Trintellix And Gabapentin

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Doug H Says:

My wife is prescribed Trintellix for depression. This is anti-depressant #3 in our effort to alleviate both anxiety and depression. She has a propensity for abusing benzos, but that is not an option now. We’re only on day 8, but she doesn’t appear to be making any progress. She has access to gabapentin and is finding that if she takes a large amount of this med (gabapentin), she can get temporary relief, experiencing some energy and mood enhancement. We’re talking about 2000mg to 3000mg at a time (once a day). Questions are: Is Gabapentin adversely masking any headway we might be making with Trintellix? Can Gabapentin, taken in these dosages, cause short-term and/or longterm negative effects for her? Obviously, we will run out of Gabapentin and this won’t be an option. I want her to get better, but she is impatient and one who seeks immediate relief, unwilling to wait and see if the latest anti-depressant will help.

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Kevin Says:

Hello Doug,

I'm sorry that you and your wife are going through such a difficult time. I am happy to hear that you are working with your health care provider to find an option that works best for your wife, I too have spent a lot of time discussing medication options and dealing with the struggles of finding one that worked for me.

Unfortunately, the cocktail of depression, impatience, tendency to abuse certain drugs and needing results immediately is going to prove to be extremely difficult to get results. The problem is that most anti-depressant medication takes long periods of time to change the chemical balance in your body, which can be a problem if you are seeking immediate relief. One of the medications I was prescribed long ago took nearly 2 months before I started to see any results at all and then another 2 months before my body had adjusted completely to the appropriate dosage.

As for your concerns with Gabapentin, the National Institute of Health states that dosages up to 2400 mg/day have been well tolerated in long-term clinical studies. Doses of 3600 mg/day have also been administered to a small number of patients for a relatively short duration, and have been well tolerated. This does not mean that you cannot overdose on this medication, but they have reported the lethal range for this particular drug. I'm curious as to why your wife chose to start taking Gabapentin considering this medication is used to medicate people who are likely to have seizures and really has nothing to do with energy or mood enhancement.

To be clear, self medicating is never a good idea and I would urge you to help her stop taking Gabapentin if she does not need this medication for it's intended purpose especially if she has shown a history of abusing drugs before.

I really feel for you and your situation as I have gone through something similar myself. What I can tell you is that a strong support system is by far the best tool available, many times the only thing I had to keep me going was my wife.

I wish you two the best. I hope this helps.

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Doug Says:

Re: Kevin (# 1)

Thank you so much Kevin for such a genuine reply. I had briefly mentioned not having access to benzos. My wife is a wonderful woman, whom I’ve been with for 35 years, but she does have a history of abusing Rx drugs. Previously, she was taking Xanax for anxiety, and also dipping into my Xanax which was causing great strife. I have since discontinued my Rx due to not needing, and to eliminate this access for her. She is on 1.5mg (of Xanax), which I administer so she doesn’t overtake. We now have a handle on this. Similarly now, we are both prescribed Gabapentin. I built up quite a reserve during a period where I had discontinued. She is agonizing over her depression and large doses (2100mg) of this Rx do seem to give her some energy and lift her up for a few hours. I miss seeing her happy so much that I usually succumb to her request to see her lifted up. The problem is that we will eventually run out. We are in our 60’s, and depression has not been in our lives until the last couple of years. My wife is impulsive and very impatient. It is extremely frustrating. I want long-term results, but she would sell her soul (not really) for relief right now! We tried Prozac for a month, and saw little progress, so her doctor moved her to Trintellix, which is now in day 8. Seeing what you’ve written concerns me that we need to give things even more time, which is an agonizing thought for the depressed person, and the spouse. Praying for results. Thank you.

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Deborah Says:

Re: Doug (# 2)

I have suffered with depression for over 40 years. I've tried every medicine on the market and most worked for a short period of time. Having repeated failures with typical antidepressants, I decided to call the office of a study doctor who eventually put me on a study medication called Rapastinel formerly known as Glyxx-13. I don't think it is on the market yet, but it would be worth your time to do a google search and try to find a study doctor in your area. The first time I took this medicine I noticed a major improvement. I have been on the medicine for over 3 years have been in remission since the first dose. This is given by IV. If you can't find a study doctor, then you need to call your wife's doctor and make an appointment. Maybe the doctor will be ok with her taking Gabapentin in what is known as off-label, meaning prescribed differently than what the medicine should be. I'm hoping you will find an appropriate outcome.

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Matthew Says:
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Re: Doug (# 2)

It may take 4-6 Wks before any results, try Wellbutrin for 24 yrs, don't discount old medicine therapies. It's worth a try...

