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Ryan could you please answer post from 12/21?
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Ryan could you please answer post from 12/21?

Ryan when you get a chance could you please answer my post from 12/21? Thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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"Hopefully you can answer another question about the Gabapentin. I have had nasuea and a too full feeling after eating ever since I have been on the Gabapentin, which I have discussed with my phsyciatist on many occasions. I have had an upper GI normal and a gallbladder ultrasound also normal. As I mentioned before still have much anxiety which all started with an injury to my neck and back .My phsyciatrist also knows this. This week when talking with my regular MD, he was saying that the Gabapentin could be causing my stomach issues. Do you know about this side effect? Also, my medical Dr. also thinks the Gabapentin is not helping me one bit and wanted me to start reducing it slowly to see if my stomach problems would start improving. He also said it would be better to be off the Gabapentin completely before trying any new meds. I guess cuz of my medicine sensativity. I am also seeing a GI doctor in Jan. about this stomach thing. It seemed after talking with my regular MD. about all my problems he made more sense to me than my phsyciatrist did, do you know why that would be when this it not my Md's field? That being said I will not reduce the Gabapentin with talking to my phsyciatrist first which did not make my MD very happy, but I'm afraid of pissing him off since he's been treating me for almost a year. Please share your thoughts on this mess! Thanks so much for your help."



Suzzie,

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, ingestion, gas, and irritable bowel syndrome and all known and documented side effects from taking gabapentin.  Since your side-effects are consistent with some of those known AND the onset was after taking the gabapentin, I think it is safe to assume there is a strong correlation.

http://shingles.emedtv.com/gabapentin/gabapentin-side-effects.html


Medications are intended to help one.  If you have not noticed any benefit from taking the gababpentin, and in fact you are suffering unpleasant side-effects, I would personally start to ween off the medication as suggested by your MD - why not earth would you take something that isn't benefiting you?????????  

This is YOUR health you are talking about - "pissing off" one of your doctors should not be something you are concerned about.  Would you sacrifice your health in order to please one of your doctors????? Yes, talk to your psychiatrist about weening off the gabapentin and an appropriate tapering regime but at the end of the day, that decision is ultimately YOURS to make.

You have said in your posts that the started getting stomach ailments after taking gabapentin AND this medication is NOT helping your anxiety.  What reasons are keeping you on this other than the fear of pissing off your psychiatrist?????

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Nobody understands!!!!!!! I have discussed on numerous occasions with my psychiatrist about my stomach issues. He had firmly stated that the Gabepentin has nothing to do with my stomach problems and he knows about all my stomach tests. I have also discussed with him about how bad my anxiety still is and he just told me that I needed to be working on it harder and that I wasn't trying to get better. But, anyway my mental health threapist has referred my to a new psychiatrist which I will be meeting with for the first time on the 8th of Jan. Hopefully that will go well, I am very scared about changing drs.
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No, no, no!  Dont be scared about changing doctors.  The psychiatrist you have is not helping you at all - things can only get better from here.  The fact he stated that Gabapentin has nothing to do with your stomach issues is a clear example of how bad he is - there is clear and documented evidence to suggest otherwise.

As a side note,  bare in mind some people have extremely rare side-effects from a medication that may not be documented.  However, the effects start when, or shortly after, the medication is started and will stop once the medication is completely out of the system.  Your GP's advice is, in my opinion, very wise - see what happens once the Gabapentin is out of your system.  Sure sounds better than spending money and tests at a GI doctors office only to find out it was a pill causing the problems, dont you think.
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Thanks for your encourgement. I'm sure you know as a fellow anxiety suffer any change is scarey. Part of me is looking forward to getting a new Dr.'s opinion and another part is very afraid. What if my psychiatrist is right and everyone else is wrong including me? He is famous and has been on our local TV many times, so my guess is that he must know what he's talking about. I have also read on this forum that Gabapentin is highly ineffective for treating anxiety, do you know anything about that? I have been on this since Feb.of 07 and still have alot of anxiety, do you know anything about this? My psychiatrist says I'm not getting better because of me not the medication. Thanks again for your support, next week will either go well when I see my new dr or be one of the worst mistakes I could be making.
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"What if my psychiatrist is right and everyone else is wrong including me? "

Thats a scary though, isn't it?  However, you have nothing to lose right now (except maybe some stomach complaints).  I have found that trusting my gut always serves me well.  I think your gut trusts your GP, who I agree with (although I am NOT a medical doctor).  For what is worth, that means that 3 people have doubts about you being on this particular medicine while only 1 seems to be insistent that you continue to take it.  This "famous" psychiatrist  is not aware of well-established and documented side-effects of Gabapentin - something is not right with this situation, wouldn't you agree?


