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What happens when you stop taking gabapentin: The request could not be satisfied


Gabapentin Withdrawal & Detox | The Recovery Village

Gabapentin is a common drug that is FDA-approved to treat seizures and a type of nerve pain called postherpetic neuralgia. It can also be prescribed off-label for other reasons like diabetic nerve pain.

In 2017, gabapentin was the 11th-most prescribed drug in the United States, when more than 40 million prescriptions for the drug were written. If someone is dependent upon gabapentin and they suddenly stop taking the drug, they may experience withdrawal symptoms.

Article at a Glance:

  • Gabapentin is a common drug that can cause withdrawal symptoms when a high dose is suddenly stopped.
  • Although the drug is not a controlled substance at the federal level, some states have made it a controlled substance.
  • Withdrawal symptoms can include agitation, disorientation and confusion.
  • People with a history of seizures who suddenly stop taking gabapentin may be at risk for additional seizures.

Gabapentin Withdrawal

Gabapentin comes in a short-acting (IR) formulation and long-acting (ER) formulation. Although withdrawal symptoms with gabapentin IR and ER are generally rare, some people may have withdrawal symptoms if they are taking a high dose of gabapentin and suddenly stop the drug.

Additionally, data shows that many people who experienced withdrawal symptoms from gabapentin were using high doses of it to treat withdrawal symptoms of other substances. Many had been taking extremely high doses that were well above the max recommended dose.

What Causes Gabapentin Withdrawal?

Any time a drug affects the brain, the brain starts to change how it functions in response. For example, if the brain becomes used to the presence of gabapentin, it may adapt to the presence of the drug.

This phenomenon is called physical dependence. When someone suddenly stops taking gabapentin, the brain’s chemical balance is thrown off, leading to withdrawal symptoms.

Gabapentin Withdrawal Symptoms

Because gabapentin withdrawal is rare, there is little data on the exact symptoms a person may experience as they go through withdrawal. Common symptoms of gabapentin withdrawal include:

  • Agitation
  • Disorientation
  • Confusion

However, doctors have documented the following symptoms as well:

  • Flu-like respiratory and body symptoms
  • Mental status changes
  • Chest pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Seizures, particularly in those with a history of seizures

Gabapentin Withdrawal Timeline

Because gabapentin does not last too long in the body, withdrawal symptoms may come on quickly. If someone has normal kidney function, it takes between five and seven hours for a dose of gabapentin IR and around five to six hours for a dose of gabapentin ER to start to leave the body.

Since it takes approximately five half-lives for a drug to clear the body, it can take up to 35 hours for the last dose of gabapentin to be completely out of the system. Therefore, a person may start withdrawal symptoms within one to two days as the drug leaves the body.

How to Avoid Withdrawal Symptoms?

Not everyone who takes gabapentin is going to go through withdrawal if the medication is stopped. Those who are at the highest risk of experiencing withdrawal are those who take a high dose of the drug and who suddenly stop taking it without tapering the dose.

If a doctor works with a patient to gradually taper down their dosage of gabapentin over time, as opposed to stopping suddenly, that individual is much less likely to go through withdrawal. Doctors generally recommend gradually tapering the gabapentin dose over a time period of at least a week to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Gabapentin Detox

Some people may be able to go through detox for gabapentin withdrawal at home by following their doctor’s instructions for tapering the drug. However, some people may need a professional environment for support, including those who take gabapentin with other substances or those with existing medical problems. During medical detox, a patient can be closely monitored and provided with the necessary treatments to keep them safe and comfortable.

Next: Gabapentin Treatment & Rehab

If you or someone you love is struggling with gabapentin, The Recovery Village is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our addiction treatment programs and find out the next steps towards lifelong recovery.

  • Sources

    U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Neurontin.” April 14, 2020. Accessed September 13, 2020.

    U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Gabapentin enacarbil tablet, extended release.” April 30, 2020. Accessed September 13, 2020.

    ClinCalc. “Gabapentin.” Accessed September 13, 2020.

    Norton, John W. “Gabapentin Withdrawal Syndrome.” Clinical Neuropharmacology, August 2001. Accessed June 28, 2020.

    Mersfelder, Tracey L.; Nichols, William H. “Gabapentin: Abuse, Dependence, and Withdrawal.” Annals of Pharmacotherapy, December 31, 2015. Accessed June 28, 2020.

    Hallare, Jericho; Gerriets, Valerie. “Half Life.” StatPearls, January 30, 2020. Accessed June 28, 2020.

    Yasaei, Rama; Katta, Shravan; Saadabadi, Abdolreza. “Gabapentin.” StatPearls, May 24, 2020. Accessed June 28, 2020.

    Tran, Kien T.; Hranicky, Diance; Lark, Tracey; Jacob, NJ. “Gabapentin withdrawal syndrome in the presence of a taper.” June 2005. Accessed September 13, 2020.

    King, Leah. “State-Imposed Restrictions on Gabapentin.” MEDVAL, January 8, 2020. Accessed September 13, 2020.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.

Cold-Turkey Detox from Gabapentin: Dangers and What to Expect

Gabapentin is the generic name for a medication prescribed to treat epilepsy, usually found under the brand names Neurontin or Horizant. The drug was originally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993, and it has since been prescribed off-label to treat other nerve-related disorders, such as restless leg syndrome (RLS), numbness and tingling related to diabetes, and to relieve pain associated with shingles, called postherpetic neuralgia.

In rare cases, gabapentin is also prescribed off-label to treat hot flashes. In even rarer cases, it is prescribed to manage severe alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

The generic version of gabapentin has been available for prescription since 2003.

The drug is prescribed more often as more off-label uses are discovered for gabapentin. Doctors give gabapentin, rather than opioid pain relievers, to manage pain after surgery, and it is sometimes applied to psychiatric disorders. In 2013, it was found to ease moderate-to-high levels of anxiety in people who have a chronic generalized anxiety disorder.

In rare cases, gabapentin is also prescribed off-label to treat hot flashes. In even rarer cases, it is prescribed to manage severe alcohol withdrawal syndrome. The generic version of gabapentin has been available for prescription since 2003.

The drug is prescribed more often as more off-label uses are discovered for gabapentin. Doctors give gabapentin, rather than opioid pain relievers, to manage pain after surgery, and it is sometimes applied to psychiatric disorders. In 2013, it was found to ease moderate-to-high levels of anxiety in people who have a chronic generalized anxiety disorder.

Abuse of Gabapentin

With more people taking the drug, it’s more likely that people will abuse this prescription substance. The substance is being diverted and abused for nonmedical reasons, as there can be an associated high or euphoria from taking large doses of it.

A study published in 2014 found that a quarter of people who enter drug treatment programs report abusing gabapentin — either by itself or as one of several drugs of abuse. Reports from 2015 suggest that the general abuse rate for gabapentin was about 1 percent of the population, with 22 percent of people in treatment programs reporting gabapentin abuse at some point. With more people taking gabapentin for medical reasons and abusing the drug, more people will experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop taking it.

If you take gabapentin as prescribed and want to stop or switch to a different medication, your doctor will work with you to taper off the substance or manage withdrawal symptoms differently. Withdrawing from gabapentin is notoriously uncomfortable and stressful, with several distressing associated effects. Because of these symptoms, it is important to get help from medical professionals. Otherwise, you may relapse if you abuse this drug for recreational reasons, or you could experience serious physical harm during the detox process.

