamin D and will be starting high dose injections to try and build it back up. All signs are pointing to MS but so far some small tests are showing nothing. And until the MRI we're going to be in the dark. So instead of doing nothing, the Doctor thought trying this medicine might be worth a shot. At this point in time, I'm willing to try anything.

I'm only going to be on a very small dose to start...100mg 3 times a day. I am hoping that this will keep the side effects to a minimum. We'll see how it goes, and if it offers any relief.

I appreciate everyone taking the time to post on here, and will continue to come back to read future comments on how everyone is doing on this medication. I'll post an update in a while about how it is working for me.

Take care all...xx

I started Gabapentin recently, a low dose of 1-3 capsules per night (100 mg). I've found that 200 mg. is helping me sleep better than I've slept in months! I'm taking it for RLS and it has stopped the leg cramping. Another surprising benefit is I'm waking up with no joint pain in my fingers, and they were aching for years. I will have to see about down-the-road effects, but I'm pleased that a low dose is helping.

My concern is exactly the same as yours but I'm having awful hair loss too!! I can see no difference in my foot numbness but I wonder if its keeping it from getting worse! Especially experience this upon retiring at night.

@Larry-- I am also on gabapentin for peripheral neuropathy in my feet. Yes, it is caused (well, one of the causes, anyway) by diabetic nerve damage. I have been a type 1 diabetic for 36 years, and my neuropathic pain is very well controlled with a relatively low dose of 300mg gabapentin each evening. I have never had any of the listed "possible side effects", at least none of the bad ones like seizure or suicidal thoughts. I have had excellent success with this med.

I am really getting frustrated! I have mentioned over and over again that I actually got peripheral neuropathy from taking Gabapentin and now people tell me that is why they take it! I am not a diabetic and I did not have numbness in my feet or elsewhere. I did not take any other meds or vitamins and had a healthy diet. I still feel this is a dangerous drug for certain people and I will always believe so.

I took Gabapentin @ 300 mg. at night for about 2 years. Initially, the Dr. prescribed it for all-over nerve pain which seems to be associated with severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Addison's Disease, both of which I've had for over 10 years. At first, it helped somewhat with the pain, somewhat with the tremors I experience and also greatly helped sleep. HOWEVER, over time I noticed that I was getting more and more nauseated, developed head psoriasis, blurred vision and jerky eye-movements, dizziness and increased gastro intestinal pain, which seemed to be neurologically motivated, not necessarily from anything I ate and greatly increased muscle weakness. I tapered off the Neurontin over months, discontinuing about 50 mg. every 3-4 weeks.

I'm 40 days off it completely and I'm MISERABLE!! I'm nauseated almost 24/7 with greatly increased tremors and electrical brain/body 'zapping' continuously. I'm determined NOT to go back on the drug, but I have no idea how long this withdrawal is going to last or if any of these symptoms will truly improve over time. I read on one site that 'generally' some folks had severe withdrawal about a month for each year they were on Gabapentin. I wish I'd NEVER, NEVER taken this drug. A few years ago I had an almost similar reaction to taking LUNESTA every night for months. Now I've realized that they both affect GABA in the body, so lessons learned....the hard way....

Hi, I am wondering if you live in the USA? Why is it taking so long to get an MRI? I live in a southern state in the USA and we have MRIs scheduled and report forwarded to our doctor within a week.
I have Peripheral Neuropathy in both feet making it unbearable to walk or stand for any length of time. Night time seems the worst.
I am on Gabapentin and I have been having terrible balance problems, for which I am in therapy. I have been having hair loss and have gained over 25 lbs in the last six months. I never realized that this medication could be the cause of my problems until I found this forum.
This has been very helpful. I plan to contact my doctor Monday about trying something else.
I have tried Cymbalta and had terrible sweats both day and night.
I am trying to find out what else is out there.

Dj. You are the first person I've come across who has gotten neuropathy from neurontin. I took it for 1 week for migraines and now am experiencing neuropathy and burning sensations all over my body. It's been 1 week since I stopped taking it and I still have it. Did your neuropathy get better or go away with time off the drug. Please answer as I am desperate for answers. Thank you.

I will not comment further about my issues with Gabapentin and how it
changed my life (permanent neuropathy and trouble with my feet and edema etc). I really would like to have the FDA do further studies on this drug. Even at the FDA site concerning Gabapentin there are all kinds of warnings.

As a person who never liked pills, I am sorry that I ever gave in to this.
One lady said my age (62) had nothing to do with it but it is true that
as we grow older we might have different reactions.

I was taking Lyrica for Neuropathic neck pain and it worked perfectly well and I had zero side effects. I would recommend this as an alternative medicine to anyone who is having difficulty with Gabapentin.

The only reason I had to stop taking the Lyrica was because it is quite expensive and this year I fell into the Medicare Gap so could no longer afford it. I tried Gabapentin as an alternative but way too many nasty side effects. So in January on 2013 I will again be asking my doctor for Lyrica; in the meantime I will endure the pain.
No more Gabapentin for me.

Cappy, I would like to know what mgs. of tart cherry capsules, alpha lipoic acid capsules, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B complex do you take. I'm interested in what you have to say about how you are feeling now, after a few months of being on the regimen you put yourself on. I've been reading what others have said about Gabapentin issues and I believe you're the only one who's found post-Gabapentin success.
Please tell us how you are doing now.

I only can tell you what happened to me. They evidently give
Gabapentin for neuropathy but it caused mine. The neurologist
did a test on me and said I had permanent peripheral neuropathy.
Besides all the other side effects, it affected my life dramatically.
My feet are so weird--partial numbness, partial hyper-sensitivity
(I cannot walk without shoes) etc. They swell up during the day.
I also gained over 40 pounds.

Funny thing is that I have no appetite and can only eat a very small amount. Because of my feet, exercise is a lot harder but I really try.
I am still very concerned about this drug.

I got shingles the end of April of this year, and began taking Gabapentin for the pain, tingling and itching. The shingles were in my head and left side of my face. I'm glad I found this site, because you all are talking about side effects of this drug, similar to what I am now having. I think I will start weaning off of it.

I only take 100 mg. three times a day, and it is still effecting my feelings of anxiety, dizziness, and especially memory and thought processing. I can begin a sentence, and forget what I was even talking about. I thought I might have the beginning of Alzheimers. I think I can put up with the tingling and itching, better than these other symptoms that either started or got much worse after taking Gabapentin for six months.

Has anyone thought it was effecting their mind? I thought it might be because the nerves that were effected by the singles were in my head. I'm going to talk to my doctor about seeing a neurologist when I go to him next week.

I've been taking Gabapentin for about 7 months. It has caused me a stiff neck pain. It was prescribed for peripheral neuropathy on my feet.

Would like to wean of of it due to all the potential effects.

Once again I will state that I don't understand why this drug is given for peripheral neuropathy because it CAUSED my neuropathy as diagnosed by a neurologist. The only problem I was having was severe pain in my feet and I would much prefer that now and being able to feel my feet! My feet still swell badly during the day and I still have aches and pains I never had before as a result of this drug. For me, it has changed my life and not for the better. I appreciate
life but I was not ready for this at 62!


I am interested in your combination of tart cherry capsules, alpha lipoid acid, and Vitamin D combination instead of Gabapentin/Neurontin. How did you discover this combination? Was it physician recommended or by another type of health care advisor? Are these products you can purchase in a health food store?

I have been on 1500 mg of Gabapentin for 8 years but as I crossed to age 60 I am starting to be concerned about liver filtering as I get older. I also take a number of other RX meds and would like to cut way back in general. Also the current climate of name brands all being filled as generics makes me leery of the QA and efficacy of the new generic formulations.

Dear Debby or Cappy: I am new to this site but am also interested in the how discovered and amounts of other holistic items taken to replace Neurontin. I would love to get off of the 1500mg I have been taking daily for 8 years. Hope either of you have found some answers and will post for the rest of us!

I started gapa. Two weeks ago. Now taking 3 x. 300mg. Helped on migraines and neck and shoulder pain and sleep better but has caused weight gain already and elevated blood sugar and pain in feet. So after reading these reports I am getting off and see what happens.

I have been taking up to 4 x 300mg per day to supplement the Requip for restless legs. I have maxed out on the amount the Requip that is allowed. I don't know of any side effects except that it makes my sweet tooth problem a lot worse. I also don't know if it is doing me much good. I vary my dose from none to 4 without knowing that getting off of it is such a big issue. I am very old and confused by the drugs I have been offered and the positives and negatives.

I have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy and was given 900mg of gabapentin per day about 3 weeks ago. From the beginning, I suffered severe headaches. They have ceased for the most part, but now I am suffering from incontinence. Will this also go away in time?

I am still perplexed that Gabapentin is given for peripheral neuropathy because I was diagnosed with that after taking Gabapentin! The neurologist confirmed it! I now have permanent damage to my feet. Go figure. I did not have headaches but constipation was a definite problem. Also, hair loss, a large weight gain, a rash over most of my body, gastric problems, etc. Since I was taking no other meds and eating healthy foods, I will always be at a loss for what happened to me. I guess it was just my body's reaction.

Would you mind telling me how many mg of Gabapentin you are on? I have not read or been advised that it caused hair to fall out which is quite worrisome.

I have been on gabapentin for over a year for neuropathy which existed prior to multi level cervical fusion and disc replacement. I have been tapering off of gaba (300 -> 200 -> 100mg over a week) and am down to 100mg a day. Over the past two weeks (200 -> 100mg) I have been plagued by increased insomnia: the less I take the less sleep I get. Has anyone else experienced this and were you able to sleep after you were off of the medication? How long did it take for sleep to become normal?

Was diagnosed with Parkinson's and had severe pain. Didn't have tremors but other symptoms of Parkinson's. for pain relief as I cannot tolerate codeine I was put on gabapentin (3200) and sr tramadine (2/300) daily. Since then jelly movements initially like seizures developed, as I have asked docs if I could wean myself off them both the jerky seizures went to more severe shaking, and now trembling.

Now down to only 300 gab and 50 tramal sr but docs are saying my seizures, reduced to shivers, to trembling is psychological and I don't believe it or am having difficulty coming to terms with that. Next step is to ask to stop one completely, which one is more likely to cause the symptoms I have described as I can recall the seizures only starting when put on these two drugs and wish to prove a moot point,

I have been taking anywhere from 100 to 900-1200 mg Neurontin for about 15 years, most of the time I have been taking 300 mg. I stopped taking it about a month ago. Here are some of my long term side effects:

1. Hair loss. I have had gradual hair loss over the 15 years. My mother (73), grandmothers, and all female relatives have very full heads of hair, I'm certain the loss is from the Neurontin. Hair loss started front and top and gradually made its way to the back of my head so that the entire top center portion of my head hair has extremely thin, fine, hairs that will only grow 1/2 to 1 inches long.

2. Dry eyes. I noticed that this went away almost immediately after stopping.

3. Detail vision. My vision for activities such as reading and detail work declines dramatically when my Neurontin dosage is increased.

