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GabaPentin - will cause or cure an addiction?
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GabaPentin - will cause or cure an addiction?

I've been suffering for months from an unusual withdrawal effect of opiate addiction. I get a syndrome somewhat like restless leg in the evenings that is painful and prevents sleep. Withdrawal from hydrocodone produced virtually no withdrawal symptoms (I was not taking much), but the sleep preventing syndrome persists for weeks, probably months to come. I have been desperately seeking something safe to help me sleep, while I wait for my brain disruption to normalize. About 1000mg of Gabapentin each evening shows promise after a few days. But I 've read wildly different things about this drug - from it being non-addicting, to it being harder to get off than the benzos!

I do not know who or what to believe about this drug. I would hate to pill myself into a doctor approved more horrible hell, or take something that will give me a rebound of my problem, if/when I taper off it. Any good information about this drug or how to safely use it (I've been taking a 100mg twice daily and 300mg at night for about 3 weeks, and now take
1000mg only at night, with 10mg of baclofen -- the combination that seems to work).
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26 Comments Post a Comment
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617347_tn?1331296681
Hi..

i can't answer your question as i don't have experience or knowledge about gabapentin but i would say that if you have read disturbing facts or opinions about it i would try other ways to solve your problem if possible.

hydrocodone was my doc and sleep was a problem for me for a long long time ... i don't know the reasons, I'm sure that my anxiety because of  the problems i was having in my life has to do with it. I found some help with melatonin and valerian root for the first months. And i say some help because having 5/6 hours of somewhat broken sleep  was a great thing for me considering my circunstances. I  also had this RLS for some time but with the suplemments and some patience i went through them. I know you have talked of feeling this way for some months and it can wear anyone's patience...but haven't you noticed any improvement on the symptons ( intensity, duration...) while taking other natural remedies ?
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Avatar_f_tn
Not sure I am doing my comment correctly. How do I post a reply to a thread I started? I am trying this way and hope it succeeds. My problem is a lot more specific and worse than laurel453's comments suggest. The physical syndrome hits each night, causes considerable pain and prevents virtually all sleep. It is not that I aint sleepy. I am in pain all night, and all day trying to stay awake while sleep deprived. My health is fading on multiple levels. Laurel's God is a loving god. I ponder the puzzle of a loving god and the power of love, in situations which, once started, seem un unsolvable trap: One one can do, it seems is broil in the agony of the problem. it seems, if one already has the quality of love, one can just manifest it through one's problem, whether or not things turn out well.

I must solve my sleep syndrome, or I do not see how I can live daily life of any sort.
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617347_tn?1331296681
I realise now that  you are in a lot of pain and it's not only a problem of a broken sleep, sorry if i misunderstood you, Howbe...

i'm bumping the thread to see if someone can help you with this  :)

maybe someone with gabapentin experience out there ???????
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Avatar_f_tn
Somehow, I have put myself in a deeper pit. I think the original sleep problem may be resolved. But I in the last several weeks I have taken 900mg gabapentin and 30mg baclofen each night - enough to addict me. These drugs are not considered addicting because they do not make you feel good. But they appear to both subject you to the horrors of benzodiazapine withdrawal. I got in this fix trying to solve my sleep problem. I do not see how any human being can withstand the horrors of getting off two of these. but I welcome any merciful advice, and prayers frankly.  
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452063_tn?1324078516
Gabapentin...Neurontin seems to have different effects on different people. It has an antidepressant quality and many people have wd symptoms when they just stop taking it. It has to be weaned onto and weaned off of or you will feel effects...although some just stop taking it and are fine. My doc was opiates and I take Neurontin for my spinal stenosis. It took some time for my system to adjust to the side effects but I take it regularly and never crave it or take more than prescribed like I did with opiates. This is the difference for me. Tramadol didn't get me high but I kept popping them anyway to keep from getting dope sick from opiates so I concider this an addictive drug for me(the Trams) and will not use them. I haven't had any desire to misuse my Neurontin and many times forget a dose and don't notice it. There is a big risk of seizures with stopping Neurontin without medical guidence so you should see your doctor and follow his/her instructions. Best of luck to you, Corey
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1337425_tn?1278177587
I've been taking gabapentin off and on for RLS and from what I've experienced and been told by the doctors, it's non-addicting and I've experienced  no withdrawal effects from it when not taking it. But I only take 300mg at a time.  I've found that melatonin and valerian root (purchased otc at any store) work quite well to help me sleep, valerian root also good for anxiety.
Hope that helps a bit.
Kathy
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Avatar_f_tn
Dear Howbe:  Laurel453 saw some of my other posts and asked me to respond to you; sorry it has taken a few days; I see you already have some good advice.  I am a licensed healthcare professional and have prescribed Gabapentin many, many times.  I have some chronic pain patients who take up to 2500mg daily, divided into three different doses.  Gabapentin is an anti-seizure drug; it is not know to be physically addicting.  As long as it is helping your painful restless leg problem, I see no problem unless you try to stop abruptly.  You must taper off over at least one week, or you risk having a seizure. The Baclofen is an older type muscle relaxer and is safe to take with the Gabapentin. It is not known to be addictive and is usually only causes withdrawals if taken intrathecally(i.v. spine).  It wouldn't hurt to wean off it as well however, as it is usually easier on the body to wean off almost all meds. I hope this answers your questions, if not, send me a message. BTW acupuncture and chiropractic help the RLS a lot, along with calcium, magnesium and Hylands restless leg homeopathic, potassium, and ginger tea also help.  Good luck and God Bless.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been taking gabapentin for along time now.  I think it does help with pain issues, it is subtle, and I am not in the least afraid to take it.  I have no addiction to it,  take it or leave it,  but it does seem to help some with pain.  I wish you well,and hope that you will discuss any fears with your Dr.,  he/she can tell you more abt. how it works in your body.  Don't be afraid of the addiction tho, it's not that kind of a drug.  Just my thoughts, hope it helps.

