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Aza - Gabapentin withdrawal


aza

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This is a new forum for me, honestly I wish I could have found it 6 months earlier before I began to taper gabapentin from 1200 mg. to 900 mg. 30 days ago I was experiencing the worst withdrawal of my life, nausea, lack of appetite headaches and my teeth hurt and backaches and a general mailaise. Yet after reading some of the posts here which I have been doing for the last 2 hours "best forum" I have found by far. I don't know that I would have had the patience to taper more slowly ouch. I began this odysee about a year ago when I was taking 2400 mg. at bed time for over 10 years.

It began to make me sick and wasn't doing much for me anyway, the interesting thing was that my taper from 2400 mg. to 1200 mg. was without withdrawal what soever.

 

Is this typical?

 

Or did the epsom salt baths that I was taking at the same time that I started my taper help with or lesson the withdrawal to the point that I didn't really notice any withdrawal. I got no real support from my pdoc and so I was left to my own resources and so I began to read the forums about gabapentin withdrawal. And to my surprise servral people mentioned that magnesium supplements were helping with their withdrawal. And of course this reminded me of the epsom salts baths I'd been taking and so decided to try a magnesium supplement, did my research and found out that not all magnesium supplements are equally effective. In the mean time I began taking epsom salt baths again and swished a mild solution of epsom salt around in my mouth and then spit it out and I would do this servral times. And to my great delight and surprise most of my withdrawal symptoms went away within 48 hours. Epsom salt was just to tide me over untill I could get a better magnesium supplement which arrived in the mail servral days later.

 

Now 2 and 1/2 weeks later I finished my taper, and as of this posting I have been gabapentin free for 12 days with little or no withdrawal.

 

I had been stuck at 1200 mg. I would go down to 900 mg. for a month and then back to 1200 mg. and I did this for over 6 months. At first I did'nt understand that I was experiencing gabapentin withdrawal.

 

I'm wondering if any one would care to comment on the subject of magnesium supplements as a way of treating the gabapentin withdrawal. And of course I should have had more info about the dangers of gabapentin withdrawal, as they say hindsight is 20/20.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Aza

Welcome to the forums, I hope you don't mind but we've moved your post to introductions as it's your first post here, so this will now be your own personal thread which you can add to, hopefully someone will come along soon with some answers to your questions!

strawberry

*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***





http://prozacwithdrawal.blogspot.com/
Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.
Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, in July 2013 I reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. 

A few months down the line I switched to 5ml liquid Prozac and tapered down to a compromise dose of 3ml liquid Prozac and have stayed there ever since, no withdrawals and no emotional blunting/loss of libido.

 

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  • Administrator

Hello, Aza.

 

Yes, many times people can go down about half-way on their dosage with no withdrawal problems. It could be that's because these drugs are so strong your nervous system doesn't notice the decrease until the dosage is lower.

 

As I read your post, you had withdrawal symptoms for a month but you're not having any withdrawal symptoms now?

 

Yes, magnesium and Epsom salt baths are one remedy for symptoms that many people have found helpful. Here are a couple of topics, please add your experiences:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2871-healing-bath-for-anyone-who-hurts-or-simply-needs-to-relax-httpwpmep5nnb-7wj/

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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  • 1 month later...
  • Administrator

Aza, I moved your post about magnesium to the magnesium topic. People looking for magnesium info will be more likely to find it there.

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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Aza, I moved your post about magnesium to the magnesium topic. People looking for magnesium info will be more likely to find it there.

 

Thanks Alto that was good.

 

cheers.

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  • 2 months later...

Welll, it's time for an update.

 

I have been gabapentin free since Oct. 11, 2012 and I have changed my diet with more whole foods I am unable to say that I have cut back on coffee, but as for sugar, processed foods, alcahol, I have a water filter that filters out fluoride, I'm very happy to say that I have been very successful at cutting back on these.

 

I took 2400 mg. for over 10 years.

 

I got the results of my phisical yesterday and everything checked out OK!

