Gabapentin Withdrawals

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DiDi Says:

I'm being taken off of neurontin/gabapentin after seven years. I'm now crying, anxious, and itching all over! I have tried antihistamines and cortisone creams but w/ no relief.

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Lexi Says:

yes this is normal I went through the same thing. I was on 3600 for eight years. I weaned off very slowly. I started weening off in 2008. I am now down to 400mg and go down about 100 a week. Its so awful

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Verwon Says:

These types of problems are normal from a sudden withdrawal of any medication that affects brain chemicals, which is exactly what Gabapentin does, since it was initially discovered as an anticonvulsant.

Unfortunately, since you were on it for so long, it is probably going to take several weeks for these effects to wear off, though they should gradually improve and lessen in severity.


As to the itching, have you contacted your doctor?

What antihistamines have you tried?

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jennifer Says:

The person in the previous post told you it could take you several weeks to feel alright. For the amount of time you were on gabapentin please don't be discouraged if it takes 6-12 months. I say this only because I don't want you to reinstate if it doesn't let up. It definitely effects brain chemistry and that can take along time to create new gaba receptors. I was on it for a long period of time and came off pretty quick. After being off it for four months I reinstated because I had no improvement. That is when I found the benzobuddies website and realized it could take up to a year for your body and mind to recover from these drugs please stay the course.

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Isabel Says:

I am having these same symptoms especially the itching, and I'm also having horrible night sweats in the middle of the night. ...Why don't doctors tell us of all the side effects and withdrawal symptoms before we decide to take medications.

By the way I was on 1200 mgs. for approx. 12 years.

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Tammy Says:

i recently stopped taking Gabapentin, and keept forgetting to refil it , so I just decided to stop taking it. I noticed increased fatigue (terrible) hopelessness, and restless painful legs when trying to go to sleep, I didn't notice the restless legs so much during the day. I really didn't think about it being withdrawl, but I got the prescription filled yesterday, and I finally was able to go to sleep, and I feel better today to.

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gabyist Says:

I have been taking a magnesium supplement for my gabapentin withdrawal and I have hardly any withdrawal, what little I have is easily tolerated.

I was on 2400 milligrams to 3000 milligrams at bed time for over 10 years. I was able to taper to 1200 milligrams and couldn't go any lower as the withdrawal simply would not let up. Untill I read on the internet where servral people had good success in reducing their withdrawal symptoms with magnesium.

Gabapentin attaches to the same chemical receptor in the brain as calcium and magnesium and as you begin to taper off of gabapentin your body will go back to it's normal routine which is magnesium. However since your body has been relying on gabapentin your body has been sluffing off the magnesium so now there isn't enough magnesium to do its job properly and so you go into gabapentin withdrawal.

Hope this helps.

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Keisha Says:

Does gabapentin has narcotics in it

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gabyist Says:

No gabapentin is not a narcotic.

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Keisha Says:

Is gabapentin an opiod

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gabyist Says:

Hi, DIDI did you read my post?

How much gabapentin were you on? For how long? Are you on a taper? Or allready off, if so how long? Why were you on gabapentin, mood stabalizer, epalepsey, or pain?

The suggested taper is no more than 10% reduction, by doing it this way and wait a month before dropping an other 10% for example if you were taking 2000 mg. drop your dose to 1800 mg. patience is the key.

Please answer the above questions and we can get started. If you have only been off of gabapentin for a short time you can reinstate (go back on) gabapentin and start a proper taper. Your withdrawal should go away if you do this. A great article on "one theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome":

In the meantime you could try a magnesium supplement. There are good options on amazon for around $35.00.

The magnesium really helped me when I was in withdrawal from tapering off gabapentin. Did your Doctor tell you there could be a withdrawal from gabapentin? What kind of taper did they suggest?

Well I'll give you a chance to digest all this information. I check my email a couple of times a day and I'll be looking for an email from you.

Hope your feeling better, see you later.

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gabyist Says:

Hi, check out post # 2 in this forum below there is a link to pharmaceutical information about gabapentin, gabapentin contains no opioids. It is not a controlled drugg.

have a nice day.

