Tuesday May 31st 2016

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Can you get addicted to gabapentin?

No. Gabapentin is not considered addictive.

But it is possible to develop a physical dependence on the drug. In fact, people can experience withdrawal symptoms for up to 45 days after they stop taking gabapentin. Although gabapentin does give some people a euphoric “high” which can cause gabapentin abuse, gabapentin abusers do not present with the kind of compulsive, drug-seeking behavior or strong cravings that indicates addiction.

Just how does gabapentin affect the body? What are some of the side effects of gabapentin? What should you do if you want to stop taking this medication? We review here and invite your questions about gabapentin use, abuse and addiction at the end.

Gabapentin uses

Gabapentin belongs to a family of medications called “anticonvulsants.” Gabapentin is a medication used to control certain types of epileptic seizures, the pain resulting from attacks of shingles, and restless less syndrome. Gabapentin has also been used to treat addictions to narcotics, such as cocaine or methadone. There has even been some research into using gabapentin to treat alcohol addiction.

What medications contain gabapentin?

Gabapentin is available under the brand names Horizant and Neurontin. It is available as a tablet, an extended-release tablet, and an oral solution. The Horizant extended release tablet is usually taken once a day in the evening. The other formulations are taken several times a day at evenly-spaced periods.

What does gabapentin do in the body?

Gabapentin decreases abnormal excitement of the brain and changes how the body feels pain. No one is exactly sure how gabapentin produces analgesic or anticonvulsant effects on the body. It’s possible that it interacts with receptor sites in the brain, but none have yet been found. While the mechanism of action is not known, studies have shown it to be effective in treating a variety of illnesses.

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Help Available 24/7

How do you develop a dependence on gabapentin?

Taking gabapentin long-term is enough to develop a physical dependence on this type of medication. If you are taking gabapentin for a chronic condition such as epilepsy, your doctor can help you judge whether the potential for a physical dependence outweighs the symptoms it treats.

Can you get addicted to gabapentin?

No. Gabapentin use and abuse is not associated with compulsive, drug-seeking behavior or strong cravings that indicates addiction. But what can you expect if you are physically dependent on gabapentin? What kind of withdrawal symptoms occur when you stop taking this medication?

Questions about gabapentin dependency

If you concerned about the long-term effects of taking gabapentin, talk to your doctor about reducing your dose on a tapered schedule so that you can avoid withdrawal symptoms. Common withdrawal symptoms can occur during acute detoxification and include:

  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • nausea
  • pain
  • sweating
  • temporary increase in seizure symptoms

If you have any other questions about gabapentin use, please let us know. We answer legitimate questions with a personal and prompt response.

Reference sources: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Info on Gabapentin
Daily Med drug info on Gabapentin capsules
PubMed: Gabapentin withdrawal syndrome

Leave a Reply

74 Responses to “Can you get addicted to gabapentin?
3:42 pm April 14th, 2012

Just exactly how long in days or weeks does it take for your body to become dependent on gabapentin. I’m already on trileptal (another anti-seizure med) as a mood stabilizer prescribed by my psychiatrist. It’s taken me two years to get my brain chemistry “corrected” for lack of a better word to enable me to come back to myself and feel “normal”. I’ve been given gabapentin for nerve pain from a scar revision surgery that has left me with alot of nerve pain. However the LAST thing I want is to become dependent on this stuff and have it screw with my brain chemistry. I’ve come off of anticonvulsants before and it was nothing short of a nightmare, and don’t care to go through it again. So saying long term is a vague statement for me concerning the gabapentin. What qualifies as “long term”. I’ve read a whistle blowing book written by an M.D. that graduated at the top of the top of her class, published in 2010 that I’m sure was like committing blasphemy in the medical community call Drug Induced Dementia: The Perfect Crime. In this book several global studies showed that anticonvulsants cause damage to a particular gland in the brain. Some of the damage caused by drugs used psychiatricly can be repaired by discontinued use and some, not so much….which I find terrifying when it comes to dementia. So could you please clarify long term use when it comes to answering the question of how long it takes for your body to become addicted to gabapentin.

4:33 am April 17th, 2012

Hi Angel. Thanks for your question. Long term use for gabapentin is considered more than 4 weeks.

