The People's Perspective on Medicine

Surprising Gabapentin Side Effects

Doctors should be very cautious about prescribing gabapentin off-label, because the side effects can be quite serious.

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.”

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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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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I have been taking 3200 mg per day of Gabapentin for diabetic peripheral neuropathy for 3.5 years. For me it does appear to increase nerve pain whenever it begins to wear off to a level that is more than it might naturally be, I think. So it does have the same pattern as some addictive drugs like opiates. It has a built-in effect of discouraging a person from quitting the drug.

The benefits of Gabapentin for me have been that it calms me down, helps with sleep, numbs the nerve discomfort at times. But it’s a roller coaster. The drug takes a longtime to get into your system, so once it wears off, you have to wait a long time for it to start working. If you taper off, which I have done as a test to see how my body is without it, you might feel depressed, and have a hard time sleeping for a while. If you begin taking it, you may actually cry or get emotional about a movie or song you hear. But for me that seems to be an over-reaction. I only get some hours of relief from the nerve discomfort. But with this pain anything is better than nothing. The doctors say there is nothing else that helps. I do think opioids did help, too, but that is another big mess.

Gabapentin was prescribed for me for unexplained severe back itches. I was given a small dose, and it helped instantly. I had a wonderful and much needed-night’s sleep, and the next two days were also painless where I usually still would be suffering. Several days afterwards I had to go to the Emergency Room with a compacted colon. Being a great lover of fruits and vegetables it was suggested that some of my other medications must have been interactive with the drug, and Gabapentin could not have been at fault. It was the only new drug I had taken for a long time. Well. There will be no second time for my Gabapentin – and my unbelievable back itch persists.

I find that the gabapentin works much better for me than the clonazepam I was taking for GAD.

I am on Gabapentin for nerve damage. Have been on it about a year. I am only on 300 mg 2-3 times a day. It’s not enough for all my symptoms from Lyme, chronic pain, etc. I am weaning off it. It causes me dizziness, dry mouth, etc. I have wondered if this generic is worse. I am transitioning to CBD oil. Doctor thinks Gabapentin is great. He’s on it and has been for nerve pain. He also says it’s not addictive. I beg to differ. I read all over about people trying to wean off it. Any advice on getting off this?

I just started Gabapentin 100 – 200mg at night along with 50mg of Tramadol. This has stopped my sleepless nights caused by never pain in right thigh to foot. I have L4-L5 fusion with L3 herniated disc.
I am very pleased with the results of this drug, but will keep my dose as low as 100mg if I works. I have energy which was lacking due to not sleeping at night. Gabapentin helped me!

For diabetic foot pain, this has been a life saver. I have been on 300mg once per day. I take it about 5 hours before I am wanting to fall asleep, and it helps me with that too. An additional benefit has been that the pain I’ve suffered for over two decades from a cervical spine condition is tamped down significantly with only the occasional ER-level flare. Physical side effects for me are dizziness, dry mouth, blurry vision sometimes, edema in my feet though that could be from salt intake.

Mentally? hm.. kind of that drunk, I-love-you-man way of speaking sometimes, foul-mouthedness when it kicks in sometimes, so yes maybe “hostility,” because I find myself thinking negatively and dropping more than a few F-bomb. Thankfully only my cat usually hears me. It definitely affects my thinking but as others have said, it’s hard to explain. I feel more, I guess introspective? I look at my life, present and past, and I should say already that I am Dx w/ depression and anxiety, so maybe when the gabapentin makes me introspective that is worsened? I guess I just get very … spacey, but well, like if you’ve ever been marijuana stoned, sitting around talking with your friends about life and whatever. It’s that, but going on in your own head, lol.

Still, personally I don’t think that’s all bad. I’ve done a lot of good writing to that end, you know, both journaling and fiction so if it makes someone feel this way, quit complaining and use it to work out what truths it makes you think about maybe? Overall, I feel the benefits of this medication are worth what side effects I’ve experienced.

I was on gabapentin (max dose was 900 mg 3 x = 2700 daily) for pain during radiation therapy for tonsil cancer. After the first two pills (300 mg each) at bedtime the first day, I awoke in the best mood of my life. I had other great positive effects as I was gradually reaching the target dose: improved short-term memory (no longer forgetting why I left one room of the house to go to another), decreased anxiety, much-increased desire to create (I try to write), much better sleep, much reduced social anxiety (I am 65, male and autistic – slightly Aspie), NO more restless leg syndrome (RLS) after a lifetime of having it, much fewer digestive issues and even a temporary change in sexual orientation (I have since early adulthood identified as gay, but started having sex dreams about women and actually started ogling them as well – I know, TMI).

I became talkative and social and outgoing and not afraid of people anymore. It was, in short, a miracle drug for my autism and other issues. But most of the best of these diminished as I got to max dose. The only bad side effects I had were confusion and clumsiness in the morning, and an increase in depression after a while. It was very effective in getting me through the pain from the RT.

Six days ago, after exactly following my taper off schedule from the radiation MD, I took my last two pills at bedtime. Since then, I am experiencing the worst stomach acid problems and the RLS has gotten so bad I can’t sleep at all, even sitting up. I went to urgent care two days ago for the digestive distress, and they gave me a lidocaine “cocktail” that helped for one day. Now I am back to the horrible stomach acid (have had GERD for years, but it was under control with omeprazole) and can’t sleep for more than a couple of hours at the most, due to both the RLS and the GERD.

I am waiting for my primary care physician to call me back today. I am hoping these are just withdrawal symptoms, but if they are not, I really don’t see how I will be able to cope, if this is my new reality. Talk about depressing! I have an appointment next week with a psychiatrist and saw a psychologist for the first time this week. I was hoping the psychiatrist would prescribe gabapentin again on a much smaller dosage so I could maybe experience the initial low dose benefits again. But after this week of symptoms and after reading much more about gabapentin, I am thinking it’s a very bad idea to go back on it.

I was on clonazepam since it came out. It has caused dementia. I was told that taking clonazepam for many years will definitely cause dementia with everyone. Please get off of it Maybe Buspar is better Do research before you take anything.They just found this out. It took three weeks to get off of it

I was on Gabapentin 300mg x 3 times a day for 6 months for back and leg pain prior to a partial L5 laminectomy. I was driving one day and simply did not know where I was or where I was going. It was terrifying and nothing like this had every happened to me. I called my Father and described what was around me to determine where I was and how to get home. When I saw my near I told him what happened and he said that the gabapentin stopped nerve pain messages to the brain and sometimes other messages and in some patients effected their memory. He told me to cut down on the dose and to remember when I am driving that 50 million people have the same prescription. When I think about that I wonder how many people are drugged out of their mind and don’t know it or realize that it is changing their brain.

I am very upset that doctors are prescribing such high does to people without letting them know it can make their lives worse. My step Mother has nerve pain and is 86 and the doctors are increasing her dose from 900 a day to 1800 a day and telling her it is fine because some people are on 2700mg a day. She drives and has trouble with walking and her balance and I cannot help but wonder if she is going to fall and have the quality of her life ruined because her medication causes instability and dizziness. There has to be something criminal about these large doses being prescribed to so many people for off label reasons with no monitoring of the side effects and the damage they are doing to people. Very, very sad and wrong.

I have been on Gabapentin for almost 1 year now. Originally started with 600mg 3 times a day. now I take 300mg 4 times a day. I have been to 4 doctors but my condition has not improved at all. I have a very itchy rash that I am told is an autoimmune disease – atopic dermatitis but no one can tell me what is causing this problem. it is all over my body. have had several allergy tests with varying results based on the doctor. it does not seem like I am actually allergic to anything other than hay fever. I have had to quit working as a result of this horrible condition. I can not wear anything but loose cotton clothing. These sores are very itchy and bleed badly. no topical ointment seems to work and I was give the Gabapentin to help with the itching and to help me sleep. However I only sleep for about an hour after I take the pills at night but then I am awake for the rest of the night. I am extremely agitated all the time. I have zero tolerance for anything. I am very depressed and have gained a lot of weight.
Could this be the gabapentin that is causing my irrational behavior? or am I just so beat down from this horrible rash that I can no longer tolerate anything? I get little or no help from the doctors. The dermatologist at the Mayo clinic to me this condition is not coming from my skin and he could not help me. He barely listened to my when I tried to tell him everything I have been through for the last 2 and a half years. he did not refer me to anyone else for help so I went back to my doctors in Las Vegas. Has anyone had a similar experience?

Hello Everyone
I have been taken gabapentin for the last 2 months. I have this burning and tingling feeling in my foot. I was prescribe 100 mg and a month later 300 mg. I also notice I have dry mouth alone with runny eyes. Just wanted to add a few and I’m so glad I found this forum because I was begining to think I was going nuts.