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chris Says:

how much magnesium to help with gabapentin withdrawl

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gabyist Says:

Hi, chris first there is no guarantee that magnesium will help, magnesium cloride is a good one not magnesium oxide. If you eat a lot of processed foods the magnesium is leached out in the process. So if this is the case you may have a magnesium deficiency. Do a search on google if you have the time, on line vitaminlife has quite a selection. Ionic fizz Magnesium plus has a dose of 300 mg. caution if you take too much is will give you diarea, you might start out at 150 mg. daily if this causes diarea then you are still taking too much. You can sip it slowly over servral hours to maxamise absorption. How much gabapentin per day are you taking and for how long. If for a short period of no more than 4 weeks you may not have a prolonged withdrawal. Or you could be one of the lucky ones and not experience much of a withdrawal even if you have been on gabapentin long term (years) Survivingantidepressents has much to say about magnesium and I have heard that magnesium has helped a lot of people. They allso will provide lots of support for gabapentin withdrawal. Altostrato has done much research on supplements, the intro page explains one or two theories about the reasons why we experience withdrawal. This is a good place for you to start.

Kind regards

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gabyist Says:

Hi Chris,

I'm sorry I not the expert on how much is enough for gabapentin withdrawal, I can relate my experience to you, I used epsom salts.

Taking a bath 3 cups in an average size tub filled with hot water and soak for 20 minuites. I used epsom salts allso by disolving 1/2 teaspoon in about 4 OZ of water and swished it around in my mouth for 20 seconds and then spit it out. If you swallow too much epsom salt it will give you diarea.

Check out a webpage called survivingantidepressants. They have a discussion on magnesium and some of the supplements that are available. vitaminlife has many magnesium supplements, frankly I wasn't very scientific about my choice of magnesium supplement but I got lucky and found a good one, the recomended magnesium was 300mg. Magnesium carbonate was the magnesium component. Magnesium chloride is allso a good choice but I really think you should read the above forum I mentioned some people can only tolerate 50 mg. to start Others more, I am doing well with about 600 mg a day.

Sipping the preperation over a couple hours is suggested for better obsorbsion. I take 300 mg in the morning on an empty stomach. And Cal-mag supplement a couple hours after dinner 200 mg. And a sustained release formula of 125 mg at bed time that sustaines release over an 8 hr. period slowly releasing the magnesium.

After I first tried magnesium for my withdrawal from gabapentin I had only the epsom salt to work with untill I could get the magnesium supplement through the mail.

But truly it worked a miracle as I was withdrawal free within 48 hours of my experience with epsom salt baths and mouth washes. I have to admit that I over did it with the epsom salt and ended up with diarea.

Small price to pay for the relief of my withdrawal from the gabapentin which was entirely gone.

The withdrawal was "god awful" I had nausea, I didn't want to eat (no appetite) magor headaches, my teath hurt, my back hurt and I just simply felt awful.

This all went away when I started useing magnesium supplements, yea I know it sounds to good to be true but I figured I had nothing to loose for trying.

I spent 11 months trying to taper off of gabapentin and I was pretty convinced I wouldn't succeed. My doctor had no suggestions as to how I might ease the withdrawal so I was on my own. I started reading the forums and found on a couple of them that some people had good luck with magnesium otherwise others were looking for answers and not many had found relief from the withdrawal.

If I were you I'd start with the epsom salts, a bath every day as mentioned above and swishing or like useing it like a mouth wash. Be sure to spit it out. I did this about 4 times a day. Epsom salts are really cheap so this is a good place to start without having to invest a fortune in magnesium supplements. A 60 day of supplement from the online vitaminlife was about $35.00.

Do some research please this will save you time money and agony.

One more thought magnesium oxide it the most commonly sold magnesium supplement in your local pharmacy but only about 4% of the magnesium oxide can be digested and used in the body. Not good.

Hopes this helps.

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chris Says:

Thanks so much for this info. I have been on 1800 mg of Gralise for 7 months and have been trying to get off for about 3 months. It is horrible. The withdrawl symptons are severe. I tried the daily 300 mg of magnesium 2 days ago after reading your post. I was sick with nausea and diarrhea. I am down to 600 mg. The withdrawl sympton is anxiety, no motivation, fatigue. If I go down to fast, I start vomiting, diarrhea, panic attacks, chest pains, sweating. I still get some of these but not as bad as when I am stepping down more than 150 mg. I am scared to step down another 150 mg as I already feel not myself on 600 mg which has taken me 2 months to get to. I will start the salt baths. I also take Hydrocodone during the day. I take 1/5 of a 7.5 pill in the morning and 1/5 at noon. I take zanaflex at night. Do you think this meds are affecting me in getting off the gralise? Thanks for your help

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gabyist Says:


Have you checked out surviving antidepressants they are more familiar with the druggs you are on and how they will interact with gabapentin. What was the magnesium you took? magnesium chloride or an other type?

