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Gabapentin...any good?

Nov 25, 2014 3:05 PM

My GP has just prescribed me Gabapentin (300mg x 3 times a day, initially) for my Fibro and inflamed facet joints. I currently take Tramadol, Arcoxia, Naproxen.

I've been taking the Gabapentin 3 days now, and feel totally out of my head. Will this pass?

It seems to be working well for the pain (only residual/background pain left, if you know what I mean!). It's fantastic not to be completely taken over by pain 24/7, but not sure I will be safe at work feeling 'high', as I work in a school with children with extreme behaviours.

Any advice regarding Gabapentin welcome! Thanks guys.

Nov 25, 2014 3:25 PM

I'm on 600mg Gabapentin once a day in the evening. It helps me sleep and minimizes my pain in the morning. I'm somewhat foggy headed and have problems with short term memory but that could also still be residuals from a concussion. I still have quite a bit of pain despite six facet blocks im the lower back. I'll be getting some Botox shots in my cranial nerves for headaches. But I can already foresee that my Gabapentin will have to be adjusted upward soon.

Nov 25, 2014 4:11 PM

I'm on 1200 mg 3times a day and sometimes more!! It affects my walking and balance. I just took 1200 mg had 40 mg Balcofen and having trouble with balancing, walking and thinking. I've been on this gabepentin for about 6 yrs now. So does it ever get better? I don' know y@

Nov 25, 2014 4:12 PM

Dotty u I have to go lay down now. Keep fighting plz.

Nov 25, 2014 4:24 PM

I have to go lay down I meant to say.

Nov 25, 2014 4:28 PM

Thank you both. Hope the 'stoned' feeling passes!

Nov 25, 2014 6:41 PM

I have not have that much luck with it but my doc tells me I am on a very low dose. I never struggled with side effects but I went from Lyrica to GABA. I found Lyrica worked better for me, but it was $325 month with insurance!

Nov 25, 2014 8:14 PM

Jesswoo, what a freaking joke that rx is $325 a month with insurance? That makes me sick. These drug companies obviously care nothing about us. Its all about the mighty dollar. That's why I will do anything to stay off Rx drugs. Its not always in our best interest. Now I am not against them and there very well may come a day when I am on some too, especially the way my fibro has progressed so quickly. But until that day I am trying to do it myself with natural supplements and eating right... Its a nice thought anyway...I hope a restful night for all.

Nov 25, 2014 8:58 PM

Yes it works good. You should be doing that at night. I take 3 at night and 1 in the morning. I just started gradually on 2 in the morning. They will make you fill that way until your body gets use to them.

Nov 25, 2014 9:43 PM

I was prescribed 1200mg 3x daily. I progressed from 300mg 3x daily increasing by 300mg 3x each week until I hit 1200mg. I was completely out of it and felt awful. I couldn't get use to it and I reduced the dosage to 600mg 2x and 900mg at bedtime. I sleep better but I have nightmares and night sweats. I awake in a complete fog and dizzy. But in a hour or so I usually feel much better and then I take the 600mg and its not too bad during the day but my memory recall and function is completely impaired. So the long and short of it is that yes you will eventually get use to the drug to a point but there will be times were you do feel pretty medicated.

It does help with the pain and to be honest, thats what is important for me. It lowers my pain levels from 9's to into the 7s. Doesn't sound like much but its the difference from being alive and ending things because living with pain levels of 9s is not possible.

Nov 25, 2014 10:36 PM

I was on Gabapentin a few years ago. It definitely helped some and it definitely made me feel foggy and stupid. After a few months (yes, months), I felt less foggy and stupid. Eventually the pain got worse,we upped the dose, and the stupids got worse again. I switched TO Lyrica and it worked worlds better for me (though still made me stupid for the first...6 weeks? Trying to remember...). I'm finally on Medicaid and Medicare so I'm not paying out the nose just to function on a basic level. I'm on a number of other things, too, and each person is different, but my fogs got less foggy if never completely clear.

Nov 26, 2014 4:30 PM

I hated Lyrica, I could not get use to the side effects like brain fog, dizziness, blurred vision, dry mouth, ringing in the ears, headaches, night terrors, etc. I switched back to Gabapentin which has some of those side effects but to a lesser intensity.