 

I havn't been able to do as much for myself as I would like to as my funds are limited. But I do what I can.

 

So more than 120 days off and I still experience headaches, skin irritation, brain fog, some restlessness but not severe. There are also positives, I experience very little if any anxiety and depression I walk close to a mile every day and know I have the energy to walk more if I want to.

 

I have spent a considerable amount of time educating myself about supplements and vitamins and proper nutrition.

 

I try to relate my experiences with gabapentin with others who are tapering off of gabapentin and are having a similar experience to mine. I try and let them know that there are things they can do to mitigate the withdrawal. Some of them have been successful in their own right by heeding my advise, others not so sucessful.

 

I was very determined to find a way to deal with the residual withdrawal (after effect) of taking this drug and it required a fair amount of patients to figure out what worked and what didn't work so well. The important message here is don't give up there is a way you just have to find it.

 

I have wondered many times what the long term effects of taking gabapentin are: I am not the same person I was before I started taking this drug. While on this drug I was in a sort of dream land, not reality as I know reality now. Spell binding? Definately the headaches, the skin constantly itching, restlessness. Yes they have subsided and are not the problems today that they were six months ago. But things have not returned to the normal I knew before I started taking gabapentin. In some ways I am wiser this is good.

 

I am happy to say that with supplements all of the above problems improved, but are still present to a lessor degree as a constant reminder of where I was 6 months ago, 6 months ago I had no appetite (anorexia like no appetite), killer headachs, skin crawling, restlessness but I did start walking again, this was one of the few things I could do that made me feel better when experiencing withdrawal but the moment I stopped it all came rushing back. I drank too much to help kill the pain. Muscle cramps in the middle of the night that wake me up from a dead sleep.

 

I reinstated to a higher dose 1200 mg. three times for about a month each time and then back down to 900 mg. It's funny I have said at times that I thought I would never get off this drug, but if I'm honest with myself I never gave up, not for one moment, I always knew somehow someday I was going to be gabapentin free.

 

It took about 11 months to taper off this drug and had I known what I know now about this drug I'm certain I could have tapered off this drug without any withdrawal. I think.

 

When I look back at it now I find it hard to believe that I was feeling as bad as I was, so I have made much progress. This is a very powerful drug and doctors seem to like to dole it out like it's candy. They don't give this drug the respect that they should.

 

It was dificult to move from my chair in my apartment, I only went out for walks every other day I really didn't feel like walking so it was hard to get the exercise.

 

Most of the time I didn't want to be around people I isolated myself as much as I could, I was easily agitated.

 

I think this is a very seductive drug, when you first take it you experience a high and you think wow this is quite the drug. But this high feeling goes away in a couple of weeks and by now you don't seem to have any resistance to the pull of the drug. Your along for the ride without really knowing what it happening or where you are headed.

 

And it's not until years have gone by and you are mearly existing that you begin to see this pattern. It was very difficult to make the decision to stop taking this drug. Spell binding?

 

Long term effect of this drug:

 

Stupor.

 

Stupor is the lack of critical cognitive function and level of consciousness wherein a sufferer is almost entirely unresponsive and only responds to base stimuli such as pain.

 

This may be somewhat of an exageration but my consciousness was buried very deep and my world became very narrowly focused.

 

Well enough for now.

 

I wish you all the best.

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Sounds like you should treat yourself to a little celebration! Very good news!

 

It surely will only get better from here. :)

 

Love,

Tezza

 

Thanks Tezza, yes I have come a long way in my recovery but with much more ahead but I'm very positive about the progress I've made. I couldn't be happier. With no support from my doctor in regards to my recovery, I'm very proud of the fact that I did this with determination and will power seeking out forums and taking from them what I learned to aid me in my recovery. I would be easy to take it out on my Doctor which I have tried not to do.

 

It is water under the bridge lets move on and forge a new relationship with my doctor now that I have a better understanding of the big picture I can see or at least hope that she will learn from me and will use this knowledge to help her other clients.