4. Arthritis. At higher dosages (900 mg - 1200 mg), I developed severe arthritis in my hips. After taking for 15 years, I've developed arthritis in my lower back -- I don't know if this is from neurontin but I suspect it contributed to the problem. I find this ironic since I hear that neurontin is sometimes prescribed for arthritis pain.

I asked my doctor about the hair loss many years ago, and he looked it up in the PDR and claimed it must be from something else. Wrong! I'm hoping the hair loss will reverse itself over time. I'm also hoping the arthritis will be somewhat diminished over time.

BTW, I reduced my dosage very gradually over about 6 months. I know that's a long time, but reducing the dosage gave me pretty severe insomnia so I would open the capsule and dump out a very tiny bit. I increased the amount I dumped out very gradually over time.

My gabapenton (Neurotin) prescription was increased from 300mg/day to 900 gradually over several months. It has affected me adversely... my legs and feet hurt much worse and keep me awake most of the night. and nothing seems to take away the pain. I take Hydrocodone 7.5-500 prn for pain. I have had 5 back surgeries, the last one over a year ago included hardware (6 - 4in rods and screws from T 11-12 thru L 3-4. I fell recently and now I have a ruptured disc at T10-11 and a herniated disc at L 2-3. I have seen my surgeon and he indicates that more surgery is the only answer... whereas my primary doctor just increased my gabapenton.

I'm at a loss about where to go from here. I have been going to both doctors for many years. I do not sleep at night because my feet and legs hurt so bad. Also it is more difficult to walk and now I use a 4 wheel walker whereas before I used a cane. I need some more help from somewhere.

I am 53 year old female and acquired shingles this fall. I was prescribed Gabapentin for the pain which worked very well. I was taking 300 mg 3 x a day. I did this for probably 6 weeks to 2 months at most. While on this medicine I slept very well, overall felt a generalized mood stabilizing effect although initially was a bit loopy before I got used to it ( about 4 days).

Anyway, I was told to wean off gradually. My problem now is insomnia like I have never had before..every night I wake for hours after initially going to sleep. I weaned off one pill down for about 3 days, then dropped another then kept one pill ( 300 mg) at night only for a week, then weaned off that in about 4 days time.

I am wondering now after reading that some say to wean over a longer period than I did, if there is a benefit in getting back on it at night and then weaning off differently over a longer period or is it best to just tough this out since I am already off now for about 10 days to 2 weeks?

anyway, wanted to share how insomnia has persisted. Would love to know how long I can expect it to be a problem.

thanks and I appreciate your sites information on this subject,


I got shingles 1.5 years ago, May 2011. After suffering for months, I was put on gabapentin for the scalp itch and for pain. I do have hair loss, depressive thoughts, rash-serbasious dermatitis and psoriasis, ear ringing. I want to try Lyrica but it is soo expensive. With my insurance, gabapentin costs $5 but for Lyrica it is like $200 and that is for only 30 mg. a day.

I'm not sure if gabapentin is worth it. Though I take 800 mg. every 5 or 6 hours, I still wake up at night and have to ice my head. I also take Oxycodone for pain. It doesn't take away the extreme itch though.

You are the first person I've read about with a condition like mine. I feel very alone.

Hi, I just wanted to close out my thread regarding insomnia while weaning myself off of Gaba. It took me 3 weeks to go from 300 mg to 0 and I had terrible insomnia during this time. I'm off of all my medications post surgery and can sleep again. It was harder to stop the gaba then the opiates. Go figure. Best wishes to all of you who are ramping down.

Hi Nancy, I had a similar problem and just posted my results, BTW I am female and 56. I was on 1200 mg post spinal surgery and neuropathy for about 1 year, ramped down to 300 mg over the year, then just weaned myself off over the past 3 weeks. I did go from 300 mg to 100 mg and had horrible insomnia during this ramp down. I bit the bullet, had three sleepless weeks, drank brandy to help me get some sleep and now am off of gaba completely. Hang in there and eventually you'll be back to normal. LAG

Neuropathy is a terrible disease for anyone. There is a lot of helpful information at both for perscription drugs and for vitamins etc

I have been put on 100 mg of Gabapentin 3 times a day for my Fibromialga and RLS and Heat Flashes, this could be my miracle drug except that I am very sensitive to drugs and a number of antidepressants has caused severe hair loss and I cannot afford any more, can anyone tell me what dose causes the hair loss, I can get by with only taking 100 mg a day at night if I need to but I do need the help this offers to give?
Thanks Janet

I just read for hours on neurotalk and went to the Neurotreatment Group website, talked to a consultant about their formula and ordered it. I have very high hopes of this product working after the failure of neurontin (gabe) and other drugs. The use of the vitamin B group with ALA makes more sense than anything else to me.

Thanks, Joy, for posting this info. I will update after taking the Neuropathy Group Treatment Formula. It makes sense and hopefully will work. I have been taking Metanx which offered only minor relief and this formula costs about the same!

My neuropathy is caused by parathyroid tumors removed last March (hyperparathyroidism), now cured, but nerve damage resulted ... Have your PTH levels checked to make sure this condition isn't affecting you ....
Read about it at Dr Norman did my surgery in Tampa. Made my atrial fib go away, as well, and I lost 30 pounds! Docs ch your TSH but seldom your PTH!!

My hair was falling out at the 300 mg dose. I went up to 1500mg but only stayed on GABA at that titrated dose a week before beginning my tapering off. Tremors were scaring me as was weight gain. Balance was an issue and I was in a fog. I just did not trust it after being a thyroid patient which also became a dosing strength problem (thyroidectomy in '95)! My hair is slowly beginning to come back, thankfully!

Having the parathyroid surgery last March was a miracle for me; think that is what caused my neuropathy and I worry the damage is permanent! Will know after I try the product mentioned in my previous post...

I feel strongly about gabapentin, as it is the only prescription to which I have had a bad reaction.
I have fibromyalgia. My nurse practitioner prescribed a low dose of xanax to help me sleep. My rheumatologist objected to the xanax and prescribed a low dose of gabapentin as a sleep aid. It did help me sleep. I took the gabapentin for about two months.
During that time I experienced blurred vision, which kept getting worse until I couldn't read a newspaper. I woke up with a headache most mornings. My balance and coordination were off - I began running into things. I fell on my driveway and badly bruised my elbow - luckily it didn't break, but it's still painful 3 months later. My driving ability was affected. It interfered with my sexual functioning.
My heart started beating too fast. In response to that, the same doctor took me off Savella, which I had taken successfully for several years.
I began to experience sleep apnea and had several panic attacks during the night when I woke up gasping for air. It got to the point where I started to panic when I went to bed. I ended up back on Xanax for the panic attacks!
I stopped taking gabapentin abruptly after my family doctor said it would not cause a problem to do so (perhaps because my dosage was low).
I realize gabapentin is very helpful to many people, but I want to advise care and awareness of its possible side effects. I would take it to save my life if necessary, but insomnia is way preferable to the side effects I had.

I have been on Gabapentin 300mg for a few months now... for nerve pain (mostly burning sensation on back). I was doing great... until about a month ago... a headache that came and never went away. Yes, I think my vision changed too. I slowly decreased my Gaba over 3-5 days... now the burning sensation is back again but the headache (almost) gone. I have to weigh the benefits... I don't know which is better?

I'm so tired of going to Drs. and everyone addressing their own field and not working together. I see a hormone specialist for hypothyroidism and estrogen dominance, cardiologist for mitral valve and bicuspid aortic valve, pain Dr. for muscular/nerve pain... I'm not even sure the Gaba gave me headaches... going to see if the headaches go away and start gaba again to see if they come back. Does anyone know how long gaba stays in your system? I can't afford to "see" my doctor for a drug change for this... so trying on my own.

I took gabapentin for about a year several years ago for migraines. It did not help so stopped, but while I was taking it I had numbness in my left arm, shortness of breath and I thought I was getting Alzheimers. After I stopped taking it all returned to normal.


Sorry to hear all that you are dealing with. My husband was on the drug, 1@400mg a day, for about a month, but started to have a host of nasty side effects that really messed with the quality of life. He stopped taking it and the effects got worse to start with but seem less now. We are now 2 months later and he still is having the zapping that you described, jitters, on and off anxiety, and increased back and leg pain. I was wondering how you were doing now a few months on from your original post.


take it before bed as my dr prescribed

EJ, I am now over 100 days off Neurontin and I still feel absolutely awful. The nausea is near constant, I have terrible increased all over nerve pain, especially bad in my legs, wicked heart palpitations, the zapping, terrible anxiety. I STILL wish I would have NEVER, NEVER gone on the med. I'm sure having CFS and Addison's just makes everything worse, so I'm not necessarily the poster child for this. But, I still would advise extreme caution for anyone considering it. On the other hand, I have a girlfriend who suffered from terrible back pain, has been on 300 mg. a day for several years with absolutely no problems and swears it got her life back. What can I say?

I have been taking gabapentin for several months and just started taking
Vitamin D, 2000. Should this combination cause my stool to be black?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: No. Please check with your doctor. Black tarry stool can indicate intestinal bleeding.

My husband has rapid cycle bipolar and has extreme restless leg syndrome which he was on medications for that were not working. Doctor put him on 100 mg Gab which was to increase to 300 after the first week. Anyway, pharmacy screwed up, gave him 300 to start. Since being on this med (about 3 wks)he has been experiencing pain in his lower right back, he says its not muscle and feels like it's internal. He has also been EXTREMELY agitated, angry, anxious, and manic. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this or if these symptoms are unrelated. He has been on the same bipolar meds for several years so don't think they are causing these symptoms.

I have been taking a daily dose of 7 - 800 mg gabapenten tablets - 5600 mgs per day, for over 10 years for pain from an inner brain bleed. Right side is in very bad pain - neuropathic daily until at least 4800 mgs by 12 noon.

Serious dry skin side effects and urinating frequency - 12 to 15 time per day, smaller amounts.

Need advice on problem of urinating frequency. Need advice on alternatives to Gabapenten.

My 9 year old daughter was put on Gabapentin about 2 months ago. She takes 1 capsule three times a day. The capsules are 100mg. She is taking it for spine and nerve pain. She has a tethered spinal cord, and has been through spinal cord surgeries. Since she started taking GABA all I really noticed was sleepiness in her for the first few days. There isn't any other pain (yet) that she is having besides the original nerve pain in her back and neck. GABA is actually helping her with her symptoms. I have no complaints about that.

However, my husband is a diabetic and has a blood sugar tester at home. Our daughter started complaining of random headaches about 1 month into her GABA use. We also noticed she was drinking a lot of water. So as concerned curious parents, we checked her blood sugar. I just about fell over when her blood sugar level read 200!!! That is way to high for anyone! We keep re testing her and all the levels are above 150. And normal is less than 99. She hasn't ever had high blood sugar before. I think this is being caused by her taking the gabapentin. I am going to wean her off and continue to monitor her sugars. The neurosurgeon is aware and didn't have much to say.

Has anyone ever experienced high blood sugar after starting gabapentin? Did you have normal sugars before? I have looked around on the web and there is some talk about it. I just don't want my precious daughter becoming diabetic from a nerve pill, when there is definitely something out there she can take for her tethered cord pain. Maybe I should go back to the good ol Tylenol..... Help!!! Thanks!!!

