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DJT2020: Gabapentin for anxiety for a year, tapering off help


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I have been on Gabapentin at 600 mg (200 mg 3x a day) for over a year for General/Social anxiety. I tapered off over the course of 3 months by lowering 100 mg every 2 weeks. Ever since being off for the last few months, I have depression moments, higher anxiety than before I started Gabapentin, and lack of appetite and dizziness at times. Help!!!

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, DJT2020.  I'm sorry you're experiencing these difficult symptoms.


Please add a signature.  Include drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in the last 12-24 months, in particular the dates and rate of your Gabapentin taper.  Also include supplements. This will help us give you the most accurate advice we can. 
  • Any drugs and supplements prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years. 
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago) 
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • This is a direct link to your signature:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

We recommend tapering very slowly, no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.  Why taper by 10% of my dosage?  Your taper was much faster, resulting in the withdrawal symptoms you're experiencing.  All the symptoms you list are common withdrawal symptoms.

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  

The only known way to reduce withdrawal symptoms is by reinstatement of a very small amount of your previous drug.  Reinstatement works most predictably within 3 months after your last dose.  It can work beyond that time, but there's never any guarantee that it will work.  The other alternative is to wait it out until your system reestablishes homeostasis.  There is no way to predict how long that will take.  For some it can be a fairly short time, for others it can much longer.  Please read:


About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms. -- at least the first page of the topic


Please let us know if reinstatement is something you want to consider and we can suggest a dose.  Please don't reinstate without letting us advise you first.


It's important to learn and use Non-drug techniques to cope


These links contain tips on dealing with anxiety:


VIDEO:  Peace from Nervous Suffering - Claire Weekes (1 hour) (http://sendvid.com/vgquc1dg)


We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 




Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  I'm glad you found your way here.  Again, once you've compiled your signature, we'll be in a better position to make suggestions.







Gridley Introduction


Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.


Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg   

End 2021  year 1 of taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of taper at 2.75mg 

Current dose as of Feb. 25, 2023 2mg

Taper is 89% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  


Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to DJT2020: Gabapentin for anxiety for a year, tapering off help

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