 

I have to believe this as I have still got to work with her. It would be difficult for me to seek out an other doctor, where I receive my care from a local community mental health clinic it's paid by the state. Can't afford to go to a private doctor so I have to work within the system as best as I can.

 

What is interesting about this is I have found a certain confidence in myself which I didn't have before, I realize now that I can find positive ways to be constructive in my own care and I don't worry so much about what the doctor thinks. I sense that she is aware of a certain lack of good tools without which she is unable to provide the quality care to her clients she would like to provide and she is frustrated by this. I have allways been a free spirit and have always been involved in my own helth care decisions.

 

Asking questions and partisipating in the process has always been my way, only now I realize that I can't always depend on my doctor to give me good advise. With any luck I'll be able to in time taper off of all of my Drugs. And no longer be dependant on the system.

 

This has been a mind bending experience and a paradigm shift, a change in the basic assumptions, or paradigms, within the ruling theory of science.

 

When enough significant anomalies have accrued against a current paradigm, the scientific discipline is thrown into a state of crisis, according to Kuhn. During this crisis, new ideas, perhaps ones previously discarded, are tried. Eventually a new paradigm is formed, which gains its own new followers, and an intellectual "battle" takes place between the followers of the new paradigm and the hold-outs of the old paradigm.

 

Once we were told the earth was flat we now know that it is more like a round ball.

 

Thanks again.

Love you

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  • Administrator

aza, thank you for posting this good news. I am so happy you can see progress, and have found new strength in yourself for coping with problems like your doctor.

 

You're an inspiration for us all!

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

I love reading a positive update, thank you for sharing it with us!

*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***





http://prozacwithdrawal.blogspot.com/
Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.
Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, in July 2013 I reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. 

A few months down the line I switched to 5ml liquid Prozac and tapered down to a compromise dose of 3ml liquid Prozac and have stayed there ever since, no withdrawals and no emotional blunting/loss of libido.

 

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  • 2 months later...

2 and 1/2 months ago (my last update) I got my first Magnesium RBC blood test, the results - Magnesium RBC was 4.54 which is an indication of magnesium deficeincy. Any number below 6 is considered a magnesium deficeincy. I received the results from my second Magnesium RBC test today results - Magnesium RBC was 4.7 so my magnesium is higher today by .16. Testing does not require a doctors apointment, http://requestatest.com/magnesium-rbc-testing This determines the intracellular magnesium of the Red Blood Cells a fairly accurate test to determine overall body magnesium levels.

 

I an specifically focused on magnesium as I know gabapentin depletes magnesium - http://www.nutritional-solutions.net/images/phocadownload/Rx_DepleteInteractions.pdf and with the Mag RBC blood test I confirmed my magnesium deficeincy. I was eating a primarily processed food diet, processing can remove 70 percent of the magnesium from the food.

 

A week ago I stoped drinking alcohol without really trying, over the past 5 months I have gradually cut back the first month by 2 or 4 beers a week later on I stretched it out to cutting back by 6 beers a week and finally in the last month I was drinking only one beer a day and then one day last week I forgot to have my beer and I havn't had another one since. Before supplementing with magnesium It was impossable to reduce and I was drinking a steady 2 beers a day for 3 years. Before that about 1 beer a day for 15 years. Alcohol is a huge drain on magnesium so I can expect faster repletion of magnesium in the future (reduced magnesium burn rate).