What Happens When You Quit Gabapentin Cold Turkey

Whether you take gabapentin as prescribed or abuse the drug, there are serious side effects associated with taking this medication. Some are:

  •  Panic attacks
  •  Thoughts of suicide
  •  Aggressive or violent behavior
  •  Unusual and sudden changes in mood or behavior

These can all be disturbing and will lead you to want to quit gabapentin immediately. However, it is important not to quit gabapentin cold turkey because withdrawal symptoms can be more serious than the side effects, especially if you do not have support to help with the process.

There are common, uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms associated with gabapentin. They are:

  • Anxiety
  •  Trouble falling or staying asleep (insomnia)
  •  Nausea and vomiting
  •  Physical pain
  •  Sweating

If you had a seizure disorder before taking gabapentin and you quit your use suddenly, you will have more seizures when the drug metabolizes out of your system, within about a day. This is a life-threatening effect of quitting abruptly.

Gabapentin works on the gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain, through similar mechanisms as alcohol and benzodiazepine sedatives. Abruptly quitting, or going cold turkey, can lead to withdrawal symptoms within one to two days after the last dose.

Withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol and benzodiazepines can be life-threatening. Hallucinations, delusion, rapid heartbeat, and seizures are all risks. Since gabapentin works on the same region of the brain and the same neurotransmitters, these risks are part of quitting gabapentin.

Several cases of gabapentin withdrawal have been reported at large doses — when people have quit cold turkey after routinely abusing doses as large as 7200 mg (milligrams), 4800 mg, 3600 mg, and 2400 mg. Most doctors prescribe 300 mg to be taken three times per day, adding up to 900 mg total. Taking more than 1800 mg can lead to serious side effects and indicates abuse of the drug. Abusing higher doses of the drug will make withdrawal more dangerous if you do not have medical oversight.

Many people who abuse gabapentin have past drug abuse histories, especially alcohol use disorder (AUD). Although the medication is not supposed to stimulate areas of the brain that release dopamine and serotonin, which activate the reward pathways, it appears that the substance creates a relaxed euphoria similar to other sedatives for many people.

What Is the Best Way To Stop Abusing Gabapentin?

The greatest risk associated with quitting gabapentin all of a sudden is seizures. Since the drug is primarily prescribed to treat seizure disorders, especially epilepsy, the risk of developing a seizure disorder from abusing the substance is high. Changes to the brain’s chemistry and neural pathways may cause seizures to begin when gabapentin is no longer present to manage neurotransmitter production.

Withdrawing from gabapentin is different, depending on how much of the drug was abused, how often, and for how long. For some who have not abused the drug often, detoxing can take up to 10 days; for others, who have abused gabapentin for a long time, consuming thousands of milligrams per day, withdrawal is dangerous and can take months.

Some report that it took them a full year to recover from dependence on the substance.

The most important step to withdrawing from gabapentin safely is to speak with a doctor. If you took the medication because it was prescribed to you, your prescribing doctor would help you taper off it and switch you to another drug if needed. However, if you abuse the substance and do not have a prescribing physician, you should find a medical detox program and get an assessment from a medical professional.

A diagnosis of the severity of gabapentin abuse can help you and your medical team understand how serious the withdrawal process may be and determine if you can safely detox at home.

Some individuals may be safe at home, as long as they have regular check-ins with an overseeing physician to manage withdrawal symptoms that come up. Unfortunately, this will not likely be the case for most people who abuse gabapentin.

Detoxing at Home Involves a Lot of Support

If your doctor determines that you can safely detox in an outpatient program, allowing you to stay at home, there are some things you can do to stay safe and avoid relapse.

  • Contact your family and friends. When you have the support of those you love, you will receive offers of help and have people you can turn to when you are uncomfortable, scared, worried, or need help in other ways. Be sure to enlist the help of your loved ones when you are detoxing, as they can assist with tasks that may seem like too much. Ask them to check on you regularly, even if it is just by text or email.
  • Stay hydrated. Sweating and vomiting associated with gabapentin use can lead to dehydration, which is dangerous and worsens the risk of seizures. Ask your doctor how many liters or quarts of water you should consume per day. This may relate to how serious the physical symptoms of withdrawal are.
  • Eat healthy foods. Meal prep is a good project to get your loved ones to help with. Vitamin and mineral supplements can also help you feel better.
  • Make an exercise plan. Decide on some types of low-impact exercise, such as yoga or walking, that can help you feel better overall. You can also ask your loved ones to join you for some exercise. Social interaction can cheer you up, as the exercise improves your mental and physical health.
  • Take small doses of over-the-counter painkillers. These should only be used as needed. If you have physical pain during withdrawal, some ibuprofen or acetaminophen may ease it.
  • Make a list of people to call. A close friend or family member is a good start, but you may also benefit from speaking to an addiction counselor, therapist, or social worker.
  • Go to all doctors’ appointments and report new symptoms. If your withdrawal symptoms are not going away or getting worse, working with medical professionals can help determine if you need more care than you are getting.

Quitting gabapentin by yourself, without help from loved ones and medical professionals do not work. You are putting yourself at risk. Consult with a medical professional to determine the best path forward.

Gabapentin (Oral Route) Precautions – Mayo Clinic


Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits, especially in the first few months if you have epilepsy. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it.

Check with your doctor right away if you have a fever, rash, swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin, unusual bleeding or bruising, or yellow eyes or skin. These may be symptoms of a serious and life-threatening allergic reaction called drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) or multiorgan hypersensitivity.

This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis and angioedema. These can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are using this medicine.

Gabapentin may cause vision changes, clumsiness, unsteadiness, dizziness, drowsiness, sleepiness, or trouble with thinking. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert, well-coordinated, or able to think or see well. If these side effects are especially bothersome, check with your doctor.

This medicine may cause some people to be agitated, irritable, or display other abnormal behaviors, such as feeling sad or hopeless, getting upset easily, or feeling nervous, restless, or hostile. It may also cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies or to become more depressed. If you, your child, or your caregiver notice any of these side effects, tell your doctor right away.

This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that make you drowsy or less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, allergies, or colds, sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicines, prescription pain medicine or narcotics, other medicines for seizures (eg, barbiturates), muscle relaxants, or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your medical doctor or dentist before taking any of the above while you or your child are using gabapentin.

This medicine may cause respiratory depression, a serious breathing problem that can be life-threatening, when used together with narcotic pain medicines. Check with your doctor right away if you have pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin, difficult or troubled breathing, or irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing.

Do not stop using gabapentin without checking with your doctor. Stopping the medicine suddenly may cause seizures. Your doctor may want you or your child to gradually reduce the amount you are taking before stopping it completely.

Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.


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Side effects of gabapentin – NHS

Like all medicines, gabapentin can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them.

Common side effects

These common side effects may happen in more than 1 in 100 people.

They’re usually mild and go away by themselves.

Keep taking the medicine, but talk to your doctor if these side effects bother you or do not go away.

Feeling sleepy, tired or dizzy

As your body gets used to gabapentin, these side effects should wear off. If they do not wear off within a week or two, your doctor may reduce your dose or increase it more slowly. If that does not work, you may need to switch to a different medicine.