I posted earlier when I started detox from Neurontin. I'm now entering month 4 and not a lot has changed. Still experiencing nausea and neuro 'zapping' and extreme weakness. But, that said, I also started detoxing 4 weeks ago from the Xanax the doctor had prescribed for anxiety. I'd only been taking about .5 - 1 mg. a day, but I've been taking it for about a year. I learned something VERY interesting and thought I'd pass it on. The 3 meds I've been on the past 3 years, Lunesta (for sleep), Neurontin (for pain) and Xanax (for anxiety) ALL work on the SAME brain receptors for GABA. I had the exact same awful symptoms when I stopped the Lunesta 2 years ago and it landed me in the hospital for a week. The clueless doctors kept trying to tell me that it wasn't from the Lunesta, but I know better now.

If you Google GABA withdrawal it lists all the horrible symptoms, almost all I've experienced or been experiencing since trying to get off all the meds. I have no idea how long this is going to last, but it's pretty miserable. I know there are 1000's of people who take these meds with no problems at all, but I wanted to caution about layering one upon another, especially when they seem to affect the same brain chemical. Regards.......


How much Gabepantin did you take before you start to get relief from migraines? I've just started to use it after suffering from migraines for 5 years. I'm taking 2 pills 3 times a day, but don't know exactly the strength.



Hi There
I am up at 4:30 because, although I had neuropathy before taking Gabapentin , this drug has made mine worse too!!! I am on 200mg at bedtime
Notice my hair is falling out too.
Also, since I went up to 200 from 100, now I have insomnia.

There is something called a paradoxical reaction to drugs which means you get what the drug is supposed to help.

You are not alone!!

I was taking neurontin for my back pain, and after a short while, my two large toes were turning black and blue and getting swollen and red. My family doctor told me to stop immediately, which I did. This was over a year ago, and since then I have lost my two large toenails and a second time on my right toe. I have been unable to clear my toenails. They have a black color to the top of them, besides a couple of other toenails turning color. I wonder if anyone else has had this and if toenails can possibly get back to normal?

I was prescribed Neurontin six years ago for Trigeminal Neuralgia. A couple of months later, I began having small circular red rashes on my arms, but my internist thought this was probably attributable to changing seasons. Over the years, sometimes the Neurontin would help me, other times it wouldn't. Finally, the Neurontin just stopped helping the Trigeminal Neuralgia altogether.

At my neurologist's suggestion, I saw a pain management physician who prescribed Gralise. The Gralise worked great except within a month I had HUGE circular red itchy rashes on my arms and legs. I saw a dermatologist who told me it was a medication I was taking. One by one, I came off my meds and, lo and behold, the rash subsided when I came off Gralise. I'm still searching for something to help me with the Trigeminal Neuralgia (it's so painful!) but at least I don't have that horrible rash on my arms and legs!

I an suppose to begin taking My presct. of Gabapentin tonight before bed but after reading all these negative testimonials about it I am afraid to take it. It was prescribed for my leg pain and numbness. I am to begin with l 300 milligram nightly for 7 days and increase it to 2 a day. I am thinking Negatively.

What I thought was hip trouble was a jangled, inflamed nerve aggravated by degenerating discs in my lower back. My doc started me off on one 300 gabapentin per day, but I was told to take it before bedtime, and only after a week was it increased to before bedtime and with breakfast. At one point I added one at lunch (it turned out my work area and posture were making it worse), but after a few weeks cut back because I was falling asleep during meetings. Maybe try taking it at night before bed, and seeing if that helps enough and keeps you from being sleepy during the day. (Physical therapy and sitting on a wedge pillow helped me as well, but then we have different problems).

I take up to 1800mg gabapentin daily for diabetic neuropathy. I've not had any side effects from it. In fact I have been able to cut my Risperdal dose in half and my moods are still stable and I have no psychiatric symptoms of my bipolar or schizophrenia (I have both). I've noticed now that this is the second time that the gabapentin did not help my neuropathic pain. I don't know what to do! I'm sitting here with blazing legs and nothing to fix the pain. Sleep usually helps with the pain but it didn't this time. I'm worried I'll have to find a pain management doctor and start taking narcotics soon. I worry about dependency on those.

I've not gained any weight from taking gabapentin, no drowsiness, no issues sleeping, no other side effects.

I have been on Gabapentin, 300 mg 3x daily. I am going on my fifth week and the dizziness is still a problem. I am now having horizontal double vision. I have had some really ridiculous mental issues, that when I had time to think about what I had said in some conversations, was waiting for someone to call the men in white to come for me. I work in a profession where I make serious decisions so will immediately start the tapering off of this drug. I have also been falling asleep every time I sit down, which is extremely unusual when my normal sleep is about 6 or less hours a night.

I have had Shingles for about two months on half of the torso but will deal with the burning, itching and pain without Gabapentin! Blessings to all who have life altering medical issues much more serious than Shingles, and thanks to everyone that shared their issues to help the rest of us.

I was recently put on Gabapentin twice daily for diabetic neuropathy problems, including severe night leg cramps. What I am wondering is, will the soporific effect lessen with time? I actually ended up in the hospital because I took my night dose at 11:30 because I had to work late and took the morning dose at 7:00 a.m. I couldn't walk straight, my hands were twitching so I was dropping things, my eyes were twitching like I was drunk and had nystagmus, and I couldn't talk straight either. My coworkers insisted I go to the ER as, I think, they were worried about stroke.

I will add that my blood work showed that I was also dehydrated and that I had worked about 80 hours the week before so was suffering from exhaustion as well. Also, the blood work showed that my kidneys were borderline so I may have had a buildup of waste in my blood.

OK everyone listen up:

Gabapentin is NOT the same as Neurotin. It's a generic. Generics do not have the same exact standards as the patent brand per FDA rules. It only has to meet somewhere between a range of 80% to 125% effectiveness. In addition, each generic manufacturer uses different fillers and binders than the patent brand. Most pharmacies will fill with the cheapest generic to increase their profits! Did you know there is a tier to generic manufactures. Ask your pharmacist. The only generic manufacturer that I found effective was from Greenstone mfg. The others were twice the size of the patented Neurotin filled with fillers and binders that caused serious side effects in me and did nothing for the pain.

I am on max Tramadol and 2100 mg Neurontin since Dec 2012. Chronic back pain from accident which compressed 4 discs lower back. The doctor has said I can go to 2700 mg max Neurontin. The pain is still such as to lead me to believe that 2700mg will not even cover the pain. Is there any other pain killer that I could add/replace in such an event? I do not suffer from any serious side effects.

I have Fibromialga and restless leg and heat flashes for 15 years now and I am Bipolar and my Doctor put me on Pamipexole (Mirapex) and it has helped my restless leg as well and the pain in my back but I only take it in the mornings because it keeps me awake at nights and so it kind of wares off in the evenings so the Neurontin takes over in the evenings with my back pain and my heat flashes, I'm only on 400 mg and I have upped it two times and I'm scared to up it again because I am very sensitive to hair loss and I have grown my hair most of my life its way below my seat and now thin from all the antidepressants I have been on, this hair loss has stopped due to a natural antidepressant I take called Amoryn its way better than any prescription antidepressant I have ever taken. Hope this helps someone. JS

I don't know if any others have experienced the following but thought I'd share a side effect I've experienced while taking Gabapentin.
I'm currently taking Gabapentin for nerve pain in my neck, shoulder, and arm. I've had two cervical fusions in the past and recently an epidural.

This is the first time I've taken Gabapentin. Two weeks into this Gabapentin therapy I decided that I didn't like smoking anymore. Didn't taste good, didn't make me feel good, and when the pack of cigarettes I had ran out I quit. After 44 years of smoking and quitting, I finally stopped. I don't understand it, but I'll take it. The only other side effect I've had is vivid dreaming.

Hi, I have Hypermobility Syndrome and IBS, I have extreme flexibility (or had) the Gabapentine has stiffened me up, not in a good way, I have been on this for 4 years now, up and down doses to find the right amount, the confusion has stayed throughout, I also suffer seeing objects surrounded in light, and I think it's not covering the pain as much either, but don't want to go back up in dosage, I have acne I didn't before, I bruise easily, constipation and blockages am told that's the IBS but its worse now ,the fatigue is crippling, I gained 2stone very rapidly, I forget words when I am speaking, trying to describe the word as it feels like its stuck in my head, I crave sugary things which I NEVER ate before, drinking more fluids too, I get really frustrated as I feel doctors are just not listening.

I decided a few weeks ago to come off the Gabapentine, coming off slowly but even dropping the odd tablet in a day I feel the difference, my pain is still bad but if I feel this pill is making my life a misery. I have no quality of life which is not fair on my kids, all they know is Mum sleeps a lot and cries with the pain. Not a great life for them either. And you know what I think I feel like I will be stronger to find an alternative now, as I was so despondent I think I had just resigned myself to the docs saying gabapentine was pretty much it as I have been on Dihydrocodeine for years and years, I know am ok on it been on it for so long at least I can function, there is no way that's the only option for people ,if you get too many side effects it's not for you, its just not worth it, docs need to do more, and this pill needs more testing, not on animals I might add, but listening to patients already taking it!! Just as scary is the effects coming off it, I hope I manage with no complaints!!

Was taking Gabapentin for nerve problems caused by scar tissue from a surgery. However, have had issues with weepiness which the doctor seems to ignore and have also had an issue with an inability to achieve orgasm. Has anyone else had this issue? I stopped taking the meds for several days and this seems to have resolved so I am confident that this is the problem but it's a real struggle to function either way.

Noreen April 7, 2013

This is my 1st time on this site.
I have learned from everyone's comments and I thank you for them. I had a below knee amputation in 2003 b/c my congenital abnormal limb had deteriorated despite all the surgeries. The amputation has given me a better quality of life b/c I no longer have chronic, severe bone pain.

To the astonishment of my various doctors, I took nothing for that pain.
I'm in good health, am not Diabetic, take Crestor for high cholesterol (familial) & 1 Low Dose Aspirin daily, do not smoke and am not overweight. 1 then 2 then 3 and now 8+ times/year I experience bouts (1-3 days) of severe nerve pain in my stump.

I take Percocet & Valium as prescribed for 1-3 days until the pain stops.
Once it starts I'm to hit it "hard & fast" with Percocet & Valium as that leads to pain of a shorter duration (usually 1 day now) and longer episodes between bouts of pain (I wish!).

B/C my stump is shrinking (some stumps don't shrink at all) 1 year ago, my surgeon said I could expect "more nerve pain and sensations" and now I am.

Since the bouts of severe pain became so frequent, 7 months ago I went on Gabapentin 100mg 3 times/day (tid) with the hope of preventing the bouts of pain &/or decreasing the severity of the pain during a bout, and b/c it would help with my troublesome post-menopausal hot flashes.

5 months later in February, like overnight, the hot flashes came back but not as bad as before Gabapentin, and the nerve pain came more often, so as prescribed I took Gabapentin 200mg 3 times/day.