Nov 26, 2014 6:29 PM

I went off of Gabapentin because of the brain fog. Forgetting my words, off balance, spacey. My family thought I was misusing my pain meds. I wasn't it was the Gabapentin!. I went on Lyrica and it did not help my pain......I gained 10 lbs. in one month. I went back to stupid and stumbling with Gabapentin. It helped my nerve pain, I would take that over the pain! Nerve pain is intense! I think it is really very individualized.

Nov 26, 2014 9:01 PM

Blessed, What changes have you made in your diet that you feel has helped with Your fibro? I read so many conflicting opinions. My fibro has progressed quickly also...scary feeling being out of control with your health. These scary feelings are not quite so bad now that I have all of you to talk to.

Nov 26, 2014 9:10 PM

I had a pretty severe reaction to the med and instead of getting better, it got much worse. It started with me struggling to wake up - I felt pretty exhausted after sleeping all night after taking gabapentin the night before. After a few days of taking it - maybe a couple weeks, my husband started telling me he would find me sleep walking and would walk me back to bed. Pretty soon after that, I started falling asleep during the day without knowing it. I felt like I was awake and having very strange interactions when in reality, I had fallen asleep and would start dreaming and acting out my dream immediately. It got to the point that my doctor and husband were worried that I might try to drive during one of the day-sleepwalk episodes or worse, hurt my kids. Normally the doctor would gradually take you off, but instead, he had me stop all at once because of how sever my reaction was to the medicine. The worst part was that the medicine was actually working better than anything else had, but I understand that my experience was neither common nor unheard of either. As long as you and your doctor are monitoring any side effects, you should be fine. Just be on the look out for missing food, misplaced items in the house etc. good luck!

Nov 26, 2014 11:04 PM

I take 900mg a day but I take it at bed time that has worked best for me.

Nov 27, 2014 1:41 AM

I startd on Gabapentin about three weeks ago. I'm on 1200mg but increasing to 3600mg. I feel totally out of it. Stoned is a good description. Fog is worse than usually. So much trouble finishing my sentences. So far it's not doing a thing for pain.

Nov 27, 2014 11:36 AM

I've been on Gabapentin for several years now.
I started at 300 mg, was reduced to 100 mg and worked to my present level of four 400 mg capsules 4x a day, with something to eat.

It seems from my experience, and from checking online the worse you have fog, depression etc. in the beginning, the better it works in the long term. Gabapentin only has a life of 24 hours in the body, so if it's too bad, reduce but don't quit and get in to see your doctor.
Hang in there. I had to take an anti-depressant for about six months to help me get through it.

Caveat, DO NOT TAKE THE TABLETS. This are the ones that have street value, but who would want that bad, bad trip??

After taking for four to six weeks most of the symptoms will reduce or disappear, however each time my dose was upped, I found myself drowsy, and slightly spacy.

I did lower my dose, but decided that some trouble speaking to others, and a slight memory LAG is worth it.

Remember your memory is intact, it just takes a bit longer to access at times, so be patient and don't let this become a problem and you will find this problem becomes a minimal issue.

Like most of us, I find myself doing tradeoffs, reduce the pain and suffer some minor side effects, or have the pain and it is so all encompassing I have the same side effects, but I was told I just wasn't aware of them.
Catch 22, if you are aware of the side effects it's working, if you aren't, probably need to take more.

Long term I find a problem with weight gain and it definitely elevated my blood sugars so make sure you are having regular HA1c blood test done. You don't have to fast.

Oday, been trying to keep going but no such luck.
any help I can give, get me a shout.

Nov 27, 2014 11:37 AM

My charts only show upper body right now, starting to use software properly.

Nov 29, 2014 9:29 AM

It is a literal miracle drug in conjunction w pain meds. Yes, that space cadet feeling will pass...I promise. Persevere. It will be worth it.

Nov 29, 2014 1:11 PM

Thank you everyone! So far, so good, for me. The majority of my disabling pain had deminished to the point where I no longer have to lay flat on my back as soon as I get home from work, or being out. It's wonderful that I'm not holding myself awkwardly, trying to avoid the real 'gnawing, boring' pain kicking in. My complexion has gone from grey to (almost) normal colour. As for the 'stoned' feeling, I'm only experiencing a little disorientation first thing in the morning.
This community is so brilliant! Loads of support at the click of a button! Love Catch My Pain.