Feeling sick (nausea)

Take gabapentin with or after a meal or snack. It may also help if you do not eat rich or spicy food.

Being sick (vomiting) and diarrhoea

Drink plenty of water or other fluids to avoid dehydration. Take small sips if you feel sick. Signs of dehydration include peeing less than usual or having dark strong-smelling pee. Do not take any other medicines to treat diarrhoea or vomiting without speaking to a pharmacist or doctor.

Mood changes

If you feel this medicine is causing mood changes, talk to your doctor. You may be able to change to an alternative medicine.

Swollen arms and legs

Try sitting with your feet raised and try not to stand for a long time. Gently exercising your arms might help. Talk to your doctor if this does not get better.

Blurred vision

Avoid driving or using tools or machines while this is happening. If it lasts for more than a day or two, speak to your doctor as they may need to change your treatment.

Dry mouth

Chew sugar-free gum or suck sugar-free sweets.

Difficulty getting an erection

Speak to your doctor, as they may be able to change your medicine or offer other treatments that might help with this problem.

Weight gain – gabapentin can make you feel hungry

Gabapentin can make you hungrier, so it can be quite a challenge to stop yourself putting on weight. Try to eat a healthy, balanced diet without increasing your portion sizes. Do not snack on foods that contain a lot of calories, such as crisps, cakes, biscuits and sweets. If you feel hungry between meals, eat fruit and vegetables and low-calorie foods. Regular exercise will also help to keep your weight stable.

Memory problems

If you’re having problems with your memory, speak to your doctor. They may want to try a different medicine.


Make sure you rest and drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink too much alcohol. Ask your pharmacist to recommend a painkiller. Headaches should usually go away after the first week of taking gabapentin. Talk to your doctor if they last longer than a week or are severe.

Serious side effects

Very few people taking gabapentin have serious problems.

Call a doctor straight away if you have a serious side effect, including:

  • thoughts of harming or killing yourself – a small number of people taking gabapentin have had suicidal thoughts, which can happen after only a week of treatment
  • the white of your eyes or your skin turn yellow, although this may be less obvious on brown or black skin – these may be warning signs of jaundice
  • unusual bruises or bleeding – these may be warning signs of a blood disorder
  • long-lasting stomach pain, feeling sick or vomiting – these may be warning signs of an inflamed pancreas
  • muscle pain or weakness and you’re having dialysis treatment because of kidney failure
  • hallucinations

Serious allergic reaction

In rare cases, it’s possible to have a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to gabapentin.

These are not all the side effects of gabapentin. For a full list, see the leaflet inside your medicines packet.

Taking gabapentin long-term

There’s no evidence that gabapentin has lasting harmful effects, even if you take it for many months or years.

If you have epilepsy, it’s likely that once your illness is under control you’ll still need to take gabapentin for many years.

If you have nerve pain, it’s likely that once the pain has gone you’ll continue to take gabapentin for several months to stop it coming back.

Gabapentin and addiction

Some people have become addicted to gabapentin after taking it for a long time. If this happens, you’ll have withdrawal symptoms after you stop taking the medicine. Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about becoming physically dependent on gabapentin.

Stopping taking gabapentin

Do not stop taking gabapentin suddenly, even if you feel fine. Stopping gabapentin suddenly can cause serious problems.

If you have epilepsy, stopping gabapentin suddenly can cause seizures that will not stop.

If you’re taking it for any reason and stop suddenly, you may have a severe withdrawal syndrome.

It’s possible to prevent withdrawal seizures and other symptoms by gradually reducing the dose of gabapentin.

Gabapentin: MedlinePlus Drug Information

Gabapentin comes as a capsule, a tablet, an extended-release (long-acting) tablet, and an oral solution (liquid) to take by mouth. Gabapentin capsules, tablets, and oral solution are usually taken with a full glass of water (8 ounces [240 milliliters]), with or without food, three times a day.

These medications should be taken at evenly spaced times throughout the day and night; no more than 12 hours should pass between doses. The extended-release tablet (Horizant) is taken with food once daily at about 5 PM. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take gabapentin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Gabapentin extended-release tablets cannot be substituted for another type of gabapentin product. Be sure that you receive only the type of gabapentin that was prescribed by your doctor. Ask your pharmacist if you have any questions about the type of gabapentin you were given.

Swallow the extended-release tablets whole; do not cut, chew, or crush them.

If your doctor tells you to take one-half of a regular tablet as part of your dose, carefully split the tablet along the score mark. Use the other half-tablet as part of your next dose. Properly dispose of any half-tablets that you have not used within several days of breaking them.

If you are taking gabapentin to control seizures or PHN, your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of gabapentin and gradually increase your dose as needed to treat your condition. If you are taking gabapentin to treat PHN, tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve during your treatment.

Gabapentin may help to control your condition but will not cure it. Continue to take gabapentin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking gabapentin without talking to your doctor, even if you experience side effects such as unusual changes in behavior or mood. If you suddenly stop taking gabapentin tablets, capsules, or oral solution, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, nausea, pain, and sweating. If you are taking gabapentin to treat seizures and you suddenly stop taking the medication, you may experience seizures more often. Your doctor may decrease your dose gradually over at least a week.

Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer’s patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with gabapentin and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs) or the manufacturer’s website to obtain the Medication Guide.

Uses, Side Effects, Dosages, Interactions & More


What is gabapentin?

Gabapentin is a prescription medication known as a gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) analogue. GABA reduces the excitability of nerve cells (neurons) in the brain, which play a role in seizures and the transmission of pain signals. Gabapentin mirrors the effects of GABA calming excited neurons.

Gabapentin is in a class of medications called anticonvulsants.

What are the brand names of gabapentin?

Gabapentin is available as both a brand name product and a generic product (chemically the same, usually lower cost than the brand name product). Brand names of gabapentin include Horizant®, Gralise® and Neurontin®.

What is gabapentin approved for?

Gabapentin is used to:

  • Prevent and control partial seizures. Gabapentin can be used in adults and children age 3 and older who have partial seizures.
  • Relieve nerve pain following shingles in adults. Shingles is a painful rash that develops many years after you’ve had chickenpox. The virus that causes chickenpox stays dormant in a portion of your spinal nerve root called the dorsal root ganglion. For whatever reason, this otherwise dormant virus gets reactivated — usually by stress — causing a shingles rash. Nerve pain following a case of shingles is called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN).
  • Treat moderate-too-severe primary restless legs syndrome.

The branded gabapentin products Neurontin and Gralise are approved for partial seizures and PHN. The branded gabapentin enacarbil product Horizant is approved for restless legs syndrome and PHN.

Frequently Asked Questions

What dosage strengths and forms does gabapentin come in?

Gabapentin is available as:

  • Gabapentin tablets. It’s available as 300- and 600-milligram tablets (Gralise) and 600- and 800-milligram tablets (Neurontin or generic gabapentin).
  • Gabapentin oral solution. The oral solution contains 250 millgrams of gabapentin per 5 milliliter (50 mg per mL) Neurontin or generic gabapentin.
  • Gabapentin capsules. It’s available as 100-, 300- or 400-milligram gelatin capsules (Neurontin or generic gabapentin).
  • Gabapentin enacarbil, 300- and 600-milligram extended-release tablets (Horizant).