Ella
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Avatar_f_tn
i am prescribed gabapentin for anxiety and pain 120 300 mg a month I use them fir my opiate withdrawals tho they don't make me puke or have diarrhea on them while going through my withdrawals for opiates but I still don't feel right but they defense
Help me sleep so ppl get the prescribed as sleeping pills. And they are not addictive the gabapentin unless ur on it for a long time
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198154_tn?1337790865
Its not a "cure" by any means , but proved to be VERY HELPFUL for me at times.

They will absolutely take the edge off wd's

Good Luck!
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Avatar_m_tn
Sorry you are experiencing this! When you are not sleeping; it makes life hell and it seems your sleeplessness is paired with pain.

I recently got off of Neurontin and I DID have some withdrawals. I was at a higher dose of about 2500mg for a short period of time and I did not taper. For me, it started with restlessness, then I thought my skin was going to burn off and then severe hot flashes and waves of nausea. No deep bone pain or anything like opiate withdrawal, but very uncomfortable. A little anxiety and depression. THEN, restless legs.

I think you have a very personal decision to make because regardless of what a physician says about the risk of dependency on it, I think you and I have read the same scary stories out there how others are suffering trying to get off of it and not at high doses either.

Just a thought, but maybe try it for a short period of time, then slowly taper and see how you do... especially if you feel you have exhausted all others areas for helping with this pain and restlessness in your legs.

Godspeed!
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1337425_tn?1278177587
if anything, gabapentin helps me sleep, it also makes me very dizzy and sometimes helps with the pain...

earlier this month when i went to my primary care physician she bumped my dosage up to 600 mg to be taken 3x per day...

