Sides Effects Of Gabapentin In The Elderly

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Busiestlady Says:


Dr. gave me 300mg of gabapentin today for back & sciatic nerve pain
what effects have anyone had from this drug? Good 0r Bad



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Verwon Says:

The elderly are naturally more prone to experiencing side effects from medications, because their bodies tend to be more sensitive to them, so there's a good chance that you'll experience some side effects. The most common ones to Gabapentin are nausea, dizziness, weight changes and mood changes.

Learn more Gabapentin details here.

Does anyone have any experiences to share?

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judi Says:
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I was going insane with pain and after trying all levels of opiates, gabapentin (300 mgm 3 x/day) made my life bearable until I had my knee replacement. (2 years ago) then about 4 months ago I took it for 3 weeks to deal with arthritic pain in my lower spine (100-200mgm per day) main side effect was a bit of unsteadiness and confusion. I suffer from depression and anxiety as a regular part of my life and am also diabetic. 68 y.o. female

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Anne Says:

I had spinal fusion 5 yrs ago on 2 discs and was told today that I need another surgery on 2 other discs. I have spinal stenosis and have pain when I stand and walk. I am 72 and told the dr. "No" to the surgery. I asked for a pain killer and he I'd they do not give controlled substances and gave me "Gabapentin" 300 mg. 1 per night. After reading all the comments on this med, I will not take them. The Dr. Suggested Pain Management. I do take headache meds that contain codeine, but they do not help my back pain. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.

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Anne Says:
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Please try the gabapentin. Even if you experience incomplete pain resolution and decide, along with your doctor, to add an opioid, there's a good possibility you will require less opioid to achieve adequate relief. Opioids are far more likely to cause significantly bothersome side effects, including dependence. Gabapentin also has an additional benefit of decreasing anxiety, which is important for those of us with chronic pain. We also need to remember, as I'm sure you know, that we may never become completely rid of pain. The goal is to make it liveable. Please don't stay frightened away from something that may actually help you, out of fear of what could go wrong. Yes, there is a potential you may have unwanted side effects, but this, if it works, is a medication you will stay on, so don't be afraid of withdrawal! All other potentially effective medications also have side effects that are equally unpleasant and more commonly occurring. As for me, I had some side effects, found this board, read of others' experiences, and became angry--feeling betrayed by my doctor. Then the reality of everything considered eventually dawned on me: I already am on medications that have been life-saving that required getting used to and would cause withdrawal symptoms if stopped. And if I did gradually come off them, my life would become a dysfunctional living hell again. Good luck, and I hope this helps you in deciding your treatment plan.

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Anne Says:

Hi .. Thanks to everyone for their input on "Gabatentin". After reading the comments and talking to a few people who have taken it, I decided not to take it. Being age 72, I realize that I can't do the active things I used to do. I just have to limit my walking and sit more. I guess there just "comes a time". I'm very sensitive to medications and the thought of nausea, headache, dizziness, etc. isn't too appealing . I've had 4 surgeries in the last 5 years, take meds and have had enough. I might try injections in my lower back tho .. When I really can't stand the pain. Thanks.

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Anne Says:
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Hey, Anne....
I hear your pain, being in a similar situation. I took your tactic of giving up on activities because of pain. At the time, I was under the care of a pain specialist who was managing my pain meds and doing epidural steroid injections. What should have happened, in addition to that, was physical therapy. Now that time has gone by, I've lost a significant amount of muscle, and it's not possible for me to do the things I used to love. My strength and flexibility are gone--I'm serious, you should see my legs, they belong to a bed-ridden person--and even though my pain has receded, it doesn't matter, because I'm back to being unable to physically do anything and I'm depressed and angry about it. It's all about quality of life. Whatever you decide is best for you is what you should do. Acutely, I consciously said F* it, and withdrew. A lot of people do. I hope I don't have to live out the rest of my life like this. I hope your decision to not walk as much and sit more doesn't impact your enjoyment of life. Your muscle strength and flexibility definitely will diminish as you use them less, so you will notice a difference. As a doctor, I know that one reason for taking pain meds, and ramping them up if necessary, is to make physical activity tolerable enough to for someone to be able to rehab from an injury or after surgery, or to be able to continue to function and not turn into an invalid when dealing with chronic pain. My pain is from a nerve disorder and arthritis. I currently take only gabapentin, in addition to the Celexa and Lamictal I take for depression and mood stabilization, and Klonopin, as needed, for anxiety. I also take Synthroid for hypothyroidism. Since starting gabapentin, I've needed far less Klonopin than ever before. My husband suddenly passed away only four months ago, so that is remarkable, because he had been the love of my life. I hope all of this information is helpful. Life is like a large, complex puzzle that's easier to put together when someone else works on it with you. When things like this come up for me, I take all the input and information that's swirling around in my head, add my own thoughts, and run everything by someone who knows the ins and outs of the situation. Again, I don't know what would be the best thing for you, but I became alarmed by your walk-less-sit-more statement, and you need to understand what the effects of that decision are. Who knows--maybe your diagnosis can actually be helped by physical activity in the form of physical therapy.