Then 1 month later in March (6 months after starting Gabapentin) the hot flashes & nerve pain in my stump increased again, so as prescribed took Gabapentin 300mg tid.

To KD of September 3rd, 2012: I did and do feel an increase in being light-headed sooner than 3 hours after taking a dose. In fact, on 300mg tid I now feel light-headed all the time & fortunately I just carry on with my life driving a car safely etc. I have gained weight (5 lbs), have 2 more small psoriasis spots, feel lethargic (more so on 300mg tid) & light-headed (at 1st just for a couple of hours after taking a dose but now with 300mg tid all the time) & I think for 3 months have trouble finding the right words to say (embarrassing) and the pain during the pain bouts are as I described to my doctor 'dumbed-down."

When 1st on the drug I noticed immediately that my thought processes were slowed down but I liked the calm feeling. Today I've started to wean myself off Gabapentin slowly; 200mg instead of 300mg tid etc. When the next bout of severe stump pain hits I'll treat it as I always do with Percocet & Valium.

I learned that although the Gabapentin took the edge off the severe nerve pain, I had to hit the pain bout 'hard & fast' or the pain wouldn't go away; so no decrease in using Percocet and Valium.

I have an amputation journal that I use with my doctor and my prosthetic technician.
I write down every Percocet & Valium I take and why. My doctor said I take so few that she has no concern that I will get addicted. I'm hoping that once off Gabapentin I can stay off it and not start any new drug. However, time will tell.

I'll keep you posted on my progress but in less words!
All the best to each of you.

I've been using Gabapentin intermittently for 2 years for Periodic Limb Movement Disorder and also insomnia. I have found it incredible and for the first time in many years am I now able to sleep at appropriate times (before midnight). The side affects for me are vagueness and some memory loss- but overall, the positives and increased quality of life out weigh the negatives.

I recommend this med for people with chronic insomnia along side natural methods such as no caffeine, dimming lights from 8pm, window open for fresh air, and relaxation deep breathing excercises.

It would have helped greatly if this person had stated what he/she meant by "it has begun to affect my quality of life". That said, your generic response was about as distantly informed as an outside observer could obtain. I have been on Neurontin for twelve years and take 3000 mg per day. It is possible that this person has begun to feel sluggish because of the high dose.

I can tell you from extensive experience that this sluggishness is preferable to the confusion, lingering somnolence, and potential depression which come from using Ambien and Ambien-similar sleep medications. I recommend to this person that he/she try 50 mg. of the atypical antidepressant TRAZODONE. It is a poor antidepressant but a fantastic sleep medication. It is so effective that you won't need any gabapentin at all.

As far as Neurontin being a "heavy-duty medication", nothing could
be more erroneous. Gabapentin is a very, very subtle drug, which is why psychiatrists prescribe it at such high doses. I am not trying to promote the practice of using high doses, but to suggest that 1800 mg is the maximum dose that is safe---is the advice of someone who speaks without real-life experience.

Lynn--I have the same things happen to me..weepiness and difficulty achieving orgasm. It sounds like we have the same doctor as well. I have no suggestions for you, but just wanted to let you know you're not alone. Made me feel better too, knowing it wasn't just me. Good both of us!

Been using Gabapentin for 6 months for Herniated Discs that are impinging on nerves. I think it is amazing. I take 300 ml every 12 hours. It allows me to live my life without the excruciating nerve pain in my thigh. Only after reading some comments did I realize it has eliminated my hot flashes. Even better!!!

My long term intentions are to try all resources to eliminate the pain. However, I am totally aware that the meds are only band aids... I will probably have surgery to correct my problem so that I can discontinue the meds that could possibly cause other problems. Thanks everyone for sharing and good luck to all of you!!!

Hi, I am new to this site, if I can find some answers it would be great, for the last 15 years I have had extreme pain in both my legs, sitting and standing more than 30 minutes is to much, I spend most my time lying down. I have taken cocktails of all sorts of drugs over the years but the last 6 year's have been 200mg of slow release tramadol twice a day and 1200mg gabapentin 3 times a day, my pain is very high. My life consists of sleeping and fatigue all day, my question is can I take another drug with less time spent sleeping. Many thanks.

From What I have read, there is No Way I'm taking this. My doctor gave this to me a week ago for just sleeping. Thank god I looked it up. So glad I didn't start this med like the doctor wanted me too. So I hope to all of you out there to tell people to look up all meds before you take anything and talk to your doctor about it. Good luck and please take care.

I started taking gabapentin last night for fibromyalgia pain and insomnia, I slept better than I have in a long time but feel a bit sick. Will this go away?

What I would like to know is can the med gabapentin make my sugar go up? I have been taking this for about three weeks and before I started my sugar was ok running about (120-180) and now it is running (210-300).

I also started eating a lot of raw walnuts as a snack, staying away from the sweets. I just had a kidney transplant and it is not a year old yet!! I would like to know what I am doing wrong why has my sugar gone and what would you suggest I do about this matter or is it from the med gabapentin? Also are walnuts a good snack for a person with sugar problems? Please help, I am open to any knowledge cause I do not want to lose my new kidney it took me five long hard years to get to this point. Thank you.

Peoples Pharmacy response: Gabapentin can raise blood sugar. Please check with your physician.

Hi Barbara,

It sounds like you have what I have. I have excruciating pain on my left side of face and head and all the way down my arm and leg too. I am getting a brain MRI tomorrow. I am currently on gabapentin 300 mg 3 x a day. It makes me so tired though and I have been having cramps in my legs and my foot. I don't know if it is the gabapentin or not.... maybe Peoples pharmacy can answer that? At any rate, I have been scared I am not going to be able to work anymore. This has been awful. The meds help with the pain, at least I don't end up in the ER; like I was initially. But, I can't work like I use too either. Can you?


Gabapentin was prescribed for Restless Legs syndrome so I tried it. Soon I noticed my driving was affected, especially at night. Then going around curves became especially difficult, so I decided not to continue with it, and started Pramipexol (Mirapex), which has become a lifesaver for me. And Restless Legs can be really maddening when sleep is essential. It took months before I regained my driving confidence after the Gabapentin experience.

I find it interesting that it affects people so differently. Some friends of mine have also had bad experiences with it so be very cautious as you begin this medication.

charley, 75, Lancing, Tn

I have had a genetic, non-diabetic, non-alcohol-drinker, small fiber neuropathy for a dozen years that has been degenerative. I started with Lyrica, but it made a ring around my lips, so I discontinued on doctor's advice. I started taking neurontin/Gabapentin with small doses, but as the neuropathy progressed, I felt forced to increase the neurontin, because without it, I literally could not function, couldn't sit still or think straight. I've experienced most of the side effects you listed, and a few not listed, (rapid hair loss being one.) But here's the thing: the pain from neuropathy is not only unlike any other pain, (and I gave birth to a 9 lb. baby without any medication,) the disease itself causes many of the side effects: suicidal thoughts, (my brother, who did not take neurontin, but also had the disease, eventually took his own life because of the neuropathy pain.)

Like many of the people who've commented, I've had to weigh the pros and cons. I've been on 3800 mg., divided into 4- 900mg. doses and 2-100 mg. doses, distributed throughout a 24-hour period. My neurologist broke it into several doses, instead of even three, and it not only seems to have helped more, but the side effects are more tolerable.

In addition, I have discovered r-alpha lipoic acid, an anti-oxident that you can find through several companies, the main two that I've had success with are Country Life and Genova Research. Taking cheaper brands, that haven't separated the "s" from the "r" only increase the (uncomfortable) side effects, and really don't help as much, because you're getting only 50% of the "r," (the other 50% being "s," which is worthless.) I take 600mg. of only "r" daily, broken into 3- equally timed doses. DO NOT take more than this, because it would be very bad for the g.i. tract. Be patient with the "RALA," (R-alpha Lipoic Acid.) I took it for a few weeks before noticing incredible improvement-- I started experiencing a "hungry stomach" again for the first time in half-dozen years. I started tasting foods again, and the neuropathy that had started in my fingers as well as feet seems to be controlled with the use of RALA.

I have also started taking, thanks to advice from the People's Pharmacy, a synthetic form of B vitamin called "Benfotiamine." This one took awhile to find, but I've found Doctors' Best company carries it, and they are a safe company from which to buy online. (My pharmacist warned me about unknown companies online, because you might not get what it says it is.) I take a total of 300 mg. daily, broken into 2 doses.

All of this being said, my point is that yes, everything horrible you say about neurontin is true, but the alternative, the unbearable, knife-stabbing pain is even worse. My hope is that the RALA and Benfotiamine will continue to not only help the pain, but reverse the damage to the cells, (yes, I've had biopsy proof-- the neuropathy in your mouth, tongue, teeth, etc. is one of the worse,)will help enough that I can eventually decrease, if not even stop the neurontin. The alternative my brother tried-- no neurontin. He not only ended up literally crazy, he took his own life, because he just couldn't take the pain anymore. When I weigh the pros and cons, living with the dangerous side effects of neurontin or killing myself, well, it's a no-brainer. My heart goes out to anyone with any kind of neuropathy; it truly is indescribable!

I have been on gabepentin, and now developed nausea, it really does not help my burning in my feet, going off was on 300mg 3 x a day then the Dr. wanted to increase it to 600mg 3x day cannot, I am going to let him know I will suffer with the burning rather then the side effects of the medicine.

I would never go on this medicine again if I had found this site b4 hand I would of suffered instead now going to take 4 months to come off as u have to increase dose with a smaller dose to come off then cut down that's why so long.

I also have Hypermobility syndrome. On Gaba for myalgia type pain, burning sensation on my back (like sunburn or skin rubbed with sandpaper). I have had hair loss, blurred vision, foggy brain, increased anxiety... I feel like I want to try to come off of this medication. I take 100mg 3x a day. Any suggestions on a good way to come off of it?

I have been 300mg 3x a day for 3 months as well as .5mg of clonazepam at night for bed and started the gabapentin for neuropathy and pain. I now am getting twitching in my face a body now what should I do and which drug is causing this or is it both. could it be tardive dykinesia starting?????please help?

I had jaw surgery in conjunction with orthodontia in 2000 - the surgery was botched and I ended up with severe nerve damage. If the pain/numbness was only in my jaw or lips, it would be okay. But my tongue feels like a brick in my mouth, and I just can't stand it.

Have taken Neurontin or Gabapentin for ever since the surgery. However, my hair started falling out at an alarming rate 18 months ago. Since I don't take any other drugs - it must the the Gabapentin.

Lyrica works too, but I've never taken it for very long. Has anybody had hair fallout from Lyrica?

I would really like to hear from anybody who has had nerve damage to their tongue!

Andrea, I had trigeminal nueuralgia for several years that caused horrendous pain to the side of my face. I was prescribed gabapentin originally but it made me feel goofy all the time. I was still working at the time so I stopped it. eventually all the other drugs I was taking for this condition did not works effectively so my doc prescribed Lyrica. The side effects of Lyrica was more than I could handle. I heard of a procedure called Gama Knife Surgery that was a cure for the Trigeminal Neuralgia so I had that done and the effect was great for about 360 days.

