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Maresat: Gabapentin and very difficult Valium taper

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Moderator Note: Link to Maresat's benzo thread



Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:08 PM

Hi , I'm new here .... I've read a lot of posts and found some great advice and wisdom relative to WDs .


I started my Valium taper at 10 mgs June 2016 , after a very difficult cross from klonopin that was pretty horrific. I kinda wished I had been more informed and had tried tapering direct from klonopin , but I only knew the Ashton method at that point and thought it was the way to go. Anyway , since June , I don't know if I was ever really stable on the V. My nervous system was so messed up from the crossover, ( and I think from my steroid CT ) but I thought I could just go ahead and begin the V taper at the Ashton rate. After the first mg things got really bad. ( mostly bed bound, terrible burning flesh and skin, stomach pains , concrete head, memory issues, difficulty walking , zero stress tolerance, hypersensitivity to sound and more)

By September I had to hold my taper at 81/4 mgs V.

every time I have tried to cut the tiniest amount ( liquid MT), I get thrown back into crippling WDs . I am hypersensitive to everything , cannot work or even socialize in any way, a lot of pain and constant burning skin and flesh.

I hate how sedating the V is , I dose three times a day. Most of my symptoms are physical .

I have managed to get down almost to 8 mgs Since the end of September, just making little reductions here and there, but they always hit me really hard and take weeks to recover from.

I don't know how to proceed. It seems my only option is to keep holding and trying to cut little bits when I feel I can.

I was only on benzos daily for 6 months , and can't believe this is so hard.

Is anyone else THIS sensitive ?

I have reduced my gabapentin from 900 mgs to 415 mgs , I'm not absolutely sure when I started that , sometime in 2016. I have been advised that for now it would best to hold tapering the gabapentin , as even though I haven't felt any particular WDs from it , it could be influencing my Valium taper. I definitely feel the Valium cuts very specifically though.

I do want to get lower in dose on my Valium , that I feel is my first priority.


I haven't been non symptomatic since the start of this taper. I'd really like to find a way to taper where I can have a bit of a life while I do it.

I just wonder if anyone else has similar experience . I will feel 1/30th of a 1/4 mg cut of V! At this rate it would take me 6-8 years to come off.... i suppose I wouldn't mind if I can live a life in the meantime.

Thanks in advance for any experience or encouragement you may have.



Ps , I couldn't fit my supplements in my sig, so here they are-

I do take magnesium in a liquid sea mineral form , and know to take it 2 hours away from gabapentin - about 100 mgs day

Milk thistle, biotin-1,000 mg, Pantethine-300 mg, ester c-100mg, krill oil-1000 mg,saffron-88 mgs, lactium-167 mgs, citicoline-300 mgs,niacinamide-500-1,000 mgs, l-lysine-500 mg, zinc piconolate-15 mg

Edited by scallywag
tags; previous edit to add link to benzo topic

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Hi, Maresat.


Thanks for starting a thread here on the main Intro thread.  I added a link to your benzo thread at the top of your first post so you can navigate easily back and forth. 


As I'm not very familiar with a lot of supplements, I can only give you some general recommendations. Hopefully, others will chime in and give you some more pointers.


We only recommend magnesium and fish oil, as they can be calming to the nervous system and many members report good results. However, as is the case with all supplements, please only add in one at a time and at a very low dose to see how you react.


This will give you more information on these two supplements:


King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker


And some other general information:


Important topics about tests, supplements, treatments, diet


And you can find more information by using the Search box or by Googling "surviving antidepressants" + "[name of supplement]."


Please continue to update. 

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Thanks Shep..... Do I just update in this thread ? Or start new ones.....I imagine it's best to keep it in the same thread?

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Maresat -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

Post questions about gabapentin here in this topic and questions about valium in your benzo topic.

If you want to get fancy, you could put links to each in your signature by copying and pasting these links:
intro - gabapentin and valium taper topic.