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Joe Says:

Hi,

On 3,500 mgs a day for either my 10 herniated discs or the MS. Also on 90mgs a day of percocet and androgel for testosterone. The gabepenten has helped the nerve pain in my legs. When I am having an episode with the MS, pain level 1-10 I am at a 15, where I am crying, screaming and going to the ER. Percocet does nothing for the nerve pain. I describe this as picture someone physically ripping the skin from the bones! Diagnosed with MS in 2011, but probably had it as long back as 2000. One ****t specialist said I was too old and it was more common in people in their 40s. I was in my 40s when this developed, but I was 60 when he saw me. Many MS doctors have told me it's a very hard disease to treat. They had me on another drug for the MS and I don't remember. It was like vertilin.

When side effects are concerned, to me it is chicken or the egg syndrome. I say this because sometimes I have double vision, but that could be MS and a lazy eye. I have learned to compensate from that. One eye will stay center and go right, but will not move center left. That is MS. With what I take in Gabby and percs, I have no pain in my spine, if I am walking with my cane. Without the cane, nothing in medication works. I do have memory loss, and that could be from Gabby, the MS or the fact I am 65. In 2012, because the VA is cheap, I went from Lyrica to Neurontin. I had to travel to Oregon from Texas and do a deposition, because that is what I do as an expert witness. Normally, my memory is sharp in these situations, but I was running without sleep for 24 hours. Courtesy of the TSA not having enough people to filter through, me and about 100 people missed our planes a midnight. My attorney set me up for a 6 am flight to Phoenix and then caught a second plane to Oregon. I did not stay at airport hotel because with less than 4 hours didn't want to miss the flight. I tried sleeping on he planes but that did not work. At the time of the deposition, I had gone 6 hours without sleep. The opposition lawyers were asking me questions on my background for about an hour.

Then I was handed my report. Asked questions about my report and I never had this before or after, however normally attorney take my physical condition into account and deps are done in Dallas. This involved an old a**hole federal judge who had no compassion on me. When I was asked bout my report my memory went completely blank. Not one question they asked me made sense. Reading my answers made no sense! My mind went completely blank! I didn't want to give answers the other side could exploit, so I had to cancel the dep and reschedule. The question that comes about was my memory loss because of the Nuerontin I had taken, was it because of sleep deprivation? I do not use pain killers before any testimony no matter how much pain I am in. Nuerontin, Gabapetin and Lyrica according to my doctors are all the same compound. When I got home, I called my sister who had used ll three over time. Her side effects were memory loss to Nuerontin and Gabapentin. I spoke with a friend that lost $1,200 in cash in a bag because of Gabapentin. He later found it in the refrigerator! What I probably did was magnify the effects from Nuerontin with 60 hours without sleep!

Not only was this case one of the worst I had, but it was so embarrassing to totally be losing my memory. I couldn't even read the report, because none of the words made sense! Very Scary! Never has ever happened again, and to be careful, I take only 500 mgs of gabby before s dep. Many are not familiar with deps. I liken them to an emotional rape. When you have a name like I do in my field, they like to use 7 or 8 billable hours to attempt to take me down. If they were successful which they never are, that would be a trophy to them. Under sworn testimony they can ask you anything and you have to answer. It doesn't have to have anything to do with the case. Example from another dep: Tell us about your romantic life. Where is your ex wife located? Do you blame xxx insurance company for your divorce? Needless to say I told them none of their business! This is why one must remain sharp and not on narcotics, no matter the pain level. Gabby's do effect my memory at times and that is why I use a low level before deposition and everything has been good. By the way, the results of the case was interesting. Client was found submitting a fraudulent claim and my attorney had to drop hi and dismiss the case.

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Stacey G Says:

Re: Anne (# 3)

I recommend you look into Inositol, it is part of the B complex vitamin family and it specifically addresses nerve pain as well as depression. It can be bought in capsules or in powdered form and added to a beverage of choice. It is very palatable and as someone who went through spinal surgery and suffered lingering post-operative pain, I can attest to the effectiveness of Inositol. Best part, it's inexpensive and you don't need a prescription, you can bet the big pharmaceutical companies don't like that! Give it a try, you'll be glad you did. It's also impossible to overdose on, I take upwards of 3,000-6,000 mgs daily when I'm having a bad pain episode and it really does give relief.

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