Nov 30, 2014 10:22 AM

I hated gaba but Lyrica ( pregabalin) which is almost chemically the same......but you take half the dose of my.

Nov 30, 2014 8:02 PM

I take 800 mg 4x. It definitely helps with it some, mostly my neurological but with all.

Dec 01, 2014 4:52 PM

Thanks Folks!

Dec 01, 2014 7:40 PM

It made me not remember where when how I got somewhere and zombi like

Dec 02, 2014 1:03 AM

I've been on gabapentin now for 6/7 years, it's not a nice drug causing so many problems, the worst being memory loss which along with Fibro fog drives me mad. I live in Scotland and now due to the pain slowly driving me off my head I receive a new form of pain relief. Every 6/7 weeks I go into hospital to receive Lidnocaine infusions. This is done intravenously taking about 7/8 hours to administer in ones body. I get around four weeks of less pain which to me is everything, Lidnocaine is the substance used by dentists to freeze ones mouth, I know outside SCOTLAND it's not used as a treatment, why? I don't know' but it does work for me. Like everyone on this site, to get five mins of pain relief is a dream. Just thought I would share this with you. John.

Dec 02, 2014 1:18 AM

Gabapentin helps alot with the actual root of pain for fibromyalgia.
I have had Fibro since 1990. I use Gabapentin at night, 300 mg. Recently I had an event when I fell with my full body weight on my knee along with some major family stresses and it started a cascade of event that put me in the emergency room getting dilaudid and ativan IV. I hate narcotics and try to deal with my pain with meds and actions that address the muscles that are tight. I have learned using my hot tub, Endless Pool to swim, 'CalMax' (Calcium and Magnesium in liquid) and accupuncture I am able to get better control..My Fibro started in 1990 after a measles vaccine and a neck, shoulder injury. I presently have minimal pain with cymbaltal, Adderel, and Lamictal, thyroid and Ibuprophen and 300 mg Gabapentin at night. On top of the Fibro I have Sleep Apnea (now have a CPAP) low thyroid (have synthroid) and ADD that is why the Adderel and Lamictal. It is intresting because in general I have had little pain with the addition of Ibuprophen and Tylenol #3 occasionally.

Dec 02, 2014 1:38 AM

I used Zanaflex for a while but foud that it interacted with the Lamictal. Zanaflex has a short half life of 4 hours which allows one to get some good sleep. It interupts the nerve impulses so they will not cause pain. It does cause dizziness and low blood Pressure and I have divided it into quarters and used it extensively when I was working as a nurse. I had used it since 1994 and it served me very well. I have looked at alot of different treatments. On that is sucessful for me is stretching and using a stretcher for my neck and Feldenkrist movement. Very slow and easy to do. I only have one vertabre unaffected. I understand the fog, the memory loss. At age 51, I was diagnosed with ADD, in 2011 I was able to retire with disibility Social Security because I had so much memory loss, short term that I asked myself if I would want me as a nurse, My answer was no.

Dec 02, 2014 12:55 PM

I take 1200mg 3x daily and it has some severe side effects but it does help with the pain. I have been on it at this extreme dosage for only a few months now and I understand it can take awhile for your body to get use to the drug. I hated Lyrica, it was worse than Gabapentin.

I recently went to a different pain management clinic and I had mentioned the Lidnocaine infusions. The doctor who specializes in pain control had not heard of that drug being administered as an infusion so I am assuming it is not approved for that here in Canada. I wish it was as I sure could use something that works with few side effects.

Dec 05, 2014 8:02 PM

Thanks, for good advise. I always wondered where my brain fog, and time loss came from. I will be talking to my doctor Monday.

Dec 08, 2014 3:19 AM

Lidnocaine has very little side effects, a bit drowsy and tired for a day. Once that is over I can be a bit more like everyone else "normal" tell you GP to look into it as its taking off big time here in SCOTLAND.

Mar 16, 2015 5:46 AM

Try Lidnocaine patches, brilliant for pain relief.