It sounds like you’re doing quite a lot of research on your own. Good for you! I’d suggest that you find more clinical studies about gabapentin by going to usasearch[dot]gov or running a Google site:.gov search for keywords related to long term gabapentin use.

Does this help?

10:45 pm May 2nd, 2012

I was looking for a camera cord in my 15 year old son’s room and came across 3 of these capsules – 1 empty and 2 wrapped loosely in blue tape. Should I be worried? He is not prescribed any medication – so he got them from someone.

2:12 am May 3rd, 2012

Hi Valarak. Yes, I believe that any kind of non-medical prescription drug use is a sign of a drug problem. I would take the capsules and confront him about it. If you want your home to be drug free, you need to be clear about your rules and boundaries. But often, teen drug use is a sign of troubles at home. Are you ready and willing to take a look at the family dynamic and possibly get help for everyone involved?

4:48 pm May 8th, 2012

For 2.5 years I took 600 mg four times daily. When I was ready to stop taking the drug I first tapered don to the 400 mg tablets then two weeks later I began to suffer withdrawl symptoms even though my doctors said that’s not possible. Needless to say it took my quite a while to end my use of the drug.

I never want to take this drug again; however I am experiencing nerve pain gain and gabapentine is again my doctors first choice. What can I say to convince these folks that it is not a good option for me? also what alternatives are available?

Let me know your thoughts

12:52 pm May 10th, 2012

Hello Nancy. You are describing the effects of tolerance and withdrawal, which are both indicators of physical dependence on a drug (and not necessarily addiction). As long as you take medication as prescribed, and know the risks, you might want to try it again. Otherwise, your neurologist or MD would be better versed in offering alternatives.

Are you interested in or have you looked into Eastern medicine?

1:36 pm May 10th, 2012

Until recently I have been able to control my pain via a diet that is based highly on anti-inflammatory foods – especially Indian dishes rich in turmeric, ginger, cumin, etc. So yes I am open to and prefer non medicinal options.

Let me know your thoughts.

1:51 pm May 10th, 2012

Hi Nancy. Good for you for taking action! It is inspiring to hear about your diet and steps to eat foods which prevent pain. I have found this page from MedLine Plus to be helpful in terms of references for sources of alternative medicine for pain relief: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/pain.html#cat4

Please let me know what you think.

3:33 pm May 10th, 2012

Thanks for the link you sent and I have tried several of the alternative options listed including integrated pain therapy which I credit to allowing me to cease all medications I was taking. The TENS unit was somewhat helpful as well. Massages are good but expensive and their effects wear off quickly. I haven’t tried acupuncture as it too looks to be a costly alternative and is not covered by insurance.

One other source that has been very helpful to controlling my nerve pain are physical therapy exercises developed by the Postural Restoration Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. However I am unable to do those exercises right now due to physical limitations.

Not sure where to go from here 😉

11:22 am May 24th, 2012

Smdh I know I love the high gabapentin gives me! No weed. No worries; gaba gaba to the rescue!

Simon Lice
9:44 pm July 7th, 2012

Physical dependence is addiction. Are you mentally challenged or something to make an ignorant statement almost immediately in your claims.

2:08 am July 8th, 2012

Hello Simon. Physical dependence is just that: physical dependence on a drug. This means that over time, you develop a tolerance to the chemical and when you stop taking the chemical, you go through withdrawal. Addiction refers to the psychological desire, or “cravings” for a drug. Clinically, the two are very distinct. In our pop culture language, though, the two are blurred, which makes the distinction difficult to understand.