I was taking this for nerve pain after shingles. I noticed over the course of a couple of months that I was falling asleep abruptly and waking up more and more confused, sometimes to the point I wasn’t sure where I was or what was going on. I was only sleeping in two-hour increments. The final straw for me was when I fell asleep in my chair in the living room (a first) on an evening my boyfriend had an evening class. I woke up completely disoriented, thinking he was home and in bed and not understanding why all the clocks in the house said 9:00pm (the time his class is over). I was determined someone was trying to trick me. I gradually figured out what was going on, but not until I had really freaked myself out. The thing that sucked was that I had kept taking it because it had improved my mood (I have depression). One of the side effects I found was “a false sense of well-being.” What the heck is that? My doctor had presented it as a harmless drug and I was taking 600mg 2x day. The thing with waking up on the night of my boyfriend’s class and being completely discombobulated really scared me, and I stopped cold turkey because I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to. I couldn’t find anything that said anything about side effects like that, unless I was just reading them wrong. I have only had one other experience with a drug approaching that bad, and it was prescribed by my psychiatrist so I had good support. My doctor is not. I am switching doctors to an FNP and I’m hoping to have a better relationship and get a lot of things straightened out. I tend to react oddly to drugs. That was really unexpected and very scary.

I’ve been taking this drug for about 3 weeks, 100mg. 2x a day. I’ve noticed a little clumsiness as well as a 5 pound weight gain. I was given this for numbness in my right foot and ankle.. very little improvement, if any. It may help some, but I’m not one of them. Also, watery eyes since I started with this. Not real happy at this point!

I had pain on the bottom of both big toes and saw a podiatrist. I did not have burning or tingling at all. She pronounced me as having neuropathy without even looking at my feet because on my paperwork I indicated a stroke 3.5 years earlier. (I later discovered my shoes were the culprit.) I was in the emergency room the second night. I took 100 mg and had burning and tingling all over my body, high BP and pulse and insomnia. I thought it was from a low dose of Nortryptaline I had discontinued under a doctor’s supervision a few days prior, yet that is not a withdrawal side effect. I kept taking the gabapentin, as I was told to go up to 900 mg. with the largest dose to be in the evening. I had severe dry eyes, nose, mouth and other mucous. Very croaky voice and shakes. The higher the dosage got, the more burning pain. When I reached 900 mg I had a bloody, crusty nose and a rash began. When I called the doctor, I was told this medicine does mot cause a rash. I am having blood pressure and pulse measurements all over the map and full blown neuropathy. Today I was totally unaware of my surroundings. I tried to get off the meds but ended going back up, not knowing which is worse for the nerve pain I didn’t have to start with!

Is anyone taking Gabapenin for Essential Tremor? I’ve been taking it for a couple years, and my tremor has gotten worse much more quickly than it had in the previous 35 years. It’s become very difficult to use a keyboard, and my writing has become very jerky; I have to steady my writing hand with the other for it to be legible. I don’t know what the typical progression of the condition is, but mine had been very gradual until starting Gabapentin. I too have experienced daytime drowsiness and balance problems.

My wife was prescribed a low dose (100mg 3x a day) of gabapentin for post-surgical nerve pain. It worked very well for the pain. But after a couple of days significant side-effects arose: blurred vision, memory loss, apparently some hallucinations, odd eye movements, and pretty serious ataxia (jerky and delayed muscle control similar to cerebral palsy). So she stopped taking it til we could talk with her doctor, but she probably won’t take it again. This is temporary pain adequately handled with low doses of hydrocodone.

This short experience suggests to me that this is a powerful miracle drug. It very quickly blocks pain and in a different way than narcotics. Most users do not have side-effects, and that is why the drug is so popular. However, I can assure you they are possible and can happen at low dosage. Be careful until you are sure you can handle it.

One thing that was pretty interesting was that my wife was not really aware how serious the side-effects were while they were happening, somewhat like someone who is intoxicated not knowing they are slurring words and stumbling while walking. So it would be very useful to have someone who knows you observe you as you begin taking the medication to watch for effects you may not realize. Definitely don’t drive until you are used to this drug.

Pages like this are mostly to warn about side-effects, not to report on the near-miracle cures that sometimes result. Remember, severe and unrelieved pain is likely more debilitating (and more likely to lead to suicide) than almost any temporary side-effect.

Taking Gabapentin 1200mg daily along with Venlafaxine 75mg a day. I have taken these medications for 12 days, and the side effects are horrible. I have not left my room this entire time. I have experienced blurred/double vision and lower abdominal pain. I only sleep 4 hours each night and have lost all interest in doing anything. My short term memory has also been affected. I put a call in to my M.D. and I have been waiting for his response. Yes, it has calmed my severe anxiety, but what a heck of a price to pay!

So far gabapentin has given me my best month in 20 years.

Problem. Alcohol.

I actually sleep through the night.

Amazing how some have no problems and others do. My heart goes out to all those experiencing such horrific side effects. My experience is much better. This medicine is helping me so much tho I do use a lot less than what is prescribed. I always use less than what the doctors tell me to, even on basic scripts, watching my reaction very closely but so far (3 months in) I’m good–first time without pain in 10 years.

I have been on Gabapentin for nerve pain for about nine months now with no side affects. Over this time, my dosage increased to the max. 2800mg. per day. The only problem I am having is that it worked great until about a month ago, and I thought I had waved all my pain away. Pain has set in again on what seems like a permanent basis so I feel that it loses its effectiveness.

This drug is very dangerous I know someone who has been taking this drug and she has every side effect there is she has had pnumonia six times this year and I know it’s because of this medication she is so forgetful she will start tell you something and completely forget what she was saying it’s awful watching her on this medication please if your reading this don’t take this drug !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have recently come off gabapentin,400mg three times a day.I came to the conclusion that it was just making my condition words .Neuropathy poss.due to injury from ski boot over the years.When my middle day dose was due my feet and lower legs were craving the dose.I was loathed to increase so visited the surgery and saw another doctor.She suggested a different medication.So l lowered the dose of gaba. Over a week and a half.

I noticed that during that time my feet and legs lost that pain and tingling, burning and it all settled down.Anyway l started the new meds.,forgotten the name, and the side effect was almost instant.Took it for two nights then stopped as l couldn’t put up with the continual nausea and diarrhea. So no more, altho I did take one more dose a week later just to see.Same again.When l saw my G.P. after three weeks l told her that l didn’t want anything else as l couldn’t put up with side effects.

I don’t have the time as l look after my mother who is 100 and a half years old. So far things are okay and l am enjoying not having to swallow anything other than my vitamins.One thing l will add taking a multi-B complex vitamin is so good and soothing and keeps me on an even keel.

I have read through the comments about Gabapentin and was sad for those whom had bad experience with this med because this happened to my father as well on just 2 100mg of Gabapentin a day…it didnt help him. But I was prescribed this drug, starting out at a small dose that did not help, 1 100mg 3x a day, so I was titrated up and kept getting titrated up until I was on 3200mg a day which finally produced results for me. The reason it being prescribed was for severe nerve damage pain going down both my legs, causing severe burning and cramping in them as a result of my L2, L3, L4. L5 Lumbar spine being eaten up with arthritis and with bulging disc in each of those. I finally found relief at the 3200mg doseage and Ive been on this dosage for about 2 years now with no side effects other than occassional problems with short term memory, being forgetful at times, but that could be attributable to my age as well as I am 58 years old and not as sharp in my mind as I use to be at the age of 21. I weigh all of 108 pounds and this has been steady all through my doseage so Ive had no weight gain. Its also helped me with my mood, I feel more alive on this med than I did before I began it, because of the severe nerve pain I had been in before, I could barely function. It has been a life-saver for me in helping this horrible burning pain shooting down my legs, and also the feeling like I was walking on shards of glass before I began Gabapentin, it took all that pain away. With what it has done for me, the gains Ive gotten from it far outweigh the risks involved, especially for the fact I have had few side effects or problems with this med. I wish it worked for everyone like it has for me so that they too could experience the benefits I have from Gabapentin. All the best to the sufferers out there searching for what will finally work for them.

I have taken this drug for 3 months and have suffered strange side effects. My pharmacist urged me to push the issue with the Dr. to taper off the drug. For all of those reading this forum, the reason I am posting is because of the information my pharmacist provided to me on 7/25/18. They are getting ready to classify this drug as a narcotic. They being the people who regulate and classify drug’s. Some of the adverse reactions of this drug can be liver function, kidney function, and pancreatic function damage.

I am now being scheduled for “function” tests of these organs because of the suspected adverse reactions of this drug. I have trusted the advise of my pharmacist’s for over 20 years and they have never steered me wrong. I was prescribed a med 15 years ago and had moderate paralysis. The doctor claimed it wasn’t from the drug. On the sixth day I had 2 witnesses to the paralysis, they immediately called the head pharmacist, he said do not take anymore. The pharmacist contacted the medical board and within a year the drug was pulled from market. ALWAYS, ask your pharmacist about meds and possible side effects you may be experiencing. It seems they will listen better than the doctors.

I have taken 3600mg/day of neurontin for about 15 years for small and large fiber neuropathy and other neuropathic pain all caused by Lyme disease. I am floored reading all of this because I never had any of these side effects…in fact, I tell people gabapentin has no side effects! The only problem I had was when a doctor told me to stop taking it and to take GABA supplements instead because they are the same thing. They are not. I had withdrawal symptoms that made me feel like I was going insane, I cried all the time, etc. I’m surprised I didn’t have seizures. I didn’t realize why it was happening but went back on the gabapentin…and they went away.

