Neurontin zombies?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 5/1/2010 12:44 PM (GMT -6)   
My PCP put me on a month's worth of Neurontin to try to get the inflamation in my ulnar nerve to calm down. (I also get to wear a cool elbow pad to bed, but that's not the problem. cool ) So... 3 days of 1/day... 3 days of 2/day, then I go to 3/day for 3 weeks, then back down the ladder.

I'm on day 1 of the 2/day... I'm half asleep and a little foggy. Granted, family is in town, and I let my kids stay out until 2am last night, but I did get 6.5+ hours of sleep (once I subtract the "wake up to roll over" times). I shouldn't be THIS tired.

Is this a Neurontin thing? If it is, cool... I'd just like to be warned, ya know? Pharmacist said I might get dizzy (which I haven't). She didn't mention zombie-ness.
DDD (4 levels- L2-3 thru L5-S1)

Screaming Eagle
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 5/1/2010 1:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello BethW! They put me on neurontin while I was in the hospital with back surgery, and my wife said I was a loony tooney on it!

I was surprised they did not try Lyrica on you as I thought is was to treat nerve pain. (probably wrong spelling on the med)

SE :)
DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease) S1-L4-L5, Heart Attack 2002, Angioplasty to clear blocked Artery and to implant Stent. Six Epidurals, Disocgram, Melanoma Cancer 07, Lumbar Fusion March of 2010, Four cortisone injections Tendinitis in Elbow.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 492
   Posted 5/1/2010 1:56 PM (GMT -6)   
when i was on neurotin it did make me tired. when I was on lyrica I wasnt.I think its just a side effect . If it bothers you I would talk to your dr. Maybe you can ask if you can just take it at night. I hope you have a lpd.
im dxed with  herniated discs,fibromylagia , scolosis,ddd,athritis, spinal stenosis , spinal blockage ,gerd,gastric ulcer (2008), pernicous anemia , folic acid anemia and gallbladder removal 3/23/10.
meds: Ambien, prilosec otc,  ibuprofren,Ultracet, folic acid , b12 injections, zyrtec and benadryl.
Just added : folic acid supplement  1 mg a day for the next year and also b12 injections increased to once a month. pernicous anemia and  Folic acid anemia.

deb in indiana
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 387
   Posted 5/1/2010 3:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Iam lucky it doesn't affect me that way i take 900 a day but they put my son on it after back sugery and it knocks him out on his butt have a good day

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 5/1/2010 4:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the input! I'm only going to be on it for a month, so... it's probably not worth asking the dr to change it. I'm hoping (?) that it will not be this bad once my body adjusts to it. We'll have to see.

Thanks again!
DDD (4 levels- L2-3 thru L5-S1)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3089
   Posted 5/1/2010 6:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Beth,

It absolutely could be from the neurontin. Sleepiness/dizziness is a very common side effect. When I was on neurontin it always took me a week or so to adjust. I found that I had to increase by the smallest possible incriment once a week, so it took me about 6 mo to make it up to the maximum dose. If your symptoms don't decease within a day or two, you might think about asking your doctor about extending the time between your increases or increasing more gradually (if possible).


Pete trips again!
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1899
   Posted 5/1/2010 8:27 PM (GMT -6)   
It just happened to me! Posted a long reply and got thrown out! I hate that!!! So I'll try again!
Hi Beth, I just started taking neurontin about 4 weeks ago! At first I was a little tired I think> it's hard for me to tell because I'm always tired! I don't sleep very well at night.
One thing I have definitly noticed is I have become the biggest clutz! I have been crashing and smashing into everything lately! My poor toes have been stubbed so many times they are purple! I've been knocking over full glasses of water and OJ which is getting old and pissing off my wife! I'm full of bruises, scrapes, scratches and cuts! I know it's not from the narcotics because my doc has cut my pain meds in half since I started seeing her 2 months ago!
The troubling thing is, I don't think the neurontin is helping much w/ the pain! The only thing I've noticed is the electric tingling feeling which runs down my spine from my neck to between my shoulder blades is somewhat better but the pain is not! I'm not sure if it's because the neuontin is making up for the loss of narcotics or not???? i'LL ASK THE DOC WHAT SHE THINKS BECAUSE RIGHT NOW THE SIDE AFFECTS ARE NOT WORTH the bennifits if any! Soory, thats another problem! I'm always hitting the wrong keys and cap locks, alot more now than before the neurontin! Fat cluzy fingers!
Good luck, I hope it works for you!
PS> I too Lyrica a few years ago and it knocked my socks off! I would sleep all night and couldn't get up in the morning! That was when I was working and I would fall asleep at my desk! I hated it! I had to sleep w/ a diaper or would pee the bed! It was like taking a very strong sleeping pill for me! I stopped it after a couple weeks!This stuff luckily hasn't been as bad!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/1/2010 8:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I wrote a long explanation of how I slowly upped the dose of neurontin on another thread recently, but I can't remember which one.

Anyway, my neurologist initially gave me the same instructions, starting at 300mg at night for 3 days, then adding 300mg for 3 days, and a third 300mg for 3 days so at the end of 9 days I'd be at 900mg. Fortunately, my cousin is a pharmacist so she was able to give me lots of tips. Like Skeye, I took much longer to adjust to the dose. So I basically did each dose change for a week rather than 3 days, as I was working at the time and needed to know how this was going to affect me. I also ended up having to ask for 100mg capsules to increase even more slowly. My neurologist balked at the 100mg tabs, but they sure helped ease me to where I'm at now, 400mg, 4X/day. Some of the side effects do wear off as your body gets used to it, but some people do need to go more slowly than some docs realize. I was one of them.

That being said, it might help ease your symptoms even for the short run. It is meant for nerve pain and it does help the numbness and tingling in my feet, but I do believe it's what keeps me a little foggier than I'd like. It's always a trade off. But like Skeye suggested, I'd consider calling your doc and asking if you could ease up more slowly.

Hope this helps a bit.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2265
   Posted 5/2/2010 12:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi  Beth
I was put on Neurontin when I saw the PM dr. a couple of weeks ago.  I was supposed to go 300mg. for three days, 600 mg for three days and then 900mg. after that.  I'm still on 300 mg.  I'm just now getting to where it's not practically knocking me out all day.  I haven't increased anything.  I don't want to sleep all night and day, so I'm leaving it where it is.  It hasn't made a difference in my pain anyway.
I hope you had a lpd and are having a good sleep now.
Dx:  ddd, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, hypothyroidism, typeII diabetes, asthma, allergies, high blood pressure, polycystic ovary syndrome, PTSD, depression, anxiety

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/2/2010 3:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Now I remember it was one of your threads I had posted to about my experience. Even though it took me a long time to increase the dose, if you want to get any relief you probably will need to take more than 300mg. I'm taking a total of 1600mg/day, which my cousin (the pharmacist) tells me is about a middle range of people taking this medication. There are people who take nearly twice as much, although I don't know how they do it and stay awake! Of course, we're all difference, and my body has adjusted over time to many of the side effects, although some are still there. But I do know it helps the nerve pain. It doesn't help all types of pain, though. If you were given neurontin for nerve pain then you'll probably need to inch your way up to a higher dose to evaluate whether it's going to help - but as I mentioned, I had to do this slowly.


Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 5/3/2010 6:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes! Neurotin turns me into a zombie for sure....add in Skelaxin and I am almost comatose! lol But, after I did the build up, it wasn't as bad. I was still affected but not like when I first started it. I forgot the mg's that I was taking but I was taking it up to 3 times a day for bulging disc pain that was pinching nerves in my shoulder, arms and hands.
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