 

My headaches have subsided to the point I no longer have to take any medication to contol them. My skin no longer itches and is beginning to heal. The ringing in my ears has also improved to where they only ring when I have a very stressful day. My backaches are barley noticable now. I stoped taking Ecotrin 81 mg. aspirin for chest discomfort from a partially cloged artery in my heart. I'm more comfortable around people and more patient. After I started supplementing with Borax 1/4 tsp per day (spread out in 3 equal doses for a total 1/4 tsp) (20 mule team borax uncented) my sex drive has come back not to where it was before Gabapentin but still vastly improved - here is an interesting article on Borax - http://www.rexresearch.com/newnham/newnham.htm

 

Supplementing with the Adrenal fatigue cocktail Consisting of 1/4 tsp cream of tartar, 1/4 tsp sea salt and a food based vitamin C complex Camu Camu 1/2 tsp in 4 OZ filtered water on an empty stomach - http://gotmag.org/the-adrenal-cocktail/ and along with magnesium bicarbonate my headaches were reduced to only a minor anoyance or somedays to zero. My total dialy sugar is now 20 mg. or less. I have cut coffee by more than a third all of this in an effort to reduce my magnesium burn rate (MBR)

 

Mag Water (magnesium bicarbonate)

 

Here is the recipe:To prepare the water follow these steps:

 

1. Chill a 1-liter bottle of unflavored seltzer, which is fully carbonated water. The seltzer should only contain water and carbon dioxide (CO2). Club soda is carbonated water with a small amount of added sodium and is also suitable.

 

2. Shake the bottle of Milk of Magnesia well, then measure out 3 tablespoons (45 ml) and have it ready. The plastic measuring cup that comes with the MoM is accurate and ideal for the purpose.

 

3. Remove the bottle of unflavored seltzer from the refrigerator without agitating it. Open it slowly and carefully to minimize the loss of CO2. As soon as the initial fizzing settles down, slowly add the pre-measured MoM. Promptly replace the cap on the water bottle and shake it vigorously for 30 seconds or so, making the liquid cloudy.

 

After ½ hour or so the liquid will have cleared, and any un-dissolved magnesium hydroxide will have settled to the bottom of the bottle. Again shake the bottle vigorously for 30 seconds or so, making the liquid cloudy again. When the liquid again clears all of the magnesium hydroxide in the MoM should have reacted with all of the CO2 to become dissolved (ionized) magnesium and bicarbonate.

 

If a small amount of un-dissolved magnesium hydroxide still remains in the bottom of the bottle as a sediment it may be ignored.

 

This 1 liter of concentrated magnesium bicarbonate water will have approximately 1500 mg of magnesium and approximately 7500 mg of bicarbonate. It should be kept in the refrigerator. You may note that the sides of the bottle “cave in” when the liquid clears. This is a sign that the reaction is complete.

 

I get a 2 liter of unflavored seltzer and add 6 tbp Milk of Magnesia.

 

Note: If I haven't allready done so I will include this recipe in the magnesium nature's calcium channell blocker thread here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

I'm absorbing about 1000 mg magnesium orally I have a Magnesium Chloride Foot Soak every day, sometimes I add a little Baking Soda and Borax. I also rub Mag Chl on my body and full body soakes with Magnesium Chl. and I have a tbp Magnesium Water per day.

 

Over all I have accomplished a lot since my last update.

 

You can read my online strugles with Gabapentin and how I triumphed over Gabapentin withdrawal here it is the first story on the page - http://archive.aweber.com/drcarolyndean/7Wh6U/h/Magnesium_Anxiety_and_Gall.htm

 

Cheers!

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  • Administrator

Good to hear you've found some remedies for your symptoms. Excellent information, thank you for sharing it.

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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  • Administrator

Please do add the information about the mag bicarbonate water to the magnesium thread in Symptoms.

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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aza, thank you for posting this good news. I am so happy you can see progress, and have found new strength in yourself for coping with problems like your doctor.

 

You're an inspiration for us all!

 

I have been spending most of my time on the Facebook Magnesium Advocady Group. we have 4 or 5 very knowledgable Doctors and laymen who are shareing their clinical and personal experienc with magnesium treatment. It is a very active group 2000 + members now and the doctors are doing active evaluations without asking for anything in return for their time, this is passing it forward at its very best. Truely an amazing oppertunity to get the latest applications for magnesium. Carolyn Dean is very active and involved, Morley Robbins and Mark Sircus are some of the big players. Here there are no Doctors, just people passing on their experiences with Magnesium. We have the whole gamot of aproaching magnesium from every direction and every treatment.