I then started getting this feeling of numbness in my tongue which slowly spread to the entire left side of my face and head. This, I'm told, is the possible side effects of the Gamma Ray and is life long. I now take gabapentin to partially relieve the nerve feelings in my face.

The story of my experiences is quite lengthy but I would not recommend Lyrica. Look up the possible side effects and consider the cost factor of Lyrica as well because this stuff is not cheep and there isn't a generic.
Good luck, Walt L., Arizona

I've been coping with trigeminal neuralgia for the last six years. At first I took Neurontin (Gabapentin) starting at 300mg daily and went up and down until eventually I was up to 2700mg with no relief. During this period of time, I also experienced small, circular rashes on my arms and legs which came and went. I never pieced it together that these were an allergic reaction to the Gabapentin. My pain had gotten so bad that my neurologist referred me to a pain management clinic where I was prescribed Gralise (a very powerful form of Gabapentin). The allergic reaction I had to Gralise was astounding. Large rashes appeared on my arms, legs, and head (I'm talking 3-4+ inches in diameter). The rashes were horrible and in one case had to be surgically removed. Needless to say I'm not a big fan of Gabapentin. I'm now taking Tegretol and am doing much better - so far so good with no side effects. Long story short, I write simply to caution others that when starting a new drug, be aware how it's affecting your entire body - not just how it affects the condition. Don't make my mistake - connect the dots.

Hi, I came across your comments after looking up Gabapentin on the internet. I was specifically looking for elevated blood sugar levels. My husband takes Gabapentin for leg pain. My husband's blood sugar has steadily climbed to over 200 since he started this. Since he eats a pretty healthy diet most of the time, I am assuming this is medication related. I am wondering how your daughter's blood sugar is & did you continue the medication ?


Hi I took Gaba for 2 months for pain. Now I feel tingling all over my body. Could this be side effect?

This is the first time I have visited this site. I had a crown placed and when the dentist pressed down to set it I experienced extreme pain on the left side of my face. Now I have been told I have nerve damage in the left side of my tongue. My tongue feels like it has sores on it and it feels like a brick also. My teeth hurt my tongue and the tongue doesn't feel like it fits in my mouth. I also have experienced pain in my left cheek.

I have started neurotin and have worked my way up to 900 mg. I have just started having symptoms of dizziness when I move my head and also experience fatigue. After reading this site I am now going to wean myself off of this drug. I have seen many doctors and no one can help me.

I had breast cancer surgery, in May, 2013 and still have pain to this day. The Dr. has prescribed the Gabapentin for pain, but most of the comments I have read, the prescription is for insomnia. From what I have read this medication has terrible effects, I have taken one pill last night and two tonight and that will be my last taking of the drug-Gabapentin.

I am on day 22 of quitting Gaba cold turkey, I was taking 1800 mg's a day I have nerve damage. The 1st week is the worse. Withdrawals don't start till day 3 I been struggling to quit for 3 years so I know pretty well about withdrawing off this Gaba Crap. I decided to quit as I noticed this drug made me sick, mean, and just messed with my mind. I really don't want to tell my whole story as everyone's story seems to be the same. I did a lot of research and found that a magnesium/Vitamin d6-d12 supplement helps with the never ending nausea. I had almost every symptom everyone mentions. I don't recommend anyone quitting cold turkey like I did but ween yourself off while taking the supplements mentioned to help with the nausea. after all I'm on my 22nd day this is the longest I ever quit this drug and I want to help ppl find out how to get rid of the nausea. Exercise seemed to help a lot with my anxiety. You have to be pretty strong minded to quit the way I quit.

I'm taking Gabapentin for Trigeminal Neuralgia. I have yet to get any relief from it. I'm wondering about other forms of treatment for it.

Meridith, ask your doctor about Tegretol for trigeminal neuralgia. After years of searching and extreme drug doses (i.e. Gabapentin/Neurontin, Gralise) I tried Tegretol and, so far so good. I can sympathize - TN is a terrible condition. Good luck!

I have recently slowly withdrawn from taking 300mg Gabapentin which I was prescribed to help with burning feet and legs.
I developed a swollen sore throat which I hoped would disappear - not so.
Anyone else experienced this?

I am on week 14 of withdrawal off gaberpentin had flue jab tues an since then severe diarrhoea has near killed me off. will be glad when tablets finished as losing patience with this drug now as cant take much more.

was told diarrhoea cased with having flu jab so if anyone due to have flu jab don't have drawing withdrawal as not good. been up last two nights constantly on loo whole night.

I have neuropathy and have been on Gabapenten (400mg) for over 10 years. 2 weeks ago it was upped to 600mg.
I am a cripple so I work on the Computer a lot. Now when I get a demanding change in a program that takes a lot of concentration I panic and get an upset stomach. Is this normal?


I have been on Horizant (a form of Gapaentin) for Restless Legs since Jan 2012. I have been experiencing extremely sensitive teeth since May 2012 after a routine teeth cleaning. I am 51 yr old post menopausal(still night sweats) female with RLS for 9 years. But I have have never had sensitive teeth but within a week of the last cleaning my teeth became extremely sensitive to cold. I've been to two dentists and have had lower teeth guard for clinching, been using sensodyne, Rx toothpaste, had teeth trays made for fluoride home gel treatments, had in office flouride treatment by Dentist and gluma varnish and NOTHING HAS HELPED!

I think it must be a build up of Horizant (600mg) for RLS last 2 years. I have great teeth only one cavity filling and dentists are baffled. This is first I've heard about possible dental problems with gabapentin. Went off it last night, maybe I'll get some relief. Can only drink room temperature water through straw for over a year now. I also take calcium/magnesium supplements for RLS and osteoporosis. Something is awry with the teeth and I think it might be Horizant. Hope it's not irreversible since nothing else has helped. Furious with side effects. Living with RLS is bad enough, insomnia, cannot sit still or relax at end of day and now this blasted teeth sensitivity and pain.

I have been on Gabapentin 300mg for approximately 30 days as prescribed by my psychiatrist, 1 per day at bedtime, hopefully addressing some neurological symptoms I have experienced for many months, as well as diagnosed major depressive disorder.

Due to new concerning symptoms she had felt were a result of the medication, she has discontinued the same. How long dos it take to see the effects/symptoms go away. I have been off the medication for 4 days now. Just trying to get a benchmark as to how long I might feel a bit more rough...dizzy, blurred vision, unstable movements, feeling over medicated, etc

Are you positive the Gabopentin caused your hair loss? I've been on 1800-2400 mcg/ day since June for a pinched nerve in my neck. Surgery soon. Have lost almost half of my hair but I was attributing to the multi epidurals I had in the last four months. Four epidurals in four mths. I'm so upset as Gabopentin has given me the most relief. Thank u!

Gosh I am glad I kept looking through these posts to find yrs which helps me with gab withdrawal. I have herniated neck disc c6/c7 so was on 300mls x4 daily. Great for pain relief and only side effect was lost appetite. 6wks later was told to come off them and see if pain still there. If so then op needed. So I called my gp who said come off gradually ..4per day to 3per day down to 1 then none. What she didn't say was over how many days so I came straight down each day. Well on the 2 per day I had every kind of side effect u can imagine....clearly it should be tapered for a few days then down one not like I did! .so u have my applause that u did it cold gonnie stay on the 2 for a few more days then drop to 1 for another so hope to be clean in a wk. My poor family thot I was dying with the come down over this w just a warning to others as Roland says u have to be a strong person to come off completely.

I was only on gabapentin for a few weeks. It was prescribed for tendonitis/carpal tunnel syndrome. I did experience the swelling in my hands and feet. I also had severe attacks similar to an asthma attack, but had thought they were due to the dust in my work environment, but increasingly thinking it was the drug now. What really scares me is the eye pain. I was awakened one night by a pain that was simply terrifying. It felt like someone was pulling the nerve (at the top and bottom centers) of my eye out! I had another a week later during the day, and the same feeling in my upper arm and side. Even though I'm off of gabapentin now due to this, it continues to happen. It as gradually lessened in intensity, but is now almost constant instead of sporadic, and is now spreading into the part of my head where your "third eye" is. I haven't seen this exact feeling reported, hopefully my post helps someone else.

I am new to gabapentin for sleep. Have been weaned onto it from 300 mg to 600 mg for about 4-6 weeks now. Have had sleep problems for about 35 plus years and just really want something to put me OUT at night!!! This is not doing it!!!! I also smell smoke at times so the doctors have decided I am having seizures of the kind that have no side I smell smoke for a week or more at a time sometimes...the meds I'm on for that seem to help...if I am really having seizures...but do seizures last a week at a time without someone knowing they are having them????

So many unanswered questions!!!! Back to the sleep problem.....I have been on the ambien, lunesta etc etc etc...been there done that...about ready at my age to go back to it as I don't have to get up early and get out on the roads and drive anymore. This gabapentin is not making me sleepy at night at all....I am still awake on and off most is not good....

My doc rx'd me Gabapentin for mild insomnia. 300 Mgs a night. I have no pains. I was going to start taking 100 Mgs tonight. Now I'm going to flush them down the toilet after reading all these posts.

To danapeterson930--I think you need to check more thoroughly with your Dr . Personally I don't think this gabapentin is the right thing for me either for my sleep situation but it has made a big difference so far in my not smelling smoke and it is for both insomnia and for seizures....I need proof now from my Drs that I am actually having seizures as I have no symptoms except smelling a smoke smell but that is another subject. What all have you tried for sleep as I have tried some other prescription meds that were bad, bad bad after a while and we can go into that if you want.

I decided not to take the Gabapentin for mild insomnia. Seems like overkill to me. These docs are nuts. They are all in bed with the pharmaceutical companies. I refuse to play ball.

Hi I was prescribed gabapentin this past Monday 12/9/13 and Wednesday 12/11/13 I started to experience severe pain and now I am hurting more than when I saw my orthopedic. I take 100mg 3x a day and I get what feels like fire in my left arm. He thinks I have parsonage turner syndrome and almost every article I read online says that the pain should be dealt with the use of pain killers but he has been reluctant to Give me vicoden or perocet. I get what feels like someone stabbing me in the arm with a big needle. I have stiffness in my neck and back along with the shoulder can someone tell me if this is normal or should o go to the emergency room cuz they will give me pain pills.

It's very interesting to me to read these posts... here I sit with both problems, both sleep and seizures... at least that's what the doctors say I have because I smell smoke at times even tho I have no physical symptoms of seizures... this med is good for both sleep and seizures both my sleep dr and my Neuros say.... BUT I don't seem to find it working for sleep.... so I'm not sure what to do... hopefully staying on the meds I'm on now will curtail the smoke smell and I will eventually find something that will work for my sleep problem.

Sounds like you have a pinched nerve in your shoulder that makes the pain radiate down the arm. I can only suggest you try all other avenues before getting hooked on painkillers. And you will get hooked. I would try a chiropractor first before I would ever get addicted to those pills. All the pills will do is mask the symptoms, not fix the problem.
Good luck.