How should I take gabapentin?

  • Take Gralise tablets with your evening meal. Swallow tablets whole with a full glass of water. Don’t chew, break or crush.
  • Take Horizant tablets with food. Swallow tablets whole with a full glass of water. Don’t chew, break or crush.
  • Take other forms of gabapentin with or without food.
  • Neurontin and generic forms of Neurontin tablets may be broken into two pieces. You can take the second half for your next dose. Don’t use the half-tablet beyond 28 days after the whole tablet was cut or broken.
  • Carefully measure the liquid formulation of gabapentin using the measuring device that comes with the drug. If you did not receive a measuring device, please ask your pharmacist for a medication-measuring device.
  • If you take an aluminum or magnesium-containing antacid, such as Maalox®, Mylanta®, Gelusil®, Gaviscon®, or Di-Gel®, wait at least two hours before taking your next dose of gabapentin.
  • Take gabapentin exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

What are the serious side effects of gabapentin?

If you have any of these symptoms, call your healthcare provider right away:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction: If you have a skin rash, hives, itching or swollen, blistered or peeling skin with or without fever contact your healthcare provider. You should also contact your provider if you have trouble breathing or swallowing, wheezing or swelling of your face, lips, throat, eyes, mouth or tongue
  • Changes in mood or behavior: Call your provider for any suicidal thoughts or thoughts about dying, suicide attempts, new or worsening depression, anxiety, irritability or feelings of agitation or restlessness. You should also call your provider for trouble sleeping, panic attacks, feelings of aggression or anger, impulsive behavior, extreme increase in activity or talking and other changes in mood or behavior, confusion, inability to focus or memory problems as these can be side effects of your medication.
  • Signs of liver abnormalities: Yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes, dark urine, light-colored stools, vomiting, unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Signs of kidney abnormalities: Trouble urinating, a change in how much urine is passed, blood in your urine, or weight gain and swelling of legs and feet from retaining fluid.
  • Other concerning abnormalities: Change in color of your skin to a bluish color on your lips, nail beds, fingers, or toes along with severe fatigue or weakness and unexpected muscle pain.

What are the more common side effects of gabapentin?

Common side effects of gabapentin include:

  • Feeling tired.
  • Dizziness.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Fever.
  • Difficulty speaking.
  • Recurring infections.
  • Memory loss.
  • Weight gain.
  • Movement problems: coordination problems, being unsteady, tremors, jerky movements.
  • Eye problems: unusual eye movements, double vision.

Talk to your healthcare provider if any side effects do not go away.

Are there any serious interactions with gabapentin and other medications?

Serious breathing problems can happen if you take gabapentin with drugs that cause severe sleepiness or decreased awareness. Some examples include narcotic opioids, anti-anxiety medicines, antidepressants, and antihistamines. If you are 65 years of age or older and/or have a condition that affects your lungs, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), there is an increased risk for breathing problems. Watch for increased sleepiness or decreased breathing when you start taking gabapentin or when the dose is increased. Get help right away if you develop breathing problems.

Seek immediate medical attention if these symptoms develop:

  • Confusion.
  • Unusual dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Slowed, shallow or trouble breathing.
  • Unresponsiveness (can’t wake up).
  • Bluish-colored or tinted skin, especially on lips, fingers or toes.

What other medications and products can interact with gabapentin?

Products that interact with gabapentin include:

  • Alcohol.
  • Antihistamine-containing cold, cough and allergy products.
  • Certain medicines for anxiety or sleep.
  • Certain medicines for depression, such as amitriptyline, fluoxetine and sertraline.
  • Certain medicines for seizures, such as phenobarbital and primidone.
  • Certain medicines for stomach problems. (Wait two hours after taking aluminum and magnesium-containing antacids before taking gabapentin.)
  • General anesthetics, local anesthetics, or muscle relaxants given before surgery.
  • Narcotic pain medicines.

Can I drink alcohol while taking gabapentin?

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking gabapentin. Drinking alcohol with gabapentin could increase sleepiness or dizziness.

What else do I need to know about gabapentin?

Never stop taking gabapentin without talking to your healthcare provider first. Stopping gabapentin suddenly can cause serious problems, including increasing your risk of seizures (if you are taking gabapentin to control seizures) or not improving your symptoms (if taking gabapentin for other indications). Also, never change your dose without talking to your provider first. Always take gabapentin exactly as prescribed.

Don’t drive, operate heavy machinery or do other dangerous activities after taking gabapentin until you know how it affects you.

Read the full prescription information leaflet that comes with your medication. Never hesitate to ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions about gabapentin.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before starting gabapentin?

Tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • Have lung or breathing problems.
  • Have diabetes.
  • Have kidney problems or are on dialysis.
  • Have or had mood problems, depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior.
  • Have a history of drug abuse or alcohol abuse problems.
  • Are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Inform your providers of all medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter, as well as supplements, vitamins and herbal products.

Can I take gabapentin if I’m pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant?

It’s unknown if gabapentin can harm your unborn baby. For this reason, talk to your healthcare provider as soon as you know you are pregnant. You and your healthcare provider will determine if you should take gabapentin during your pregnancy or change to a different medication.

Does gabapentin pass into breast milk?

Yes, gabapentin does pass into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your healthcare provider about breastfeeding or medication options.

Is gabapentin a narcotic or controlled substance?

Gabapentin is not a narcotic. It’s not classified as a controlled substance in most states. (Kentucky, West Virginia, Michigan, Tennessee, and Virginia have reclassified gabapentin as a Schedule V controlled substance). Gabapentin is not an opioid.

Is gabapentin addictive?

Gabapentin is not addictive, but this doesn’t mean that gabapentin can’t be abused. A small number of studies have reported misuse and abuse of gabapentin.

Does gabapentin cause withdrawal symptoms?

Gabapentin withdrawal symptoms have been reported since the drug was approved. However, the individuals in these reports experienced symptoms after discontinuing higher-than-recommended doses of gabapentin and for uses for which the drug was not approved.

What’s known about gabapentin and overdose?

Overdoses on gabapentin have been reported. Individuals experienced double vision, slurred speech, drowsiness, diarrhea and sluggishness.

What should I do if I miss a dose of gabapentin?

If you forget to take a dose of gabapentin, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s just a few hours before it’s time to take your next dose, take only one dose. Never take more than one dose in an attempt to catch up. If you have any concerns or questions, be sure to call your healthcare provider or pharmacist right away.

How Long Does Gabapentin Stay in Your System?

How gabapentin is processed in the body depends on many factors such as: the type of gabapentin used, such as immediate-release, sustained-release, or enacarbil sustained-release, any underlying medical conditions, other medications used with gabapentin, and genetics (age, weight, gender, etc. ). However, for most people, the half-life of gabapentin, meaning the period of time required for the amount of the drug to be reduced to half in the body, ranges from five to seven hours. 

While the liver is responsible for metabolizing most substances, gabapentin reacts a little different to the organs in the body. Instead of being broken down by the liver, gabapentin is primarily processed and metabolized by the kidneys. Because of this, gabapentin does not stay in the body for a long time, unlike some other substances that are processed by the liver. Considering the half life of the drug, most people would have the drug completely eliminated from their system around 48 hours after the last dose. However, just as gabapentin is processed by the body depending on a variety of factors, the rate at which it is released is also dependent on numerous factors.

