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gabapentin side effects

brokendiverbrokendiver Posts: 33
edited 10/23/2015 - 3:56 AM in Pain Medications
so, I suffered a back injury at work(im a deep sea diving medical technician in the Navy) about 2 months ago. it included some fractures to my L4, and the real debilitating injury was a herniated disc pushing on nerves and the pain etc that comes along with it. I was initially put on 5mg of oxycodone(1-2 tabs every 4 hours), I have yet to actually receive any treatment outside od medication(its been almost 2 months now(yay military health care:( ), but now I have actual treatment in the form of epidural injections scheduled in about 2 weeks, but the Dr decided ive been taking oxy too long and wanted to try something else in the mean time, which I was all for if it makes the pain go away, so they put me on gabapentin. after 2 days I started to feel a little off, which by theend of the 2nd day had turned into a total altering of my mental status(crying, aggression, emotional instability, as well as loss of balance/coordination). why are the drs so eager to experiment with drugs with these type of side effects, when the oxy was working?(and it didn't make me crazy) I understand the worries over addiction etc, but with actual treatment around the corner why role the dice? why not just keep doint what works with out the crazy side effects. I was eager to try anything that would work, but now having experienced a very involuntary mental side effect(I really felt like I was losing my mind). even now, after 24 hours from the last dose I feel off. the worst part was when it was at its worst I didn't know it was happening. my wife was telling me I wasn't myself and I refused to believe it. has anyone else had this experience with this drug? when will I feel like me again? they want to try lyrica now, but im leary of the same thing happening. my actual question is when will the side effects of the gabapentin wear off now that ive stopped taking it?

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It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

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Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 10/23/15 09:46 est



  • Betty65BBetty65 FloridaPosts: 83
    Did you stop taking the Oxycontin immediately? Just wondering if maybe some of the symptoms are a type of withdrawal. Have you you told your doc these reactions? Hoping by the time you read this you are feeling a little better. Take care.
  • I've been taking the gabapentin for years and don't think I've had those side effects
  • Sweetpea9365SSweetpea9365 Posts: 2
    edited 12/19/2015 - 5:09 AM
    Hi so sorry to hear what happened. I just turned 50 and happy birthday to me, I now have herniated disc at c5-c6 with nerve impingement.
    I had a quack doc and pt first.
    Then 3 neurosurgeons. Last one I like- non alarmists. He first had me on tramadol. It was ok. But because of my pain and buzzing, I was moving and sitting in contorted positions that causes other back issues. He then prescribed gabapentin. I very slowly increased the dose til I reached 900 mg for the day. Not sure how well it's helping yet, but I was drowsy will each increase. But now, knock on wood, no side effects.
    However the tramadol after a month of usage I had some unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. This overlapped with starting the gabapentin.
    Did you increase dose quickly? Did you stop the oxy too quickly?
    I hope since you wrote your post you are doing better.
  • signGuyssignGuy Posts: 6
    edited 01/04/2016 - 12:30 PM
    You cant take even a whole pill at the start. Start off with half. Build a tolerance. I tried same thing and i was doing weird stuff to.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    edited 01/04/2016 - 1:24 PM
    you need to talk to your doctor first.
    Cutting medications in half is fine for many types, but not for others.
    Before you start to experiment, talk it over with your doctor and at least your pharmacist.
    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
  • For me personally, without Gabapentin I don't think I could have lived with the nerve pain. We are all different.
  • SooveritSooverit Finger Lakes region of NYPosts: 459
    I was started on gabapentin first. I took it for 8 days. I didn't notice too many mental effects, but it did zombify me big time. Couldn't get out of bed in the morning  (have a two year old).

    They switched me to lyrica, which I tolerate much better. It does have an intoxicating effect...like I have had a few glasses of wine. And I have word loss and spaciness. But much better than neurontin (gabapentin).

    I know that feeling...why change what's working and with no side effects. Especially when the epidurals are right around the corner. 