The reason I came out here in the first place was to see if you are not supposed to lie down after taking it, because I take it before bed and always have severe coughing spasms. But I guess there must be another reason.

Hi, If you have coughing when you lie down, you may have reflux. Your doctor can help with this. Best wishes for good health.

I was given Gabapentin for anxiety and to help me taper off a 30 year benzo prescription. I started 300mgs 3x a day six weeks ago as my shrink told me it was much safer than the xanax. At first I thought i had found a miracle drug, it lowered my anxiety considerably and I had no adverse reactions. Suddenly, 10 days ago, I began experiencing horrific side effects: blurry vision, headaches, muscle and joint pain throughout my body, my eyes are dry, red, & itchy, rapid mood changes, insomnia, lower left quadrant abdominal pain and swelling, strange thoughts, and inability to concentrate on anything. I’m afraid I’ve done permanent brain damage and haven’t left the house in 4 days. I’ve ruled out all other meds, the symptoms worsen ten fold an hour after I take as little as 100mgs with no other drugs in my system. To make matters worse my shrink says Gabapentin cant be causing this since it was well tolerated for a month and there hasn’t been a dosage increase. I know, without a doubt, that it IS the Gabapentin. Now I’m in a situation where I’m suffering from withdrawals from this horrible drug and I can’t even taper off because the side effects are as bad or worse than the withdrawals! Has anyone else experienced “delayed” side effects? Does anything help with them or with withdrawals? How long will this last? I’m about to lose my job because I’m unable to leave the house much less work! I’ve taken dozens of antidepressants, antipsychotics, and just about every recreational drug on the planet (though I’ve been clean for 5+years) and have never experienced anything even close to this nightmare! Heroin & benzo withdrawal is a cake walk in comparison. I can’t believe I’m going through this hell after only using it for one month

I feel like my eyes are permanently crossed and after reading this forum, I’m realizing it’s from the gabapentin! I was taking it sporadically for neck pain that was extending into the back of my head and down through my shoulders. A new physical therapist told me the gabapentin is dangerous to take like I’ve been taking it and told me to wean off. sometimes I would take 1200 mg a day, sometimes 0mg (I took kratom capsules incstead). So how do I wean off of it?

I have been on Gabapentin for about 3 years. The dosage started at 300 mgs. 3 times a day and a few months ago was increased to 400 mgs. 3 times a day. This drug has the worst side effects of any drug I have been on, and I have been on, and come off, many due to my many health issues. Some of those drugs include, Cymbalta, clonazepam, topirimate, and many different other ones. I noticed in Feb., around the time that my Gabapentin had been increased, and I had finished tapering off of Clonazepam, that I was suddenly having extreme difficulties with balance, cognitive function, double vision, stuttering, tremors, and twitches. I also have gained 40 lbs since then. I have also lost my driver’s license while on this drug due to some of those issues but they were a little less intense then. That should give you an idea of how serious these side effects are now.

I find myself struggling just to function normally every day, and it is exhausting. As a result I wanted to get off of this drug. I started by taking 100 mgs. out for a month. That is approximately 8%. I did feel a little more shaky but shrugged it off and dropped another 100 mugs the next month, which is approximately 9%. By the third day, I had to be rushed to the ER in an ambulance because I could not stop seizing!! I have had to return to my original dose and start tapering again at 5% every 2 weeks. (This is all under a docotor’s supervision.) I am currently down the 100mgs. again and have noticed the shaking getting worse.

I am absolutely terrified of dropping this any more. I also cannot stay on this drug because the side effects are so serious. I feel stuck and now very afraid to stay on or get off of this poison. I do not want to go through that again. I have done extensive research on this drug and what it does and can do to the brain and body. It is scary stuff!!

POSITIVE experience with Gabapentin…LIFE SAVER.
I have been on Gabapentin for five years and do NOT have side-effects. It has helped me VERY MUCH with CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) from my hip to my toes, Migraines (Hemiplegic and Vestibular) AND my Corneal Neuropathy caused by a corneal abrasion in 2009. My pain was so bad on my leg, I could not wear clothes, socks or shoes. The pain in my eye was so much I could not function.

My migraines sent me to bed for 3 days 3-4 times a month – I lost my job due to excessive absenteeism. Gabapentin HAS GIVEN ME MY LIFE BACK.

EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT and if these patients are having these kind of issues, there has to be other underlining ideologies causing them.
I have been helped tremendously by this drug, as have others I’ve spoken to. I switched from Percocet, Oxy and Vicodin to Gabaopentin and am ENJOYING life, as are my friends who are also taking Gabapentin for other things. This drug is a lifesaver for us all.
As a mental health provider, I question the mental health stability of these “suicide” patients by placing their issue on some other problem because it is NOT Gabapentin.

Suicide thoughts are already there before the drug is administered. If the patient does NOT have counseling for suicide thoughts/depression, their perception of life will ALWAYS get worse with or without Gabapentin or any other drug. The drug does NOT cause suicide thoughts; the thoughts are ALREADY PRESENT and untreated.

I was originally put on Gabapentin because CRPS comes with an 85% suicide rate. As part of my treatment, my pain management specialist REQUIRED me to have at least six (6) sessions with a psychological therapist – not because he thought Gabapentin would cause suicide but that the CRPS IS AN EXTREMELY HIGH SUICIDE condition (pain level is 42 out of 50 on the national McGill pain index – this is higher than pain associated with: digit amputation without anesthesia, unprepared childbirth, shingles pain, cancer pain, and last but not least a fracture is only rated at 18 out o 50 (again, my pain is 42 out of 50). I went to her for CRPS, not Gabapentin. Even though I am a mental health provider, I went through the psych therapy, along with other therapies along the way. My mental health is in top form; taking Gabapentin since 2013.

If CRPS has a high suicide rate and this Gabapentin (very questionably) has a high suicide rate, one would consider me (and others like me) to be a suicide statistic right now. However, THIS IS NOT THE CASE. I am a functioning mom of two, married 32 years.
I felt I needed to STRONGLY state that the negative opinions stated by other patients above IS NOT the norm for Gabapentin (you can safely take 1800mg-3600mg a day.

These patients need to consult with a therapist, not blame Gabapentin. I, and others like me, are proof that this drug is a MIRACLE LIFE-SAVER.

Furthermore, patients should investigate other forms of pain management. I have had tremendous and miraculous heeling by using FSM treatments (Frequency Specific Microcurrent). It is painless, non-invasive and WORKS. I almost lost my leg due to CRPS but FSM treatments and Gabapentin have restored my leg and my LIFE.

Do NOT say this miracle drug is the problem of your mental instability – it was there before you started the drug. It would be the same as if a person got pregnant while taking Tylenol and blaming the Tylenol for the pregnancy – it’s unfathomable.

People who are saying the Gabapentin caused their memory issues most-likely have a vitamin or mineral deficiency, a food sensitivity disorder, or some other underlying mental-health condition.
A lack of vitamins/minerals can cause memory loss along with a gazillion other conditions. These people should take Vit. E, Omega 3 fatty-acids, Ginseng, Acetyl-L-Carnitine (just to name a few) to promote memory enhancement, as well as play memory games to enhance memory function (Brain Age is the #1 top game to enhance memory skills and can be played on any device – I play it while waiting for my family when we are out running errands.

I started playing and my score was the age of an 82 year old. My score is now that of a 20 year old (the younger the age, the better your memory is). My real age is 55.

Copious amounts of evidence associated with the above-mentioned symptoms by these patients can also be caused by “Food Sensitivity Disorder”. Sensitivities to certain foods/spices, etc., can be found my taking two very simple blood test called IgG and IgA. Eating foods you are sensitive to can cause ALL the above-mentioned symptoms these patients are experiencing. Taking away the foods will take away the symptoms. Eating theses sensitive foods causes the brain to swell, thus, halting proper functions of neurons associated with EVERY aspect of the mind and body.

For example: One can drive from work to home in 10 min on a clear sunny day. Make that same trip on a foggy day with 1 foot visibility and it will take you 30 min to make the same trip. This is how food sensitivities affect brain function. The swelling obscures the neuropathic pathways needed for proper function; much like the fog obscures the road preventing timely passage of traveling vehicles. Take away the foods causing the “brain fog” (yes, it is a real diagnosis) and the brain will begin to function properly – providing there are no other circumstances.

Another thing, 90% of children diagnosed with Autism. OCD, ADHA, etc. do NOT have these conditions at all yet are being medicated with mind-altering medications such as Prosac and the like. If the parent were to just do an IgG and IgA test and take away the suspect foods, the child should start to appear normal within 1-2 weeks.

Our children are proof of this – our daughter became uncontrollable at home, went from all A’s and a teacher’s dream student to getting suspended and grades dropped from A’s to D’s/Fs. She made choices unbecoming of her personality. This change occurred when she started her menstrual cycle. Knowing her hormones had changed, I ordered an IgG and IgA test for her. Of 200 foods, the only response was pineapple. We took her off of pineapple and within 3 weeks she was all A’s again and back to herself. The teachers asked what happened. I told them. They are now educating the parents of their students on how diet affects performance on so many levels in homes of keeping these children OFF OF DRUGS.