For example, if the extended-release gabapentin was taken, the drug would continue to release through the body over a longer duration of time and, thus, would stay in the body longer than an immediate-release version. Furthermore, the amount taken, age and weight of the individual, and differences in kidney functioning can affect how long it takes for this medication to eliminate from the body. As such, older individuals or someone who has a lower body mass index or weight typically experience longer elimination times than someone who is younger or with a higher body mass index or weight. Lastly, hydration can quickly speed up the process of excreting this medication since the drug is primarily metabolized through the kidneys and eliminated through urination.

instructions for use, dosage, composition, analogs, side effects / Pillintrip

Special warnings and precautions

Use Gabapentin as directed by your doctor. Check the medicine label for exact dosing instructions.

  • Gabapentin comes with an additional patient information sheet called the Medication Guide. Read this carefully. Read this again every time you top up Gabapentin.
  • Take Gabapentin by mouth with or without food.
  • Swallow Gabapentin whole with plenty of water. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
  • Do not take an antacid containing aluminum or magnesium for 2 hours before taking Gabapentin.
  • Do not suddenly stop taking Gabapentin. Patients taking gabapentin to prevent seizures may have an increased risk of seizures if the drug is suddenly stopped.If you need to stop Gabapentin or add a new medication, your doctor will gradually lower your dose.
  • If you miss a dose of Gabapentin, take it as soon as possible. If it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.

Ask your doctor any questions you have about how to use Gabapentin.

Use Nortriptyline as directed by your doctor.Check the medicine label for exact dosing instructions.

  • Nortriptyline comes with an additional patient information sheet called the Medication Guide. Read this carefully. Read this again every time you add to Nortriptyline.
  • Take Nortriptyline by mouth with or without food.
  • Use the measuring device marked for drug dispensing. Ask your pharmacist for help if you are not sure how to measure your dose.
  • If you miss a dose of Nortriptyline, take it as soon as possible. If it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at the same time. If you are taking 1 dose daily at bedtime, do not take the missed dose the next morning.

Ask your doctor any questions you have about how to use Nortriptyline.

There are both specific and general uses for a drug or medicine.A medicine can be used to prevent a disease, treat a disease for a specified period, or treat a disease. It can also be used to treat a specific symptom of a disease. The use of the drug depends on the form the patient is taking. It may be more useful in injection form, or sometimes in tablet form. The drug can be used for a single alarming symptom or life-threatening condition. Although some medications can be discontinued after a few days, some medications must be continued for a long period of time in order to benefit from them.

Gabapentin is used with other medicines to prevent and control seizures. It is also used to relieve nerve pain after shingles (a painful rash due to herpes zoster infection) in adults. Gabapentin is known as an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug.

OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed on the approved occupational drug labeling but may be prescribed by your healthcare professional.Use this medication for the condition listed in this section only if prescribed by your health care provider.

Gabapentin can also be used to treat other nerve pain (such as diabetic neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, trigeminal neuralgia) and restless legs syndrome.

How to use Gabapentin

Read the Medication Guide and, if possible, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking gabapentin and each time you receive a refill.If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your healthcare professional. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. For children, the dosage also depends on the weight.

If you are taking pills and your doctor orders you to halve the pill, take the other half at your next scheduled dose. Discard half of the tablets if not used within a few days after separating them.If you are taking the capsules, swallow them whole with plenty of water.

It is very important to follow your doctor’s dosing instructions exactly. During the first few days of treatment, your doctor may gradually increase your dose to help your body adjust to the medication. To minimize side effects, take the very first dose at bedtime.

Take this medication regularly to get the most out of it. This drug works best when the amount of drugs in your body is kept constant.Therefore, take gabapentin at evenly spaced intervals at the same time every day. If you are taking this medicine 3 times a day to control seizures, do not allow more than 12 hours to pass between doses because your seizures may increase.

Do not take this medication more often or increase the dose without consulting your doctor. Your condition will not improve faster and your risk of serious side effects may increase.

Do not stop taking this medicine without the advice of your doctor.Some conditions can get worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be reduced gradually.

Antacids containing aluminum or magnesium may interfere with the absorption of this medication. Therefore, if you are also taking an antacid, it is best to take gabapentin at least 2 hours after taking the antacid.

Different forms of gabapentin (such as immediate release, sustained release, sustained release of enacarbil) are absorbed differently in the body.Do not switch from one form to another without consulting your doctor.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse.

There are both specific and general uses for a drug or medicine. A medicine can be used to prevent a disease, treat a disease for a specified period, or treat a disease. It can also be used to treat a specific symptom of a disease. The use of the drug depends on the form the patient is taking.It may be more useful in injection form, or sometimes in tablet form. The drug can be used for a single alarming symptom or life-threatening condition. Although some medications can be discontinued after a few days, some medications must be continued for a long period of time in order to benefit from them.

Methylcobalamin is the active form of vitamin B12, which is used to treat anemia, as well as nerve damage by numbness, tingling, pain in various neurological disorders.

There are both specific and general uses for a drug or medicine. A medicine can be used to prevent a disease, treat a disease for a specified period, or treat a disease. It can also be used to treat a specific symptom of a disease. The use of the drug depends on the form the patient is taking. It may be more useful in injection form, or sometimes in tablet form. The drug can be used for a single alarming symptom or life-threatening condition.Although some medications can be discontinued after a few days, some medications must be continued for a long period of time in order to benefit from them.

This drug is used to treat mental / health problems such as depression. It can help improve mood and feelings of well-being, relieve anxiety and tension, and increase energy levels. This medicine belongs to a class of medicines called tricyclic antidepressants. It works by affecting the balance of certain natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain.

OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed on the approved occupational drug labeling but may be prescribed by your healthcare professional. Use this medication for the condition listed in this section only if prescribed by your health care provider.

This medicine can also be used to help quit smoking.

How to use Nortriptyline

Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking nortriptyline and every time you get a refill.If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth, usually 1 to 4 times a day, or as directed by a healthcare practitioner. If you are using a liquid form, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device / spoon. Do not use a homemade spoon because you may not get the correct dose.

Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce the risk of side effects (such as dry mouth, dizziness), your doctor may instruct you to start taking this medicine at a low dose and gradually increase the dose.Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.

Take this medication regularly to get the most out of it. To help you remember, take it at the same time every day. Do not increase your dose or use this medication more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve faster and your risk of side effects will increase.

It is important to keep taking this medicine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medicine without talking to your doctor.Some conditions can get worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. In addition, you may experience symptoms such as mood swings, headaches, fatigue, and sleep changes. To prevent these symptoms, when you stop treatment with this drug, your doctor may gradually reduce your dose. Check with your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Report any new or worsening symptoms immediately.

This medicine may not work right away.You can see some kind of benefit throughout the week. However, it can take up to 4 weeks before you feel the full effect.

Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens (for example, your feelings of sadness get worse or you have suicidal thoughts).

Recommendations – Regional Narcological Dispensary


Recently, the public is concerned that many drugs are sold in pharmacies without a prescription and are used by citizens without a doctor’s prescription.There are no absolutely safe drugs. Even vitamins, if taken uncontrollably and without taking into account the doctor’s recommendation, can be harmful. Of particular concern is the intake of drugs containing “pregabalin” and “gabapentin” without a doctor’s prescription.