"He is famous and has been on our local TV many times, so my guess is that he must know what he's talking about"

Finding the right psychiatrist for you is a very personal matter and it may take several attempts to find someone that you feel comfortable with (that listens to you etc. etc.).  The fact that someone is famous does not mean they know what they are talking about at all and it certainly doesn't mean he is the best choice for you.  Just because a good proportion of people like chocolate it doesn't mean that you will or that you are even "compatible" with it (you could be allergic).  Same holds true for a psychiatrist.  Also, sometimes fame leads to arrogance.


"I have also read on this forum that Gabapentin is highly ineffective for treating anxiety, do you know anything about that?"

I had never even heard of Gabapentin until I saw your post and as an anxiety sufferer I know a little about the drugs that are out there.  I dont think I have ever even seen any other posts on Gabapentin before yours.  This suggests to me this drug is not suitable for treating anxiety OR it is relatively new - my suspicion is the former applies.  I plan to look this up later or today for my own benefit and will let you know what I find out.

"My psychiatrist says I'm not getting better because of me not the medication"

People with severe anxiety disorders often get some, if not a lot, of benefit from the various medications out there.  I think it is presumptuous of him to conclude that YOU are the reason you aren't getting better.  Of course there is a component that you contribute to getting better but you should definitely see positive effects with medication.  The fact you anxiety hasnt gotten any better suggests this medication is useless for you.  It is suprising he didnt switch you to something else much, much sooner (like 6 weeks after you started to take it!).
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Thanks for your great answers. Let me know what you find out when you get a chance on your research of Gabapetin. I too am curious. I did notice even going back through the entire forum there was only one post about Gabapentin that wasn't mine, this caused me great concern. As I stated before, my PCP has wanted me off of this for a while now. I did tell my psychiatrist that my regular MD did not like Gabapentin and his only remark was "tell him to talk to me not you about it". Whatever! How do you trust your own decisions when you are making them while under the influence of anxitey? My husband has had bad feelings about this man from day one. He talks down to me and makes me feel really stupid, and one thing I'm sure of is that I am NOT stupid. Anyway that's for the great support it is refreshing. I have to get my old self back somehow. I feel like all I've done this past year is to tread water. Time for a change. I don't even care if I have to be on medication the rest of my life, I need to have my quality of life back.
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Suzzie,

I did a little research and here is a brief summary of what I found.
Gabapentin is a drug approved ONLY for the treatment of seizure disorders and shingles.  Preliminary clinical studies show that this drug has some effectiveness for treatment of bipolar disorder.  There are also some studies that show Gabapentin helps some people with various anxiety disorders but it only has "limited usefulness".  The use of this drug for anything OTHER than seizure disorder or shingles  has NOT been established although clinically studies are underway - prehaps you are inadvertently part of one of these trials....... Most doctors would start off treating someone with anxiety with standard and APPROVED antianxiety medications (klonopin, various SSRI's such as Paxil, Zoloft ec.).  In the case that those dont work, they may then move to something EXPERIMENTAL such as Gabapentin .

Below is a Wiki link that gives an overview on Gabapentin - look at the clinical uses section:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabapentin


Below are some excepts I took from the site below which talks about Gabapentin.  Again, this reiterates the fact that Gabapentin is NOT a drug established for the treatment of anxiety disorders although there is some evidence to suggest it may be useful in "some" cases.  This explains why there is only one other mention of Gabapentin in the achieves of this forum - it isnt an antianxiety medication!!!!! Also note that the effects of the drug "kick in" by 4 weeks - if you have no noticeable effect after that time, the drug is not working for you OR you need a higher dosage.  You are on a pretty massive daily dosage which means the drug itself will never benefit you - something that should have been very obvious to the person prescribing it a good 10 months ago (at least).

http://www.psycom.net/depression.central.gabapentin.html

"When was gabapentin approved for marketing in the USA and for what indications may it be promoted?

Gabapentin received final approval for marketing in the USA on 30 December 1993 and is labeled only for use as an anticonvulsant. It is also widely used to treat individuals suffering from many kinds of pain problems, tremors, restless legs syndrome, hot flashes associated with menopause, and various psychiatric disorders. "


"People with what sorts of mood and/or anxiety disorders are candidates for treatment with gabapentin?