8:16 am September 27th, 2012

When I started taking gabapentin I was not informed about the potential for dependance on this drug I don’t believe there is any mention of posible dependance when taking this drug on the drug label. And when you talk about cravings not being present while weaning off of this drug you may be right. I think we can often confuse the two but which is worse? In my opinion the withdrawal from gabapentin is the worst experience I have ever had with any drug. The nausea the lack of appetite anxiety because you at first don’t even know what is wrong with you and even the understanding when you finally know that its a drug that was prescribed for you with confidence in saying to you everything will be all right. Kind of shakes your confidence in doctors and worse the pharmaceutical company that made this drug gabapentin and knew but didn’t want to tell us about the horable withdrawal that we would experience. For you to quibles over weather this is an addiction or withdrawal from this drug, I suggest you take a couple grams daily of this drug for 5 year and you just might have a better understanding of how bad this drug really is. You might not be so quick to want to quible over addiction or just bad withdrawal because you wouldn’t be so interested in giving advice here, more importantly you would be wondering how you are ever going to wean yourself off of this drug. You would have no appetite you will experience nausea and every moment of your day would be filled with thoughts of taking some gabapentin just so you don’t experience the god awful withdrawal from gabapentin the addiction is not psychological in this case its phisical addicttion. You should know that I have been trying for over 10 months to wean myself off of this drug and when the withdrawal goes on for so long (a month) without any end in sight I go back to taking more gabapentin so that I may feel normal for a while, I am looking for a good class action law suit against this drug gabapentin. Good luck with your justafications for this drug gabapentin I don’t buy them. This is a seductive drug as you take your first dose and you are more than likely to feel better right away and so you take the next and the next untill you finally realize after you’ve been hooked on this drug that it didn’t improve anything in your life and you decide to stop taking gabapentin and discover you can’t stop. Now you might say that this is psychological desire, or “cravings” of a much more dangerous nature because no one is going to admit that they allowed a drug to be put on the market with such god awful cravings as this drug produces.

2:51 pm September 29th, 2012

l have been taking gabapentin for almost 4 weeks now the reason why i am taking it is because of a muscle twitching problem that started back in july just how long dose it take to develop a dependance on gabapentin because it no longer helps the twitching problem and i thinking about stop taking it.

7:35 pm September 29th, 2012

Hi David. Are you asking about dependence or tolerance? They are two separate issues.

At any rate, your prescribing doctor would be the best person to help you out on whether or not gabapentin is working for you. I’d suggest that you schedule a consultation to report the symptoms and to consider other pharmaceutical or lifestyle treatment options that can help you. Does that help?

10:54 pm September 29th, 2012

David. It depens on how much you are taking, my Doctor wasn’t even aware of the dependence factor with gabapentin untill medicare stoped paying for gabapentin and so because they could not afford to pay for this job out of their own pocket they stoped taking gabapentin and they experienced the effects of the withdrawal, but I don’t know how much they were taking or for how long. I am not a doctor but I have the personal experience of having been on gabapentin for over 10 years with an average of taking 2400 miligrams a day during that time. I have read else where that taking more than 1000 miligrams a day is considered a high dose but just how long it takes to form a dependence on this drug I don’t have any answers. I think you should consult with your pharmacist and see what he suggests, there may be alternatives to gabapentin, I personally would not recoment gabapentin as a long term treatment (not more than 3 months and not more than 300 miligrams, I think that doctors are prescribing higher amounts of this drug than they should expecially as they now are beginning to see the major down side of this drug ( the dependence factor) It’s not clear that my message is making it to this board simply because I know too much from my own personal eperience with gabapentin. It may be that I am being sensored!!!

David if you can or anyone else on this forum can see my words please acknowledge that you can see my message.


1:19 am September 30th, 2012

l am talking about about dependence, l started taking gabapentin on the night of september 4th l was taking one 300 mg capsule at bed time for the first couple of weeks it worked well but after that it started to lose effect l seen my doctor on september 25th and he decided to increase the dosage to taking three 300 mg capsule every day as needed for the muscle twitching but after taking it that way it made my body feel real weird so l went back to only taking one 300 mg capsule each night, it will be 4 weeks this coming tuesday since l started taking gabapentin and l can’t get ahold of my doctor because he is out of town and my next appointment is not until october 23ed i was just woundering if i should stop taking the gabapentin cold turkey since it dose not work and if l did would l be dependant on the medicine and go through withdraw since i have been taking it for about 4 weeks.

3:42 pm October 1st, 2012

I have been taking gabapentin for over a year now, and I must say, it has been my miricle drug. Yes, I have experienced a high from taking more than prescribed, but it’s not a high like you get from other drugs. Gabapentin has helped with my nerve pain and migraines. When I forget to take it, or miss a few days in a roll, I can tell because I become short with others. So, I would have to say, it’s also helping keep my mood in check. I know others who have taken it, and couldn’t function at all…..so this drug isn’t for everyone. But it sure has helped me :) the downside to taking gabapentin is dry mouth.

