Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Pain Management Forum

Gabapentin withdrawal time

Must Read
Chronic pain affects more than 70 million Americans. But what is pain? And how can pain management help relieve different types of pain? Basic facts here....
How does the nervous system work to register pain? And what are the major causes of acute and chronic pain? Plus, who's at risk of pain here....
Acute and chronic pain manifest different symptoms. Learn the difference here and know when to seek medical help for pain....
My name is Shea Pila, and was taking Gabapentin for a while, and stopped taking it. I am feeling some crazy withdrawal sypmtoms, and I really wanna know how long they will last. Does anyone know how long withdrawals from gabapentin will last? When will I finally feel better? Thank you for your time.
Did you find this post helpful?
First Helper lwine
|

User Profile
replied April 26th, 2011
Especially eHealthy
Shea,

The half life of Neurontin (gabapentin) is about 5 to 7 hours. So it does not hang around in the body for very long. However, your body has gotten use to having it around. Certain neurotransmittors have been modified. So they will take some time to get back to normal. There are also some psychological factors to be considered.

Everyone is difference, but most people state they start to feel, not "normal", but on an even keel after about a week. If it takes longer than that, you should probably speak with your physician.

Good luck
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 7th, 2011
I have been on it for 8 years and decided to wean off. I came from 3200mg to 100mg and figured I'd be okay to stop. I was wrong. I need to go from 100 very slowly to 0. I am weaning off about 10 a week or two weeks to allow my body to start making the receptors on my own. It obviously takes ME a long time to re-adjust to no gabapentin.

It all depends on your symptoms. MINE didn't go away so I did go back on the drug again to wean off more slowly.
Nobody is the same in terms of symptoms and how their body begins to reproduce the drug on it's own again as this is a natural substance your body needs to begin to make again.

Only you w/ guidance from your doctor can make the best decision as to what to do about controlling your w/drawl symptoms. Best of luck!! It is not easy. I had a liquid compounded so that I can make the very small adjustments needed! I have 25mg/ml liquid.
Take care!
Hugs,
V
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied July 9th, 2012
Interesting. The downward titration seems to vary greatly from individual to individual and I've found no consistent "schedule". I'm researching on behalf of a friend who has gone through pretty bizarre behavioral changes since being given Gabapentin for pain management related to a degenerative spine. Fortunately, although he's taken it for at least two years, the dose has not exceeded 800 mg. 3x daily. Unfortunately, attempting to drop one of three doses was causing him to anger (over nothing), act and speak in ways that were disjointed and confused and have intense nightmares. Taking it down by 400 mg (1/2 rather than one full tablet) for nighttime dose seems to be working for him. I'm going to communicate with his Primary Doctor.. uncertain when his brain will adapt so he can step down by another 400 mg.

I've found several sources that indicate NO ONE SHOULD STOP TAKING THIS DRUG (a/k/a "cold turkey), as it OFTEN CAUSES SEIZURES IF ONE "just stops". Thus, the caveat: don't stop even low dose without discussing this with a trusted Physician and alert a family member and/or trusted friend when you are tapering off Gabapentin (Neurontin).
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 27th, 2012
I wasn't on Gabapentin for pain, but anxiety, my withdrawal symptom was mainly insomnia. As soon as I took a 300mg capsule, I slept like a baby that night and every night since with taking just one 300 mg cap at night only. I was taking 300 mg 3x/day..
Going to ween myself off after the holidays. If I known what I know now of the withdrawal symptoms, I'd have refused to ever have started!!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 1st, 2013
1/1/13
I have been taking Gabapentin for 2 years for neuropthic pain due to transverse myelitis.
I have tried to taper down to the lowest dose starting with 2400 mg down to 1800mg after 1 year. Now have been on 1500 mg for 1 year and finding it very difficult to drop the dose further. The symptoms of anger with myself and anxiety appear. As soon as I have a few doses of 600mg the withdrawl symptoms disappear. It seems that recovery appears very fast after a few doses.

prinx
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 8th, 2013
How long gabapentin withdrawal
Hi prinz,

A magnesium supplement will help reduce or eliminate the gabapentin withdrawal.

Google (Dr. Dean ReMag) ReMag is a magnesium supplement which is 100% absorbed which means no diarea. With remag you should be able to do a successful taper without any withdrawal.

I was taking 2400 mg. at bedtime for over 10 years and thought I would never sucessfully taper off of gabapentin because of the (godawful) withdrawal.

Then I read about an other person who was useing a magnesium supplement to help ease the withdrawal symptoms. And so I tried a magnesium supplement. and It worked.

Hope it works for you.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied February 16th, 2014
Hi Gaby,

How much magnesium did you take, please? How long did your withdrawal take?