Medicinal substances “pregabalin” and “gabapentin” are anticonvulsants and are prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy. The drug is taken by the patient under the supervision of a physician.

In some cases, patients violate the prescribed regimen and dosage of the drug or take it without a doctor’s prescription.In this case, harmful consequences for the body develop:

When drugs containing pregabalin are taken without a doctor’s prescription, headaches, tremors in the hands and feet, unsteady gait, sweating, blurred speech, memory impairment, impaired concentration, depression, decreased libido, lethargy or psychomotor agitation are noted. There is a high risk of committing suicide. In case of an overdose, myoclonic seizures, fainting, confusion, coma, death occur.

Taking gabapentin and its analogues without a doctor’s prescription causes disturbances in almost all systems and organs

On the part of the central nervous system, dizziness, sleep disturbances, fatigue, increased excitability, anxiety, irritability are noted, in rare cases, depression and impaired thinking, ringing in the ears, blurred vision, memory loss are noted.

The cardiovascular system reacts with a sharp increase in blood pressure, heart palpitations, vasodilation, and a decrease in the number of leukocytes.

The function of the gastrointestinal tract is impaired: abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, flatulence, pancreatitis, impaired appetite.

On the part of the genitourinary system, a decrease in potency, urinary incontinence develops.

There are pains in joints, muscles, back, increased fragility of bones.

Allergic reactions are often noted: itching, skin rash, fever.

Edema, acne, discoloration of the teeth are often noted.

Addiction to these drugs often develops.


Taking medicines without a doctor’s prescription is dangerous and fraught with irreparable consequences. To avoid trouble, you must strictly follow only the recommendations of your doctor.

I’m starting to take gabapentin tonight, how serious are weight gain and word finding problems? 2021 | D

Can anyone tell me how serious the problem of “weight gain” with these drugs and “word search” is?

Answer this question

Reviews (14)

LA LaurieShay May 24, 2011

Hey Casey

Gabapentin can cause food cravings, so you need to monitor your calorie intake while taking this medication.As long as you stay aware of what you are eating, you should be fine. I’m not sure what you mean by “word search”. Please explain.

To find out more about this medicine and possible side effects, go to: http://www./gabapentin.html.

Best wishes,


Votes: +2 Inactive May 25, 2011

Thank you for your reply. I have read several side effect reviews from some people on this site who have mentioned “word search” problems.I believe they mean communication skills are compromised. I wondered about this. When I am in a terrible migraine, sometimes I stutter, I can think about what I want to say, but I can not get the words out. I was hoping this medicine wouldn’t do it for me 🙂

LA LaurieShay May 25, 2011

Hey Casey

Don’t know of any side effects. I hope this medicine works for you.


New York NYC414 May 25, 2011

I agree with Laurie.I take 1200 mg of Neurontin at night for sleep; And yes, you will get some food cravings, so peel the Oreos and put in carrot sticks. Other than that, I was never speechless, and I didn’t have a morning hangover like I have with almost all other sleep medications … and I’ve tried all of them!

Inactive May 25, 2011

NYC414 and Laurie:
I’m glad to hear good messages. I took my first dose about 2.5 hours ago. I haven’t slept yet, a little worried, but it’s gone.Thanks for your support, I pray this honey works!

New York NYC414 May 25, 2011

If I may ask, why did you take this? and what kind of mg?
Also, rest assured, this is indeed a “good medicine” compared to Xanax or Klonopin, etc. … no withdrawal, no tolerance development … so if it works, you are ready!

Inactive May 25, 2011

I take this as a prophylactic for migraines. They started me 300mg and will increase it.I have 15 to 17 migraines a month. In four unsuccessful neurosurgical operations, trying to turn off the trigger migraine, they performed surgical compression of the ganglion nerve at C-2 on both sides. Occipital injections also, the monster is still with me. Hope this medicine works, I had 145 migraines in 2010, 55 of them this year. I could be a migraine poster child, except that this is not the job I want 🙂

New York NYC414 May 25, 2011

Wow, you haven’t had an easy road.And this is not a collaborative work that one can only dream of;)
Well, Neurontin has a lot of very successful applications. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you! Stay positive. Keep us informed.

Inactive May 25, 2011

Thanks NYC414, I hope this will be one !!

New York NYC414 May 25, 2011

Let’s say “this one!” put it in there 🙂
After last night (which might be in low dosage) I hope this started working

Inactive May 26, 2011

After noon, when we are treating migraines, go back to bed, maybe tomorrow will be better,

LA LaurieShay May 26, 2011

Sorry to hear that you have another migraine.I pray that it will be better today. There are so many migraine prevention options out there, I hope gabapentin works for you. Hold on there, you need to give it enough time to build the system to see if it will work.

Inactive May 27, 2011


Thank you for praying for me. It was bad, it seemed to me that a blood vessel in my head had burst along with a sharp pain in the abdomen. Hope the chatty works too 🙂 Hope you had a good day today.

LA LaurieShay May 27, 2011

Thank you Casey, how’s your head tonight?

PI NUMBER pickles503 June 14, 2013

Good answer, Lori

UB ubuibi64 Jun 12, 2017

Casey – I’ve been on Gabe for about a month or more and I hate that. I know everyone is different, so please don’t use what’s happening to me to panic you. I am on it like on a nerve block after having damaged my 5th, 6th and 7th disc.My side effects were things like massive weight gain. I think it’s mostly the weight of the water, as this medication makes me so thirsty all the time that I drink a lot of water. At first, I was also hungry all the time. I would have gotten something in front of me and I swear it was like I hadn’t eaten in years and someone was going to take it from me. I often get dizzy, very talkative … VERY … and I will talk and completely forget what I am talking about. OR I will try to think that there is something and I cannot think of words… something as simple as a book. Sometimes, all of a sudden, my vision becomes very blurry, or I’m just suddenly very tired.

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Really spoils me when I try to drive 20 miles home after work !! I hate this drug and hope it will be removed soon. Good luck

HEY Youandme1966 Oct 15, 2018

I actually lost weight while taking gabapentin. It causes food cravings, but I still lost weight.
The most important thing Gabapentin has done for me is that it has helped me tremendously with anxiety / panic disorder.

View all 16 comments IN Inactive May 25, 2011

Hi Kasey777 (or a migraine baby poster, poor baby !!)
If Gabapentin doesn’t work, have you considered Topamax? I tried both, for fibro, and Topmax really gave me vocabulary problems. However, this does not cause weight gain; in fact, you will lose weight on Topamax!
But I didn’t get anything out of talkativeness, so good luck and keep healthy food available !!

Votes: +1 Inactive May 25, 2011


Yes, I tried Topomax, the side effects were terrible for me.Are you still chatting? Do you mistake it for fibro or do you have a migraine too? Thanks for the reply, it is really appreciated. 🙂

Inactive May 25, 2011

Hello again Casey
I have tried Topamax, Gab and Cymbalta for fibromyalgia, allergic to all of them!
I seem to have very severe swelling in my arms, legs and hives.
But that won’t happen to you, I’m sure. I cross my fingers that Gab is working on your migraines!
Let us know how it goes ???