3:10 pm October 6th, 2012

All I can tell you is that my son was picked up by the cops on this stuff, acting very strange but not exhibiting the usual symptoms of your standard drug overdose so EMS released him and he had no place else to go so the cops dropped him off here. My son is “supposedly” in outpatient treatment for profound drug/alcohol dependencies and this mindset that it is not clinically addictive and “no worries” and not showing up in standard drug tests is a total denial. The scariest thing about this entire episode was the fact that he exhibited involuntary spasms, very bizarre and extremely frightening. He had almost no motor control after a bit. We were pretty close to calling 911 again but knew they had cut him loose earlier. All I know is tht anything that can cause spasms like that (I wish I had filmed it and put it on youtube) can NOT be good for your general well-being. If you are taking this recreationally you are playing with fire.

12:54 am October 20th, 2012

I was diagnosed with rapid cycle bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety disorder by my psych. Whether I have all that stuff or not is up for debate, but I am prescribed 600 mg of gabapentin 4x day for the anxiety. It works miraculously, like nothing ever has. However, it works too good. One time I accidentally took more than my usual dose and noticed significant euphoria. I am now in a hellish cycle of running through a script in a few days and suffering horrible withdrawal waiting for the next refill to get covered by my insurance. I’m trying to break the cycle but it’s difficult because the medication does such an excellent job at doing what it was supposed to. I just wanted to throw a warning out there to anyone with histories of addiction (I have one) that this drug can be psychologically addictive if abused for long periods of time (over two years for me.)

dave ovenden
11:15 am November 26th, 2012

hi i have been on 3600 mg of gabapentin and 400 mg of slow release tramadol every day for the last 3 years and my nerve pain in my legs is ok ,without the drugs i would not want to be here as the pain would be to great,ihave enjoyed reading your webpage

Randal K.
2:22 am January 23rd, 2013

What are the symptoms of taking too much Neurotin?

James Knaus
4:06 am February 20th, 2013

My doctor perscribed Gabapentin for nerve pain. Can it ne taken in conjuncton witth acetaminophen at bed time ?

2:43 pm February 21st, 2013

Hello James. This is a question for a pharmacist or your prescribing doctor. I’d suggest that you call either for a quick consult via the phone.

4:58 am March 14th, 2013

I have not been to the pharmacy to refill my prescription yet. I have been taking 600 mg each night for almost 2 years. I’ve been without it for 5 days. I’ve been itching like crazy at night, I feel sick, and I had a headache that lasted a few days. I assume these are all withdrawal symptoms. I never had any side effects from the Gabapentin while taking it. Is suddenly going back on it going to have adverse effects? How long before the withdrawal symptoms disappear? I go refill my prescription tomorrow, so my time without taking it will be 6 days.Thank you.

Liz Cook
7:50 pm March 20th, 2013

I need to stop taking Gabapentin but I apparently have developed a dependence. I experience a tingling and itching when I try to step down the dosage so I am suffering the side effects now due to a reduced intake. Sometimes the itching is almost more that I can tolerate. I now take about 400mg daily to help me deal with the side effects but my goal is to stop completely. Please advise.

7:43 am April 4th, 2013

Hello Liz. I’d suggest that you consult with your prescribing doctor or a pharmacist about the symptoms that you report, as you’ll need an expert opinion about stopping gabapentin.

6:14 pm April 13th, 2013

You can get addicted to gabapentin. Ya its not physically addiciting on that level of opiates, but it does create a euphoria. Certain feelings that people chase after. And Ive seen people desperately seek out these gabapentin pills just for that fact. I have even see people prefer them to others, so i mean to they they are NOT addictive is by far, skewed.