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Thank you scallywag, I'm still trying to find my way around the site.......I think for now I have a plan ..... Holding and stabilizing until hopefully my nervous system settles down .... It's not happy at the moment

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Like you, I too am taking both a Benzo and Gabapentin and having a hard time tapering the Ativan right now.  For me, it's because I messed with my Gabapentin taper about seven weeks ago, removing a middle of the night dose after forgetting to take the Gabapentin one night.  I was originally taking 700 mg at bedtime and another 100-200 in the middle of the night when I would wake up.  I have now reinstated 150 mg in the early morning, but now instead of my body just expecting the Gabapentin at bedtime, it appears to be expecting it around the clock.  Since I'm only taking it at 10:30 and 5:00-6:00 AM, by the afternoon I am experiencing what I recognize as Gabapentin withdrawals (itching/prickly skin, anxiety). 


This has therefore stopped my Ativan taper for the time being while I try to figure out how to stabilize on the Gabapentin.  As I result, I can totally relate to your feeling of frustration at not making any progress in my taper(s).  Ideally I would like to go back to just taking Gabapentin at night, but feel like the ship has sailed on that.


When you have reduced your Gabapentin, are you just reducing at night?  I'm wondering if the Gabapentin reductions have made your CNS more sensitive, and thus have made it harder for you to taper the Valium.  Hard to say, I'm sure.


I wish you all the best.


NW Guy

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Hi NW guy , sorry I haven't replied to your post til now! I stopped all tapering for a while , still actually! I don't seem to be able to stabilize , my nervous system is so fragile. There is so much to learn in this process!


Did you figure out what to do with your gabapentin ?


I have left mine where it is, I tried taking some additional in the day and actually had a paradoxical reaction to that , so I am taking all my GPN at night still. I probably get some interdose WD with it , I don't know with the Valium in the mix.


Currently I'm trying to figure out what's worse with the Valium , the side effects , which are increasing , and the WDs , which I am still having after 7 months of only cutting 1/4 mg form my dose . Last time I tried a minute cut , less than 1% ( end of March) the WDs were so bad I stopped right away. I seem to be still trying to stabilize from that . So for now, for me it seems I have to hold until I am stable enough to try tapering again, and just endure the side effects




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I posted this in the benzo forum , I'm not sure if I'm supposed to start it as a new topic there also, as my original post was a while back? Maybe someone could help me there, thanks!


Anyway , I'm updating here and have a question or two .


I haven't posted in a while..... I have been basically holding on both gabapentin and valium . However , I did cut the rest of my 1/4 mg of Valium ( from the 8 1/4) at the end of March . It was a very small amount ... 1/10 of 1/4 mg, over a period of a week. I thought I felt stable enough to to do that after the six months of ' holding' .( since oct 2016) Except it wasn't a true hold with no changes !


I cut back some gabapentin ,a nd I also during the time cut most of the 1/4 mg of Valium , just in little bits here and there .


The upshot is , I am still really unstable . I'm quite symptomatic . Some days a re a bit better than others , but in general my nervous system is extremely fragile . I am still mostly housebound . I have felt some improvements also, I'm definitely better than I was last October .


I feel a cut of any kind would be disastrous, but I also feel frustrated at how long this is taking to stabilize . I never imagined such small reductions would effect me so much. I guess I have to now give my nervous system time to " reset" after making even that very small cut at the end of March . I just thought I would be a lot better than this by now.


But , a question , I seem to be getting more side effects now from the Valium . Constipation , which I never had before , and also insomnia starting to happen. Burning has been my constant companion , in my spine and flesh around my midsection mostly . I also have whatvincall lead legs quite often which makes walking difficult. That comes and goes.


I'm not what sure what to make of this. I feel conflicted because I can feel my nervous system is so fragile, but the side effects of the Valium are increasing and this worries me .


Any advice or comments would be much appreciated .

Thank you!


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Hi all,

I have a question about gabapentin... Ive been holding my taper of it , along with my valium taper. Things have settled down , tho I still have some uncomfortable symptoms and am not what I would call 'well'. I do manage to get around more though, even though I can't work or socialize.

