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Sk8N883: Gabapentin soon after Benzo, Suboxone, and Cymbalta withdrawal


Sk8N883

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Ok so I was taking Cymbalta 60mg, Suboxone 16mg, and Klonopin and Xanax(off and on) for nearly 7 years.. Over that time I became severely depressed. I wanted off all of it.. about 6 months ago I started eliminating them one at a time.. first i did the klonopin and xanax because it was off and on and thought i wasnt very dependent on it but it ended me in a hospital for 7 days.

 

Then within a week of that i was in rehab for a month to come off of the suboxone.. 4 months ago I came home doing better and was able to stop the Cymbalta with only minor issues(brain zaps for a couple of weeks) it seemed.. Maybe because in rehab I was given Gabapentin

 

.. i thought it was helping me. I seemed to be doing ok for the last couple of months, just some depression and anxiety but not that bad. Now im pretty sure Ive become dependent on the gabapentin

 

.. i was taking 1200mg a day and started feeling terrible.. very strange symptoms  .. i almost feel like im coming off benzos again. So I went down to 900mg and things got a lot worse..

 

I had no idea this medication could do anything like that. I went through hell the first time i stopped benzodiazapines many years ago.. interdose withdrawals, panic attacks, severe nerve pain, you name it.. I feel like the same is happening with the gabapentin.. the longer i stay on it the worse it gets so how can i taper off it?

 

I'm really just lost, I'm sure Ive done a number on myself coming off so many meds so fast but I felt like I was going to die on them and wanted off.. I felt better by far before the cycle of going from med to med started years ago.

 

should i try to dose back up to 1200mg and do the 10% taper? I was only on the gabapentin for about 5 months and im sure its been masking some of the effects from stopping everything else.

 

If its anything like benzos were, I couldn't taper at all. I had severe interdose withdrawals, and my tolerance went up very fast once I became dependent on them having worse and worse side effects over time.. trying to taper when my tolerance seems to be going up rapidly seems impossible..

 

Im waking up to panic attacks now, having flu like symptoms, severe pain all over, i feel out of breath and super fatigued all the time. None of which was happening even just a couple of months ago. I just want to be free of it but i dont know if i can handle another benzo like withdrawal.

 

Sorry if this indroduction is a mess but im really scatter brained at the moment..

Edited by scallywag
tags; prev. added paragraph breaks for easier reading

2001 - 2009 hydrocodone recreationally

2009 - tried to stop had major anxiety and panic attacks, prescribed Xanax daily.. hell followed shorty after(within 2 months)

2009 - Hospitalized for 9 months and given various antidepressants and antipsychotics(Zyprexa, Seroquil, Celexa, Prozac (cant remember the rest)

2010 - finally stabilized on Cymbalta 60mg, Trazadone 50-100mg, Suboxone 16mg

Over time became more and more depressed and anxiety returning..

August 2016 - prescribed Klonopin as needed for anxiety(hell followed once again)

October 15 2016 - stopped Klonopin cold turkey(severe acute withdrawal for 2 weeks, zero sleep for 7 days ending in a week long hospital stay

November 1 - December 1, started on Gabapentin 900mg then raised to 1200mg during quick taper off 16mg Suboxone(3 weeks of acute withdrawals in rehab)

January 2017 - stopped Cymbalta 60mg with no taper(seemed to handle ok minus brain zaps for 2 weeks)(no choice.. lost insurance)

January - Late March - seemed to be doing ok, some depression and mild anxiety

currently still taking gabapentin 900mg down from 1200mg on March 29 (hell starting all over again.. so done with the roller coaster of psychiatrists and medications)

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Sk8N883,
I'm sorry you are in this situation, but glad you found us. Thank you for filling in your signature.
 
You are in a similar position as another member

I noticed you recognized this too as I see you posted in his thread.

 

Its difficult to know if what you are experiencing now is withdrawal caused by your previous CTs and fast tapers, a bad reaction to Gabapentin or a combination of both.