3:59 pm April 28th, 2013

hello, i need to stop taking gabapentin. I’ve been taking it for 8yrs now and believe i’ve been addicted right from the start, something tramatic had happend to me and my doc told me to just take one whenever i needed to..and now i’m on 800mg a day and i take so much more than that. i run out early every single month sometimes i buy them.i twitch all the time and i’ve had two seizures from taking too much, also I have gained 50lbs.Their has been a few times i was somewhat forced to quit and lost alot of weight and felt pretty good about myself.But i look forword to it every morning. I tell myself and my family that when i go into see my doc i’m gonna tell him whats going on but i go in there and i cant do it…i like the high and feel ”normal” when i take it…i feel like if i knew this drug was addictive in the first place i never would have taken it:/

11:52 pm May 6th, 2013

I have been on 900 mg gabapentin 4 x daily for neuropathy for years and am now going to try Lyrica instead. How do I go off the Gabapentin and start Lyrica?

7:16 am May 7th, 2013

Hi Keith. This is a question for your prescribing doctor or a local pharmacist. Please ask a professional to get direct instruction on stopping one medication and starting another.

5:18 am May 11th, 2013

gabapentin with tramadol or naprox..is it safe for long term use. what are the withdrawl sympotms if you use it for more than 10 years?is it ok to take 300mg gabapentin twice daily unless otherwise i feel anxious.

3:28 pm August 2nd, 2013

I have been taking this medication for my severe headaches. It works really well but makes me feel very high. I don’t have a care in the world when I take it. I only take it when it when I am told to take the dosage but I could see myself having problems when I no longer take it. It works so well I am terrified to get off of it but I am worried I am liking the feeling it gives me to much.

craig h
9:09 pm August 16th, 2013

I have been taking gabapentin for 4 or 5 years now sometimes I just stop taking it and after a day or two I am fine other times I get really short tempered and edgy like I need it to calm me down weird having it both ways it did help my nerve pail greatly before my operation but am not sure if I need it now or not as I aint of it long enough to find out plus its said to help your mood as they think I could be bi polor but I do not get any of this high or euphoric feelings most of you describe wish I did as I hate feeling the way I do as its a miserable lonely life when you cant work or find some partner to live with that understands your moods as you aint that sociable to find someone in the first place so you don’t have a chance to meet someone like you or will understand and give you the benefit and understanding you need and the things that go with having a partner so I don’t no if its worth taking this stuff any more if I don’t feel a big difference in my moods to enjoy your life and if you should come off it incase it gets worse or the pain in my leg also comes back later or not getting confused on what to do with this medication or what medication I should be on for nerve pain and for mood sick of feeling hopless

6:08 pm April 8th, 2014

Hi – I just started taking gabapentin for shingles. I have enough to help me through the pain for about 10 days. Should I be concerned about stopping after 10 days? ie is that considered long term? I’m hoping the shingles will start to disappear by then and that I won’t have further pain. My doctor nor pharmacist mentioned anything about withdrawing gradually so I’m thinking taking this med for 10 days may not warrant gradual withdrawal. I take 300 mg capsules 3 x daily.
Your thoughts?

12:48 am June 2nd, 2014

My pain mgmt doctor prescribed 100mg gabapentin 3X day. After 1 month, even this low dosage makes me feel drunk. I hate it, so he tells me to just take one during the day & 2 at bedtime. Feeling really drunk did not help my insomnia! Today I decided my back pain was tolerable & did not take the gabapentin but became extremely anxious, very depressed, crying, bordering on panic attack. So I took a lorazepam, which I have also not been taking regularly, as prescribed because I’ve read that it is very addictive. I guess I’m going to have to either take some sort of shot that this dr has offered for my back pain or simply learn to live with it. Even on the small dose, I hate the groggy-headed feeling it gives me. I honestly cannot imagine functioning at all with any higher dosage. I have a friend that takes 1800mg per day & I swear I don’t know how she can manage going to work, even driving! I guess people build up a tolerance. I don’t want it. Thanks for the info provided here.

3:02 pm June 9th, 2014

After taking 300mg gabapentin at night only for 4 years, does it lose its effectiveness? Taking for hot flashes by Mayo Clinic directions. Can I go into withdrawal while still taking it? Thank you!

