Neurontin (gabapentin) withdrawal

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4907
   Posted 6/15/2010 7:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Good morning!
Today I'm in full Neurontin (gabapentin) withdrawal. If anyone has had to go through this maybe you will have some suggestions.

After the muscle spasms and not being able to breathe (apnea) that scared my husband, I quit cold turkey Sunday. Today I just barely made it out of bed, but I knew I had diazepam in the kitchen. (Diazepam, aka Valium, hits the same receptors, and it's supposed to help with withdrawal.) Two hours later I'm still shaking and breath-holding with pain. I'll try a little more diazepam (only took 1/2mg).
I'm hoping to find some of Nana's suggestions for herbs locally, but right now I can just barely sit here for a few minutes typing.  Quitting cold turkey is not fun, but I like breathing. 
The pain doc simply didn't believe my symptoms were from the Neurontin, although they're listed on reputable websites.  So there was no use calling him!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2858
   Posted 6/15/2010 7:29 AM (GMT -7)   

Alcie...never ever stop these drugs cold turkey...take it from one who knows.  You will be hard pressed to find any doctor who believes in these symptoms as they are mostly more than likely will be told it is a return of anxiety/pain symptoms and be offered another drug or an updose of what you are on.  If you don't have any faith in your doctor, call your pharmacist.  That's what I did and she gave me a weaning schedule.  She also told me to take Omega 3 fish oil and magnesium to help with the symptoms.  And please do not start any herbal therapy until the drug is out of your system completely.  They can mess with your seratonin levels and what you want to do now is let your brain recalibrate.

This is just my opinion and advice....maybe others can help you more.


fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: valium Advil

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4907
   Posted 6/15/2010 9:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Donna -
I prefer to keep breathing, so I felt I had to stop immediatley and never take it again, after feeling my diaphragm paralyzed for a few seconds several times. It it had been just leg or body muscle spasms I would have weaned.

I am allergic to fish oil because of the gelatin and preservatives (although not to plain fish), but I am taking flax seed oil, also a little magnesium. I'll definitely follow your advice about holding off on the herbs! Makes sense!!

My pharmacist didn't know anything, but now that you've got me thinking (this is what forums are for!), my allergist, who helped me find out I was allergic to sulfite preservatives, might be the person who could suggest options. I was taking 300mg AM and 300 at 8PM and again at 10:30PM because the 8PM dose wasn't enough to let me sleep.

What level of Mg would you suggest? I've been taking 250mg.

I'm wondering if Neurontin is another drug that can cause serotonin syndrome - although it is not on any list I have read.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2858
   Posted 6/15/2010 10:26 AM (GMT -7)   

Like other psychopharmacologic agents, gabapentin should be discontinued gradually. Withdrawal reactions have been occasionally treported, mostly in people who have abruptly stopped taking large doses of gabapentin. Only when necessary because of a serious side effect, should gabapentin be suddenly discontinued.

Hi Alcie...this is what I found out about the drug and it sounds like it was necessary for you to stop...Breathing is important!
Flaxseed oil is fine...and I take 250 mgs of Magnesium Glycinate.  I wish you luck and hope you feel better.  I too have taken valium on occasion to get through the nastiest part of W/D from an SSRI. more that three or four 5mg pills a week.  Don't want to have to wean from that too!
fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: valium Advil

Nana Monster
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 957
   Posted 6/15/2010 5:48 PM (GMT -7)   
I hope all goes well with the withdrawing of the drugs. So many of these I react to so I stick to herbals and once in a while a
darvacet or skelaxin when absolutely needed. The damage the stuff I've taken over the years have rotted my teeth because
of the dry mouth and I have to drink water all the time to help stave it off, either that or have a piece of gum in my mouth.
I just read about the premerin they give us women for menopause causes dementia in some. GREAT!!! What do they add to
the horse urine to make it do that??? shocked Makes me wonder more and more about man made drugs.
I have yet to find a dr or a pharmacist who understands many of the herbs or other suppliments.
Nana Monster

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4907
   Posted 6/16/2010 2:06 PM (GMT -7)   
After reading Squirrele's post I started looking up my meds and tramadol. There is a possibility that gabapentin and tramadol together caused my muscle spasms and apnea. I've had serotonin syndrome muscle spasms before (taking with Zofran), although not to the degree that I had it last week from the gabapentin, and it stopped when I took the meds a few hours apart.

Since stopping the gabapentin I had a little spasm the first night only, but the withdrawal pain is horrible today, the 4th day off.

I'm hoping I can go back to a small dose of gabapentin at night only, and hours after taking the tramadol - need to check the duration of action for both. Funny, I had no trouble during the daytime.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 6/17/2010 7:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Alcie: I had terrible problems with tramadol. PC insisted I take it for pain but it actually has bad side effects with gabapentin which I was also taking 300 3 x's a day. The other drug that caused me problems was Vytorin for cholesterol, it's side efffect is muscle pain. For crying out loud why??? would a doctor knowing I have fibromyalgia give me a med with that side effect?

What I have learned is we have to become our own advocate and question everything our doctors want us to take. The past couple of years have been terrible for me and I have had more tests, meds, doc appts, etc. than my entire life before. I'm 53 have had allergies & asthma all my life so I've had my share of dr appts.

I stopped the tramadol and count on advil with an aoccasional (rarely) vicodyn. Off the vytorin and doing better. I have gone from insomnia to sleeping like a log and needing naps during the day. I think that is because I have my 3 yr old grandbabyfor a couple of weeks. They are military and between deployment & moving it's better for her to be with me. Before you think I lost my mind, she is in daycare 5 days a week. Plus my son is helping me around the house.

