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Gabapentin for withdrawal insomnia?


uncomfortablynumb
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Anybody try low dose gabapentin to help sleep to help with withdrawal insomnia? Is this a viable option? Or will it come with its own withdrawal problems? Is there no way other than to tough it out? I take Ativan once per week to help with sleep. But I can't take it more frequently due to tolerance and addiction.

2006-15 Effexor on and off mostly on. Also tried drugs that didn't work; notriptyline, Celexa, Zoloft, Welbutrin, Abilify, Pristiq, Cymbalta. Weaned off Effexor for last time quickly (2015) - horrible depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Remeron (2016) helped wd symptoms. 
2017 - tapered off Rem over a few mths. Horrible wd symptoms with insomnia. Reinstating Remeron fail. For wd insomnia tried: Trazodone, Elavil, Gabapentin, Seroquel, Doxepin, Valium. Failed. 2mg Ativan at bed intermittent use 4mth.
CT Ativan - off all meds June '17.  Recovered by Oct '17 - well for a yr.
Oct '18-now. Major stresses, drank alcohol. In hell -insomnia, dp/dr, head pressure, anhedonia, no emotions, blank mind.
May/June '19 - 16 doses Rem CT, 10 doses 2mg Ativan. CT

Recovered Oct 2020-June 2022 - fully functional, working.  Only left with head pressure.

Major stresses - mainly financial, living space, relationship - severe insomnia, severe anxiety, depression, dp/dr, emotional numbness, blank mind

Sept 2022 - for sleep - took 8 doses of 15mg Remeron, 3 doses of 7.5mg, 3 doses of 3.75mg, 3 doses of 1.875mg

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Gabapentin also requires tapering by the 10% method. 

 

Also, Alto wrote:

About a sleep regimen: No one pill is going to cure withdrawal insomnia. You need to retrain the part of your brain that controls sleep: The locus coeruleus. This may take discipline or changing your habits, like staying up late and sleeping late. My doctor is a sleep specialist. Among his non-drug recommendations to retrain the locus coeruleus: - Get up and go to bed at the same time every day. Rising at 6:30 a.m. is good because it is close to a natural cycle. Bed by 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. If you stay up late, you are giving the wrong signal to your locus coeruleus. No naps during the day. - No bright lights, including computer, after sundown. They send the wrong daylight signal to your brain. - At least 30 minutes of exercise every day before sundown. Walking is excellent; unlike other exercise, it does not increase the level of cortisol, the alerting hormone. - Keep bedroom cool, quiet, and dark, and reserve for sleep (and sex). This is another cue to your brain that when you get into bed, it's time for sleep (or sex, I guess). - Take melatonin at nightfall to signal the start of the sleep cycle. Start with .25mg and stay there if it works, if not, increase gradually. If it makes you feel bad, take less. - Supplement-wise, he likes fish oil (with vit E), COQ10, niacinamide, calcium, magnesium. Plus a supplement called My-B Tab (Legere) an hour before bed (it contains sublingual vit B12, folate, and adenosine monophosphate). Get enough protein; a whey protein supplement helps. (I like NOW whey protein isolate.) As with all things, you may be sensitive to a supplement, so start with a low dose of one supplement and see how you do. Don't try a bunch of supplements at once -- if you have a bad reaction, you won't know which one was responsible.

 

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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The insomnia sucks....I got zero sleep last night

1995 - 2015 antidepressants and antianxiety medicine
Multiple failed attempts to quit/taper anti d/anti anxiety meds since 2008

June 17, 2016 began prozac bridge to get off of effexor xr, stopped effexor xr on June 24, 2016, could not tolerate prozac due to severe side effects so I had to stop it  Currently...300 mg ER of lithium, 1 mg of estradiol, 60 mg propranolol ER, Fish oil 2 x a day, Magnesium Glycinate,  zinc, vitamin c, vitamin d, NAC

 

 

 

 

 

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This is a site for going off psychiatric drugs. We are not in a position to recommend any drugs to solve sleep problems.

 

Sleep problems are extremely common in withdrawal syndrome. We have many, many people who have gone through long, rocky periods with little sleep. As with other withdrawal symptoms, this gradually improves as the nervous system heals.

 

A lot of people here have been injured by drugs, and generally we do not recommend them except for the purpose of bridging to go off.

 

ALL psychiatric drugs incur physiological dependency over time, they ALL can be difficult to go off. There is no free lunch.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi Alto,

 

Sorry, I realize that I am playing with fire. The suffering from lack of sleep is torture. I have always been one to avoid medication at all costs and now it looks like i am a med junkie. I can't function. I feel that exercise may help the problem but I am so wiped out that I can't even attempt. I know the body requires deep sleep to recover and rebuild from bouts of exercise. If I exercise and can't sleep this might make my problem worse.

 

I am going to try other options. I have tried so many already (fish oil, magnesium, valerian, camomile, essential oils, meditation, and many others). I considered blue light glasses. I have to ask around to see if they help. I guess I can drink myself to sleep one night per week. Lol

2006-15 Effexor on and off mostly on. Also tried drugs that didn't work; notriptyline, Celexa, Zoloft, Welbutrin, Abilify, Pristiq, Cymbalta. Weaned off Effexor for last time quickly (2015) - horrible depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Remeron (2016) helped wd symptoms. 
2017 - tapered off Rem over a few mths. Horrible wd symptoms with insomnia. Reinstating Remeron fail. For wd insomnia tried: Trazodone, Elavil, Gabapentin, Seroquel, Doxepin, Valium. Failed. 2mg Ativan at bed intermittent use 4mth.
CT Ativan - off all meds June '17.  Recovered by Oct '17 - well for a yr.
Oct '18-now. Major stresses, drank alcohol. In hell -insomnia, dp/dr, head pressure, anhedonia, no emotions, blank mind.
May/June '19 - 16 doses Rem CT, 10 doses 2mg Ativan. CT

Recovered Oct 2020-June 2022 - fully functional, working.  Only left with head pressure.

Major stresses - mainly financial, living space, relationship - severe insomnia, severe anxiety, depression, dp/dr, emotional numbness, blank mind

Sept 2022 - for sleep - took 8 doses of 15mg Remeron, 3 doses of 7.5mg, 3 doses of 3.75mg, 3 doses of 1.875mg

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  • 6 months later...

Gabapentin didn't help me sleep, but I did use some of the Z drugs (Ambien, etc) for the first two months before transitioning to OTC sleep aids. I tried every supplement, gabapentin, lyrics, etc before using something as strong as ambien and they had no real effect at the time.

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

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