sleepy man, Klonopin for insomnia, melatonin under your tongue

Gabapenin is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs by doctors. At last count over 50 million prescriptions were dispensed annually. It is used for an amazing array of off-label indications. That means physicians are giving it to patients for conditions that the Food and Drug Administration has never approved and for which there may be modest scientific support at best. The reader who asked the question below provides a classic example of just such prescribing. We would not get concerned if this drug was perfectly safe. But gabapentin side effects are not trivial as you will discover in our answer below.

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).

The Off-Label Marketing Boondoggle:

Pfizer, the manufacturer of the brand name Neurontin, got into major trouble when it marketed this drug for off-label uses. A company has historically not been 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).

Off-Label Prescribing Continues:

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

Gabapentin Discontinuation Syndrome (aka Withdrawal):

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.

Stories from Readers:

When you read a long list of gabapentin side effects, like those listed above, your eyes glaze over almost instantly. Drug companies have recognized this, which is why there is so much prescription drug advertising on TV and in magazines. There was a time when the pharmaceutical industry worried about telling patients about such serious side effects as irregular heart rhythms, hypertension or blood disorders. Not any more. They realize that even warnings about heart attacks, strokes or death do not scare people away.

The only way we can help you understand what such side effects are like in real life is to share stories from visitors to this website. Here are just a handful. You can read hundreds more in the comment section at the bottom of this article.

Sue in Corvallis, Oregon writes about her husband:

“My husband has been on gabapentin for anxiety and depression for over 3 years now. The doctors started him on this to get him off the benzodiazepines he had been on for 20 years.

“While it seemed to help in the beginning, they kept increasing the dose. He is currently on 2700 mg per day (900 mg x 3). That is way too much.

He has changed so much – cries hysterically, has mood swings, goes from insomnia to sleep deprivation. He has tremors, blurred vision and now talks about suicide all the time. He is so discouraged.

“If the FDA has not okayed gabapentin for anxiety and depression why do docs prescribe it? I am ready to complain to the drug company! He and I just want his life back. Lying in bed 85% of the time is not helpful.”

Susan in Milton, Florida shares a tragic story:

“My boyfriend was prescribed gabapentin for his diabetic neuropathy. I can see now that he became more withdrawn and one evening left the house without my knowledge and went to the hospital where they prescribed sertraline (Zoloft) and counseling the following Monday.

“He committed suicide Saturday morning. If I had been told by his doctor about the side effects of gabapentin I could have done something to prevent his death.”

Lynn in Mobile, Alabama warns about weight gain from gabapentin (she isn’t the only one):

“I have been on gabapentin (800 mg 3 x daily) for about 13 years. It was prescribed for spinal problems and pain problems in general. When I first started gabapentin it  worked great. But I experienced a tremendous amount of weight gain, like close to 100 pounds!

“As time has gone on I have noticed my life has changed so much. I have developed random weird thoughts. I never want to go anywhere or do anything except sit in my recliner and watch tv.

“I feel a nervous wreck if it’s been awhile since I have taken my gabapentin. I have an overwhelming feeling sometimes, like a flash in my mind of suicidal thoughts. My mind feels scrambled. It is very hard to explain.

“My pain is so unbearable sometimes that I am afraid to get off gabapentin. I am 44 years old and weighing around 250 pounds! I look horrible and don’t want anyone to see me period.”

Jonanne in England has had trouble getting off gabapentin:

“I had been on gabapentin for about two years for nerve damage from gallbladder surgery. I was on 300 mg 3 times a day. These tabs were a wonder drug and took my pain away almost immediately.

“Now two years later I returned to the doctor and told her I would like to come off this medication as I feel it’s time. For the last few weeks she weaned me off them with a withdrawal chart, which I followed till the last tablet. Just two days after being completely off gabapentin the side effects have hit me: dizziness, headaches, nausea, and I actually fainted, which I have never done before in my life.