Our son was worse than her. His behavior was a parents/teacher’s worst nightmare. He had been suspended more times than I care to mention. They said to institutionalize him. His doctor wanted to put him on several drugs, including Prosac, but I said NO – lets test his food sensitivities. His behavior was so horrible, he required a personal assistant to be with him at school. After testing, his list was so long for foods he was sensitive to that it was easier to look at the list of food that he could have (those he was not sensitive to). He quickly straightened up and would eventually be rid of his aid. Within two years he had become a teacher assistant while in school, as well as a math tutor.

Both children are now fully functioning members of our community. Our son will soon get a Bachelor degree with a 4.1 GPA; with a double major (Computer Science and Math), minoring in Computer Assisted Business Management. Our daughter just graduated with a Bachelor in math and statistics, minor in art and photography; graduating with honors. They have both been working since age 16 and NEITHER OF THEM HAVE EVER BEEN ON ANY KIND OF DRUGS – TREATED ONLY WITH DIET CHANGES.
Gabapentin IS A MIRACLE and people should stop blaming their problems on this drug. They had their mental-health issues PRIOR to the drug and it has NOT been properly diagnoses and/or is being ignored. These folks are NOT seeing things for what they are. They need psych therapy and education on how diet affects the brain and body as a whole.

Get an IgG and IgA test, SEE A THERAPIST, EXERCISE, take supplements and get you life back. Gabepentin is NOT the cause of your issues.

I think the number of people on here who are having trouble points to the fact that it is the gabapentin. You may be one of the people it did help. It didn’t help the rest of us, and while your advice may be well meant, pointing your finger at us and telling us we’re the problem isn’t helpful. I do think, as was suggested, that you’re an outlier, but felt maybe that should be worded a little more strongly to make up for the people you’ve made feel worse for something that isn’t their fault. Please think about the type of forum you’re in and the words you use, because they can cause people pain. Thank you.

Is it possible your experience with this medication is rare, and you are the outlier?

I have been on and off Gabapentin for many years . My symptons include blurred vision, memory loss , anxiety and, most recently, facial tics. I have decided to start tapering down my usage and come off this horrible drug.

I have been on Gabapentin for a few years. Was taking as needed for fibromyalgia. A month ago I was having bad episodes so I took my maximum suggested dose of 300mg 3x a day. Since I have been taking this dosage I have had severe pain in my right knee, and left one is getting worse. I was curious to find out if anyone else has experienced this side effect. I can barely walk now. Please let me know. And if they went off, did this pain subside?

Diagnosed w/fibromyalgia, severe pains all over. While getting a massage, a chiropractor, whom I did not know, overheard my conversation with my massage therapist ( who changed her location to chiropractor facility.) When finished with massage and started to leave, chiropractor mentioned that recent findings seem to be relating fibromyalgia to possible food allergies and mentioned blood tests could help pin point these possibilities.

I immediately arranged to have tests done. Results showed a 65% allergen to SOY…ALL TYPES OF SOY. The remaining top nine were all very negligible. The Chiropractor said she had NEVER see such a high reaction to SOY.

I went home and threw out all food stuffs with soy. I started reading labels and was in for a huge shock! SOY, SOYBEAN OIL, in fact all types of soy are in 95% of the food products on grocery shelves! And I always loved Chinese food!
I thank God I am totally cured – no fibromyalgia anymore! I am so thankful an astute chiropractor overheard our conversation.

My lifestyle has totally changed. I RARELY eat out if at all. Most restaurants use soybean oil in some form, usually in
vegetable oil, yes I found out the hard way.

The kicker to all this is that the surgical anesthetic, Profopol, is SOY BASED! Again, I found out the hard way! I now cook everything from scratch, do not use any food with additives or preservatives.
I AM FREE FROM FIBROMYALGIA!!!

Gabapentin and knee pain. My left knee, above my knee, below my knee and behind my knee gets so sore I can’t take it anymore. Both my legs ache terribly. I also started having weird thoughts of jumping of a balcony at work. I’ve had bad dreams too. I had major c-spine surgery from a crushed spinal cord. I experience shaking and tremors all the time. Gabapentin started relieving pain from my neck immediately but now, I’ve had to stop taking it. I started at 300 mg x 3 daily then tried 300 x2 then 300 x 1 and with each dose, I get extreme leg pain. I’ve had pain in my right elbow too. Unfortunely, I can’t continue with it.

I have been on this nightmare drug for 6 months. And I have been hospitalized 7 times since starting!?! I cannot help but wonder if it is to blame. I started this to help wean myself off from the narcotics I take for severe muscle and migraine pain following a burst aneurysm in my brain 12 years ago.

I wonder if it is better to be yet another ” pain med statistic ” rather than a bumbling, mumbling sedated sloth. For those who suffer: may God bless and keep you safe. For those who have achieved success and a better quality of life from this medication: may you continue to be blessed. May we all find relief, peace and blessings in our own lives. Love, laughter and hope to one and all. 💋

I have had the knee pain and low back pain with it as well. But I have not finished weening off of it and am waiting to be off of it for six weeks before I am sure gabapentin is causing it.

I have psoriatic arthritis and upper back chronic pain from car accident and 10 knee surgeries 20 years ago. Only medicine that helped was codeine, Tylenol or Vicodin. But to control pain I was taking too much so I ve been taking suboxen. On top of it I’ve taken 1 gabapentin 300mg at night with ambien 10 mg. It was working somewhat. But last year, May when I started to slowly get off from suboxen, I started to have serious sinus pain on the right side that turned into a full-blown migraine. I ended up in ER 8 times. Last trip was in an ambulance.

2 months ago my pain Dr. asked me to take gapapentin at dinner time. So I did that. My nightly sinus problem disappeared the first night. I have energy to do stuff after work. But I can only sleep 5 hours, sometimes 4. I’ve increased G 3x day. If I take it an hour later at night I wake up with a sinus headache after 3 hours of sleep. I’ve gained weight suddenly, and I get these odd bad memory bursts from my past. I have started periods of depression that has effected my life with thoughts of wanting to die. I have a hard time being socially active and want to be by myself.

Worst thing is when I’m doing something and an old sad memory comes back out of the blue. English is my 2nd language, and I’ve started to forget words. I could go on. But this is turning into a rant. Last thing, I’m having very difficult time with doctors. I have to see 4 separate doctors, because of my multiple health issues. There’s no cohesive teamwork between them. I’m on my own finding treatment for my health problems.

It’s horrible. I notice I’ve become extremely angry and aggressive since taking it. I take 900 mg before bed for insomnia. I was told it was not addictive and it would be easy to stop. I tried to wean down to one pill (300mg) as I am tired of always feeling infuriated by everything and having that cause problems in my life. Just going down one pill, the first night I slept 6 hours and the second barely 2 and then woke up wide-awake. And by the way, I take also take Clonopin. So, it’s a little odd to me that just going down one pill could cause extreme side effects. Although Clonopin also has bad side effects, it has a longer half-life, and I’ve never felt the extreme hostility that I feel on Gabapentin. I feel very angry at my doctor for acting like this was a lightweight drug when everything I have read says other otherwise. Good luck to you and everyone who is taking this horrible drug.

Had a seizure after taking it the first time. My doctor started me off at 600mg, and it was one of the scariest experiences of my life. It’s also had a lasting impact on my vision (having double vision) and have been getting frequent headaches at the very back of my head ever since then. It’s been over 2 months and still no improvement on either front. Have had a CT scan and MRI of my brain, which supposedly looked normal. Got in to see a neurologist, and she noticed one of my pupils is noticeably larger than the other and has ordered an MRI that looks at the blood vessels in the brain.

Wish I had never taken it and certainly never will again. In fact, it has made me wary of taking any new drugs. Going to go the holistic route from here. Just don’t trust the FDA, the drug companies, or many doctors for that matter. Gabapentin is now a WIDELY prescribed drug and is used in a LOT of off- label uses. Given the possible severity of side effects, none of which I was warned about, it should be prescribed on a much more stringent level.

After a week, twenty two 100mg gabapentin capsules, I stopped the drug and am suffering side effects. How long will they last?

I was started out on Gabapentin about 2 yrs go for chronic pain. I was started out at 1 600 mg tab 3xs a day, …this did nothing it seemed so it was doubled to 3600 mgs daily total . I’ve been hiding all the suicide thoughts not wanting anyone to know, depression is always here it seems. The doubling helped a lot..a miracle drug I called it. Then slowly the pain was coming back. I now am in pain 24/7..to different degrees. And more so than It was in the beginning. Concentration is very difficult, and im extremely forgetful..not like the old me at all. Feeling happy is a rarity. Headaches daily as well. Ive dealt with the suicidal thoughts by repeating to myself..its the drug making me think like this…nothing else. So now I want off the Gabapentin trip….and am looking into CBD oil as a replacement. Would I recommend Gabapentin to anyone? NO! Stay clear from it…I now hope I do not suffer any side affects form getting off it.

