Can Side Effects Of Gabapentin Be Similar To Dementia?

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Nancy Says:

I have been taking gabapentin and lamictal for bipolar for about 2 years. I am very sensitive to medications so my doses have had to be cut back a few times. I do not take what a "normal" dose would be as I do not tolerate it well. I am having trouble with my memory. I am concerned about my medication doing this. I have sometimes forgotten names or what I did the past few days or a week ago. I get confused over things that should not confuse me. I have lost interest in doing my hobbies. Please let me know if it is possible side effect?

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Verwon Says:

Hello, Nancy! How are you?

The FDA classifies both of these medications as anticonvulsants that can also be used to help with some mood disorders and virtually all such medications are known to cause similar issues. They also tend to worsen the longer you're on them.

Other side effects are listed as including nausea, dizziness, headache, dry mouth and weight gain.

Is there anything else I can help with?

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Smith Says:
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Absolutely - yes- gabapentin can & has cause a short term memory loss for me & I have been off of them for 1 & 1/2 yrs. I only took 300mgs 3x a day for 3 months . The memory thing started with the depression & many physical side affects 2 weeks after I started them but I was waiting to see a dr. That was totally booked . I am finally feeling almost normal . I am very sensitive to all meds , also. Stop that one / it is for sure giving you those affects.

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Verwon Says:

Smith is correct.

After further reading on anticonvulsants, I've discovered that most can cause memory problems and, with most of the drugs, it tends to get worse with time. They may also cause some other cognitive issues and clumsiness, because they can affect balance.

This is referred to among the detailed side effects provided by the FDA.

Are there any other questions or concerns?

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Nancy Says:

Thank you for the replies. Yes, they are very helpful. My doc says there are very few side effects but I have been on this for about 2 years and I know something is wrong for sure. I did not know it can get worse!!! The drug works great on bipolar and pain but maybe not worth it. I am on a list of meds so figuring this out has become a challenge. I am constantly fighting the fear of dementia or alzheimers because of these meds. Are these effects permanent?

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FedupinMO Says:
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8 months ago my dr. put me on 3 new rx that all cause weight gain, simvastatin, gabapentin & tizanidine. Now I'm on 7 rx's. I researched all 3 cuz I gained a lil weight even tho I was fiercely dieting! Being disabled, 62 yrs old, diabetic, osteoarthritic, with plantar fasciitis on both feet and overweight, some extra #s was the last thing I needed. 4 days ago I went back to dr. to refill meds. My community health clinic where I go nicely urged me to apply for rx help thru their walgreens. I had told my dr. I refuse to take any statin or the tizanidine, I just wanted my flexeril back and keep the gabapentin as I had no neg side effects (I have a very high tolerance to pain and nothing helps much usually) except that expensive tizanidine 3xs a day made me all kinds of stupid, clumsy, forgetful & falling asleep. In a nut shell here's what I've learned; 5 of my rx r $4 ea. at walmart so they & gabapentin weren't covered on rx "help" I was offered so the gal sed she'd get my dr to switch me to lyrica which was covered (see then they'd make $). She sed it was way better than gabapentin but super expensive (hmm..?) lyrica is damaging to the liver (I have hep c) gabapentin does not metabolize in the liver, it goes rt. thru. Rapid weight gain is 10th on lyrica's side effects list but #26 on gabapentins'. Health care professionals don't care about us it's all about $. All statins are poison to us!! Control cholesterol w yer diet and live better longer. Its a fact that elderly ppl on them for yrs end up with brain damage. Low doses of antidepressants topamax or cymbalta added to lower dose s of gabapentin work very well at reducing osteo-arthritis, neuropathy, sciatica & other pain w/ a lot less dangerous side effects. That's my plan! Good luck to y'all and fight the good fight. P.S. Google all of this and any other worries for answers like I did, information is power!

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