“The doctor told me I had come off gabapentin too quickly and to start taking a lower dosage. I started weaning myself off gabapentin  gradually again, but still the same symptoms. I have not taken any pills for 5 days and the dizziness and headaches are back. I am not sleeping. I am also having hot sweats in the night and feeling very low in mood. I am not going back on gabapentin! I am going to persevere even with these symptoms and hope I can cope. I feel like I am going around the bend and will never get better.”

The People’s Pharmacy 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 VERY gradual withdrawal process. You may need to consult a sleep specialist to help you deal with your chronic insomnia in a more integrative manner.

You may find our recently revised Guide to Getting A Good Night’s Sleep worth consulting.

People with nerve pain may find our one-hour interview with David Casserett, MD, quite fascinating. In it he talks about medical marijuana for “neuropathic” pain. It is titled, “How One Doctor Changed His Mind About Medical Marijuana.”

Show 1027: How One Doctor Changed His Mind about Medical Marijuana (Archive)

If you are worried about the psychoactive properties of marijuana, you may find this article about canabidiol (CBD) oil of substantial interest. It may ease nerve pain without causing people to get “high.”

This article was revised: 12/8/2016

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  1. Renee

    I have been on Gabapentin for quite awhile. Recently my dose has been increased and inexplicably have found myself on the floor. Standing one minute fine, on the floor the next. This time when I fell I bit my tongue and hurt my wrist. I am 54 yrs old. Wondering if gaba is causing this

    Anyone else have this happen?

  2. JULIA

    What is up with this website? Gabapentin is one of the safest drugs on the market and that is why they prescribe it so much. The story of the man who was on Benzos for years makes me wonder if he has PTSD and it is only now manifesting without the benzos sedating him.

    I have PTSD and have suffered insomnia for 6 years. After trying everything natural I finally went to a psychiatrist to get a formal diagnosis and script. Gabapentin is one of the few drugs safe for me to take to help with sleep and anxiety because benzos are bad for those with acute ptsd and with a first generation family member with bipolar, I cannot take many medications.

    I’ve found taking the natural Gaba supplements to be almost as good as Gabapentin, the only difference being that Gabapentin hits a bit harder and lasts longer. I used to knock prescription drugs but I cannot even begin to say how grateful I am for this drug. I can finally sleep and am having nice dreams instead of nightmares of being chased, attacked and held at gunpoint. Sleeping better means I can finally manage and work on the other ptsd symptoms. I was making progress before in somatic Experiencing therapy but now I’m making far bigger strides faster because I am not being beaten down by sleep deprivation and the horrible anxiety that causes.

    This website reads like a hate-mercial and fear propaganda against gabapentin. Please don’t let fear be the deciding factor if you are deeply suffering as I was. Do more research as there are many many people who report increased quality of life and healing from this drug. I have had a number of unexpected positive side effects from Gabapentin including losing weight and feeling more cheerful. Weight gain and negative thoughts are extremely rare side effects. Half of these I don’t even recognize.

  3. Chris
    Auckland New Zealand

    Well, I injured my back spine about twenty five years ago, was prescribed Temgesic, meant to be non-addictive, yea right, but to be fair it did get me through a period and allow me to somewhat function and keep my family together, anyhow I could see the writing on the wall, went off that and onto Methadone, sword of Dammaclese?

    Then I started getting burning down my sciatic nerve, nothing relieved it, then my Doctor had a brainwave n gave me Gabapentin, they were an imeadiate success, I have been taking them now for a number of years initially everything was all good, until I ran out one day, it was a nightmare of pain sweats shakes wild thoughts.

  4. Maureen

    I’m on Valentin for nerve pain in my shoulder and arm. Several days, no relief. For those of you taking it for pain, how long before it starts working?

  5. Bridie
    New Zealand

    I have been taking gabapentin for nerve issues that came out of nowhere they were to replace amitriptyline, i have been on 2 300mg doses a day, 1 in the morning and one at night, I’m supposed to now up my dose to one at lunch also but I’m too scared to as i haven’t had a full nights sleep in a while now and it’s driving me mad. I need to get off gabapentin, I’m miserable, never had a problem on amitriptyline.

