Weaning Off Neurontin

Weaning Off Neurontin

Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. WWWOOOOOWWWWWWWW

Throughout my life I’ve been on and off different medications. There are a few times where I had to slowly ween off of a certain drug to make sure I appropriately detoxed it from my system. Usually it was a pretty painless experience and if I did have a side effect it would only be a few days.

Well.

Weaning off neurontin is a WHOLE DIFFERENT ANIMAL.

DISCLAIMER: Do not, I repeat DO NOT, take yourself of medications yourself. Many medications, like neurontin, can have severe side effects if not appropriately weaned. Make sure to do it under the care of a medical professional.

My pain doctor and I decided to try to take me off of neurontin since *KNOCK ON WOOD* my CRPS hasn’t been around since August 2013. (I hope I didn’t just jinx myself. . . )

I’ve taken many different doses of the drug, but as of late I was on 600mg, 3 times a day. My doc wrote me a prescription for 150mg pills and told me to decrease my dosage by a pill each week. {Read my thoughts on neurontin used to treat CRPS}

Oh no child, this shit sucks.
Oh no child, this shit sucks.

Everything was going fine until last week, when I started to feel my nerves go ccccccrazy. I felt like every nerve in my body was on high alert. I started racking my brain as to what the hell I did to cause this. I kind of thought it was odd that while in Salt Lake City I had a bit of an anxiety attack, but I didn’t really pay it a second thought. Now, putting it together, it was an obvious side effect of the neurontin.

Ok, I thought, I just have to get through a few days and it’ll be fine.

Welp. A week later I’m sitting here wanting to JUMP OUT OF MY SKIN. My lips are numb, my head hurts so bad and the nerves in my left foot keep feeling like they’re on fire.

What. The. Hell.

I’m glad I’m getting off of this medication and I hope I never ever ever ever ever ever have to go back on it again. I’m hoping that getting it out of my system for good will help my fatigue and brain fog. A girl can wish – right?

Yesterday Natural Health posted an article on magnesium deficiency and how it causes symptoms similar to ALS, MS and epilepsy! I’m not loving all of these wonderful facts I’m learning about neurontin having been on it for almost 2 years.

Drug researchers say gabapentine affects the cells’ calcium channels binding to calcium receptors and thus preventing erratic electrical signals between neurons. However, magnesium binds to these same receptors and properly opens and closes these calcium channels so you don’t get excess calcium and you don’t get erratic electrical signals. Whereas, taking gabapentine means you are depleting magnesium and can be making your symptoms worse. One of the side effects of gabapentine is worsening of seizure activity. You gotta wonder about the wisdom of using a drug prescribed for seizures that can cause more seizures! But now we know why; it’s depleting magnesium, so your muscles and nerves go into spasms. Magnesium deficiency can cause numbness, tingling, seizures, muscle contractions, spasms and cramps and supplementing magnesium should be the first line of treatment for any of these symptoms. (Natural Health)

2 days ago I called my doctor and I’m still waiting for a call back . . .

Sooooooo I took to my patient community, hoping that someone else out there blogged about neurontin withdrawal.

I came across this page which was VERY interesting to me. I had not know this the entire time I was on the drug

There was a time not so long ago the medical community felt Neurontin was not addictive. In 2012, the Surgeon General for the U.S. Army acknowledged Neurontin was not just addictive but he went further to remove Neurontin from the psychoactive drug list approved to give our troops. Well intentioned physicians may still believe Neurontin is not addictive but this does not make them a bad physician, it does mean they are still uninformed about Neurontin … This program was developed by taking Neurontin clinical studies and putting that information to use. Some of the information has worked quite well, while other information turned out to be worthless… An example of this regarding Neurontin: If Neurontin is used for a prolonged period of time the Neurontin will deplete the B vitamin biotin from the body. A deficiency of biotin will cause numbness or tingling of the extremities, a reaction to loud noise or a reaction to bright light which could also include seizures. This is a biotin deficiency and not a medical problem. Put the right amount of biotin back in the body and these symptoms vanish. It is that simple. (The Road Back)

Many out there suggest magnesium, biotin, melatonin and other OTC drugs. Then there are some who suggest much high powered drugs to help get you off. Common consensus: Weaning off neurontin BLOWS.

There was a thread of a man who began soaking in epsom salts each night. That’s actually a really good idea and I plan to start doing that. My acupuncturist gave me magnesium gel which I’ve been applying to my feet. Magnesium, taken in capsule form, is a laxative and given my intestinal issues this year I don’t think that’s a great idea. Plus, it’s been shown that the best way for your body to receive magnesium is through the skin.

Yup, I feel like I'm on fire . . .
Yup, I feel like I’m on fire . . .

I’ve been taking a hair and nail supplement that has high amounts of biotin in it, but maybe I should look into getting a different one. One thing I have been relying on are my oils. I’ve been using Balance and Serenity to help calm my body down. Also, yoga and breath work helps. BUT, the problem is they only help for a short amount of time, then the sensations are back.