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When you "mix" all these drugs, it is difficult to determine side effects and what really is going on in the body. And every person's body (and mind) is unique. So take as few different drugs as opinion. And my view of Gabapentin is that it is the most mis-prescribed, mis-used and essentially worthless drug on the market. The only FDA approved use for gabapentin is for post-herpetic pain relief, and only of limited value here. It is often prescribed for peripheral neuropathy, but results are poor. All the other uses are based mostly on MYTHS that have perpetuated for several decades. And keep in mind that Parke Davis (Pfizer) was fined almost 1/2 BILLION dollars by FDA for promoting multiple and false claims for gabapentin. So consider eliminating this drug and stick to a well-established anti-depressant closely monitored by a COMPETENT Psychiatrist.

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Elam Says:

Doug (#2) --

Hi Doug, It's a tough road you're traveling on, and I know, as I was in a situation similar to yours some time ago. We want our mates & family to be happy and will do almost anything to get them there. I will tell you about my experience with Gabapentin, and I really think you should get online and find out more about this drug. I started out on 900 mg for neuropathy, and had a little relief, so my doc raised the dose to 1800 mg, and that's when problems began, but I didn't realize it then. My tolerance with this med grew so quickly that once again, he raised my dosage to 2400 mg daily. I began forgetting simple things, my speech became impaired, and I found it almost impossible to sleep. I decided to go online and find out if other people were having any reactions to this med, and the more I read the more I knew I had to stop taking it. The side effects vary from person to person, but the common complaint was trying to get off of it, as the withdrawals are horrendous. I'm not trying to scare you, but that's a high dose your wife is on, and like I said, please research this drug and decide whether temporary relief is worth it. I really hope you find a solution. If she has had a problem with benzo's she's most likely going to want more of the Gabapentin.

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Finn Says:

Re: MAD MATT (# 5)

Many people do find that gabapentin does provide relief from neuropathy. I'm one of them.

Almost any medication can be used off-label. As you said, results differ from person to person so please don't disparage the use of drugs that do help some people.

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Hope Says:
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Re: Matthew (# 4)

My doctor prescribed Welbutrin XL for my major depression disorder quite a few years ago and I have been doing fine so far. She also prescribed Paxil along with it. These two meds together have been doing a good job so far. I still see her once a month for regular updates. Please talk to your doctor again and see if you or wife will benefit from a change.

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Finn Says:

Re: Deborah (# 3)

I wish Canadian doctors were less conservative. Rapastinel isn't available her except through trials. Same with Ketamine. Both won't be available for at least another year. Meanwhile, my youngest daughter and I struggle with refractory depression. I've been in remission for over a year but she has constant suicidal ideation.

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Deborah Says:

Re: Finn (# 9)

It's not available unless you are in a study. Rapastinel is made with a chemical Ketamine that won't have the effect like the street drug does. If there are no studies being done where you are, that's a shame. Glad you are in a form of remission. I know what it's like to be where your daughter is. Please keep working with and for her and God bless you.

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pamelaQ Says:

Re: Elam (# 6)

Thank you, thank you Elam! Neurontin/Gabapentin is good but also bad, depending on the individual and condition, like with all drugs. I was on at one time 5500mg. WOW! it was a nightmare. Came off it several years went by then I had to go back on 450mg for a little bit then got switched to Lyrica 300mg. These drugs are great for short period of time. I personally, do not believe that they are meant for long term as all the side effects really appear much later and on the higher dosages. I'm sorry that you went through that but glad not just me.

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Finn Says:

Re: Deborah (# 10)

Thanks. I don't qualify for an esketamine trial and neither does my daughter because we've had ECT. I'm eagerly waiting for Janssen's esketamine nasal spray to be approved because trial results have been promising. I stumbled upon an article that discusses 30+ new antidepressants being developed. There is hope.

Source: "30+ New Antidepressants (2018): Drugs In Clinical Trials". Web.

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laura Says:

Hi Doug,
Gabapentin initially taken gives you that euphoric feeling. Once the body gets used to it you don't feel that. Gabapentin is a siezure drug. I was taking it for back pain and leg nueropothy. She is taking it for all the wrong reasons. FYI the max dose a day in 3600 mgs. There are long and short term effects. None good. I had to stop because it drilled a hole in my stomache and wasn't effective after awhile. I suffer from chronic back pain. Hope this helps.

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Elam Says:

Hope (# 8) -
I've heard of a few people seeing positive results while trying a combination of meds, and it makes sense. The frustrating part is finding the right one period, before trying a few at a time..

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Mollie Says:

This is probably been considered...but is your wife hypothyroxic? This can produce similar depressive symptoms. Even if she has had depression for years, it might be worth doing another blood test to check.

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Connie Says:


I’ve been taking psych meds for twenty two years, it doesn’t make me an expert, but I have tried many medications. If your wife was on a medication to calm her down, she would not need Xanax. There is a class of medication called the anti-psychotics,it’s not only prescribed for psychotic patients. These drugs have a calming effect, even on low doses.

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Mina Says:
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My son committed suicide while on Gabapentin. Is this a side effect of this drug?

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