Thanks
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 16th, 2013
I began weining myself off of this drug in November.I am completely off of it and have been since December 6. I have to say that it has been the hardest drug to ever detox from. I have been off of ssri, benzo, pain meds, and they were a cake walk. I am no wimp and this drug is evil. I can take the physical all day long. I was ready for diarrehea, vomiting, anxiety but the burning skin, and that creepy feeling that word cant descibe was nothing compared to the physcological hell of it. Please hear me, I know how you feel, I ve been through it and have some tips. Do not go off of this cold turkey!!!!! You have to wean. It may be slow, maybe only a 10% change! That means if you take 300 mg you would reduce 30 mg or a total of 270mg. You will need to open the capsule and eyball what the reduction would be. Dramamine can help with nausea,dizziness, and insomnia. Valerian root is great for restless legs but its stinky! Magnesium should be the first on your list. It helped me more than anything else. Also soaking in epsom salt several times a day. Surround yourselfs with positive people who are supportive. Listen to soothing music. Try to stretch and walking in place during the anxiety attacks. Drink lots of water and powerade. When your appetite returns fill your body with clean,nutritous foods. The better your diet, the better you will feel. I promise you! Pray for yourself and think of nice things. My attetion spab was so bad at first. I couodnt even watch tv let alone read so I did word searches on my apps and it helped me focus on something else. I dont want to disheartened you. I got through it and I know you can do it.I am praying tonight for anyone going through this withdrawal. When you read this please know you have a been prayed for and I am lifting you up. Stay strong! You will see how very strong you are.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 19th, 2013
gabapentin withdrawal
IWINE hi.

October 13, 2012 I was gabapentin free. I used magnesium to in an effort to relieve my withdrawal and it was very effective.

I am wondering how effective the magnesium was in helping you cope with the withdrawal. I wondering this as there are so many people experiencing withdrawal and are not aware of the fact that magnesium can play a big part in the recovery from gabapentin withdrawal.

Yes for me before the use of a magnesium supplement I experienced a godawful withdrawal which as time passed continued to get worse to the point that I didn't want to eat as that made me feel 10 times worse. I had to reinstate on at least 2 ocassions. before I reaches out to the internet and read the gabapentin withdrawal forums, as my doctor said to me when I told her about the withdrawal, she said they (big pharma) don't ask the right questions, but I think it goes farther than that they really don't want to know about adverse reactions and are capable of going to any lengths to avoid providing proof that these drugs can be addictive or that we develop a dependance for these drugs.

I was nearly convinced that I would never be able to stop taking gabapentin finally found some one who posted in one of the forums that had use magnesium to help lesson the severity of the withdrawal.

Are you still taking magnesium? What form of magnesium are you useing? I am wondering if you think magnesium is a universal treatment for gabapentin withdrawal, if this can be confirmed then it would be very helpful for the long term prognosis for thoes who suffer from gabapentin withdrawal.

I am not a doctor but after suffering from prolonged agonizing gabapentin withdrawal and to have been helped in such a profound way with something as simple as taking a servral epsom salts baths (which is precisely what I) was a miracle to me.

You have given sound advise

I'm glad you found magnesium.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied February 1st, 2013
Hello! So sorry for the delay friend. Yes, I think magnesium is key to gaba withdrawal. I forgot to mention that halway through I began to take folic acid. You have to treat gabapentin withdrawal in the same manner as alcholol withdrawal. Scary, I know. I just read yesterday that gabbapentin depletes biotin so I beleive that supplement should be added as well. I was taking a magnesium,calcium, zinc supplement and even swishing my mouth with epsom salt. Unfortunately, I had to stop the magnesium because I learned I have ic or painful bladder syndrome and it caused flare ups. Oh and get this,gabapentin is the drug of choice for ic. I have been looking at long term withdrawal effects because not only is my ic flared up but so is my ibs and I have been sick now four times since November! I eat really well and drink lots of water but in my heart I believe my immune system has been compromised. At least once a week I will have such a hard time sleeping. I am going to go to the local health food store and talk about taking a liquid magnesium? Maybe a liquid wouldnt be so tough on my bladder as a pill. I went on gaba because of neuropathy in my feet when really I most likely was magnesium deffecient all along.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied February 1st, 2013
Hi Iwine,Hi Iwine,

I am supplementing with a new magnesium supplement called ReMag (pico ionic magnesium) I have good luck with it I am taking about 750 mg. of magnesium a day in an attempt to replenish my magnesium stores. I built up to this amount over a period of weeks. I take a liquid multivitamin as well.

Remag an oral magnesium supplement is 99% absorbed and is absorbed at the cellular level and so does not require the stomach to digest it, it is taken directly into the blood stream.