It is too early to be very specific about which mood disorders are most likely to respond to treatment with gabapentin. There are very few published reports on gabapentin's use in psychiatry. Patients with hard-to-treat bipolar syndromes seem to have been treated more often than patients with "treatment-resistant" unipolar disorders, although a few people with such hard to treat unipolar depressions have been treated with good results. It is possible that gabapentin will prove to be a useful treatment for people with other mood disorders.

Gabapentin also seems to have significant activity as a way of controlling various anxiety disorders. "


"How long does it take for gabapentin to 'kick-in?'

While some people notice the antimanic and antidepressant effects within a week or two of starting treatment, others have to take a therapeutic amount of gabapentin for up to a month before being aware of a significant amount of improvement. "

"How does gabapentin interact with prescription and over-the-counter medications?

Only a few interactions between gabapentin and other drugs have been identified. Antacids may decrease the absorption of gabapentin and lower the blood level of gabapentin by 20% Gabapentin may increase the concentration of some oral contraceptives by 13%. This probably is not clinically significant. "
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"I did tell my psychiatrist that my regular MD did not like Gabapentin and his only remark was "tell him to talk to me not you about it". Whatever!"

Whatever, alright!  This is what I mean about some people (especially famous people) having a high level of arrogance.  It would never occur to your psychiatrist that he may be WRONG, that this drug may NOT be beneficial to you, that the side-effects you experience COULD be from the drug.  The fact he dismisses these possibilities is very disconcerting ESPECIALLY when there is EVIDENCE to suggest that
a) your anxiety symptoms have not improved since taking this medication
b) your stomach complaints started after taking gabapentin
c) numerous stomach complaints are listed on the side-effects sheet of gabapentin
d) the drug is not approved for treatment of anxiety disorders.  Only a few studies on this have been completed and they show gabapentin has "limited usefullness" for treatment of such disorders.

In my opinion, you should never have been prescribed this medication in the first place and should not still be on it.

"How do you trust your own decisions when you are making them while under the influence of anxitey?"

Anxiety or not, your gut feeling is typically spot on.  You are on this forum asking questions because you know something is wrong with your situation and you said that what your PCP said made a lot of sense to you.  Your gut is telling you the problem likely lies w/ your psychiatrist.  I think you feel very conflicted because he comes with excellent credentials so it is hard to trust someone else without the same level of training in that discipline let alone your own instincts.  Just remember that all the training in the world does not mean a person will make the right decision or is "perfect".

"My husband has had bad feelings about this man from day one. He talks down to me and makes me feel really stupid, and one thing I'm sure of is that I am NOT stupid. "

Trust yourself and your husband - again, think "gut instincts".  Talking down to you is highly inappropriate and manipulative and is another show of his arrogance. I am GLAD you are seeing another psychiatrist - whenever in doubt, seek several opinions.  Also bare in mind, it is VERY important to find someone you like and listens to you (and DOESNT talk down to you) - you can always "interview" several psychiatrist to find one that you think you will have a good repoire with.

"Anyway that's for the great support it is refreshing. I have to get my old self back somehow. I feel like all I've done this past year is to tread water. Time for a change. I don't even care if I have to be on medication the rest of my life, I need to have my quality of life back."

You are VERY welcome - I hope my posts have been helpful because I really feel for you and the situation you are in.  Sometimes an neutral outsiders words may confirm something you have already been thinking OR give you a new perspective to ponder.  You WILL get your quality of life back and it sounds like you are taking steps in the right direction.  People do not like change, but change is important for survival and necessary in life - making a change now can only do you good.

One last thing.  If you do come off the Gabapentin (I really hope you do) you will need to wean VERY, VERY slowly.  Coming off such a high level of an anticonvulsant must be done under the supervision of a doctor with an appropriate tapering regime to ensure control over any potential withdrawal effects.
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BTW:  Ryan has some serious health issues which is likely the reason he doesnt post here as often as he used to.
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Thanks for all your help. Hopefully next week will go well, I guess I have to have faith that this change is what I need to do. Your input is quite helpful. Thanks so much again.
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Another question if you don't mind? On you post about Gabapentin letter "c" said numerous stomach complaints, do you happen to know what type of stomach complaints it caused. Besides the nasuea I also feel too full after I eat, so I have to eat very small amounts of food.This is another reason I have to go to the GI doctor this month. The too full feeling started after taking the Gabapentin. My regular PCP said that this could well be a side effect of the Gabapentin. Let me know if you find out anything else. Thanks for your time!!!!!!!!!!!!
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