 

To safely taper off any psychiatric drug, we suggest reducing by no more than 10% of the current dose every 4 weeks, this reduces the risk of withdrawal symptoms arising. Please read through this which will explain why:

  

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Gabapentin is not a cure for withdrawal symptoms from other drugs. Perhaps in some cases it might mask the withdrawal symptoms for a while, but there is no cure for withdrawal besides time or perhaps reinstatement and then tapering more slowly. Sometimes reinstatement works and sometimes it doesn't.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

 

When did you drop your Gabapentin dose down from 1200mg to 900mg. If you would add some dates in your signature to your dose changes that would be helpful.

 

Also, please add the date you started taking Cymbalta.

 

Are you still taking Trazadone?

 

Something else to consider is that with antidepressants, there can often be a delayed withdrawal reaction. Its possible to feel ok for a few weeks or even months, and then suddenly be hit with new and increasing symptoms.

 

I really don't know what to suggest, because you have a complex drug history and have come off multiple drugs too fast.

 

If you felt better on 1200mg, of gabapentin, then going back up might help.

 

There is also the possibility that reinstating a small dose of Cymbalta might help. But it sounds to me like you are in withdrawal from stopping multiple drugs too fast. With such a sensitized nervous system, any drug changes now might make symptoms even worse.

 

The best I can offer by way of advice is to listen to your body and avoid those things that set off symptoms as much as possible. Aside from a high quality fish oil and magnesium, avoid supplements. (See King of Supplements: Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil) and Magnesium, Nature's Calcium Channel Blocker). They've been helpful to many of us. 

 

Here is the link to our symptoms and self care section, you may find some useful ideas to help manage symptoms as you recover.  Especially read the topics pinned at the top.

 

Here is to link to our Gabapentin tapering information: Tips for tapering off Neurontin (gabapentin)

 

But I'm not recommending you start tapering now, you have already been through too many drug changes in a short period of time, if you are going to be able to stabilize, you need to stop making these drastic changes.

 

See:The rule of 3KIS: Keep it simple. Keep it slow. Keep it stable.

 

If you have any questions after reading through the links, please ask them here on your thread. We are here to support you.

 

Petunia.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Thank you. I will read through all of it. I've taken 50mg trazadone off and on as needed for sleep. Never had any ill affects from it and am not currently taking it. The Cymbalta I started about 8 years back. I kind of didn't have a choice in stopping it so fast because I lost my health insurance and couldn't pay for it. I haven't been able to work with all this going on so my options are limited. I just dropped the dose of gabapentin to 1 300mg capsule 3 times daily from 4 times a day.. I was already feeling terrible and couldn't tell if I was having interdose withdrawals or what as with each dose I seem to feel better for a short time then worse. I'll work on filling out my Sig better though a lot of it is a blur.

2001 - 2009 hydrocodone recreationally

2009 - tried to stop had major anxiety and panic attacks, prescribed Xanax daily.. hell followed shorty after(within 2 months)

2009 - Hospitalized for 9 months and given various antidepressants and antipsychotics(Zyprexa, Seroquil, Celexa, Prozac (cant remember the rest)

2010 - finally stabilized on Cymbalta 60mg, Trazadone 50-100mg, Suboxone 16mg

Over time became more and more depressed and anxiety returning..

August 2016 - prescribed Klonopin as needed for anxiety(hell followed once again)

October 15 2016 - stopped Klonopin cold turkey(severe acute withdrawal for 2 weeks, zero sleep for 7 days ending in a week long hospital stay

November 1 - December 1, started on Gabapentin 900mg then raised to 1200mg during quick taper off 16mg Suboxone(3 weeks of acute withdrawals in rehab)

January 2017 - stopped Cymbalta 60mg with no taper(seemed to handle ok minus brain zaps for 2 weeks)(no choice.. lost insurance)

January - Late March - seemed to be doing ok, some depression and mild anxiety

currently still taking gabapentin 900mg down from 1200mg on March 29 (hell starting all over again.. so done with the roller coaster of psychiatrists and medications)

 

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