Gabertentin helped at first (Only took it for one week), then I ended up with double vision, blurriness and dry eyes. After about a month the blurriness stopped. I still get on occasions double vision.

I’m sincerely happy for those who can take gabapentin, get relief from pain, and have no side effects. You’re lucky! I’ve been taking a fairly low dose, starting at 400 mg a day for about 6 weeks for nerve pain due to shingles. It made my depression worse (had to up my antidepressant because of it), gave me diarrhea, and caused loss of appetite. I was exhausted all the time even though I was sleeping well. I was even taking naps in the afternoons! I never do that. And talk about fuzzy brained: I had a hard time getting words out (I thought I was going prematurely senile). I couldn’t remember anything. Totally forgot about things I was supposed to be doing at work. Not good. It has helped with the pain, but it’s not worth it. I’m tapering off now, down to 200 mg a day. Can’t wait to be off of it completely.

How can the FDA give the ok to any drugs with so many side effects. I have a friend who is on it and she keeps falling down. Insane. You you more drugs to combat the side effects of this drug. That tells me big money runs the fda. Its not about safety.

Matt, your friend may try using a lower dose and slowly titrate the medication dosage upwards to minimize the effects- I had the same issues as I started on too high of a dosage- funny I just posted the below comment in a previous post-

“One point of caution, I have no idea why this med did not come with a huge red caution label advising to “Use caution when driving or using machinery”, this drug can and will make you wobbly legged-and a little mentally loopy.”

This drug tends to build a tolerance effect, based on my research, rather quickly- yet can be very useful for Mood, Anxiety, Neuropathic Pain etc. – See Nellie’s excellent post and my previous posts on effectiveness, and care of use.

Another interesting effect form this medication is its bioavailability of the gabapentin varies inversely with dose, another words lower doses at 300 mg are 67% available but this drops as the dosage goes up- so you get a ceiling effect very fast even as you double or triple doses.

I was recommended at start dosages of 600mg 3 times a day, and was quite wobbly legged! That improved as soon as I dropped my dosage to less than half of that amount and was just fine thereafter.

Your friend should consult with their doctor about lower dosages, and slowly over 1-2 weeks raising the dosage up as needed.

I am not a doctor, these are my personal thoughts on Gabapentin, do not rely on my opinions – seek medical advice only from a licensed medical doctor.

Best Wishes, MigKiller

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Its amazing how Gaba helps others and is a nightmare for some. For me it has been a Godsend. It has improved my mood, cheered me up, calmed me down immensely, and helped me to sleep all night. I have read about the side effects, and it is very frightening. I don’t have any. I have been taking this for a few weeks. I take between 300 mg and 900 mg per day but I try and skip a day here and there. I do this because I am trying to avoid side effects and addiction. I am trying to be careful. Sometimes I go two full days without it and put up with the pain and insomnia for a day or two. When I am on it, I love my days.

I am so sorry that this drug is horrible for others. Many of these doctors seemed to have prescribed it irresponsibly. Even my doctor did not say anything about it but I always research medication before I take it.

Lower doses seem to be safer. If anyone is considering this drug, before you take it, tell a family member; take the lowest dose at home, and have the family member check on you periodically. It may be a blessing or a nightmare. I have even read about people who took it for years with no side effects. I think much more research needs to be done on this drug. I believe there are genetic and biological differences in people that need to be discovered in relation their reaction to this drug.

Thank you for sharing your stories so I could make right decision and be careful and I PRAY YOU FIND THE RELIEF YOU NEED.

After 17 yrs taking methadone for severe back pain with good relief, NYS and workers comp in all their wisdom say my dosage is too high. To top it, my pain management doctor passed away unexpectedly, causing me to search for a new doctor. New doc prescribed Morphine and Neurontin. Within 3 days of starting Neurontin, I am having difficulty walking, respiratory difficulty, and increased clumsiness.

I took it for 10 yrs. The 1st 3yrs were all good with no side effects. Then stuff started creeping in. And I didn’t understand what was going on until 2017 Aug. My daughter tried to warn me for years that I had problems, and I wasn’t who I use to be. I started tapering off Aug. 17, quit Nov 17, 2017. Terror entered my life then fear, body pain, uncontrollable no-reason crying. My gut felt so bad it was hard to eat, and I experienced most of all the rest of the stuff others have described. Worst is I now have heart-failing weakness. I, too, thought it was a good drug. I didn’t see it creep up on me and didn’t understand what was happening. Be watchful. Listen to family and friends when they are concerned about you. My best wishes for all of us

I recently had shingles and was hospitalized for 3 days while they played around with different medications to send me home with for the pain. (horrible pain) I told one nurse that the feeling I had in my face was definitely nerve pain so they started me on gabapentin, a muscle relaxer and pain medication. The pain has not left me but has improved somewhat. The only side effect I had is a little shakiness at first. It does help me sleep but I am concerned that the pain is still there.

I have been taking Gabapentin for just over a year. I had weird dreams when first taking it in hospital but after a few weeks no side effects. I am assuming it is still helping with nerve pain but wanted to get off it to find out.

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?

My dad was on Gabepentin for years and a very, very high dose for neuropathy. He eventually lost use of his legs, tremors, and developed slight dementia. My mom’s best friends had the same thing happen. None of the drs agree with us but both mom and I feel the gabeptin contributed to both of their problems. Dad would just be walking along, and his legs would just buckle and give away. I could tell you countless times he fell and injured himself. I recently had a pain Dr suggest me taking it for back pain, and I was nearly in tears as I bluntly refused it.

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.

The people on this board, like Julia from Colorado, who stated “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.”, CLEARLY have not done much research on this topic. Gabapentin has a laundry list of BAD side effects and even a little bit of research on the topic reveals as much. Straight from the magazine pharmacy and pharmacology, there were 5 reported seizures caused by Gabapentin in its initial trial.

I have belonged to MANY pain management forums for the last 20 years, due to suffering from severe back pain most of my life, and the stories I have heard regarding Gabapentin…well, if anyone knows the show The Walking Dead, its a perfect description of many of the people that take this medication long term.

As for myself, I took Gabapentin once as due to the war on opioids, my regular pain management doctor took me off of them and put me on an absolutely brutal taper schedule. I went and found a different pain management doctor after that whole episode and he prescribed Gabapentic. I took it once and had a severe status epilepticus, which is a siezure that lasts a long time or having multiple seizures that keep you in a seizure state for a long time.

I took the Gabapentin at 3 in the afternoon, right when I got home from my doctor’s appointment in which it was prescribed. I woke up at 7 In such a stupor that I couldn’t talk, had almost no control over my muscles, my arms were shaking severely, and even my vision was effected as everything looked pixelated. I knew I was in trouble and tried to get the attention of my wife downstairs. I just barely managed to get myself off of my bed and wound up collapsing into a pile of clothing by my bedroom door. I woke up 2 hours later and was still in the same condition. I was also getting what felt like electrical shocks in my head. I was just barely able to crawl to the stairs and call out to my wife. She called 911 and I was taken to the emergency room. This was roughly 3 months ago and ever since that event, my eyesight has degraded significantly and I had 20/15 vision before this event. I also started getting daily headaches in the back of my head, which I have never had happen in my life before. I am actually going in to see a neurologist to see what is going on.

Over the last 3 months, I have done extensive research on Gabapentin and the sheer number of off label conditions it is being prescribed for and the AWFUL side effects a LOT (massive understatement) of people are having on this drug. Suggesting that Gabapentin is one of the safest drugs out there is absolutely mind boggling given the sheer number of possible side effects reported for this medication and the sheer number of people that are experiencing many of those side effects, myself included. The more research I did, the more shocking it became and the more upset I got that my doctor didn’t warn me about any of them.

My advice to people, at least those that aren’t suffering from epilepsy, is to stay as far away from Gabapentin as possible. Every time a doctor prescribes you a drug, he is asserting that the benefits you will receive from a medication outweigh’s the possible side effects from that medication. Given the huge list of adverse side effects and the HUGE number of people that have experienced these side effects first hand when taking Gabapentic….well, IMO Gabapentin should only be considered as a last resort.

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.

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?

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

I have started gaba about 3 weeks now. I find a change it my mood for the worst. I have become agruementitive and quite moody which was not me before. I am recognising my changes. I sometimes feel foggy in my head and if I am confused and seem to becoming forgetful and weepy for no reason and thinking about sad things and allowing it to dwell in my head. This is not me at all.

I sleep well at night even before taking gaba, so I have no problem with insominia. I just want to share this info so others an recognise changes while taking gaba and see your pharmacist or Dr.

I will be talking to my Pharmacist soon as I will not continue taking it. Thank God it has only been a short time on it, but I feel the side effects of it already.

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

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!

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.

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

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

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!

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.

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😐

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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!!

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.

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.

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?

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

I am taking a low dose, just 100 mg at night for neuropathy. It seems to be helping with the itching and burning at night and also the random sharp, shooting pains. I have lost six pounds in two weeks and have always had a hard time taking off weight.

I am at a normal weight for my height but now am wondering if I will keep losing weight. My appetite seems to be less than it was. I wanted to lose a few pounds so am not complaining but wonder if anyone else has lost weight. I can’t imagine taking the high doses that some are taking.