Some people have to start at a lower amount of magnesium and work their way up, to a higher amount.

Have you googled magnesium bioavailability and elemental magnesium. the first tells you the percent of magnesium of the elemental magnesium your body can absorb. For example the amount of magnesium element in magnesium sulfate is only 10% and your body can absorb about 30% of that so I was not absorbing much magnesium maybe 25 mg. over a 48 hour period, search google for the following, (elemental magnesium in magnesium sulfate) all that aside the most gentle approach is through the skin as the GI tract via the stomach is easily upset espesially when you are going through withdrawal. Your body will also use the sulfate.

A more proper taper as has been suggested at (surviving antidepressants) is not more than 10% taper, and you can give your self a break and up your gabapentin to where you don't experience any withdrawal (stabalize) i would wait a couple of weeks to allow your system to stabalize and then taper 10% (example stable at 700 mg. gabapentin so begin you taper by reducing your gabapentin by 70 mg. (10%) so now you are taking 630 mg. if this is too much and you begin to experience withdrawal again try 5% and so on patience is key to your success. Not to discourage but some people have experienced withdrawal besides their best efforts at a proper taper.

Other things to try that may help - - reduce the amount of coffee if you drink coffee - - if you dring beer or other alcaholic beverages try and cut back. These are activating substances and can add to the withdrawal. antacids with magnesium in them can reduce the amount of magnesium your body can absorb through the GI tract. Magnesium requires the acid in the stomach to be able to properly absorbe the magnesium this is why you have less diarea on an empty stomach, and the diarea is your bodies way of telling you that you took to much magnesium.

When I began to experience withdrawal I wanted to get off the gabapentin as fast as I could but I didn't have any support group making good suggestions, I was left to my own devices and I didn't know what to do (total panic) on my own. But you are reading the forums as I have been doing and this is good at least you won't be by your self. Keep your mind busy - - read as much as you can about gabapentin and magnesium and about how prescription druggs leach out vitamins and minerals - - read some of the horror stories about hospital elective surgery and the prep the petient goes through. They take you off of the gabapentin because nothing is noted in the PDR about gabapentin withdrawal. The doctors didn't know what was wrong with the patient, he was fine when he arrived at the hospital. They put him through the (god awfuul) gabapentin withdrawal and once they decided to reinstate the gabapentin (after 4 or 5 days without any gabapentin) the patient was fine.

Of course talk to your doctor about what you want to do and she may have some advise, my doctor suggested cashews nuts (1 OZ. has 20% of the daily recomended allowance of magnesium) 420 mg magnesium is the recomended daily allowance for men so 20% is about 80 mg. but other than that the Doctor didn't have much to say.

Ultamately it is your choice as to what you do or how you taper off of gabapentin. Take supplements or not.

The most important thing to do right now if you haven't allready begun to read the forum (surviving antidepressants) is to do so and ask question they have gone through the same thing as you and I have and are there for your support. They may suggest that you stabilize or not but that is what I would do (increase the gabapentin a little so you don't experience withdrawal.)

So be patient and taper properly, believe me I feel for you and I know you are going through living hell.

Counting today I have been gabapentin free for 37 days and I'm still not right but with a proper diet and magnesium supplements I have reduced my withdrawal by 95%.

I wish you the best of luck

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gabyist Says:

Chris hi,

How are you? Any luck with the epson salts? Hope you are doing better.

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Chris Says:

Only feeling a little better. Doing the Epsom salt bath but don't really know if its helping.

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gabyist Says:

Hi Chris .

Are you swishing in your mouth with diluted epsom salt as I described in an earlier post. (be sure to spit it out) when done swishing.

How many epsom salts baths are you taking a day?

Are you reading the forum surviving antidepressants?

Have you tried a smaller dose of the magnesium supplement (50 mg). and then sip don't swallow it all at one time. Take on an empty stomach.

Did you reinstate your gabapentin and begin to stabilize (take enough gabapentin so you dont experience withdrawal.)? And then start a proper taper.

Have you discussed the magnesium supplement with your doctor?

Talk to her about slightly increasing your gabapentin for a while so you don't experience withdrawal and then a 10% taper.

I am curious to know what she has to say about this.

Good luck
wish you well

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Chris Says:

What's the slow release mag u take. Did u do the bath and gargle just once a day?

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