Colorado Cookieface January 4, 2018

Hello everyone, we are all friends of each other’s pain.I’m new to the site here. My first comment. And here I am … I have advanced osteoarthritis in my left hip. I also have bursitis in my left knee. My left leg is just a mess. I walk the same way: I have a wooden leg, I had a serious accident, I am drunk. Since 2013, I have been experiencing severe pain problems. I refuse to think about the operation. I have too many combined problems (flat feet, scoliosis).
When I started seeing a doctor for pain relief, I started with the simplest thing: co-codomol.Was a waste of time.

Expand …

Then I was given Tramadol. The woman at the pharmacy assured me that I would feel the difference in tramadol. I read all the side effects and was ready. Well, a few rare people experience “anxiety.” This was the only side effect I had. I was insomniac, but I came to the kitchen in the morning feeling nervous, full of fake energy. This is not a pain relief thing. All I can say is that Tramadol allowed me to drink energy.I had a bottle of wine with Tramadol. No problem.
So the doctor tested me on drugs based on codeine. No relief. Just a bitter taste. I seem to have gone through the worst of it by getting the best shoes.
Then last year at this time, things got even worse. I was tough and tight. The doctor gave me 400 mg of Neurofen. No help.
I spoke with another therapist who gave me gabapatin. It worked amazingly for a week. Then I got food poisoning and my whole body turned upside down.
Then I got Pregablin which was helpful. I have built a tolerance for this. Won’t help anymore. Now I’m going to try Amitriplyne. I have read all the side effects and, apart from weight gain, I am not worried. I have never had any side effects from any of the above other than weight gain. I drank every night (lager) absolutely no problem. I do not drive or operate tools. I’m at home.
So, all that is to me with Amitriplin? I plan to take it in the morning for pain relief.Sleep is not my problem.
I was a very active person. I walked everywhere and walked very fast. Old ladies walk faster than me. Has anyone else been resistant to all drugs? Thanks jody

See all 3 comments PH PhyllisGail May 25, 2011

Dear K and all of you,

I have been taking Gabapentin for over a year now for facial nerve pain (trigeminal neuropathy). It really helps and I don’t have any “mental problems” or weight gain. I had some periodic depression before and after taking Gabap.how it acts as a mood stabilizer. I take 800 mg 3 times a day, which is max. dose and it really helps the pain. This is a very good medicine and you gradually increase your dosage. We wish you good luck and health. PG

Votes: +4 Michigan Michi88 May 20, 2018

I am in the process of diagnosing trigeminal neuralgia. I just started gabapentin.
Anyone else dealing with teigeminal neuralgia? It is so painful. I went in to get an implant, and five months later I was still in incredible pain.

SA Salihah January 7, 2019

I think I am the “1 in a million” who experiences negative side effects. Ever since I started using gabapentin, I have had food cravings and therefore gained weight; unusual thoughts / depression; runny nose; constipation, etc. I stop using immediately. It’s not worth the slight relief I get from neuropathic pain in my lower extremities.

EJ ej_the_dj June 11, 2011

Hi Casey, I’ve been on Gabapentin for a while and haven’t noticed any significant weight gain.I am on this for my fibromyalgia. My doctor also thinks that my migraines are caused by my fibrosis. He prescribes Motrin 800 mg for my migraine headache. Unfortunately, my pain reliever pill is a regular one in my life, like Gabapentin, now. It also works as a mood stabilizer in me. It helps anyway. Recently I completely ran out of my Gaba once, just for one day. This day was terrible for me and I am grateful that I was able to receive it the next day and immediately returned to it and got better.In short, I am going to get married this December and I have to lose a lot of weight to match my wedding dress. I do this precisely by observing my portion sizes as I eat, and I also use visual techniques such as using a saucer instead of a plate to help it.

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I have no eating disorders, thank God. I just wanted you to know that if you want to, you can lose weight while you are taking this medication.Just know that this medication does not cause weight loss. This was a deliberate decision on my part. God bless you, Casey. I hope this was helpful. Stay tuned and let us know how you are progressing. -EZH: D

Votes: +4 Inactive June 12, 2011


Thank you for your reply. I’m currently 45 pounds overweight and just don’t want to add to that. So far, there are sometimes no side effects other than fatigue.

Congratulations on getting married in December, I know you must be very excited and motivated to reach the size you want.


MU musiclady39 20 Feb 2013

I have been on Gabapentin for 2 years after a large cervical fusion. It actually makes me feel hungry, especially when I say goodbye. I gained 5 pounds in the time that I took honey. My main complaint is the problem finding the words I want.

Votes: +2 PI NUMBER pickles503 February 22, 2013

You know, I was wondering what caused me so much confusion.It makes me so angry when I stand in front of someone, and suddenly I can’t carry on the conversation. I stand there, sitting down, trying to remember what the conversation was about, and wondering how I should react. I open my mouth to speak, but words don’t come to me. I gained 25 pounds. since I started taking Gab a year ago. I also wondered if Gab was the culprit for both issues. I am sad because Gab helps me a lot with pain and I sleep so well. It calms me down when something / someone upsets me.I’m not sure if I’m going to stop. I want to talk to my nutcase about this. I KNOW I am gaining weight from this. None of my other medications cause weight gain. But if I go crazy about it, there is no doubt that I will stop accepting it. It is imperative to have a sound mind. I’m so glad this question was asked. Our conversation helped me put things in perspective. Thanks. Anna

SA SaraECW July 9, 2013

I have been on Gabapentin for almost 2 months.I have bulging discs and developed stenosis. The nerves are all tight and the pain is terrible. The doctor tried to do this as a last resort. I find it helps if I include advice on my day to deal with the pain. It is difficult to walk most of the day and my leg is numb. I’ve struggled with my weight all my life, and I thought I was gaining weight … but the scales are the same … it’s more “chubby”.
I don’t want to go on with this because of the potential for weight gain. I work out for 40 minutes daily, no baking soda, only water, and I make spinach smoothies and eat a reasonable dinner.Very disappointed with all of this.

PI NUMBER pickles503 July 9, 2013

Hello music There is an alternative medicine for Gaba. I’m sure you know about Lyrica. This is one of the new drugs my doctors are looking for. Both of these medications cause weight gain, but I understand that Lyrica is better for pain. I am slowly shrinking Gab due to weight gain and this is a memory killer. Yes, I understand Gab’s confusion. I can hear someone say something and I automatically lose what was said, or if I need to say something, I don’t know how to react.People start to say that I am forgetting something and I am easily confused. I visit a neurologist, but he said he would not make a diagnosis until I did a more cognitive test. We’re trying to eliminate as many drugs as possible to find out if it’s short-term memory or dementia. I reduced Gab from 2400 to 1200 mg. Gab is great for pain and anxiety relief, as well as panic or anger attacks.

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I think it would be good to talk to your doctor about this problem and ask to be seen by a neurologist.Could you please give me an update on your condition?
Peace and hope to you,

72 72113 November 29, 2017

Hello. I am in the second month of Gabapentin after an artificial disc replacement that failed. I am an accountant and tend to be very good at numbers and explanations. I take 600 mg 4 times a day. He offers me 100% pain relief, which is usually 7 out of 10 ALL times. Within 3 days, I noticed intense cravings and my appetite skyrocketed, so I have to choose between pain relief or hard work to get my thirst under control.

