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Gabapentin and headaches

I started taking gabapentin about a week ago. I had a lot of nerve pain left over from after surgery. I was having headaches before I started taking this but now the headaches have increased intensely . I am now taking it 3 times daily. These headaches are kicking my Butt. Has anyone else had this? I am taking 4extra strength tylenol every 4 hrs and it doesn't help as mu h as I wish it would
Tracie C


  • ClarinetgirlCClarinetgirl Posts: 189
    edited 10/28/2014 - 4:45 PM
    I take Gabapentin 3 times a day. I have had a headache for a week! It will not go away either! Gabapentin has not helped my nerve pain at all. All it has given me is headaches and blurred vision! Sorry you are dealing with these awful headaches as well!!!!
    L5-S1 Emergency PLIF Revision May 26th 2015
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,818
    when you first start taking a new medication or the dosage has changed, you may have adverse reactions to it.
    That may definitely include headaches, which I believe is the number 1 complaint.

    These problems should go away as your body becomes adjusted to it.

    But as always, if you feel uncomfortable or just want a peace of mind, contact your doctor.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I think I'm going to talk to the doc. I have never had such a bad headache before in my life. It doesn't go away and it is mostly on my left side. I don't sleep well either because they don't go away.
    Tracie C
  • Tracie. Yes! I'm a 'better safe than sorry' girl. How many days/weeks have you been taking the Gabapentin for? I try to give things 2 weeks...as long as I'm not having dangerous side effects like heart problems. Only you know how bad you feel. Good luck.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • The doctor told me to take 2gabapentin at night and make sure I am taking the cyclobenzaprine 3 times daily again. At my 2 week spot., he had wanted me to wean off of it so I did. I have not seen any improvement yet. I have been taking the gabapentin for 2 weeks now. I am still taking the tylenol religiously because of the pain. I'm trying to be patient. Its really not helping
    Tracie C
  • What dosage of gabapentin are you taking? It has such a huge dosage range that getting to the correct dosage and getting relief can take some time..........the range is 100 mg-3600 mg per day........so it may not be helping because the dosage isn't at a level that you need . We all understand how difficult it can be, with the time it takes to find the right medications or combinations of them to get some relief but it is worth the time in the end.
  • rtconant1rrtconant1 Posts: 348
    edited 11/03/2014 - 6:31 AM
    My Gabapentin dosage is 300 mg each morning and afternoon, at night I take 2 pills so its 600 mg at night. So that equals 1200 mg a day. I have been at this dosage for a week. When I talked to the doctor he thought I might have a sinus infection because the headaches travel to the front of my face as well with pressure on the left side only and need to see my regular doctor. The crazy part of this is that the headaches are at its worst at late afternoon and into the evening/night. When I wake up in the morning, the pain is back into the back of my head. I can barely function and end up going to bed at like 5 or 6 pm to try to sleep it off for a while. I have no idea what else to do. Although it sounds like its rare, the symptoms to me sounds like cervicogenic headache. When the get bad, it has turned into a tension headache or migraine as well.
    Tracie C
  • I never had headaches with Gabapentin but Savella was brutal! The pain around my shoulders, neck & head was crippling around week 2 of titration. Hopefully these are side effects that will pass. Getting the correct doses of 'those' nerve meds (cymbalta, lyrica, gabapentin etc) can be really hard in my experience. I had all kinds of horrible reactions whilst getting used to them & it takes such a long time! Ugh!!
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • I couldn't believe how bad this has been. I have a bit more neck and shoulder pain than what I have been having as well as the headaches. I am afraid of causing my body more harm of all the Tylenol I have been taking just to feel good enough to get stuff done. I haven't been keeping up with all my bills and banking stuff lately because I couldn't stand looking at the screen. My neck is sore right now from all of that but I am sure part of it is tension from all the money I am forking out. I also notice that I have been gaining weight on this and I really haven't been eating that much. I also haven't been walking much because of the headaches. I almost would rather have the pain from before surgery than the headaches and neck pain that I am having now.
    Tracie C
  • When I was starting Savella my reactions were extreme like that (I was sooooo unchacteristically emotional as well) I searched on the Internet & found people taking you through their reactions day by day & week by week. The only reason I stuck it out was I shared exact symptoms by day!!! Some of the people said it really changed their lives. I knew I was coming to the end of the really bad side effects so I kept going. Unfortunately it did nothing for my pain & made me feel low & my heart would race & then go low. I just couldn't take it anymore. I was weeks into the stage others said they were getting significant reduction in nerve pain.

    Ha ha ha I thought I was just being a big wimp until I found others who had been in the same boat!
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • This seems to only be getting worse. My ears feel like they are going to explode and the ringing is getting worse also. I am going to talk to my doctor about it since I am still having to take a lot of Tylenol. I feel like there should be something else I can do besides taking more and more meds. If it don't stay on top of the meds even though they quit working long before the next dose is due, I am in horrible pain for hours and nothing helps. Its mostly pressure at the temples and ears and the sharp pain in the back of my head and neck. I am sorry to sound so whiney but I just want to cry it hurts so bad.
    Tracie C
  • I also can not wear anything on my head because of the pain. No hats or headbands/hair ties, I cant wear my CPAP mask at night and I barely tolerate wearing headphones and only for a few minutes. All of these seem to create pressure that also causes the headaches to get worse. I have only used my CPAP a couple of times since the surgery because of it. My insurance states that I have to use it at least 75% of the time for them to cover it. Sitting back and resting my head on a headrest becomes an issue after a while also.
    Tracie C
  • If the gabapentin is making you this miserable, then call your pm doctor and ask him to change you to another medication.
  • I called this morning and I am waiting for a response. I do plan on asking him to switch my meds.
    Tracie C
  • wish I could help, but I take the max daily dose of Gabapentin to help prevent my horrible headaches
  • rtconant1 said:
    ...I am taking 4extra strength tylenol every 4 hrs and it doesn't help as mu h as I wish it would

    I don't believe you should ever take more Tylenol than the dose recommended on the bottle. Tylenol is dangerous stuff.