I have diabetic neuropathy. It is very painful to walk.. tried lyrica for over 2 years but had to keep raising the dosage. Side effects came on so slow that I didn’t realize the lyrica was causining it, till it nearly killed me …. I have found some relief with the burning and stinging in my feet when I try to sleep. For about 5years, I have been taking alpha lipoic acid.. 400mg 3 times a day. I only use “Doctors Best” I tried 3 other brands when I first started but they didn’t have any effect on me … so I have stuck with the one that works.

Some are very favorable, but others are scary, am just going on it for back pain so hope
I will be able to withstand side effects I have taken it before for a short time with no ill
effects but since have a pacemaker inserted and don’t want to have any side effects.

I was prescribed gabapentin a few years ago for nerve pain associated with arthritis in my neck. My doctor told me to play around with the dosage to find what works for me. In the process I found that 300 mg every few days had so many unexpected benefits that I have ended up using it as a recreational drug. While it does help numb my pain, it also makes me super productive, interested in whatever I’m doing, relaxed and positive all at the same time.

Whether I need to stay awake or go to sleep, it helps. When falling asleep I’m entertained by interesting thoughts and images and wake refreshed. I do find I have a few unpleasant side effects but am mostly able to overcome them with yoga and a healthy diet and of course by limiting how often I take the drug.

As others have mentioned, It can cause a kind of emotional dullness, but in my case this has not been a bad thing. I would suggest that people avoid starting with a high dosage, especially to avoid the physical clumsiness and mental fogginess. Personally, I find it increases my mental acuity, and I have even learned to play the drums in my 50s while engaging in moderate use of this drug. It has also lessened my craving for alcohol.

I too have been taking 300 mgs 3 x per day for a long time. Mostly to combat extensively nerve damage especially in my legs. For the first few years I seemed to be ok. But lately I noticed that all the life has just drained out of me. I just don’t want to do anything any more. The worst part is the constant thinking of dying. I also take Sertraline for my depression but it’s not working. I lost my job of 13 years and that has really pushed me to the edge. I get dizzy a lot and when I stand I get a droning in my ears and feel like I am going to faint. I just feel like I am in a vicious cycle with no way out. Does it ever get better?

Usually medication doesn’t suddenly change how it effects you after taking it for years unless you change the dosage or your condition has changed. I would think it’s more plausible that the stress from losing your job (which, especially after having the job that long can really be traumatic!). You would be surprised how much stress can effect your body physically- especially if you already have problems with depression. Please talk to your doctor asap (if you haven’t already since this is an older comment). Suicidal thoughts are never something to take lightly, even if it could be from medication. I hope things turn around for you soon.

I have been using 200mg 3x a day for the past 16yrs for a thoracic surgery I had then. I also use 5mg roxycodone 3x . The gabapentin has done well for my pain as well as for lower back pain but the roxycodone helps with the tightness from the scar tissue. I am 67yrs. Once I took care of my mother and left the GABA at home. By morning I was terribly nauseated with dry heaves. Thought I had stomach flu. By 11 my boyfriend brought my GABA and within the hour I was normal and stayed that way. I do notice an upset stomach if I am late with my dose. I am fatigued with days of no desire to do anything and some days I do pretty good. Nausea I know is my biggest side effect.

I’ve been put on GP recently after a few other SSRI’s, SSRI’s, were unsatisfactory to me. My instructions are 900mg. am and pm. The stuff seems to access what other chemicals haven’t, but adjustment has been a bit tortuous at times. I have “very serious” COPD and strong anxiety and depression issues. I take 1.5mg Klonopin per day.

It’s great to find this thread!

Have been on 300mg 3x a day for about a year now, for nerve pain in my arm. Had surgery for carpel and cubital syndrome a couple weeks ago. I stopped taking my Rx the day of surgery. While the paperwork that came with the drug said don’t I thought it would be okay since I had asked my Dr.s assistant to find out about me tapering off, he told me I didn’t have to and that I could just stop.

I don’t feel any huge withdraw symptoms but after reading here I do have occasional headache, frequent sudden urges to poop, and maybe night sweats. I did fall yesterday but am pretty sure I just tripped over a box in the garage. While it helped with my nerve pain: I hated the side effects: super moody, memory loss, morbid thoughts, an added benefit it got rid of my tinnitus…which is now back. I have been off for 2 weeks and wonder if I should check in with the Dr on it

My mother was put on gabapentin 2 years ago while in the hospital for chronic back and leg pain. Right away she developed an unsteady gait and jumping in her legs that she had not had before. It was decided to go to the Lyrica (4 X 25mg daily) because “some people respond better to it”. Things got even worse, with her hands and body twitching, both legs jumping, sleepiness, mental and physical agitation/fogginess and more with seemingly no relief in the pain. We were told it could take a little while to get better, but after 8 months of this, as caregiver daughter, I spoke with her physician, and we decided to take her off the medication and just deal with the pain and not all the side-effects.

What a “trip”! Literally! Hallucinations, suicidal, sick – sick – sick! It took over 6 months to get her down to 1 X 25mg per day, but we could never get her off that last pill! She was still twitching, and the jumping in her legs was getting worse. Recently we have had to change insurance and just could not afford the Lyrica, so decided to go back to the generic gabapentin and see what would happen. Wonderful!!! FIVE days off the Lyrica, and the twitching and jumping has virtually stopped. She says her whole body is “quieter and more restful,” and her pain level is not any worse. Maybe from here we can even get her off the gabapentin completely.

I have only personally known 3 other people who have taken Lyrica – for 3 different reasons, but all 3 have had very bad results. 2 were able to get off. 1 still has to take that 1 pill a day or is suicidal, which never was a problem before! I’m sure it must be a good thing for some people out there but I don’t know any of them! We did learn this: DO YOUR HOMEWORK before starting new meds if you can. We have opted out of several other controversial drugs since then and never been sorry. Please consider carefully the possible side effects before starting Lyrica/gabapentin. They are VERY real for some people!

Almost 6 years ago, my husband suffered compartment syndrome due to a femural bypass. He had a fasciotomy that resulted in a muscle loss in that portion of his leg from the necrotic tissue having to be cut away, resulting in 7 more surgeries, permanent drop foot, loss of feeling in his leg from his knee down to his toes, weeks of rehabilitation, and plastic surgery to cover the muscle that was exposed on the exterior side of his leg. He’s been on 1800 mg of Gabapentin every day since for nerve pain, and last year was diagnosed with CLL. He’s also, in my opinion, suffering with brain fog, depression, and mood swings. Is all this just a coincidence, or is it from years of overusing Gagapentin? After reading this article, I’m now wondering, and scared half to death of what he could be facing because of this drug, though even if I showed this to him, he’d never give up taking it because it’s what gets him through each day dealing with the pain.

I was prescribed Lyrica when I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I couldn’t handle the side effects (brain fog, balance issues) and the cost. My doctor switched me to gabapentin without really telling me about the side effects, just that it was a precursor drug to Lyrica. I wish I had known about the mood effects before I attempted suicide. I never put two and two together for a long time. I was given diazepam to counter the irritable moods gabapentin produced. This worked well until I had to go off the benzodiazepine. The terrible mood swings, the irritability, and angry outbursts are becoming unbearable. But, the pain from the fibromyalgia is controlled with gabapentin, so I do not know what to do.

I had a stroke seven and a half years ago and continued having headaches afterward. I was given Gabapentin in the hospital for those headaches which have since been diagnosed as migraines. I take 2400 mg every day. My family has told me that I am not the same since my stroke. I assumed the stroke changed my personality, but now I am thinking it is the gabapentin. I only take it as it has been prescribed, but now I am worried about it. I never feel like I get enough sleep either. I could go to bed at 7:00 pm and sleep until noon the next day and still not feel rested. I tell my husband daily that I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I was on 2700mg of Gabapentin and was tapered off too quickly. I ended up in the emergency room, suicidal. My brain was telling me things I had never thought before. This drug is horrible. I had rather be on opiates the rest of my life than this mood-altering drug. If you are prescribed Gabapentin, make sure you educate yourself; don’t just depend on your Doctor. A good pharmacist is a must if you are taking these types of drugs. Read everything you can. There is movement to change this drug to a “controlled substance.” BEWARE.

I have had it since March so less than a year I only take one 100mg pill at night sometimes two. It has helped my nerve pain alot. I will probably go to one pill a night than one pill every other night for a while. I don’t want to be hooked on anything. I am surprised that people take that much. My dr. said you only take what works for you and no more. Most of the time it is one 100mg pill a night.

I took Gabapentin off an on for a year. I would take 300mg once every couple of weeks or so. I was already a bit down, so when my depression started getting worse, I had no idea it was from the Gabapentin. My depression got so bad that I would break down sobbing for no reason other than the intense despair and sadness that was overwhelming me. So I started taking the Gabapentin more frequently because it greatly improved my mood.

The last week I took it, I took one 300mg pill about 4 times in one week. The last night I took it, I woke up the following morning with actual hardcore anhedonia, or completely dead inside emotionally. I was a zombie.