 

The precept's which are handed down to doctors from the medical establishment has done untold damage to the extablished medical care model I think there is a fair number of doctors who realize this but are generally contained within a system that prevents most doctors from thinking outside the box.

 

I checked and the the Mag water has been posted on the magnesium thread.

 

Thanks Alto!!

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  • 1 month later...

Time for an update, I have started tapering off Clonazepam, daily dosage at time of start of taper was 1 mg. at bedtime :) .  I have been taking Clonazepam @ 1 mg. per day for 2 years. I was able to taper down to .5 mg. without any apparent withdrawal symptomes. 

 

I have been tapering 10% per month now looks like  I may have to slow the taper down to 5% per month, my stomache feels tight I feel hot even though I don't have a tempreture and my feet are feeling cold, I am restless and don't have the best appetite.  I am getting plenty of exercise which I'm sure is a good thing, also at times I experience some weakness in my arms and leggs.  Also I am unable to take a midafternoon nap, I just can't sit still.

 

Anyone with benzo taper experience I would be grateful of any advise you may have for me.

 

I thought I wouldn't have any problems tapering off Clonazepam at 1 mg. per day but I am clearly having dificulties.

 

Some good things have happened as well, On May 8th I stoped drinking and stoped taking Ecotrin 81 mg asperin for chest pain and the chest pain has not come back, nor has the Arrhythmia.  This is good news.

 

I'm assuming since I reinstated to .5 mg and the symptomes went away that this is withdrawal.

 

Thanks!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Time for an update, I have started tapering off Clonazepam, daily dosage at time of start of taper was 1 mg. at bedtime :) .  I have been taking Clonazepam @ 1 mg. per day for 2 years. I was able to taper down to .5 mg. without any apparent withdrawal symptomes. 

 

I have been tapering 10% per month now looks like  I may have to slow the taper down to 5% per month, my stomache feels tight I feel hot even though I don't have a tempreture and my feet are feeling cold, I am restless and don't have the best appetite.  I am getting plenty of exercise which I'm sure is a good thing, also at times I experience some weakness in my arms and leggs.  Also I am unable to take a midafternoon nap, I just can't sit still.

 

Anyone with benzo taper experience I would be grateful of any advise you may have for me.

 

I thought I wouldn't have any problems tapering off Clonazepam at 1 mg. per day but I am clearly having dificulties.

 

Some good things have happened as well, On May 8th I stoped drinking and stoped taking Ecotrin 81 mg asperin for chest pain and the chest pain has not come back, nor has the Arrhythmia.  This is good news.

 

I'm assuming since I reinstated to .5 mg and the symptomes went away that this is withdrawal.

 

Hi Aza.. I'll respond here but in for your reply, please start a thread in the benzo sub forum. The symptoms you describe are often due to benzo WD.

 

I tapered klonopin starting at 4.5 mgs.  The last .5 mgs is the hardest, so what you experience is not surprising.  You mention reinstating to .5 mgs.  Does this mean you tapered off completely and then reinstated, or do you mean you updosed to .5 mgs, and if so, what dose were you on when you updosed? When you say 10%, was this off each successive dose, or were you tapering 10% off the 1 mg. How long was your hold?.. a month is best, especially if there are WD symptoms... And how long ago did you start to taper...   And how are you tapering, did you make a liquid out of the tablets (milk seems to be the preferred diluent), or are you dry cutting tablets.

 

Would you put this info in a sig line please?

 

Skyler

 

Excellent your chest pain has not returned!  And congrats on being able to stop drinking.. you would not be able to taper off the benzo without doing so you are your best friend in this regard.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Skyler,  I completely tapered off the clonazepam and then reinstated to .5 mg.  10% off each successive dose.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Skyler,  I completely tapered off the clonazepam and then reinstated to .5 mg.  10% off each successive dose.

 

Just saw your post 'down below'.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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