  6. Wanda

    I have been taking Gabapentin (2400 mg daily) for about 6 years now without any of the aforementioned side effects – no weight gain, no suicidal thoughts, no arthritis, joint pains etc etc. My neuropathy (unknown cause) is under control and I carry on a normal life. I see the neurologist every 6 mos. to renew a 6 mos. prescription. I am 79 years old, eat nutritionally, exercise every day. Could this be the key?

  7. Hal T

    I had uper thoracic surgery a year ago. I had no problems with the surgery recovery except my left arm. It hurt from my elbow to my hand especially the little and ring finger. PT helped a bit, serious pain meds were gradually decreased and gab substituted. Pain lessened but still continued. I have noticed mid day drowsiness, a little unsteadyness and fatigue. Not acceptable for me. So I told my doctor that I wanted to eventually get off gab. I am now down to one 300 mg taken at night. I am hoping the pain will diminish with time and no more gab will be needed, but the jury is still out on the future. Not as bad as others, but I will keep my doctor posted. I sure don’t want the side effects to get out of hand.

  8. Ann

    Had face shingles late January. Prescribed 300mg gabapentin 2x/day. Never relieved burning pain. Only took the 60 pills for a month. Had a mild hand tremor rt. side previously, (old injury). Now the tremor is much worse since gabapentin. Don’t want to leave the house, visit etc. Feelings of dread, anxiety. No energy, very sad. Could gabapentin really have lasting side affects? Off all meds for at least a month to 6 wks! Normally take no medication except vitamin d3 and biotin. Any advice.

  9. Patti

    I was prescribed gabapentin for depression, anxiety and pain . At first I thought it might be working . After a few years all my signs returned 10 fold. Going off isn’t an options so I’m told by my doctor. I’ve lost a lot of weight because I’m never hungry. I weight 100 pounds and I’m 5’5 . Five years ago I was diagnosed with alpha one and severe arthritis . That doctor too prescribed gabapentin . I told her I was already on it ( from another doctor ) and she just up it. Like I stated before of my dizziness and loss of memory but no one seems to be concerned. I’m at a lost on what to do.

  10. Lynn

    Just started last week one at night now two a day next week three so far it has helped a lot with the nerve pain so I’m pleased but I feel hyper

  11. Sandra

    I have taken Gabapentin over the past year or so for a nerve pain condition called CRPS Type 1, which in my case resulted in terrible nerve pain in my foot after a minor calf injury. I was put on 300 mg of Gabapentin at night, which resulted in some partial remission of my pain , enough so that I was able to begin physical therapy and regain function after being first in bed unable to walk for 5 months and then on crutches for another 5.

    I have had no side effects, when I began tapering off, I divided the 100 mg capsules in half and decreased 50 mg every month or so. I still take 100 mg every night and taper off completely. While I only had to take a relatively low dose, I was taking additional pain medication and Ibuprofen when I began. I think a lot of times the sadly bad experiences we read about from others make us fearful to to take full advantage of the useful side of prescription medications.

    Every body is different, and not everyone has ill effect. I also believe that often the people who post are mainly the ones who have ill effects and side effects, and therefor visit boards to look for help, information and sharing. Therefore I thought it is important once in a while to post a success as well, Also, a scheduled and thoughtful tapering off process can help prevent additional ill effects.

    I was one of these people who has previously never had to , and was always afraid to take prescription pain meds due to possible side effects. Even when I received the prescriptions from my doctors, I would wait as long as possible to get them filled, and started taking lower doses at first. However after seeing how they helped, I wish I had not been this overly careful.