Normally when I would take Gabapentin at night, I would sleep better and wake up the next morning feeling refreshed and like myself, but not that night. I woke up dead. And then I also realized not only were my emotions dead, but my vagina and sex drive were too. Genital numbness, NO libido, and unable to orgasm. Before I was a very sexual person, with lots of passionate sex with my husband, and no problems with sensation or orgasm.

Not anymore. And I’ve been off the Gabapentin for 3 months now, and I think this sexual dysfunction side effect is permanent….which has ruined my life and taken the joy out of everything for me. My moods/emotions are mostly back to normal (and the depression is back to pre-Gabapentin levels), but my sex drive and ability to feel are gone.

I can’t live this way.

I was out on gabapenten for spinal pain.I told the Dr.I did not want to be put on any medication that is addicting.She said this medication was not addicting.I have been very vocal about this to both my primary Dr.and pain clinic Dr.Last year I was hospitalized for severe abdominal pain to the point I passed out.I had tried to stop taking the medication not knowing at the time it was the gabapenton.They said it was because I was constipation.I became so depressed because it caused so much worry in my family.
Just this holiday I became so busy I forgot to take my medication for a day and a half.I became very irritable,woke with a headace,then the following night could not sleep all nightI had vivid dreams,As I realized it was the medication I started taking it again.Then started researching gabapentin.
I was shocked.I have been having side effects all along.I couldn’t remember anything,my peripheral vision is effected,.I would wake up from sleep and couldn’t sleep after.
I am frustrated because I Have been lied too.I’m fearful of the withdraws now that I realize it is the drug.Exspeacily since I told the Doctors I didn’t want to be in anything addicting!I work with those with demtia I Feel Like I Have it tooand im Only59 Years Old.

My 86 year old father was prescribed Gabapentin for restless legs. We were in the ER this weekend with his blood pressure at 194/95, heart rate in the 90’s. EKG showed he was in atrial fibrillation. Now they are saying he has congestive heart failure. Anyone go into a-fib on this medicine?? He is confused, has blurred vision, balance issues, slurred speech. We noticed a quick decline after starting this medicine.

Anyone wanting to wean off this should keep in mind that there are ways you can reduce the withdrawal side affects. Here’s a great article https://drcarolyndean.com/2015/05/gabapentin-neurontin-withdrawal-with-magnesium/

I know that gabapentin is not for everyone but while I had to come down from 600 to 400mg 3x a day, it is really good as an add on to my Paxil and buspirone. It helps with improved mood and Fibromyalgia. While I do understand caution for off label use, if it helps you and you don’t experience any negative side affects I see no reason to avoid it. I’ve tried other drugs with no effect.

I’ve been on Gabapentin (1200 mg daily) since March of 2017 (8 months) for severe nerve damage in my leg following a total knee replacement. I’m a 69 year old woman. I’ve lost my appetite and have lost 30 pounds, my vision is now blurry, my stomach is upset, I have bouts of diarrhea and depression. I don’t feel like the person I used to be—active, intelligent, motivated. I’m a psychotherapist with a PhD and haven’t been able to practice. I’m a published author and can’t find the brain power to write or read. I’m seeing my doctor today. There has to be a way to deal with this nerve pain without taking a drug that changes you cognitively and emotionally, plus both physically for the better and for the worse.

My gosh, I must be one of the luckiest Gabapentin users ever! I am so sorry to hear that so many folks have such issues with it. It’s been terrific for me. Thanks to a genetic chronic immune system disease, I have five different kinds of arthritis along with fibromyalgia, recurrent migraines, major depressive disorder, and insomnia (among other things, believe it or not!). Yeah, I’m a bit of a medical mess and live in constant, excruciating pain.

I take a laundry list of pharmaceuticals, to which Gabapentin was recently added for neuropathy in my cervical spine, and it incidentally turned out to help with my insomnia as well. I was prescribed 1,200mg/day but I only take 600mg at night. I discovered the insomnia assistance by taking the first morning dose and being drowsy all day, then sleeping through the night for the first time in two and a half years after taking it in combination with my 100mg of Trazodone (regular sleep prescription).

Now I just take the one 600mg dose at night and it’s been great. It also works just fine in conjunction with my anti-depressants Cymbalta (20mg, 2x/day) and Wellbutrin (150mg, 2x/day), which was a big concern because I’ve had suicidal ideation since I was a teenager.

After reading all these horror stories, I feel so fortunate to have had zero side effects whatsoever, especially with a) all my medical issues, and b) with all the medication I take. I searched this site because I was looking to find out whether people in AFib are able to use Gabapentin because I think my mom might benefit from its anti-insomnia properties. I didn’t realize there were so many basic potential pitfalls. I will still have her check with her cardiologist, though, and hopefully it’ll be a winner for her, too.

Hang in there, everybody! Keep fighting for, and taking care of, yourselves! <3

I’ve read some of the horrors of Gabapentin usage, but I wish to give my experience with it. Lyrica gave me the ‘lyrica flu’ every 3 days–high fever–103-104, hard chills, all-over, severe pain. Dr. switched me to Gabapentin. Nothing else, & I mean ‘nothing-else’ would quell the unbearable peripheral neuropathy in my feet & legs. It also helps me go to sleep. No flu symptoms either.

I have been on gabapentin (2700-3600mg) day for severe RLS and periferal neuropathy due to diabetes and a spinal injury, for several months. It has been quite helpful with few side effects except for some slightly swollen feet that may or may not be due to the drug. That said, with all the problems noted here I will certainly be on the lookout.

I have been on 800 mg/day of Gabapentin since 2000 for nerve damage from two back surgeries. For years, I was tested to make sure I had no liver or organ damage. I have NEVER had any adverse side effects although, admittedly, I’m on a fairly low dosage. Perhaps I’m one of the lucky ones, but just wanted to let everyone know out there that this drug has been a God-send. Just wanted to throw out some positive feedback.

I too have just started taking 900 mg of gabapentin per day. I had so much burning in both legs from knees down to my big toe. Also, I have a lot of arthritis in my knees and back. I have had 3 back surgeries both knees surgery. I have been in pain for 43 years since my 1st back surgery. Over the years, every time I had an appointment with any Doctor, I would bring up the pain and burning in my legs. They all said, it nerve damage as a result of back surgery so I need to learn with the pain. I did for 43 years. The last two years was to the point, I started telling the Doctor, it was time to cut nerves for relief. I finally found a Great Doctor after examination and consultation prescribed gabapentin which is low dosage compared for a lot of folks. I must say after only taking two 300 mg (600 mg total). I told my wife, I think this Doctor has found a miracle for me, the burning was much less and even the feeling of tacks or needles in my heels much less than I was experiencing. This is only my 2nd day of taking this medicine and I am suffering less pain & discomfort in over 43 years to the point that if this is all the pain that I have the rest of my life is truly a miracle. I will without a doubt will know if I have any side effects within the next few days/weeks). I’m just trying this medicine to see if it would help me. TODAY IT TRULY HAS HELPED. ONLY HOPING BETTER RESULTS WITHIN THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. I would encourage people who are suffering from arthritis to talk with their Doctor to try it in low dosage – I’m sure they will have great results.
I was told over the years by practically every Doctor who has examine me that my back was full of arthritis and they (the last three) ask me if it bothered me in doing my regular work routine. I was SHOCKED that they told me – I didn’t even know that I had arthritis. Two of the last three told me that they had never seen so much arthritis in one’s back as me. As I got older about two years ago, it let me know that I had arthritis to the point, my back shoulders, neck, pain so severe it traveled from my neck over the top of my head to my eyes. Could not even turn my neck even a half inch either direction.
I might add, due to having 3 back surgeries, I have suffered pain for years and I learn to live with pain but at times the pain would reach the point, that I could not think of anything other than the pain and had to get relief. The Doctors’ answer was DEMORAL, which was another miracle drug to get me relief and over the years it WORKED. Keep in mind, I do not recommend taking this every day. Only when I was in severe PAIN and only took it at the most one day, 2-3 times. (In a year, at the most that I ever took it (off and on) would be 50 tablets of 50 mg I got relief enough where I could tolerate the pain as a result of the surgeries
The second day of taking gabapentin, even my back and shoulders are not hurting where it dwell on my mind as it has been. As I said, I do not intend to be taking this medicine for life. I’m just trying it for perhaps a couple of weeks AT THE MOST!
HIGHLY RECOMMEND PEOPLE TALK TO THEIR DOCTOR – THIS COULD BE THEIR MIRACLE DRUG TO GET RELIEF.

I have been on 3,600mg of gabapentin per day for a couple of years now, I can tell you it has completely changed my life, my thought process is so much slower and remembering things have been very hard for me, I met a man today that knew me very well and I can’t recall his name or where I know him from.

I have tried lowering my dosage on my own and can’t because the pain is too much if I don’t take them, I’m also taking tramacet for the pain on what the doctors have no idea what is wrong with me, I woke up with blisters one day on my legs and they pop and look like burn marks, this has reoccured and I’ve seen every specialist that you can think of, I’m 100% healthy as they say after multitudes of blood work, I thank God these marks are on my body or they’d think I was crazy!