Mar 16, 2015 9:52 AM

Wow. I am on 900 mg 3x, and I started it at the same time that I d/c MS Contin. I thought the memory loss was a lingering effect of the morphine, and I was afraid that it seemed to be permanent. What a relief.

Mar 16, 2015 10:11 AM

Before being put on gabapentin (been on for almost 3 yrs now) I tried cymbalta and lyrics and a few others I can't name. This has been one to work pretty well for me. Not pain free but in functional without it. I've tried. I have a dr put me on the slow release version call Gralise and I thought I had dementia. I couldn't walk around my neighborhood without getting lost and I was 22 yrs old at that time. I switched back to gabapentin and expect to be on it the rest of my life and finally accepted that. I hope it works for you too!!!

Mar 16, 2015 10:35 AM

I was having what my husband described as seizure like episodes from pain. I have been on gabapentin 7 months and only have those occasionally now instead of daily to weekly. I am in less pain since taking them but it is not a miracle drug it doesn't stop all the pain. I have went from a 10 everyday to an average of 8.

Mar 16, 2015 1:01 PM

I have been taking 300 MG of Gabapentin 4 x day, since 2000, until a months ago my Dr upped me to 600 MG 4 x day.

Mar 16, 2015 5:33 PM

I take 400mg 4x day. Started @ 300 mg worked up to 3xday. I felt really "high" at first also, but it passed. I do have the memory and brain fog problems but I am not sure it is due to the gabapentin or other meds etc.

Mar 16, 2015 5:50 PM

Ive only been using gabapentin about 5-6 weeks when they started me at 300mg, 3x day. It caused oversedation so they cut back to100 mg, 2-3x day.

I don't really think its making a big difference with pain. But when I get body tremors I take 1 and within 30-60 minutes the tremors start going away, sometimes in that time and others it takes 4-6 hours.

Aug 04, 2015 9:25 PM

I'm curious to know if any of you have experienced weight gain on Gabspentin? I saw the one comment but was curious if there were more? Thanks!

Aug 06, 2015 6:09 PM

I was on it for a short while thank god as i was literally eating myself out of house and home
Was also given pergabalin which wasnt much better

Aug 06, 2015 8:35 PM

I've been on Lyrics for years. Its been a life saver for me! I'm at a dose of 400mgs daily. The doctors done like that I'm on that much but I'm in so much pain I don't think I could be on 200mgs now. I've never had the side effects like pergabalin has.

Aug 06, 2015 11:00 PM

Hi, I tried Lyrica twice but I had to stop due to side effects. I am on the maximum recommended dose here in Australia ( 1800mg over 3 doses) I have been successfully using this for 6 yrs now and no longer have issues with feeling bombed. I am also on 75 mg of Baclofen, 300mg Tramadol S.R. for my CRPS. I find this combo works best for me but we are all very different. I hope you are able to find something that gives you some relief. x

Aug 07, 2015 2:14 PM

😱😱 that's a really high dose mumbo...I've tried lyrica for a few days and it was one of the worst meds for me. My eyes were constantly puffy and I was thinking a lot about self harm. I'm not on Endep (Amitriplyine) and it does ok for me. First week or so I know I was constantly sleeping. My dosage was 25mg twice a day. Now they've put me on 25 mg only at night. Makes me sleep better I guess. But I now take stronger opioids which seems to do the trick for me. I just have to be really careful about my intake as they are highly addictive.

Aug 14, 2015 1:28 AM

Gabapentin is awesome. I highly recommend it. I take 300mgs twice a day I'm also on Tramadol(50mgs once a day) and Methadone(50mgs once a day 30mgs at night(10pm) and 20 in the morning(4am) my Gabapentin dose has changed over the years, I take it for chronic leg pain caused by neurofibromatosis type one. The Tramadol and Methadone is for chronic chest pain and pain in general, I have a prescription for Oxycodone(5mgs it was 60 but I stopped taking it last summer because I was sick and having stomach issues) I started Gabapentin when I was in 6th grade(in 2004 I believe) be careful about high doses of Gabapentin because one side effect I got from high dose of Gabapentin was depression but once the dose was lowered I felt much better and my pain was still under control.

Aug 14, 2015 11:14 AM

I take Gabapentin and morphine, sometimes it helps a little but the side effects for me is drowsiness so I have to be careful when taking them because of when I'm driving.

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