Why are you taking such a powerful drug for seizures when you have never had one ??!!
Doesn't that seem strange to you ????
Check out this link and read how a lot of folks have the same thing as you and don't take anything.
You still smell smoke !?
It could be something else like a sinus issue or allergy.
Just saying.

Dana does seem strange to me especially when neuros can't tell me that 100 percent that I AM having seizures...that is what I question. I have been to my MD, DDS, ENT, had all the tests run, thought myself it was probably sinus somehow since I have a tooth root left in my gums from a tooth broken off at gumline but no....sinus's are fine...this med seems to be helping.

Not sure what else to do to get rid of smell but would love to know IF I am having these seizures or not and IF I am how can they possibly be lasting a week at a time 24/7 without me knowing except for the fact that I'm smelling smoke......this is something I need to really get some answers to.....IF the drs have them and you know how drs are at answering questions....

I am concerned about memory issues and mild depression tendencies that seem to have slowly developed. I have been on gabapentin or neurontin at 300mg at night for about 5 years for migraine prevention. I'm 51. It has certainly helped me with my migraines which can be severe. As a wonderful side effect it helped with my decades long struggle with insomnia. I tend to be very sensitive to meds even at low doses so I never increased from the initial prescribed dose to the higher dose the doctor really wanted me on. I drink a few cups of coffee every morning to get going but I don't mind that. The only symptoms that worry me are memory problems, my fading "cup half full" outlook and every so often I smell smoke for a few weeks.

I am a professional and I'm working on my masters degree so I have lots to remember but really struggle at times to remember conversations or details about events I've recently attended and even some things I've done going back just a few years ago. I wonder if this is due to the medication or something else is wrong with me. I do little "tricks" to try to cover myself for my memory lapses but I can't hide it from my family. It's become a sort of family joke but it's really worrisome.

I'm thinking of dumping a little medication out of the capsules every night to see if my memory improves but still help me sleep. I wonder if 100mg might do the trick.

Has anyone here been on a dose of less that 300mg a day and still gotten a positive therapeutic effect? Does anyone have any ideas about how to compensate for the gabapentin impact to memory other than stopping the med?

I am now off my zonisamide after complaining to doctor about being very confused and really having to concentrate on everything throughout the day. No smoke smell so far....I am still on gabapentin for sleep but don't feel like it is helping me sleep all that well. The dr said it would also help with the so called seizures....I will see the sleep dr soon to hopefully go off the gabapentin and go from there....I am going to have an ambulatory EEG for 72 hours soon that should show IF there ARE seizures or not as I don't to this day believe there are!!!! Am wondering why this wasn't done a year ago instead of putting me on Keppra, zonisamide and gabapentin!!!!! I feel like I have wasted a year of my life trusting these doctors who are now admitting they don't know if I'm having seizures or not!!!!! How sad is that??????
Why can't drs just give something for sleep that works for sleep and not all kinds of other things????

I recently have been reducing my gabapentin dosage and have found that taking L-theanine (an amino acid) about an hour before bedtime has really helped with the insomnia problem. I've been opening the gabapentin capsule and removing more and more of the powder to reduce my dosage. At the same time, I've been increasing the L-theanine. Started at 1, then 2, now 3 theanine capsules as I've decreased the gabapentin down to almost zero -- that's 100 mg L-theanine per capsule.

No side effects from the theanine, except I seem to have more energy during the day and it helps me get to sleep at night. L-theanine is a precursor to GABA in the body, so maybe it makes sense that taking it helps.

To SB.....thank you. I will check out this L-theanine....I feel like I lost a whole year last year trying to do what the drs said to do, being on those meds I've mentioned. I see my sleep dr next week so we shall see what he says about this gabapentin and if I can go off it....I am due to have an ambulatory EEG the end of the month but will NOT if I don't smell smoke. Haven't smelled it since mid December so should be expecting it soon....

I am now taking my GABA calm again before bed after taking the gabapentin, possibly thinking about going back to my over the counter sleep meds and not continuing on with these drs. I do want the EEG to see if I am actually having seizures or not so am hoping that the smoke smell does come back soon only for that reason.

I am on 200mg of Gabapentin for restless leg syndrom after trying many other drugs without relief. Gabapentin does help to keep the symptoms at bay but I have insomnia now. I take the medicine at 09:00 p.m. But don't fall asleep until about 05:00 a.m. Also my eyes are moving around after I shut them to try to sleep. Is this common?

I, too, was told when I went on gabapentin for sleep that it was also good for the seizures I am supposedly having AND also my leg movements they said I had also. Can't really comment on the leg movements as I don't think I have them... another story with the sleep study I had for another time. I am to see this dr next week and will report back online after seeing him after telling him I do not fall asleep for several hours after taking this med.... they make it sound like a miracle drug for a lot of things but I'm finding from others that it's not helping any of the symptoms that well.

I am taking 600 mg of this med. I do fall asleep but like you, Mary L, it takes forever it seems to work. Haven't noticed the eye movements tho.

My Va Dr. put me on Gabapentin 100MG for pain in the neck and head ache, I now have more pain in the neck and worse head aches, Am now having middle back pain, joints hurt in legs and and sleepy and tired all the time, along with this feeling as I need to throw up all the time, Is this normal?

I am amazed at all the people who have been put on this gabapentin for so many reasons....and that they are not working!!!!!! I am thinking that everyone needs to get into their drs office and get a better explanation as to what this medicine does or should do. I plan to have my dr wean me off this med even tho I am having no symptoms while on it.

John.....100 mg is not a lot compared to the dosage others are on, I am on 600 mg and I see no adverse symptoms except it doesn't put me to sleep quickly as I think a sleeping pill should do. I do plan to get off this med as this "wonder" pill just cannot be for all the symptoms people have here and help every one of them.

Note: L-theanine is not a precursor to GABA, it's glutamate that is a precursor. Anyway, the L-theanine is supposed to increase your GABA levels and it seems to really improve my sleep.

To John: Gabapentin has definitely given me headaches, made me sleepy during the day, and given me joint pain. 100mg is a pretty small dose for most people -- it's 1 capsule of the smallest gabapentin capsule there is. But, some people are more sensitive to meds than others.

I have been diagnosed with idiopathic femoral cutaneous neuropathy and have been on Gabapentin for 3 years. It's true, there are side effects to all meds we take, and people respond differently. I just re read a post I wrote 2 years ago, complaining that my hair was falling out. Well, now I am getting ready to go wig shopping, it's so thin and lifeless. I feel sick about it. As far as other ways to deal with nerve pain... I've tried acupuncture, chiropractic, even Reiki... nothing so far has made a dent in the pain I'm in, that is, except the drugs. So, I'll be bald, with stiff joints, memory loss, and stomach issues, but at least I'll be able to walk. I'm still trying acupuncture and chiro as I don't know where else to turn. There are nerve centers that offer other options but they are invasive treatments and I'm leery to go there. Good luck to you in your search for a pain free life.

Cappy, I am curious as to the strengths of the vitamins you listed. I have been on 2700mgs of Gabipentin for 3 years and am so ready to get off them. I'll try anything. It's amazing that after only 1 month of Vitamin treatment you were pain free. Thrilling. Is it still working for you?

KAC, Ginny and Cappy, I'm also curious if anyone has heard from Cappy about the strengths of the Vitamins he's taking? And also I'm wondering if this combination is working for anyone else. I am desperate to get off Gabipentin. It does get rid of most of my neuropathy pain, but is affecting my life in negative ways, most disturbingly in the loss of my once gorgeous long curly hair.

have you heard from Cappy yet?

Hair loss doesn't happen for everyone. I heard 1% but don't know where that figure came from. It's definitely happening to me, which is worrisome, as you said. It's actually more like depressing. I feel pathetic and ugly. The Gabipentin allows me to live with minimal pain, so I'm glad for that. But I never thought I'd go bald. I'm going to try the tart cherry, alpha lipoic acid, Vit. D and B that Cappy talked about and see if that works for me. What miracle if it does. best of luck to you.

Gabipentin for sure has caused my hair loss. I've been on it for 3 years, 2700mgs for idiopathic femoral cutaneous neuropathy. It doesn't effect everyone the same way. I heard only a small percentage of people experience hair loss while on Gabipentin. It's the only thing I can find that actually takes the horrible pain away. Unfortunately, now I have to wear a wig. The price I pay. nope, life ain't fair.


First let me congratulate you, people like you motivate me to go on and try harder. I also take gabapentin (300mg) at night before bed time. Right now I have no side affects besides feeling like I have IBS which which I have contacted my GI just in case. This medication makes me sleep like 6 hours (7 on a good day)and I wake up normal. For some reason I feel a little nerve pain 1-2 hours after taking but not bad so is not taking away my sleep time. After that the pain is gone for the night.

I also take a B complex and Vitamin D (400mg). Now, I have read in numerous occasions of people just like you using B Complex and Alpha Lipoic Acid and they have eliminated completely the pain caused by Nerve damage. What is the amount you are taking on each of them? I understand you need 300mg twice daily of Alpha Lipoic Acid. I take B complex which has 100mg of B12.

Did you quit at once and replaced with this or did you slowly lowered the dose? I just started 3 weeks ago and my dose is only 300 so I see no problem with that, just asking.

My Neurologist is not exactly friendly so asking him is wasting my time. All they recommended was B Complex and that was the head nurse, he didn't even speak to me.

Any help is appreciated. ;-)

Have been on 1200 mg for 1 and 1/2 years-suddenly have shakes-my arms are literally bouncing off the bed then about 12 hours later I just have tremors. My Doctor is having me cut back to 900 daily to see if this is the problem. Everything else I have been on more than 20 years-I hope this works.

My Dr. put me on Gaba for major depression. I have been taking 300 mg at night for the past 3 yrs. Luckily, I have not exp. hair loss or headaches as mentioned above. It has greatly helped me for my major depression tremendously!!!! I'm not sure why it works for me, but it does. Recently, because of a major depressive episode, I upped my dosage to 600 mg at night.

While out shopping one day, I took a blood pressure test. It was 157/101. I was shocked!! I periodically take my BPT and it was never this high (always in the norm). Going to lower my dosage back down to 300 mg. and retake my BPT. BTW - it does help me sleep better too. Although there have been times that I have not taken my Gaba every day, I have found no after side-effects. So sorry to hear a lot have.

I am finally off my gabapentin!!! Have something else more or less for anxiety which I don't have but it helps me sleep. Have not smelled smoke since mid December so knock on wood whatever that was is gone... if not I will have the ambulatory EEG to see if there is any seizure activity there or not. I honestly think this gabapentin is used way too much for just about any type of problem after reading all these notes and talking to several friends who are on it for even other things... that's kind of scary and I am very glad to be off it. My mind is clear now and I finally after a year feel like my old self. Having lost a whole year being on Keppra, zonasimide and gabapentin I realize that maybe drs are just keeping us medicated and coming back each month... I don't know....

I was on it for 4 weeks... It gave me eye pain also and headpain. I quit cold turkey. this is a bad drug.