    • Lynda

      Sandra Va. I think tapering off gabapentin while being lucky enough to obtain other pain medications is huge! I don’t have that option and most I know certainly don’t. I am happy you were able to get off of it. Very intelligent decision however again, I think you underestimate what this medication does. I took a dose of 300 mgs Saturday night hoping to go to church Sunday. A sopping headache and unable to go to the er by myself so why I opted for the Gabapentin. I was manic high off this crap for about 30 minutes followed by an unknown period of existence on the arm of the couch.

      My head hurts so bad and in the front where our memory and feelings are. I feel so crushed that this was prescribed for me. I think I may die from having health insurance as opposed to not having any at all. I hope I recover. Too many symptoms after only one dose to lists. I had to take another dose the very next day as my symptoms were so numerous it was my only choice. I only cry and cry. Have you not read or been informed about the dumbing down of our people via big pharm?

      Drs are committing suicide because they can’t live with themselves or what they are doing to us. It’s fact. Check it out. And while I am in agony I know and have studied so much about how the medication actually comes to us. The lawsuits that don’t put a dent in what big pharm makes off of peoples lives and livelihoods each day! WE are still given black box medications w/o warning.

      Japan is a communist country but I am impressed their country is run by the Government not corporations such as ours. Fluoride in our water. Pesticides in and on our food. Vaccines causing autism and horrendous things to human people? Maybe your Dr. actually cares but many and most are simply not taught how to treat a person a keep them healthy. Our population is kept sick so they can make money off of our lives.

      GMO food are not accepted in other countries but the United States puts that crap in everything including the animals that we eat so we still get it. 90 % of our food is processed. People are gaining weight and getting fat simply because the food does not supply adequate nutrition leaving them hungry and eating more and not realizing why? Why? Why? We do nothing and how this crap med made me feel I think people are to messed up to fight back. I’m alone and I certainly do not know how?

      I don’t drive. I don’t know how to sue. I lost a perfectly good gallbladder while taking tinazadine. Had no idea I was as an infant. Could not even use the phone. The DR had called and the pd and Social services showed up but they left me that way and my gallbladder was removed the next day. May of 2017 and I had been fighting for my gallbladder since 2013. There were no stones or sludge or anything!

      I am angry and so devastated by our so called health care. I’m not blaming you. I’m just beyond angry and like I said have no option of pain medication to taper anything. I don’t want to die but I don’t want to live. Like this. This sucks deeply and we do nothing! This forum and others who have learned about our lobbyist and done what they can to inform and spread the word I am so proud of you. We need leaders. For the people. To heal the people. To love. People not things. <3

  12. Anita

    I have been on 900 mg on Gabapentin for 5 years for pain and it has been very helpful BUT My large intestine has almost completely quit working! I was in the hospital for a week and one of the Drs told me that I was very close to needing a colostomy bag! I have started to wean myself off. I’m very grateful to the Dr who told me the truth!

  13. Carol B.
    Henderson, NV

    I have been taking gabapentin for 20 years for nerve damage post-surgery on my foot. I don’t believe I have suffered any major side effects. I take 2 300mg a day sometimes 3.

    I’ve never tried stopping so don’t know how that would go but if I forget it or delay for over 12 hours the nerve pain is back.

    • Patti

      I am on the same amount of gabapentin as you are . Two 300 mg three times a day . It’s been over 10 years. My big side effect is low blood platelets to the point I get dizzy a lot. I feel I’m getting very forgetful. My grown kids says it’s really bad. I’m scared to try and go off. I don’t have a lot of faith in my psychiatrist anymore . I feel trapped and afraid . I don’t know what to do

  14. Betty H

    My husband takes gabapentin for sharp pain that runs up side of his head! Taken for about 4 yrs. I have noticed mood swings, quick anger responses, hand and jaw shaking since taking that I believe are obnormal for him

  15. Jay

    I was prescribed Gabapentin after lower back surgery. Not sure it helped with the nerve pain. Developed a canker sore on my lip after a couple weeks. Also night sweats (and unusual body odor). Doc didn’t say anything about discontinuing side affects but I found out what they were when I ran out and didn’t refill. Anxiety, insomnia, felling “crazy”. It’s been 5 days and finally got a decent night’s sleep. Even with the withdrawal symptoms I’m not going back on Gabapentin!