One minute I’m sweating my ass off, the next I’m freezing, my patience is about as thin as a spider web and I feel like I want to go run 10 miles (being on crutches kind of prohibits that).

I now unfortunately know what it must feel like for drug addicts who are in recovery.

Have you had experience with neurontin or weaning off neurontin? What have you learned from the experience?

Click here to read the rest of my experience in weaning off of this drug!

Wishing You A Pain Free Day!

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  • Sirijill

    Hi. I do not see any comments posted here. I am very anxious to know how your withdrawal process went. I’m currently in the midst of withdrawing from the neurontin too. I am having a very grotty time with this. I have been trying to wean off this since last May 2015. I have tried Epson salt baths which do work temporarily, only to have bad diarrhea later. I’m trying to find other magnesium items that might work. Just wondering what your experience was and whether it work for you

    • Sirijill

      Additionally to what I mentioned above, I certainly hope you tapered off completely. How long did it take you? Did the magnesium and the bioton help you? Any information that you can share for those of us out here that are still struggling with this would be great

      • Hi! Sorry for the delay in responding. I’ve been traveling and it’s been crazy! Anyways, I’m not sure if you’ve seen my follow up post to this one: http://www.itsjustabadday.com/2014/11/07/medication-neurontin-update-neurontin-withdrawal/

        Honestly, you have to just be strong, suck it up and get through it. It can be difficult, but I feel like having a strong mind is your best weapon against weening off of drugs. I’ve been off of it since Oct 2014 and haven’t been better. The only way magnesium really works for our body is if you use a gel form of it. I like the designs for health magnesium gel. But that’s the only recommendation I can make in terms of that.

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  • Nick

    I really wish doctors were better informed regarding the severe withdrawals that can accompany cessation of Gabapentin! I was prescribed, at the point I decided I needed to stop the drug, 4800mg per day, in 3 doses! I had the exact same issue you had, except the doctor never told me to taper off. I went cold turkey and was crying like a baby many times per day, did not sleep for more than a couple of hours per night for almost 2 weeks. Hot flashes, severe anxiety, etc. I have moderate depression and severe general anxiety anyway, and I literally almost became suicidal.

    I could not figure out what the heck the problem was until I stumbled upon an article with someone explaining the horrors they were going through. I could not believe it, and switched doctors right away. I started using a high quality magnesium supplement right away, and asked a new doctor for a week supply of Klonopin, to help the severe anxiety and help me sleep. After a week or so I was almost back to normal.

    I advise anyone that reads this article and my comment, to avoid Gabapentin at all costs, unless it is a total life saver for you. I have detoxed from opiates after 4 knee surgeries in a row, and Gabapentin withdrawal was honestly much more difficult for me.

    Excellent write up, and I hope you continue to do well!

    • OH MY GOSH! THEY HAD YOU JUST COMPLETELY CUT IT OUT WITHOUT TAPERING?! You were probably going insane. Oh my goodness. I’m so sorry that happened to you! Honestly, it was awful weening off of it. I agree with you- getting off opiates was a piece of cake. This and Effexor were the two worst drugs to get off of. It made me realize why people get addicted to things. So many times I though, oh I’ll just take one so I don’t have to feel the effects! Sending you many prayers!

  • rebecca

    I was put on gabapentin for opiate withdrawal and it did help. was told it was safe, non-addictive with no withdrawals. left program with no prescription, told me to “just stop”. went to crazytown and didn’t know why. when I say crazytown, I mean in bed fetal position chewing on my knee. went to doctors and they said there was no way it was being on gabapentin for 3 weeks. wanted to put me on antidepressants or mental hospital…..had to face this on my own. thank god I found magnesium, life saver! just about everyone I know is on gabapentin for one thing or another. and of course im scared to death of doctors now. they use this drug in rehab and it is only making people worse than they were on their drug of choice. I almost ran to my drug of choice just to feel better. thank god for magnesium. I have had to deal with this and my poor husband and kids wanted to run to the nearest exit and I don’t blame them.they stuck with me and now they see that the doctors messed me up. been a week on magnesium (remag) and I no longer chew on my knee. not 100%, but better. truth be known, I probably used drugs to feel better from low magnesium. not one doctor over the years have offered magnesium in any form! in fact they have told me that vitamins is a waste of money.

    • Oh wow. Yeah, it’s ROUGH getting off. I’m glad you found something that worked and you didn’t go back to opiates. Proud of you!!

  • Beowolf

    Taking magnesium is a good thing, but always 2 hours before or after taking Gaba. I did the big mistake to buy Magnesium Citrate, witch is a lot stronger and stays longer in your system. The result where that I basically went off Gaba cold turkey after 1800 mg for 2.5 years.The Magnesium Citrate blocked the uptake of Gaba, and for 3 weeks I was in hell. Until I fortunately read a tread about this in a forum. Now I am weening off with 5 % every month. I know, it+s very slow, but the only way to avoid the horrible WD symptoms. I am also taking Biotin, Acetyl L-Carnetine, vitamin K and L-Theanine.

    • That’s really interesting! Thanks for sharing this. I actually was NOT aware of that!