These comments are all so helpful and informative. I was mis-diagnosed as having shingles by an urgent care clinic doctor, and put on acyclovir (anti-viral) and gabapentin (800mg/day) for nerve pain. Neither one helped, as what I really had was a fungal infection. It took a very painful additional week to get properly diagnosed and successfully treated with an anti-fungal cream. The day before I stopped taking the gabapentin, I noticed that I was getting an itchy rash in random spots on my body. This progressed to an excruciating all-over itchiness, including inside my ears.

There was very little visible evidence, just light pink bumps that would show up when I scratched. My dermatologist seemed dismissive because it was not super visible, but nonetheless prescribed a steroid solution as a treatment. I am convinced that the itchiness was caused by the gabapentin. It's been a week since I stopped taking it, and the itchiness has decreased but is not gone. It disturbs me to think of how this drug messed with my nervous system.

FDO-so glad you got off that medication as soon as you did. I guess I was one of the lucky ones with no symptoms but did notice more hair in my hands than usual when washing my hair even tho it doesn't look thinner...good thing I was not on it a long time. I just can't imagine what type of WONDER pill these drs think this is to give it out for so many different problems.

A couple of my friends are still on it for nerve problems of some kind but I think they are fools to not look into this medication more closely...I applaud everyone that I see out here that questions this medication...seems to me to be like that "elixir" they used to sell at the county fairs to treat all ailments!!!!

I have been taking gabapentin for trigeminal neuralgia for about a year. I too have experienced hair loss. Did your hair grow back when you discontinued the medication?

I was diagnosed with mild sensory neuropathy 2010. I am 68, healthy otherwise. My Neurologist at the time put me on 100 mg's Gabapenten 3 times a day. Then a few months later, 300 mg's 3 x a day. Then with break through burning pain and tingling in both feet, it went up to 600 mg. 3 x a day. That relieved the pain for 1 and 1/2 years.

But, now I have break through pain again, and after moving to TX, my new Neurologist just added another 600 mg's, so I'm on 600 mg's of gabapenten four times a day = 2,400 mg's. I do ok during the day if I'm not on my feet a lot. But, if I take a 30 minute walk, or am doing housework all day, my feet start to hurt (not terribly) but at bedtime, the pain gets worse; some burning, and tingling, sometimes from the bottom of my feet to the ankles.

So, now I would hate to call my doctor and complain, as I'm sure he'd tell me to add another 600 mg. I've been having some problems with my memory, mostly miss-spelling words when I type, and have a little problem finding the right word while speaking, occasionally.

I am taking Super B-complex, plus 1000 mg. of B-12. My husband and I are on the Grain Brain low carb, high fat (good fats like butter, olive oil, avocado, coconut oil and eggs), no sugar diet. I've lost 14#'s in 6 weeks, feel great, except for the neuropathy.

I'm also taking CoQ10 and alpha lapoic acid, and Turmeric capsule, which contains curcumin, an anti-inflammatory,and anti-oxidant. I'm hoping and praying that my feet will get better, not worse. I challenge you all to read "Grain Brain", which tells about GMO wheat, and how it's making people sick (ADHD, epilepsy, obesity, diabetics, Alzheimer's, Celiac, and other ailments.

Following a Cipro-induced tendon rupture in my shoulder, I developed a brachial plexopathy (compression of the brachial plexus that was scarred down and painful. Though my amazing physical therapist managed to loosening the fibrous tissue that formed over my nerves, I battled with severe vertigo and lightheadedness as well as numbness, tingling, and pain in my left shoulder, forearm, and hand (median nerve distribution - thumb, 2nd, and 3rd digit). To help me sleep while my nerves healed, my doctor prescribed me with high-dose gabapentin (1600 mg 1x daily before bed).

I honestly was extremely skeptical of taking any drugs ever again after my horrible side effects with Cipro. But thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised and consider this a wonder drug. My insomnia due to the paresthesias in my hand had gotten so bad I was having daytime hallucinations and falling asleep while driving. My first day on gabapentin (started at 400mg), I slept 10 hours and didn't wake up a single time during the night for the first time in 6 months. I worked my way up to 1200 mg but did not reach the max dose i was supposed to due to excessive daytime grogginess. Personally, I will take the tired feeling over the paresthesias any day.

I am now tapering off the drug as I have found a vitamin regimen that works to control the weird feelings in my hand and pain in my supraclavicular/neck region. I take 5000 IU Vitamin D during the winter and 1000 IU during the summer. I take 200 mg ALA prior to bed (it makes me very dizzy as I have borderline hypotension of 100/50) with my remaining dose of gabapentin (I have weaned down to 200 mg immediately prior to bed). Finally, I hope to get a pay-raise in order to afford a new supplement on the market known as MitoQ. This is a modified version of CoQ10 that demonstrated clinical efficacy for spasticity and pain in multiple sclerosis patients. If you think your neuropathy is bad, theirs is worse (I'm a medical student; those people have serious pain issues). Additionally, I eat at least 1 pound of leafy greens everyday (kale is my personal favorite) and perform moderate-strenuous exercise for at least 45 minutes 6 days a week.

In summary, gabapentin is a great drug for neuropathy that is not progressive. My advice to anyone on this forum with type II diabetes or hypertension-mediated neuropathy is this: eat right, exercise, and lose weight. Diabetic neuropathy does not get better. Your peripheral nerves die off leaving you with burning, numbness, tingling that will not heal in a diabetic body state. Ask yourself every time you're eating junk food whether the pain in your feet, hands, ankles - wherever - is worth enjoying the flavor of foods you know are garbage for you.

Been taking 1 every 4 hrs and 2/600 mg at bedtime Gabapentin plus 1 every 4 hrs and 2 at bedtime of Baclofen 20mg and 1 every 4 hrs and 1 at bedtime of Hydroco/Apap 7/5-325mg and 12.5 aminben sleeping pill so I can sleep. Since I lost my hand due from hunting accident Nov 17, 2012 plus ultra sound with needles with medicine didn't work then Catheter inserted in chest to arm with IV pump 5.0 for 4 days then next 4 days 6.0 of medicine every 1/2hr press button for med arm was total 1 day then only bottom half 1/2 was numb last of 4th day arm became totally unnumb try to relocate catheter shot medi again didn't go numb so the pull it and in Nov 20th 2013 they relocated 2 nerves to new muscles in lower arm with 7 inch cut and nerve top of forearm with 3 inch cut use muscle side of forearm that is use for nothing cut into 3 muscles and attached nerve ending oh remove 3 neuaromas in wrist in which nerves was transmitting say hand still there case is still out on last surgery having mg done in April to see if its working at U of M Hospital in Ann Arbor Michigan. Still feels like I have a complete hand in wrist when my regular Doctor told me make fist he and the wife can feel muscles tighten up and when I released it can feel retract back. So far quit taking sleeping pill for 2 weeks but not sleeping right probably back up this go on 24/7. Tired of feeling tired but has not stop me from working on cars or anything else have hook but can't get hand until pain gone. My insurance company has paid a fortune so far retired from GM truck assm of Flint, Mi 2006. So any answers would be appreciated.

I have diabetic neuropathy, with sevre pain and temperature sensitivity, gabapentin has done wonders for this, however, if used continuously, severe knee pain and swelling occur. I alternate between crippling neuropathy and equally painful knees.

Hopefully I will find balance as no other med works for me like this one, I also have severe neck pain, no positive or negative association with the drug pertaining to the neck pain.

I have been using gabapentin for 3 years for chiari malformation, post herpetic neuralgia and trigeminal neuralgia. I started with 300 mg daily for one week and progressed to now taking 900 mg at bedtime. The first week I took this drug I thought it was a miracle drug. All my pain was gone. I was feeling my old self again.

Now three years later I am 25lbs heavier, have absolutely no energy, depression, anxiety, night fears, severe confusion and severe memory loss as well as a drunk feeling in the morning, blurred vision and dizziness to the point that I fall constantly.

Last week I received a concussion when falling and about three weeks ago a broken toe from a fall. I now take baths instead of showers because I'm afraid of falling in the shower. I have asked and pleaded with my neurologist to take me off the meds I cant function like this. I am a full time student and I work and have begun to find it impossible to function daily. I have been put on melatonin recently for insomnia but stopped taking that due to migraines. Yesterday I was given xanax for anxiety and excessive yawning. I now have a mass on my pituitary gland and need an MRI and yet they still wont do blood work to check levels of depleting hormones, vitamins and minerals that this drug causes without anyone telling you to supplement.

This drug although it helped with pain has caused me so many other problems and I'm getting no help from my doctor to get off of it. Instead they just keep treating the side effects with other drugs. Soon I'll just be a waste case junkie!

Pretty sure I'm just going to slowly taper off this medication on my own... I'd rather be in pain then feel like this everyday.

I've had gabapentin prescribed to treat chronic back pain since about 1990. The pain was caused by immune system damage to 5 spots along my spinal cord, initially due to an episode of my MS that's been in complete remission for over 12 years. Since gabapentin was prescribed, I've since had surgery to "install" an intrathecal pain pump that works superbly. I regret that it was never determined if the Neurontin 1200mg 2x/day was actually helping me (to address the back pain). In January, I started to taper off gabapentin, 100 mg at a time. I'd gotten down to 800mg in morning and 900mg at bedtime, and now think I may be experiencing a subtle, almost difficult to make sense of increase in pain, so last night I returned to 1200mg 2x/day to see if the return makes a difference.

I am uncertain how long to give to see if any difference is noticeable, and am also uncertain if the subtle pain increase is in fact caused by tricky withdrawal symptoms from gabapentin, a drug I've been taking for a very very long time.

I'd be interested in any comments people may have about what makes sense for me to do. The doctor I rely upon to manage and refill my intrathecal pain pump does not have much experience with tapering off gabapentin and she had initially suggested I taper by cutting down by 25% which I quickly discovered was far far too dramatic a reduction.

Thanks much.

I took this drug when I had shingles. I had a fight on the phone with my son because I had not seen him in 2 years and he and his wife just drove by my town on the way to a concert. I asked for an hour and said "why can't I say I love you and miss you"? His reply was that he hated me and never loved me. Now he says he never said anything like that. Did I hear this in my mind? He is still acting like a jerk.

I have been on Neurontin (gabapentin) for over ten (10) years, and have had many bouts of weight gain and extreme hair loss. Two months ago I started having a hair thinning, hair loss problem so bad that I called and asked my doctor to order blood test for me. She ordered a CBC series, and most of the test came back normal.

In 1992, I had a cervical spine injury at work, and after surgery I went back to heavy riveting that really messed me up and left me with extreme neuropathy. I had migraine headaches with auras also, so my life plummeted. I was put on all different types of meds, and hardly anything helped. Then a neurologist put me on Neurontin, some prednisone, and Topirimate, and I was again able to live a somewhat normal life. The neurologist immediately stopped the prednisone and tried that Cox-inhibitor that was removed from the market.

I have weaned myself down from 3600mg of Neurontin to about 1200mg or sometimes less. I stopped the Topomax last month because I thought it was the cause of my hair loss. I still take a oxycodone every now and then when I just can't bear the pain. I truly want to live, but this overall pain is unbearable. I try every supplement that Dr. Oz, suggests to see if it will help, and read.