7:12 pm July 17th, 2014

I have been on gabapetin for 6 months after a total masectomy and the removal of right lymph nodes. Gabapetin has changed my life. I am a stage 4 cancer survivor. The nerve pain I suffered from was extremely painful and sharp. Gabapetin stopped all nerve pain. I don’t feel as though I suffer from any side effects. If at all I sometimes lose my balance, but other factors could be the cause of it. I take 300 mg in the morning and 400 mg at night. Thanks

4:12 pm July 27th, 2014

My Dermatologist suggested I begin taking 100 mg of Gabapentin once a day and work up to 3 pills a day to somehow relieving a body itch that i have had for a long period of time. He thinks it will help to desensitize me to this constant itch. I have gone to an allergist for all kinds of tests and she is still trying but I can feel that she is out of ideas but still trying.

I have read many of the side effects but have become concerned about the withdrawal problems and wondering if taking 300mg a day would possibly put me into this category of “withdrawal” problems. However one spins it, withdrawal problems seems to me the body desires the stuff and is letting you know as you clean yourself. I do not want to chance that I may not be a good candidate for this drug. the other question is if I do start how long do i have to be on to actually notice a reduction with my itching problem.

Please believe me–I am not trying to be humorous–just seeking advice.


The Dermatologist has been very effective in clearing up most skin problems but cannot reduce this crazy itching that I have that comes and goes at its pleasure–not mime.

10:21 pm August 8th, 2014

My doctor gave Gabapentin for my tension headache .Do you think it is better to switch to an more moderate medicine. Do you hear using Gabapentin to treat a serious tension headache ?

6:36 am August 19th, 2014

I started to take Gabapentin 4 days ago. It was prescribed by my psychiatrist. I have co morbidity of Bipolar and ADHD. I also happen to suffer from restless leg syndrome (occasionally) and pain from my sciatica and mild shingle outbreaks. My psychiatrist prescribed it for extreme depression. After trying several different medications without improvement she prescribed it. I’ve had suicidal thoughts and extreme depression since last winter. After only 2 days I feel so much better! I’m in the process of getting a substitute teacher certificate and documenting my required continuing education training to re activate my teaching certificate. I’m taking care of personal matters I needed to address and I’m doing better in interpersonal interactions.
And I feel sooooo good. I do feel the “HIgh” so often mentioned, but only for a little while,but I feel good most of the day (without the high). I’m cooking nutritious meals and started to do a little housework (something I have a chronic problem with)
However, after reading all of the side effects,especially for long term use, and discovering the “dependency” and “withdrawal” issues, I’m questioning taking it for any length of time.
I’ve also considered “medical marijuana” (I’m not a user at all) but hesitate because of my doctor’s recommendations against it.
Could I just take Gabapentin intermittently a few days a week, or a lower every day dosage( I take 300mg 3x a day, due to be increased to 400mg a day 3x a day and continue to increase as needed), or take it regularly for a while, then stop for a while and start again and follow that schedule?
Or should I stop Gabapentin and give medical marijuana a try?
I just don’t want to become “dependent” at all. I like the results but dependency is too high a price to pay.
I just want to know if there is a way to take Gabapentin without becoming dependent.
Thank you very much for any assistance you could provide.

6:32 pm November 9th, 2014

I took neurontin for about 2 weeks at about 4 pills a day for pain. I believe its the largest dosage of pill you can take. It makes me drowsy and sometimes makes me feel like I dont know what I am doing. I admit it helps with pain some but I decided to quit taking it because of my work suffering. I am experiencing neasua and just over all dont feel too well… My question is how long will this last because I cant afford to miss any work and its hard to keep going to work!!! I only took it for about 10 days!!! :-(

I cant get in to see my doctor for over a month because he is swamped in my town… so I have no way of getting more neurontin to taper off… I hope this goes away soon….

Thanks for your response!


3:23 am November 10th, 2014

I started taking gabapentin a few weeks ago at 900mg a day and the drug alleviated symptoms of my depression, anxiety, irritability, and I was able to sleep well again. The side effects of the medication even subsided over time. I notice now that some of my symptoms are coming creeping back to the point where my daily dosage of gabapentin will have to be increased gradually. Does this drug lose its effectiveness over time such that its dosage needs to be adjusted regularly? Thank you.