    Have you discussed your concerns with them? 

    Take care,
    Sara :)
  • My poor husband has been experiencing extreme loss of balance/coordination--and he's spacey, too.  I've been afraid a couple of times that he's going to fall (once, it was almost into me--I moved quick (maybe TOO quick), and I know that sounds terrible, but he caught himself on the counter).  That gabapentin is powerful stuff.  I tried it, but back then, I was in night classes, so I gave it up for fear that I could be a real danger to others if I put myself behind the wheel of a car in that state of mind!!  It DID work for me, so maybe now that school isn't an issue, I may see if I could try it again for this nerve pain.  The rest of the stuff I'm on isn't really doing much, but then again, it's for general pain NOT nerve pain...
    It's always such a roll of the dice with these medications, isn't it? 
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
  • Brokendiver,
      Lemme state my "opinion" in the switch over from a medicine that worked to one that doesn't.
    We are currently dealing with doctors being FORCED BY FEAR of government regulations concerning addiction in the U.S. ,sadly thus makes doctors not treat pain,vut rather fear the treatment,un every way.

    Now,like others have said ask your doctor as soon as you can before cutting dosage of any medication.
       Please know that if you abruptly quit the pain medication that was working and switched to Neurotic, most likely this is a small amount of discontinued medicine syndrome, the Neurotic actually us probably helping but you've not acclimated to taking it.
        Fir myself Neuotin has been a life saver for nerve pain & I'd hate to not have it daily.
       Early on with Neuotin I has a but if emotions that where not my normal,but they subsided within 1 week.
      Lyrica is very similar to Neuotin,s o please know whatever your reaction is would/should be similar,ecen I'd you switch over to lyrics.
       Like everyone here,u wish you the best.
  • maehaleymaehaley PennsylvaniaPosts: 268
    I recently started gabapentin-1 a day for a week and now an on 2 a day for a week and then I will increase to 3 a day. After I started the 2 a week I noticed that I was very irritable, my vision was weird and I just didn't feel good. I am hoping that I just need to get used to the medication. So far I have not seen a decrease in my pain either.
  • Gabapentin was not my friend. On 2 separate occasions I tried it. The first was short lived. I had brain zaps & drunk like. Then last November I started it again. At first I thought it was going well. I didn't realize how much had changed rather quickly. I had gained ALOT of weight fast. To the tune of 45 pounds within 3 months! My personality was pure evil. One of the scariest effects was what it did to my heart. My heart rate stayed around 150 to 180. I developed tremors & twitching. Getting off of it was a painful ordeal. Massive headaches that weren't relieved unless I took a pill. I will never ever go back on it. I'm still trying to get the weight off. It's been 6 months & I've only lost 21 pounds of the 45 I gained.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    joyful and others.....

    I have used both Lyrica ( Pregabalin ) and Neurontin ( Gabapentin ).

    I first used Lyrica, 75mg daily.. Doctor increased my to 150mg daily and I started having negative effects, mostly swollen legs and feet.

    I switched over to Neurontin about 5 years ago.  Starting low, then up to 2800mg daily and now using 600mg daily,

    The side effects that I have experienced with Neurontin are:
    1.  Weight gain (without eating or changing anything - 10 to 25 pounds extra)
    2.  Impact on Short Term Memory
    3.  Tired feeling
    4.  Skin more sensitive to almost everything
    What was real interesting, I stopped  Neurontin for about 2 months (with doctors approval).  Without any diet or exercise change, I lost almost 15 pounds in those two months.

    But with all medications there comes some sort of potential negative effects.  For me, using Neurontin has been more positive than any of the negative impacts.
    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 am having jerks and twitching all over my body.  My Neuro doctor says it thinks it my Lyrica.  I take 200mg 3 times a day for years.  Has anyone heard of this????  Thanks.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Hello ReneeFAllen !
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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