Has anyone had their b6 levels checked? I just had mine checked and I have b6 toxicity which if you look up causes nerve damage, neuropathy, pain, anxiety etc I wonder how long I've actually had it since no one has ever checked it until I asked for a vitamin panel... now no one can tell me how to fix the level beings its a water soluble vitamin that should be excreted and I don't take supplements... go from one thing to the next with these doctors... and I also am down to 600 mg a day with the neurontin with side effects but not bad enough to make me go back up in the dose.

Hey Cam, I was wondering how long you were on gabapentin and if your hair has fully grown back? I was on gabapentin 300 for about a year and a half and it caused my hair to thin by a third and one of my eye lids developed a third lid. I'd love to hear your update. Thank you! -mel

How many people are experiencing weight gain. I am also wondering if anyone feels like they are floating. Took my first 300mg dose and felt like I was on acid. Crazy, not going to take this anymore.

I also take gabapentin 300 milligrams at night this was for my torn right rotor cuff and also to help me sleep at night because of the pain in my arm but I noticed that I have memory loss and I've only been taking it for a couple of months my husband also noticed it and said what is wrong with you I feel really funny now I thought at first the benefits outweigh everything but I'm going to stop by taking one and skipping one for one week the next week take one and skip two for the next weekend so on until I'm off because this is really starting to worry me.

Sorry that was my left arm, see I forget and really get confused I don't have any insurance this is why I had to start taking the medication because I have no way of taking care of my arm. I hope I'm doing the right thing.

Be very careful coming off this drug.

I'm on 3600 mg a day totally every 4 hrs in which 2 of them at bedtime then 6/20 mg of Bacolfen a day, 6 7.5/325 mg norco a day because I lost my hand to hunting accident in Nov 2012 still having pain 24/7 still. Yes still. I feel tired, nausea in which I do take another med for that when ever needed not to often did take zolpedim 12.5 er but have not refill script since Feb 2014.

I still have 6 pills left felt tired all day long did get 8hrs sleep but not 5 hrs but sleeping 2hrs after taking meds in morning and during day unless doing something outside to stay busy. But every 4rs I know its meds time because pain is unbearable. Feels like I have whole hand inside wrist fingers and thumb wrap around wrist. Had nerve surgery cut 2 in bottom of forearm and 1 on top of forearm and relocated into 3 new little muscles. And of course hasn't worked yet so if any information would help on meditation would help.

As a 100% disabled Veteran, I have experienced a LOT of apathy in the VA towards my pain, because I am, shall we say, physically (visably) intact. I do NOT mean that to sound disrespectful towards other Vets, I mention it that way because my pain and issues are all internal.

I have six damaged vertebrae, 3 thoracic and 3 cervical, each set of 3 are in a row so they cannot fuse them. Additionally I have migraine headaches and fibromyalgia and between the two issues, I have days where I cannot get out of bed due to pain.

I FINALLY got a MD who understood that I was absolutely sincere about the pain and she got me started on Gabapentin (I had been on just norco and cyclcobenzaprine) Between the three, my pain is somewhat under control. I started on 1800 mg per day and now am taking 3200 mg daily and have for...over a year and a half.

I was unsure the meds were going to do much in the beginning, because I have a short "honeymoon" span with meds that usually leaves me back where I started in an unfortunately short time span. As a result of this issue, it seems Dr's thought I was milking them for pain meds, when in fact my body just cycles thru the meds faster than some people and their effectiveness wears off faster.

However, after what feels like a lifetime, I am pleased to say that I am getting fairly good pain control by using a cocktail of norco, cyclobenzaprine and the massive daily intake of Gaba. The pain has not gone away, it's always hiding jusssst around the corner, but if I keep my med intake steady and on time, I suffer much less than I was. She has moderated my pain from losing 3-5 days at a crack to mind numbingly painful neck pain (10 out of 10) to being able to go several months without a "spell."

I was warned by her that she wouldn't be able to "make the pain go away" or "make it go away permanently" but she has given me the ability to wake up and enjoy life again. I realize that will spend much of the rest of my life in a medicated state but its better than spending days at a time crying in pain and praying for relief. The pain no longer ruins every minute of every day, and sadly, there are no other alternatives currently for me other than massive doses of meds but THANK THE GOOD LORD for them at this time!! And bless that Dr for listening to me without presumption of guilt and being presentenced as a drug seeking failure!

I share this with all of you so that those of you that live in pain don't give up and so you please keep trying and working with your Dr to find solutions. It is miserable and it is tough, I understand...but please...keep trying to find a solution that works for YOU!


I to have non-diabetic peripheral nuropathy. I am on 2400 mg/day and it is helping - I hate to think on how my feet would be without it. I am going to the doc and asking what the cause could be of this where I am not diabetic. It is very strange it started shortly after I had major knee surgery but it started int he opposite foot. Now it is in both feet. Have you had the ENG test done to confirm the neuropathy?

I have just read your comments on Gabapentin. Am going to try your regimen and see if it works for me. I have been on Gabapentin for about a year and gained about 5 pounds and even after adjusting diet considerably, find that I cannot lose the weight. Also tired and depressed. Thanks for your comments. I'm hoping this will work.

I have been on 1500mg of Gabapentin for about 20 years for neuro pain issues. I have never had a side effect. Helps the pain, never lost hair, got rashes etc, NADA! It definitely seems from all the posts, that it really goes by each individual. It really works for me!

I feel your frustration about being dx with the neuropathy after taking the meds. I was in a similar situation recently (well over the past 5 years.) I had thought that me getting a virus from my nephew had triggered my autoimmune responses. I had positive ANA with a specific pattern: all kinds of joint pain and debilitating fatigue. All the whole completely forgetting that less than a treat before my symptoms began I had an IUD inserted for my birth control. As the years went on the pain and fatigue become worse and worse and I just wanted to know why! Why did this happen to me, what caused this?! Then I began thinking it was the iud that could have caused the autoimmune response. I recently had the IUD removed and guess what? The pain is still there. Even after 4 positive blood tests confirming my autoimmune disease my new rheumy wanted to run another. Come to find out I was negative. She dx me with fibro, which I'm still struggling to accept, and started me on new meds. She explained that it's only natural for our brains to try to find a cause of things, a coping mechanism we try to use to process info that's hard for use. I'm not saying that it is valid in you case as I'm not a doctor, but sometimes things were going wrong the whole time and just began getting worse naturally. Went did you have the pain in your foot in the first place? Did the doctors ever determine that before they have you meds? Just my advice, we can't truly know anything for sure, but if it helps you to think things came about because of a certain event then stick with it, but just try to move forward, past the causes otherwise you'll keeping looking back to regret and it will make things worse physically and mentally. Anyway I wish you the best of luck and I truly hope that your pain subsides or at least becomes bearable.

I been on it 2 years with no side effects and now I have pancreas problems my aunt says this is why idk but I love my neurontin the doc will let me know this week.

I have been on Gabapentin for about a year now for restless leg syndrome. It has worked well, although I would not recommend the nightly dose if you have to get up to let you dogs out during the night (It makes you stumble around like a drunk person...LOL) Unfortunately last night I accidentally took 2 doses close together. (Being before bed, I mistook it for other night time meds.) Today I have been really lethargic, numbness in fingers, toes, and lips; mental fogginess, weak grip, puffiness in face, neck, and feet with occasional fleeting 30 second bouts of nausea... It has been interesting.

Oddly enough, absolutely no pain today which scares me because I have never been pain free in my whole life! To be quite honest the complete absence of pain has made me more uncomfortable than anything. For those with trouble sleeping, I have noticed my SOMA works quite well, might be an option for some of you to discuss with your doctor. :) Let me know any thoughts!

I went on Gabapentin recently for arthritis pain got up to 900 mg and started experiencing confusion, weight gain and numbness on my right foot. Got off ok but numbness still there it's been about 3 weeks since I've been off totally. How long will it take for the numbness to go away?

My mother went to the ER seeming like she had a life threatening stroke. The hospital left her on gabapentin. As I researched as I stayed with my mother, I notified the nurses that I thought it was the gabapentin. She had these "strokes" 3 nights in a row. The morning after I notified the nurses, a doctor gave an order to take her off the medicine. She did not have a "stroke" episode the following night after being taken off. So the doctor's then said we can assume it was the gabapentin. I was written up in an incident report for trying to consult with nurses, and being mad at them after they told me I was no MD. Well, I was better than all 6 MD's put together with my research and perhaps saving my mothers life. The Lord gave me this knowledge and this intelligence. Don't have faith in Doctors. They may cause your death or the death of a loved one. Research medicines yourself, doctors do not follow through with research. Tell them to go to hell if they treat you like this. They will certainly end up there whn they answer to God. From this non MD, may God be with you and anyone on gabapentin, look for an alternative.

I'm post-stroke. I had to learn to walk, talk and swallow again. I had double vision for awhile. I've had peripheral neuropathy on the complete right side of my body after the stroke.

After 10 years of 3x300 gabapentin... hair balls around the house, anger management, loss of strength (for daytime activities), mild scalp psoriasis, some creaking in knee and neck (mild effect), minor swelling in legs (reduced by wearing pressure socks for long trips), some stiffness in hands; but all this might be because I'm 65 years old. lol My weight, around 195 lbs (stable). My height 5'9" and shrinking (as I settle in to old age). BP: 130/70 (but I take lots of meds).

My major concern is loss of hearing and tinnitus. I'm thinking gabapentin is a cause for this condition; but I also have to consider other contributors to tinnitus... caffeine, aspirin, Losartan, Atenolol, Hydrocone, Clonidine, etc.

I suppose, after 10 years of gabapentin I should be on the quest for better solutions.

I'll probably wean myself off of gagapentin, Losartan, coffee and aspirin. I have hypertension (which gabapentin contributes to) and have to monitor my bp.

Like "cappy", just passing through. (No guarantee of replies). He probably forgot to check the "follow-up" box.

Thanks for the plethora of experiences.

Side effects:

WEIGHT GAIN, LOSS OF HAIR (hair balls around the house), TINNITUS, RASH (eczema, head psoriasis), sadness (depression), LOSS OF ENERGY (greatly increased muscle weakness)(soporific, daytime), joint stiffness or pain (dryness, popping, grinding noises in knees, shoulders, ankles and neck), swelling of legs, dizziness (terrible balance problems), dry mouth, disorientation or confusion (a blithering idiot today), loss of vision (in one eye, partial, blurred vision and jerky eye-movements), increase or cause of pain (gotten neuropathy from neurontin), Stroke symptoms (Interesting, opposite of myself... I had several real strokes.)

I am reading these comments because I wanted to check and see if my side effect was common with gabapentin. I have found that it is.

After only, one dose, I have been having extreme abdominal/stomach pain. I have been on Lyrica for years. I asked for a generic because Lyrica is so expensive when you reach the donut-hole.

I just called the pharmacy and I will go back to Lyrica. I will have to cut back on something else. I can not live with this pain.

I wish you all the best of luck. And, I will keep you in my prayers.

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