Anwsers To The Wrong Questions
9:34 pm November 14th, 2014

To all of those of you wondering the difference of the “euphoria” between Gabapentin/Neurontin as well as its bigger brother Lyrica, and say, an opioid, I’ll try to word it as best I can from personal extremely regrettable experience. Opioids go straight for your dopamine receptors in the brain, so it stimulates an effect that is similar to how it feels immediately after an intense orgasm or an extended period of physical exercise or exertion. The “euphoric” effect that is stimulated by this topics drug is more like the way alcohol mixed with a little stimulant would make you feel, somewhat dizzy, goofy happy, and mildly energetic. A commonly stated feeling of the “Gaba High” is that the person’s head is also slightly vibrating. Now here’s the downside placed right next to being within the category of it being classified as being “physically dependent from long term use”, sedation, meaning it can knock you clean out of consciousness into a mimic state of deep-sleep out of nowhere, and my personal favorite EXTREMELY loose stools that seem to literally feel like Montezuma’s Revenge. This drug is also often used by opioid addicts that are going through withdrawal symptoms due to its incredible job at all but outright OBLITERATING nearly all physical opioid acute withdrawal symptoms all in merely a single dose, and to those whom of which have never taken it before, depending on the dose, it can also replace their craving for more opioids altogether. That last part means that it can be used to simply switch one drug addiction for another. This stuff can be INCREDIBLE in the proper context and accurately advised usage by an EXPERIENCED Dr., but can also be someones WORST NIGHTMARE in the wrong setting and dosage.

10:26 pm November 19th, 2014

My Doctor prescribed Gabapentin 100mg – 3 times a day to help me with detoxing from oxazepam. It seems to be helping me quite a bit with the withdrawal symptoms. I am tapering down the benzo very slowly (taper- 1/2 mg each week). I started at oxazepam 10mg twice a day. I have tapered down to 6mg in the morning and 6 mg at night. I figure it will take me 24 more weeks to finish my taper from the oxazepam. My question is: After 24+ weeks of taking 300mg of Gabapentin a day, will I become addicted to the Gabapentin and go thru the same withdrawals trying to stop the Gaba? Am I just trading one addiction for another?

8:39 pm February 7th, 2015

I am more concerned with drugs like cymbalta and gabapentin. I was on hydrocodone then went to oxycodone due to my pain until found out I also have fibro and nerve damage. I was already taken natural stuff for that as well the cymbalta and the gabapentine your body gets so used to it worse than the pain killers. I am on 3 weeks of cold turkey due to not my own but dr.’s they don’t tell you or the family that you should be on HIGH ALERT for suicide after this, the opioids are NOTHING compared to these drugs!! I am taking vit and herbs to replenish what those two have taken away from me.

4:50 pm February 26th, 2015

I was prescribed gabapentin about a year ago at 300 per capsule nightly for lower back pain. I have recently had surgery on my back and I don’t feel like I need to take it anymore and I’m wondering can I just stop it or do I have to wean myself off of it or do I need to see a doctor to do that.

1:29 am March 23rd, 2015

My 9 yr old son just took 2 300mg gabapentine out of shear stupity. Will he be ok ?

1:08 pm March 23rd, 2015

Hi 10305. It’s smart to take him to the hospital because that’s quite a high dose of Gabapentin that he took. If the medication is yours please keep it in a safer place form now on. If it’s your son’s maybe you can control his dosages, by giving him the medication personally.

11:03 pm June 2nd, 2015

I am a recovering meth addict and gabapentin has helped me stay clean for a year now.,……I’m so very thankful for this miracle drug that has weaned me bk to a healthier me…

Not Recovering Wife
9:57 pm June 29th, 2015

BULLCRAP!!!! My husband was given Gabapentin as trade off for his abuse of Valium in Alcohol withdrawel…In one week he has started taking way more than prescribed, thanks in part to his addictive personality, comments from people stating it replaces Valium and the seed planted in his mind that he needs this. This drug is awful. Studies may be done folks but these doctors don’t go home and live the life with the people. The real, true everyday life. This drug may be good for seizures or nerve pain, I have no comment nor clue, but with addiction issues, it is another way to make money on something they have no idea about. I can’t wait for the withdraw from this. What is worse or the difference, addiction or dependence, it really presents the same problem adding fuel to an already raging fire. And the long term adding more health issues to deal with. what a joke…and to abuse this is just stupid…really just take a bullet!!! It is like after a death when the comment is made, “She should have never done the Chemo, it took her life much more rapidly, plus she was not living a quality life…..” kind of too late then…..I can say this, I watched my mother die recently, the treatment I (we all) believe should have been skipped….I suppose this drug is the one where the benefits outweigh the risks of not taking it…No study done here, I live with it…it makes me sick……