no probs at all sleeping with it... just have to be careful to not fall down because it makes me so dizzy and sleepy
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Avatar_f_tn
Okay...my boss takes gababentin for nerve damage in here feet. If you ask me, she is wacked out on the stuff. She is not the same person she was when I first met and adored her....she gave me one and told me it would help my vic withdrawals...I ended up taking a six hour walk with my dog and nearly got lost....when I got home I took a shower with my clothes on....I'm sure it was a mix of the gaba and withdrawal that made my behavior so bizarre...but that's my experience with gaba....take care.
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1428571_tn?1283684243
Hi, I've been taking gabapentin for a few years now.  Its been prescribed to me because it helps with a couple issues that I have.  Nerve pain due to adhesive disease and depression.  I gained weight within the first few months of being on it and got very upset but the benefits that I get from it far outweigh the weight gain, so now I'm excercising more which I should be doing anyway.  I have run out in the past and I have had some pretty horrible wd's...so I know now that I would def need to taper if I decide to stop taking them.  I have read many different opinions on this drug...either lovers or haters..it seems to affect people differently.  As far as baclofen, I've been prescribed that for the herniated disc in my neck and I've taken them at night...honestly I don't feel pain relief, I just seem to get sleepy.
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Avatar_f_tn
can any one tell me if it upsets there stomach it does me help
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1337425_tn?1278177587
It's probably the one thing that doesn't upset my stomach, and I'm taking pretty high prescribed doses of it, 300mg, 3x/day.  Make sure you eat something when you take it if it upsets your stomach.  Talk to your dr. and see if he/she might be able to help.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have a friend that had been addicted to gabapentin for several years now. She has stolen from friends and family to get money for her multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors. She regularly OD's and has severe symptoms. Two days ago, she picked up a 90 ct bottle of gabapentin between noon and 1pm. By 9pm, she had slurred speech, rapid eye movements, nauseau and jerky body movements. This was followed by 2 seizures before I checked her medicine. She had 42 remaining, meaning she took 48. I am trying to find someone who has done an intervention  on someone with this addiction, but due to the "safety" of the drug, I can't find anyone. First she was addicted to tramadol and now this, not to mention stealing money and prescriptions from friends and family. When is enough, going tobe enough?
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Avatar_f_tn
This is an old thread.  You should post a new question in order to get answers to your question.  Gabapentin isn't addicting in the same way narcotics are.  It needs to be tapered off to prevent seizures.  It was originally an anti-seizure drug that is now used for nerve pain as well.  Your friend is in serious trouble playing with this medication.  It is a very serious med.  Has her family tried to intervene?  Has anyone called her doctors and let them know what's going on?  It's not a drug that people usually abuse so I doubt the pharmacies would be red-flagging her.  Try posting your own post and see if you can get some responses.
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Avatar_m_tn
I started with the tramadol (doctor said it was non addictive), then Gabapentin..up to 3600mg a day. I hve been trying to kick the gabapentin addiction but becoe very nervous, an can't sleep. Just like with tramadol, the doctors don't know jack **** about how addicting it is. Never go over 300 mg a day, or stay away totally.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am currently taking gabapentin. I am also still taking 60 mg of oxcontin for pain of a hernia and three herniated discs in my back. I recieved cortizon epideral injections in my back and am due to have  hernia surgery on tues so I will be taking pain meds for the next week or so. I've been taking the pain meds for about three years straight and have had times when I had no med ins or money to pay for them and have had to white knuckle the  withdrawal from the pain which lasted for weeks to days depending on how I weened myself after that I was free from them for months but the pain in my back caused me to return. There also was a craving for that relaxed frrling at night. I will say the opiate withdrawl (withdrawal) was bad but as a yougster I experimented with heroin and the painkillers aren't as bad as cold turkey from smack Having been tough enough to kick smack after two years of use I am confident I will kick these pain killers. I have to in order to get back to work. I have run out of my medication a few times and have noticed I dont go through the withdrawal symprtoms with the gabapentin I am also able to sleep. I will probably get my last presription of painkillers when I go through my surgery tues which is an extremely painful surgery. It's an abdominal incsionary hernia recurruence. This is my third repair.  I will get back to you about the withdrawls I go through with the painkillers and gabapentin. It all sound like loads of fun fun fun. Semper Fi OHH ****** Rah. Fun Fun Fun. That's life. That;s what people say. Your ridin high in April shot down in May.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Neurontin is a great med used for opiate withdrawal however does not relieve you of all symptoms I did take neurontin to help with opiate withdrawal and it worked miracles.. However cold sweats and goose bumps are a pain in the *** and in my opinion is the most annoying part of withdrawal having cold chills in minty degree weather and being hot when a foot of snow is outside... My advice if you are addicted to opiates cut back as much as possible and use the Meds many have stated above to help with your withdrawal and try not to abuse those in the process you almost would do anything to get away from the misery of opiate withdrawal and depending on how long you have been using opiates my doc said it could take up to a year to feel all the way normal opiates have a way of putting you in a mental state that says u will never feel right again but I promise time heals all.. Pain killers are the devil people who aren't addicts even tend to get addicted to pain medicine physically an mentally it's a horrible thing to go thru but I can say u feel free when it's all over best of luck to all!! I'm still struggling!
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5056960_tn?1362960083
try getting 6-10 lymphatic drainage professional massages.  look online for a community based acupuncture clinic who will consider you for regular treatment.  needle workers usually take a doctors note, with some kind of specific diagnosis, just be aware.  the feeling of inTOXICation is what ur craving, not the drug itself, according to the human system.  also, a fruit fast for 72 hours (2500 calories fruit per day) may do a world of difference in the excretion principal ur facing.
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Avatar_m_tn
Be careful and do not stop it abruptly.
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Avatar_f_tn
I want. To quit taking hydrcodone. Dr gave me gabapenten 300 mg. I work at a physcally hard job and I'm scared I won't be able to work while withdrawing. I need some good advice. I have a lot of pain with tmj and severe rare case of shingles. Can you tell me the best way to stop taking hydrocodone without sleepiness and sickness aatleast while I work?
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5347058_tn?1381192026
Hi there and welcome! This is an older post and people would be much more likely to respond if you started your own thread. Just go to the top of the page and hit the 'post a question' link. You can share your story and/or ask a question. That way you are sure to get all the support that you need. At the bottom of the page is the Thomas Recipe. Check it out because it is full of supplements and vitamins that really can help with the withdrawal symptoms. Please hang around and keep posting. This is a great place to get advice, encouragement, and support. Good luck to you!
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