Well, it's past my bedtime, need by beauty make that grandbaby sleep.

Fibromyalgia from a bad car accident.
I was waiting for traffic and someone on a CELL PHONE hit my car at 65MPH and totalled it.
PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Chronic Fatigue, Arthritis and other stuff sprinkled in for good measure.
Wanna Sew

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/25/2011 5:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Alcie, I too am withdrawing from Neurontin and I had a rough three months while I was taking it. Starting was awful and I had to go slower then the doctor first recommended. The medicine helped with my peripheral neuropathy which was pretty severe. It helped the rls, the burning the heavy feeling, and even helped my back pain. Although the side effects were awful, while I was on three a day (900mg) I was in a fog, couldn't remember anything, depressed, self hatred, crying all the time, angry, after a big fight with my neighbor I realized I could not "ride it out" as the nurse had suggested. The doctor told me to wean off, in one week intervals, so down to two a day (600mg) for one week, then down to one (300mg) for second week, but the withdrawels are awful and a day after I started I felt like I have bronchitis or pluerisy, it hurts my chest to move like I did about 200 push ups...! I just feel like I have a respiratory infection and overall tired, not sleeping well, pain in my joints. Along with this my doctor is having me take two Lyrica (100mg) a day but I am only taking 1 seeing as it has a bad effect on me too, although it might of been just the Neurontin it's hard to say. I'm taking two tylenol as needed for pain. I'm still angry and in a fog, I hear people say it takes months to go back to normal. Ugh I dread the leg pain coming back but he said he will give me something else lol. Good Luck and I would consult with another physician about tapering off the meds...and as far as I know herbal remedy's aren't good while Neurontin is in your system. That info was in the literature from the pharmacist. take care

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 6/26/2011 8:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Stopping any med cold turkey like that is not good. Even with the Cymbalta I wanted to stop I tried cold turkey but it was horrible. The withdrawl symptoms are like going through withdrawl from cocaine. So what I did was I took one a day normaly I went down to taking one every other day for two weeks, then one ever two days for two weeks, then one every three days until I was out of them and by that time the major withdrawl symptoms disapated.
"Mother's write on the hearts of their children things the world can never erase"

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/30/2012 12:29 AM (GMT -7)   
This is my first post to this forum, I like many others have begun to wean myself off of gabapentin/ Neurontin, I had been taking gabapentin for 10 years 2400 to 3000 miligrams a day, I have been in this process of weaning off of gabapentin for over 10 months now from 2400 to 1200 there were no painful withdrawal but when I tried to go below 1200 to 900 I experienced nausea a lack of appetite and head aches. I would put up with the withdrawal for a month and there didn't seem to be any end in sight to the agony so I would up my dose to 1200 for a while just so I could feel reasonable normal with no withdrawal.  And then I would try again, I had been taking the whole dose at bedtime to help with sleep but it wasn't untill I split the dose and took 300 in the morning and 600 at bedtime was I able to make any headway still experiencing withdrawal but still determined to wean myself off of this gabapentin.  I mentioned to my Doctor that the company that makes gabapentin didn't tell us every thing about this drug when they put this drug on the market, as I was discussing with my doctor the horrable withdrawal I was experiencing she told me about some of her other patients that had to stop taking gabapentin because medicare would no longer pay for this drug.  And they had a similar experience with withdrawal as I am experiencing.  My doctor was cought off guard did not know about the withdrawal we are having to go through.  I started reading the forums and read about the suggestion of taking a magnesium supplement to mitigate the symptoms of withdrawal.  And then I remember reading an article about spsom salt which is magnesium sulfate the article seemed to confirm that soaking in epsom salt solution raises the magnesium levels in the body.  And that I had cut my arm about the same time I began to wean myself off of gabapentin and I had been soaking my arm in epsom salt as well as soaking in epsom salt solution or a sitz bath.  So it occured to me that the reason why I didn't experience withdrawal when I weaned my gabapentin down to 1200 milligrams from 2400 was because my body was being infused with magnesium from the epsom salt I had been soaking in and after my cut healed I stoped soaking in epson salt.  I have since begun soaking in epsom salt solution (sitz bath) again and my withdrawal symptoms have lessoned.  And I have begune to wean in ernest now as the withdrawal is much more bearable.  I am allso taking a 500 miligram magnesium supplement as well. but I believe the epsom salt works faster than the pill supplement.
This is my story do with it as you will.
Good Luck
I am not a doctor and I realise this may sound so fantastical maybe its just in my head, but whatever works.  

New Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/9/2013 1:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I just went of neurotin cold turkey I was having problems (I think), very sore leg pain and cramping, diarreaha, and pain in my stomach. I was only on the med for 2 months and it didn't work anyway. Has anyone else delt with these symptoms?? Help!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 5948
   Posted 10/9/2013 2:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Robertpc and Pardenme,

Welcome! (Robert, it looks like you slipped through the cracks - sorry it took a while to greet you.) That sometimes happens when people post in very old threads, which is easy to do if you aren't watching the dates...I'm locking this thread, because that's what we do after a certain point.

It would be a good idea if each of you started your own threads, introducing yourself, and putting something like "Newbie" in the title - more people will notice you that way, and you'll get more responses.


Moderator, Fibromyalgia Forum

Fibromyalgia, herniated disc L4-5, (recent discectomy), DDD, frozen shoulder(s?) Hashimoto's thyroiditis, IBS, migraines, visual disturbances, tachycardia, hearing loss (probably Menieres,) balance issues, chemical sensitivities.
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