View all 4 comments TR Triciakit February 21, 2013

As for the problems with finding a word with Gabapentin, I am currently sorting it out. It seems to come and go. I had to quit my job as I could no longer have a conversation. I started to speak, and then I could not continue, since the word I was looking for completely escaped me. It’s hard when people tried to help me find the word I was looking for. very frustrating

ST standingstrong April 8, 2013

My doctor just started taking gabapentin for me today, due to my pain from radiculopathy lumbar, I hope I am not gaining weight, but I will let you know if I have any of these side effects.

GR Gracie May 3, 2013

How did Gab work for you? Have you had any weight gain?

GR Gracie May 3, 2013

Gabapentin started taking 100 mg 3 times a day this morning for back pain from sacral meningocelocele.Lived in pain for the past 15 years and hoped it would work. How are those of you who are just getting started?

SA sandynx820 June 14, 2013

I just can’t lose weight since I started taking Gabapentin (2 years ago). My doctor insists that this drug does not cause weight gain, but I have read it and it causes SENSITIVE INCREASE! Duh !!! I gained about 20 pounds.
As for the “word” … I have it too … very frustrating … again my doctor claims that he never heard this complaint !!! I sometimes fear that I get Alzheimer’s early on, but nothing has ever stopped my pain like this medic, so I’m between a rock and a hard place!

Votes: +1 SA SaraECW July 9, 2013

I’m in the same boat as you.I just started and found relief, but I’m worried about weight gain! It’s like being stuck between a rock and a hard place! My doctor also said that this is not the reason for the weight gain … but I think it did not change anything, but introduced this to my daily routine. It helps the pain a lot … and stabilizes my mood … but upset with the weight …

SA sandynx820 July 9, 2013

When I first started taking this medicine, I was so sleepy that on I had a 40 mile journey to work, leaving an hour early and stopping every 15 miles or so at McDonalds or Burger King car parks and dozing for 15-20 minutes.!!! Thank God that after 3 or 4 months the drowsiness stopped.
As for weight gain … I still struggle with it. I have to sleep with a sleep apnea machine and the doctor I see tells me, “You just can’t gain more weight.” It’s easy for him to tell. I haven’t returned to him for over a year because of the last 20 pounds !!! I found a site that calculates all my calories for me and within a month it was under 1500 calories. Hope this helps me stabilize.
Best wishes to you…. keep me posted!

OH Help6363 March 27, 2018

I also had difficulty finding words when trying to continue a conversation, especially when trying to explain or describe something. As disappointing as it is, I have gained weight since I started taking gabapentin 8 months ago. I did a little research and found that this drug can slow down your metabolism. Thus, even if you observe how you consume calories, or have not changed your diet at all, you can still gain weight.I am now working on getting out of the race.

View all 3 comments PI pickles503 Jun 14, 2013

Hi anon Weight gain can be terrible depending on your own body. This is not good for me. I put on a lot of weight. The calls to stop eating are just ending, and it’s been 2 1/2 years since I started. I’m slowly getting out of it. It affects my memory, weight gain and longevity. You should know that this is just my experience.Yours could be excellent.
I apologize for not understanding the word search problem.
Your smart cookie to ask this question. Some people just jump into honey without knowing the consequences. Advantages and disadvantages.
See you on the blackboard.

SA sara12345 June 15, 2013

If you look at other publications on Gabapentin, you will see that others have had extreme brain problems. I had the strangest experience I have ever had with anything. ever.I was just in a coma. I was just sitting in a chair and couldn’t even turn my head when my husband entered the room to talk to me. It was terrible. At the lowest dose, my doctor said it was not a drug for me.

Votes: +1 SA sara12345 June 15, 2013

But everyone is different. Obviously, the others didn’t have any problems with their brains.

GR GRANDMA2XL December 28, 2016

I was given Gabapentin, I am really afraid of these drugs. 100mg. How much to start, maybe 3 QD.Am I overweight, swollen ankles, water retention?
I have a bad memory right now, it’s very scary to even start with my TN.

SA sandynx820 28 Dec 2017

I’ve been on Gaba for 8 years … my legs and ankles were always swollen, but I thought it was because I had a couple of DVTs. I also put on weight. However, since I stopped taking my medication 1 year ago (which was terrible in itself), I have managed to lose 40 pounds and I noticed that my ankles are no longer swollen! My doctor thinks gabapentin is a good thing, but my arthritis doctor says it’s a terrible medicine that most doctors misunderstand.I don’t know who to believe. I felt better when I was on it, but I was always hungry and sleepy.

Washington Wacogal57 December 28, 2017

Your stomach will explode and you can’t take it off!

Votes: +1 Colorado Cookieface Jan 4, 2018

Hi Vakogal,
I was on Gabs for about 3 weeks from arthritis. I immediately felt relief with one pill. Unfortunately, I created resistance to this and asked the doctor for something else. I received Sister Habs’ medicine: Pregablin / Lycra.I’ve been on it since about June. I feel like this has stopped helping, so I’m going to try Amitriplyne tomorrow. I have a very high pain relieving ability (I like the tattoo parlor).
Back to your post: I have expanded everywhere. Especially my fat, flabby spare wheel belly. I am also swollen in my toes and thick legs. I have a cross-trainer at home, which I do at the highest level, a manual program, perspiration, I do not eat during the day. I am fat! I accept this and give myself the right to eat my favorite food, which consists of all kinds of pasta.I enjoy my beer. I have no side effects other than packing by weight. I’m lucky my friend has all of the side effects listed.
Why not take weight loss medication as a side effect? How are you?

Kansas KSdot January 29, 2018

I put on 50 pounds, I have a strange side effect of sucking on my bite (which has a proper name) that creates more saliva that touches my body, I’m hungry. I’m hungry all the time and eat a lot because of this.I gained weight – that was the last thing I wanted to achieve, and now I went to size 6 to 16, 18, and now I am considered obese and I hate the way I look. I hope you are doing better than me. I asked 3 doctors to help me with my weight and I got nothing. I am afraid to change medications because it takes care of my restless legs. Good luck.

SA sandynx820 January 29, 2018

Yes, it sounds something like this … I have no tongue-sucking side effect, but I’m ALWAYS hungry.I think it blocks the brain from sensing, so it also blocks the feeling of “I’m full” too. I also put on 50 pounds and lost and returned the last 10 times over and over and couldn’t go any further! I gave up this drug in December 2016 after weaning it for 6 weeks. I still have trouble sleeping and have a lot of back and leg pain, but at least now that I really watch what I eat, I can lose weight. (dropped 40 pounds) I especially notice that my legs and arms are no longer swollen…but I’m struggling with fibrotic pain, osteoarthritis and stenosis … wading through natural ingredients but no luck.

dj dj32700 23 June 2018

I’ve been in Gabapentin for two years. I was initially clothed for TMJ jaw pain and it helped immediately. I also had 3 spinal cords and the third didn’t work. I have stenosis and neuropathy in my legs, which makes it difficult for me to stand or walk. Gabapentin helped with nerve pain in my leg, but the side effects were bad, so I’m narrowing it down.It causes chronic constipation and I also have terrible very vivid nightmares. I was up to 2x300mg first thing in the morning.