 I have become hypersensitive to supplements , didn't think that would happen!  I had a 4 hour panic attack after taking some inositol! agh, same with niacin, which i took a small dose for four days and couldn't understand why I was constantly amxious, It stopped once I stopped the niacin!

Some people swear by these supplements , but I guess my brain and nervous system are highly sensitized and so no more risk taking for me with supps.....

it was hard to believe as I always took quite a few with no issues.


But my question., I've been making a water suspension with my gabapentin to measure my 90 mgs ( 300 in pill form still, total 390). Sorry I haven't updated my sig., it's not completely accurate.

LAst drop of GP was early MArch.

I read that lyrica does not last in water longer than 48hours.... is tis true of GP too? I have been mixing 3 plus days worth, and actually just made up 900 mgs worth.....anyone know if I should toss this after 48hrs and start fresh? ( Won't put down the sink)

my doctor is urging me to taper my valium again after only tapering 1/4 mg in 8 months. I feel I can try  a bit , but I also feel hypersensitive still and am worried he will press me more to get off. I have started a dry cut using a scale, which I calculate if I did an every other day cut would be 2 mgs in 10 months. It might not seem like much , but I do feel I'm hyper sensitized . I'm actually feeling the first .002gms cut already. I had the same experience in late March, where a tiny reduction has taken me 2 months to recover somewhat from.

I'm a rapid metabolizer of valium, but don't escape the long term wd effects of it I have found.

thank you , I hope everyone is doing ok ,


will update sig

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Hi , I know I'm posting in the AD board , and I'm on benzos .... But I'm wondering about this stability question too . 

Ive been all over the place with benzos , unwittingly .....bad advice fro the most part from Doctors . 

I was doing ok on Valium , I started my taper too fast last year , for me , after a switch from K , but I didn't  knwo til it was too late. 

I held for a good 8 months , though during that time i tapered  some  gabapentin , and 1/4 mg Valium . I now know I should have held both. 

My doctor then encouraged me to try tapering Valium again  in June . I was very cautious and just tapered 1/16 th mg Valium . Well , July and august things  got worse and worse, and I started having severe side effects from the Valium with each dose , extreme sedation and cog fog and weakness, and pain and burning  in my liver  ..... I just seemed to be getting worse  and having more side effects . 

So when I next spoke to my doctor, having difficulty breathing while on the phone , he said , we have to switch your meds . 

So now, , back to klonopin and in a horrible mess still, a change over of meds In one day per his instruction .... Awful Valium wds , so now with the help of Shep, I am subbing back in 1 mg Valium . 

But my nervous system is a total wreck . I would,hold Indefinitely if it wasn't for the side effects . 


But , I'm wondering , even with the side effects , can my nervous system settle down enough that I will be able to taper eventually ? 

even with the side effects ,? I would have stuck with the Valium if it hadn't been so sedating and making  my liver hurt . It just seems to turn on me as it never used to effect me that way . I never felt well on it , but not like this was. 


now adding in 1 mg V is another change , ( it's been 2-1/2 weeks since I made the switch from V to K) but I feel it's helpful even with side effects . Klonopin has not given me much releif , and comes with its own intense side effects at this point for me . It doesn't hurt my liver though and isn't as sedating . ( my liver enzymes are on the low side when tested ) . 


anwyay , I guess I feel I've made a mess . Though not all my fault I know. I just feel so awful and after things going south with the Valium I feel rather hopeless . 


Shep has has been great and very supportive , thank you Shep! 


Just a general question im  putting out there relative to side effects versus nervous system instability . I thought long holds were it until I had such a bad reaction to the last tiny Valium cut and began experiencing such extreme symptoms after dosing it . 


Hope this thread is still active* , and thank you all for your  great service , Maresat 🌺


*Post moved from Stabilising after a reduction - what does that mean?





Edited by ChessieCat
post moved from stabilising topic

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