  16. Jay
    Las Vegas NV

    I was prescribed gabapentin 800 three times a day for diabetic PN. Taken since 2015. It only helps like 50% and for a few hours. At first it make my PN worse for about an hour. Then it noticeably wears off and my PN is back. The side effects make my ankles feel like I have lead weights around them and cannot bend normal. this makes my walking go sideways sometimes. My vision is blurry and doubled. It seems like now my PN is irritated by any food I eat. Even eggs and blood sugar neutral foods. If I stop the gabapentin after a few hours my PN will become very bad. Like a rebound effect. If you go a day or more, hard to sleep and nervous feelings. Not work all this. I think it all calms down after going off of it.

  17. Pseudonym

    At least you have a good sense of humor! I take Gabby too! It helps with insomnia due to neurological pain. Been on it since July of 2016. My doctor switched me to Cymbalta, and I tapered off ‘gabby’. It wasn’t a good experience. I was uber hyper and didn’t sleep for 3days. So it’s back to ‘gabby’ for now😐

  18. Sandy

    I have been taking “Gabby” or Neurontin for at least 10 years. Prescribed for Fibromyalgia. then spinal nerve damage.
    At some point I had to make a decision to increase my dose, or drop it because it wasn’t helping much, if at all.
    My Doc said there was no need to titrate off, he believed I would be in so much pain, I would probably choose to increase it.
    Actually my pain level didn’t change at all……plus I was smart enough to go slowly in cutting back…..and eventually dropped it.
    BUT….since then…..Ive developed a weak, shakey feeling, actually visual tremors.
    Even worse, anxiety levels never experienced before.
    I called my Doc…told him my symptoms plus my heretofore controlled Diabetes B/G #’s were highest ever 200+ to 300+.
    His diagnoses? A new script for Actos.
    Ha! Just read the side effects of that one!
    So, right now , I’m sad, sick, sorry I EVER took Gabby or Neurontin. I’m also scared to take Diabetic meds……and scared not to!
    Enough to drive me to take a tranquilizer…….just kidding……I think.
    Good luck to next Gabby/Neurontin victim! You can have mine….for free.

  19. Karen

    I took one 300mg capsule of gabapentin just before bedtime last night as prescribed by my doctor for nerve pain in my knee after knee replacement a few months ago. This is my first experience with this medication and I will never take it again. Wakefulness turned into restlessness, then became so jittery I had to get out of bed and walk around. But when I did this, I was dizzy and unsteady on my feet, so tried sitting and reading for a while; but even this was difficult. Finally fell asleep for a couple hours before morning. Twelve hours later, I’m still feeling light headed and restless. Glad to know I’m not the only one who had these side affects.

    • Jack
      Ann Arbor Mi

      I don’t think you need to worry so much. I use the drug for mood stabilization and to help me sleep. I’ve been doing this, and I disagree with almost everyone who is complaining. For my needs small doses are perfect. I take 1 300mg pill per day. Unbelievable results. I don’t feel that you should point the finger at Gabapentin for the problems you’ve listed. It’s really a great medicine. I’m not a doctor, but then most of them, and the “experts” writing this, have never used it. I have. Many years. Hope that helps.

    • Maha

      Gabapentin was prescribed, one pill at night daily for pain relief. What about stopping Gabapentin abruptly after one pill because of suffering 4 fits of something like siezures during sleep? (N.B: still feeling anexiety and headache and muscle firing after 5 days ). How can a person stop it gradually after one capsule of 100mg? Does Gabapentin cause epilepsy? Can it activate the epileptic area of the brain?