  • I know its not good to take that much Tylenol. I was desperate for relief from the excruciating pain. I had talked to my doctor to get relief of the pain. I am back down to taking 2 pills.
    Tracie C
  • Has your doc changed your meds? Are you feeling any better now? I had a horrible time finding which meds I can & can't take. Ugh!
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.

  • He had me do a 6 day dose of steroids. I really didn't notice any change in the headaches until today. Yesterday was my last dose of the steroid. I have still suffered daily thru the headaches. On the second day of the steroid, I went to my physical therapy session. I had a flare up in my shoulder, back and neck which made things even worse. The physical therapist and I worked together at looking at some diagrams in the room and comparing with my pain. He noticed that I had some inflammation in the c2 and c3 area. He decided that with my permission to do a dry needling session in that area. It definitely was not fun. He only did the left side but he has me coming back for another session. It honestly did not help much but I don't know how long that I need to give it. I started getting extreme headaches on car rides. I have no idea why that would make a difference. I backed down my doses of Tylenol back to 2 tablets every 4 hours. I also am planning my trips in the car around my meds so that I am not on the tail end of the meds. It helped a little bit. Last night was the first night I went to bed without a headache and I woke up without one also. I do have some head and neck pain in that area but its not as bad as it was. My mom thinks I am trying to be superwoman all the time and not giving myself enough time to rest so I have tried resting more. Since I am not sleeping all that great, its not too hard to take a nap. I just need my husband to keep an eye on our daughter to give me time for a nap.
    I will probably still be calling my doctor again about changing the meds since it doesn't seem like the cyclobenzaprine and the gabapentin are doing enough since I still have pain all the time.
    Thanks for asking. I am sorry to sit here and ramble on.
    Tracie C
  • KatiesnoteKKatiesnote Posts: 1
    edited 07/21/2015 - 4:40 AM
    I was prescribed this med for nerve pain from llymes disease. I took 300mg last night for the first time... Woke up, dizzy, could not walk, headache began... Laid back down, threw up several times... I don't know if I just have a migraine coincidentally at the same time or if this caused it... But I don't get them often. Had to take off work, which I HATE. How long do headaches last and does this med help your pain? Thank you

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  • First let me confess I've tried a lot of these meds, even ones no-one seems to mention here. I can get a little confused between which med did exactly what but they were all pretty similar. Lyrica & Gabapentin etc are notorious for making patients put on weight. I lost a frightening amount!! I had headaches, vomiting, crippling muscle pain etc. What I did (in addition to talking to my docs) is search the Internet for bad experiences (I usually NEVER do this) there are people who discuss this in detail... Week 1 headaches + vomiting. Week 2 headaches seem to reduce but very tight neck etc. Many of these people stuck with it & got great pain relief & the side effects went. That's why I continued to take these meds through dose adjustments etc. talk to your doc if it continues.
    This didn't happen for me! They never helped more than they hurt. Gabapentin started to cause strange heart palpitations so I stopped that. I never stopped vomiting on Lyrica at any dose. It was horrible. I'm sure that I gave them all long enough to know for sure that they weren't the meds for me. Sometimes your doc needs to titrate you slower. Were you given a titration pack? I would have 2 packs & alternate so I was on each low dose twice as long.

    Now that I know I can't take these 'nerve meds' orally I have a prescription compounded topical cream. It has numbing (ketamine & lidocaine) muscle relaxants Cyclobenzaprin & Baclofen & the nerve meds. I had to go through some adjustments. It works for me with no bad side effects ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • rtconant1rrtconant1 Posts: 348
    edited 07/26/2015 - 11:42 AM
    I have been taking it since November now. I use it for the nerve pain that I get all over. I am on a fairly high dose now. The headaches are always there. They never go away. My neurologist is working on this yet. I have been through several rounds of different meds and the gabapentin stays and we end up increasing it. Eventually I would like to get off of it.
    Tracie C
  • I don't think that I have headaches related to the gapatenin, (or however you spell it). But I have been able to cut down on the amount with exercise. Now I take one in the morning and one or two at bedtime. Sometimes I take one in the afternoon if needed.
  • I have been taking Gabapentin for 9 years and I have severe headaches also. They are so bad I'm ready to have a CTscan of my head done. They are usually the my lower left side of my head, but I don't know if that means anything or not. I only get a break from them when I take 2 Headache Formula pills and 1 extra strength Tylenol; this only lasts for 3-4 hours or so and then the headache returns. I am at my witts end trying to cope with this. I would do anything to cure this; all comments are welcome. Thanks.

    John Moore
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,422
    edited 11/30/2015 - 7:47 AM
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