Google "DR. Carolyn Dean ReMag" check out her web sight Dr. Carolyn Dean there is a lot of good info on her websight about magnesium. This form of oral magnesium does not cause diarea. Recomended dose is 250 Mg.

You should know that if you have only been taking small amounts of magnesium supplements a dose of 250 mg. will make you want to lie down for a while, so it might be wise to take only one ml. which is 20 drops, this is approxamately 60 mg. magnesium but since it is 99% absorbed compared to other oral magnesium supplements ReMag is about 5 to 10 times more absorbed magnesium. A little goes a long way.

Start out slow and build it up over servral days or weeks. The drowsyness will wear off after about a week.

If you have been on high doses of gabapentin for a long time your magnesium stores have been depleted by the gabapentin and I believe this is why long term users have more difficulty tapering off this drug.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 22nd, 2013
gabapentin wd and mag need help ...
600 helped pain but too foggy to live lol HONESTLY I was in never land. I cannot live this way fogged and working...too much. went down to 500 and was ok. then to 400 but only 2 days in and not a week I got the worse leg pains and aches and well anyway I got mag 250mg. I take miralax for constipation...now thing I should have gotten the remag as they SAY it doesn't affect bathroom issues. Well now I'm afraid to go to sleep since I took 250 mg regular mag. And if gaba takes away your magnesium, how is it that taking mag helps with withdrawal? sounds like 2 different things to me. Thanks so much!
lynneata
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 22nd, 2013
THIS confuses me (post from above)

you have been on high doses of gabapentin for a long time your magnesium stores have been depleted by the gabapentin and I believe this is why long term users have more difficulty tapering off this drug.

Read can you help explain? I need to get help...remag...sold online. I took 250 mg mag and wish I hadn't as I'll be up all night or worse...I take miralax. oh my what a mess I've made of this. I don't want to buy anything online. even remag. Can i get it at a health food store? or what? I just don't trust anything online like that.
Ok will shut up and hope you all can help me. Sad
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 22nd, 2013
lynneata Hi,

Are you comfortable with Amazon? Amazon sells unapproved advertising spam Magnesium w/SRT (sustained release technology. Start out slowly taking just one tablet a day. This will give you 125 mg. magnesium. This product is reasonally prices with 240 tablets to a bottle for $30.00 per bottle.

Ancient minerals sells magnesium Chloride for transdermal delivery.

You may be able to find thses in your local health food store. Ask the cleark he may have other forms of magnesiium supplements available as well the one mag supplement your should stay away from is magnesium Oxide as it has very poor absorbability at only %4

Ionic fizz Pure essence Magnesium pluss is magnesium carbonate mag supplement and I have had good luck with it and you may be able to find it in your local health food store.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 7th, 2014
What I really want to know... and can't seem to find anywhere... has anyone successfully gotten off and if so what was your method? preferably long term users advise would be most helpful.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied February 16th, 2014
Help
I am Trying to get off Neurontin and I need some help on how to stop. I haven't been on it long at all but with everything everyone says about it I am really scared
|
Did you find this post helpful?

This post has been removed because it did not meet our Community Guidelines.

replied February 21st, 2014
Hello I have been on gabapentin for 3 years taking 900 mgs per day. I am a nursing student and could not deal with the mental fog and tiredness it caused me. I started to develop tingling of my hands and feet, and decided I wanted to seek out natural remedies for my occipital neuralgia.

So I began weaning two months ago first reducing to 600 the first month, and didn't notice many withdrawal symptoms. Then I went to 300 (one taken in the evening) I noticed the ONSET of restless leg (oddly this medication is used to TREAT that) but did not really make the connection as a gabapentin withdrawal.

Then a little more than two weeks ago I started trying to reduce to 300 mgs every other day...BAAAAAAD news! I DO NOT SLEEP! I have major anxiety attacks during the day and at night, and my heart is pounds in the late afternoon and evening. I also have severe muscle tremors at times. (like when leaning on my arm to study, I shake terribly!) My husband and kids have also complained that I am VERY moody and easily agitated.


I have been trying to stick it out but I am unable to cope with the heart palpitations and insomnia. That coupled with anxiety and moodiness is a NASTY combination!

After some research, here are the natural supplements I have purchased and am starting tonight!:


Magnesium, Inositol, Malic Acid, and GABA.

I basically read the ingredients of a recommended product at this website. This is a website specifically dedicated to helping people wean off of Gabapentin.

They had a link to a product that I clicked on and started researching the ingredients.

I will try to update with the results in hopes to help anyone else battling withdrawal.

Take care! Stephanie
|
Did you find this post helpful?