  20. Carol
    Long Island, NY

    I have had insomnia for years, ever since I can remember. I am 76 now and have slept like a baby for the last couple years. My doctor gave me Gabapentin for peripheral neuropathy in my legs, and it cured that. Still take a low dose because I was sleeping better than I ever had. I used to get in bed and have to put on the TV for about 2-3 hours and then finally fall asleep. I now take 600mg Gabapentin and put the TV on for 1/2 hour. In the a.m. I can’t remember what I was looking at because I fell asleep in under 5 minutes, and I sleep well. Maybe I will try to reduce the amount after I ask my doctor how to go about it. As long as I sleep well, I wouldn’t mind just taking 300mg or less.

  21. Shannen

    I just started this medication-my immediate thoughts are, I will discontinue gabapentin just as quick as I started taking it. I looked up side effects beforehand, there is no mention what so ever of headaches, thoughts of suicide, constipation, diarrhea, weight gain or mood swings. Now that I have researched and looked further into the public’s actual side effects, I will be ending this medication A.S.A.P.

    Definitely not a wonder drug for me. I have not noticed any pain decrease, nor will I be increasing the dosage amount as prescribed/directed. I refuse to give the medication any more time to miraculously kick in. My back pain is unbearable as it is, I am experiencing one of the hardest struggles of my life. I sure as hell do not need a medication that weighs me down any further with depression any and adds more misery to my life.

    So glad I read the comments, I feel horrible for everyone I am so sorry-I really appreciate the honesty from each story.

  22. Kelly

    I was prescribed Gabapentin 300 mg to take 3X a day for nerve pain. My PCP did warn me a lot about the side effects and suggested to just take one a night for awhile to get used to it and see how much it bothers me. I’m really glad he was so honest about the drug- it has definitely helped the nerve pain, however I can only stand to take it at night. It took about a good few weeks to get used to some of the side effects when taking it at night, but now I do fine with it. I took it once during the day and I felt like a zombie. It was almost like an out of body experience, like I didn’t know what was going on and couldn’t get myself to listen to my brain. Very, very strange! I never could take the full dose, which is unfortunate because I think that would help me more…but it would definitely not be worth the side effects. I can’t believe people would be actually prescribed 2000+mg for just like headaches and insomnia!!

    • Dirk

      I’ve been taking Gabapentin 1800mg per day for social anxiety. It is a wonder drug for me. My Doc says that I’m an exceptional case and wishes he could RX it for other patients in place of the benzos. It’s changed my life for the better. Talk with your Dr.

  23. Donna
    Lancaster, New York

    After taking Gabapentin for 3 days I lost control of all muscles, bowel, bladder, ability to walk, and talk. Hospitalized for 4 days, having total amnesia about incident to this day. My mother had exactly the same thing happen when she was given Lyrica.

    All women in family have mitochondrial disease, tested at Cleveland clinic. There must be a connection. Most physicians either don’t believe in mitochondrial diseases or most have no idea what it is about. Very difficult for all of us to have treatment for neuropathy, or fibromyalgia. Obviously our bodies react differently to certain drugs but doctors dismiss us when we reject new medications for fear of what may happen to us.

    We are constantly being misdiagnosed. As a result, our quality of life is very poor, and it is frustrating not to be able to have trust in the medical community. When genetics are concerned the medical community is clueless. They are making some advances when it comes to identifying certain diseases through genetics but mitochondrial disease has been left out of the equation. Granddaughters are depriving themselves of becoming mothers knowing they most certainly pass this horrible condition on to a daughter.

  24. Barbara

    I was prescribed Gabapentin for nerve and arthritis severe pain. I was on the drug for 2 months and first developed a canker sore and irritated gums. I then developed a purplish rash on my thighs. I have been off the medicine for 2 months, and rash persists. Dermatologist ordered steroid cream a week ago and so far no improvement. The rash sometimes fades, and then it comes back. Any comments about this side effect?

    • Terry Graedon

      Does the dermatologist know this rash started after taking gabapentin? This information could help with the diagnosis and treatment.

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