I still live in pain every day but can’t manage to work if I don’t take these stupid pills, wow, how I wish I could go back to living a normal life but that obviously isn’t going to happen any time soon, I’m so Thankful for a Loving Wife and for her sticking by my side through this…, these pills suck.

I recently read an article that states that a study shows Neurontin (gabapentin) and Lyrica, its more potent version, prevent the formation of new brain synapses, and may have longer-term adverse effects on nerve health. I have been taking gabapentin for roughly two years for Trigeminal Neuralgia. It started as occasional numbness, but now alternates between a “mild sunburn sensation” and “Stabbed with a fork wired to a battery”. I am also in a constant fog and have even more memory troubles than I did two years ago. After reading the study, I’m convinced that this drug is responsible for worsening my condition.

I take Gaba only at night 2 hours before bed. I take it for restless leg syndrome. Only 600mg. Won’t go any higher. helps me sleep. I don’t have the issues some of you have. Must be the lower dosage.

I was prescribed gabapentin several months ago for numbness and tingling in my upper chest, head, and arms following chemotherapy for throat cancer at a dose increasing to 300 mg three or four times daily. At first it helped, but lately there is less effect, but the side effects have become unbearable. I have a severe tremor, loss of balance and incoordination, dry mouth, and insomnia. This is a terrible drug. I am now trying to taper off it, which is not easy because of withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, restlessness, etc.)

I’ve been taking This medication for 3 months. 1 capsule 300mg at night. Sometimes I feel confused. My concentration is bad. I concerned when I drive because I do not focus. I’m going to talk to my doctor about changing medicine.

I have a neighbor who was ordered Gabapentin for neuropathy in her feet. She immediately noticed that a horrible fog come over her. She became depressed, unable to do much of anything. She couldn’t stand how it had taken her over. Yet the pain persisted so she went back to the ER and while there told the doctor about how horrible the medicine was making her feel. He told her “well, then just stop it”, so that is what she did. She only took the medicine for something like 2-4 weeks, but then stopped it abruptly (which I am reading should never be done), and now 2 weeks after stopping it, she is still like a zombie. Depressed, in a fog, unable to tend to any of what she used to do. She used to be a very active person, working in the yard, active in church, very outgoing. Now all of the life has gone out of her. She sits in her house and stares. Doesn’t open the curtains on her windows, doesn’t go out side, or to church. And to look in her eyes, it looks like there is no one inside anymore. What can we do to help her? Does this ever wear off? Is there any kind of treatment to reverse these affects? IF ANYONE HAS ANY ANSWERS, PLEASE HELP!

I HATE Gabapentin. And I can’t stop taking it. I was prescribed this horrid medication for Restless legs. 300 mg 2-3 times per day. My legs ache ache ache until I can barely walk. They hurt all the time. AND I have gained a ton of weight and cannot lose it. My doctor does not believe me even though he is well aware of the weight gain. I hate this drug and I HAVE to take it I will get tingling in my hands and my legs wiggle and jerk. I have weaned myself down to 300 mg. at night. I need help. It is ruining my walking and coordination. I have no quality of life. WHAT DO I DO. I NEED HELP. PLEASE DON’T TELL ME THIS IS A DUPLICATE COMMENT. PLEASE HELP ME.

My husband was prescribed Gabapentin in May of 2014. He took it – just 1 pill for 3 days – for neuropathic pain in his legs – and it ruined his life! He woke up on the 3rd morning and could not walk – had to crawl to the bathroom – his memory was all messed up – and still is to this day!! – he is depressed, anxious, has bouts of EXTREME FATIGUE. He also has “episodes” that we’re still trying to figure out.

He just zones out, mumbles, stares, doesn’t remember anything, is super confused – like he’s in his own little world. On 1 day I had a husband that loved life, did NOT have any memory issues, loved to fish, read books, play X-Box games, loved being outdoors and 3 days later I had a husband that I did not even know anymore. It has ruined his life, my life, our lives. He has seen all kinds of doctors, had cat-scans, brain MRI’s, repeated EEG’s, blood tests, done chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, and nothing helps. Also, since taking the Gabapentin, now he can’t take hardly any other prescribed medications – he has the “severe” side effects if he does. It’s been a horrific 3+ years for us. We are 65 and 70 and couldn’t wait to be retired so that we could travel and now we just sit at home, go to appts, etc. etc. trying to figure out what happened to Dave……. I keep bringing up the fact that this ALL started on the 3rd day of that damn Gabapentin but the doctors all say that the affects wouldn’t still be going on today. I/WE DON’T have never agreed and after reading all of these other comments, for sure I am going to pursue this more!! Have any of you hired an attorney to help you? I truly feel for each and every one of you because I have seen in person the HORRIFIC side affects of this nasty drug.

You could start taking yoga classes and meditating. Get massages, and eat healthy fruits and vegetables. Listen to hypnosis videos, and check out herbal remedies. Find a good alternative health care practioner or a chiropractor neurologist. With good self care and natural alternative methods you can get off it. I think yoga is a cure for every ailment. Find a teacher or research the internet. My prayers are with you.

I have had neuropathy for several years and have been on gaperpentin for at least 5 years. I still work. I would not be working without it. You can not stand nerve without something. I wouldn’t take it but I have to. I am on my feet 12 hrs a day.

Hi Ann,
There arr other meds for restless leg. I don’t remember why they are, but my mom took one that worked.
This is not the only option for that condition. I’m not a doctor, but yours should be able to give you something else.

I’ve been on gapapentun for two yrs..at first was brilliant .thn suddenly it didn’t work I upped my tabs to 3 a day max I’m allowed which I take at night i gained weight neva slept brain fog tired all the time couldn’t concentrate .confusion speak properly very bad outbursts of rage and suicidal thoughts. I thought I was goin mad with all these symptoms my family and friends noticed a personality change in me and my nerves still jumping in fact I don’t no why I’m still on them…booked to see the doctor today to come off them hopefully I can get my life back on track..rather have pain that i will try to control thn no life at all. Long short what works for some dosnt work for others

I have been taking Gabapentin for about a year, 600 mg, once in the evening, for restless leg syndrome, which had been keeping me awake for 2-3 hours almost every night. I have not experienced any side effects, but there are many nights that the drug does not work at all. I have been hoping to find a natural product that works, and may try the suggestion made by one or two posters, to take magnesium.

Some Natural Options:
Magnesium, Melatonin
Some prescription options:
Amitriptyline, Clonazapam et al
I highly recommend magnesium as the first option. It provides so many health benefits for entire body!

Unless you have epilepsy, PLEASE do not take Gabapentin. I started taking it for neuropathy in my feet and legs after my GP ran every test available to see what was causing it. He concluded, after all the tests were normal, that it had to be some kind of nerve problem or damage and put me on Gabapentin. After three weeks, just taking 300 to 600 milligrams per day, I started having depression accompanied by thoughts of just not wanting to live any more. I knew immediately that something was wrong, however, I did not connect it to Gabapentin. I kept crying and feeling low. I thought that maybe I needed to see a psychiatrist and start an antidepressant. I couldn’t stop thinking about ending my life. Finally, I read that Gabapentin can cause these symptoms and stopped taking it…. but had to do so slowly. I am not having suicidal thoughts and I know Gabapentin caused those. I am not sure how or why it caused that it causes that to happen in the brain, but it did.

Don’t ever start taking Gabapentin. I wish I never had. Even if it helps you at first, it will destroy you later. The side effects are painful, but the withdrawals are excruciating. I cannot get off of it because I can’t stand the pain it has left behind. I started it when I had the shingles and continued for post herpetic neuralgia. After 6 months, I have severe pain in my legs, knees, feet and hands. I have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and I can barely walk. At night, the pain is unbearable. This stuff is evil. It is the worst drug I have ever used and I wish I had read about it before I started taking it. I was so desperate for relief from the shingles that I would have tried anything. But I regret that decision. Because now, in addition to shingles pain, I also have neuropathy, heart palpitations, arthritis, blurred vision, insomnia, jerky eye movements, brain fog, extreme itching, and pain in all of my joints. I would have been better off just dealing with the shingles.

Anyone have low oxygen levels caused by gabapentin. I am 71yrs old. I have taken gabapentin for year for nerve damage. 100 mg 3x a day. Was having breast surgery. I did not take my meds before surgery but was given gabapentin 1 hour before surgery. I had nothing to eat for 24 hrs. I thought giving me this drug before surgery seemed strange because a side effect is low oxygen levels in 60 + females who take this for 6 months or longer.

In surgery I noticed I felt lightheaded but thought it was from pain med I was given .My surgery was halted when my oxygen dropped to 80 %.Doctors are saying they don’t think this was reason. I have talked to several people who had same problem. Anyone else have same issue?

I’m 59 Years old and I feel the same way others do.I asked my Dr about how long I can take this for, said it can be taken for long term but it only seems to help if I take 300 MG’s every day. And I’ve been doing this since ,Oct of 2017. But they only last up to 10 days and I’m in another state right now and I’m try to weenie myself off them because I can’t stand the side effects.
Debbie

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