3:35 am August 28th, 2015

I am so confused about this drug gabapentin. I am taking 300 mg at night. It literally knocks me out within an hour. I haven’t slept this good in years! My doctor told me it was not habit forming. Now I read all these stories. I should back up a little bit. I was taking hydros for 10 years and worked my way up to 60 mg daily for the past 2 years. I weened myself off them in 5 weeks. I haven’t had any hydros in 3 weeks and have felt like death from the remaining withdrawals. I am feeling better every day and look forward to feeling my old self again. I do worry about the gabapentin though. I have Scleroderma, an auto-immune disease with many painful symptoms. On one hand I am SUPER proud of myself for getting off the hydros, but feel like I switched from one addiction to another. I am not abusing the gabapentin and don’t have the urge to do so and have never experienced the high feeling people are talking about. I don’t take it during the day, as I would be knocked and unable to function. Sleep in imperative and if I don’t get a good night rest, I feel crappy all day long. I sure don’t want to go through another round of withdrawals going off the gabapentin!! The hydro withdrawals were and are brutal…:-( I am scared and would love for someone to reach out and respond to my concerns. Thanks for listening.

L August
3:03 am August 30th, 2015

My husband has been taking methadone for about a year now he got off hydrocodone and oxycodon because it wasn’t helping then the doctor put him on gabapentin and he was still too jittery so I added tramadol then he got worse so I stopped the methadone and now he’s better he isn’t using as much medication he doesn’t seem to be going through withdrawal he takes 300 gabapentin twice a day and 100 tramadol twice a day 1 bromelain should I give him another bromelain with the gabapentin thank you very much

12:11 pm August 31st, 2015

I’ve been on gabapentin for years and now the physical and psychological effects when it’s not in my system have become very overwhelming. I’m on 800mg four times daily and I have to take at least two in the early morning or it feels like my skeleton is trying to jump out of my skin and run away. Granted, this is much more mild than when I was dropped off methadone in ten days, but now that I’m all other drug free I’m presented with this nightmare. It causes panic and overly extreme anxiety as soon as its out of my system. I cannot sleep unless I have it, and its been many months that I’ve been all other drug free. So what’s causing this to happen?

4:09 pm September 21st, 2015

I have taken Neurotin for 10 years. I am up to 4 400mg daily. For those saying it’s not addictive you are insane. I am currently on day two of being without because I took to many. The withdrawals are worse than with any other drug I have taken. BTW I ‘m on them for chronic pain. Going through withdrawals from percocet was much easier than these. I do have chonic pain from disc degenerative disease. I would rather be in pain than take this drug. To any damn doctor out there. TELL YOUR PATIENTTHIS IS ADDICTIVE AND CAN CAUSE HORRIBLE WITHDRAWALS. I get my script tomorrow. I’m forcing myself to wean off of this nasty drug. To those thinking of taking it……DON’T

6:52 pm October 1st, 2015

I can’t believe I was prescribed gabapentin for my back pain when my doctor knew about my suicide attempts and depression. At first I really liked it because it would give me a good energy.I’ve cut down o how many I take and figured I could stop completely.WRONG! Now I have days in a row when I cant even get up to shower.I don’t want to go anywhere or see anyone.Even though I’m on paxil for my depression,stopping the gabapentin has seemed to override the paxil as far as depression goes.Its awful and how do doctors get away with it?

8:15 pm November 4th, 2015

I been taking 700mg gabpentin 4 times a day I am now taking 600mg 4 times day how long will it take to come of this tablet

1:51 pm November 20th, 2015

I have been on Gabapentin for approx 2 years. 600mg morning and night. It took 3 months for this medication to kick in and start to work. I would have quit it, but the pharmasist told me to stick it out for up to 3 months to get the full effects, and he was right. I have Fibromyalgia and was suffering with extreme pain throughout my body. I also suffer with bad neuralgia in my feet, plus I am Type 2 Diabetic. I have had no side effects from this drug, but if I do miss a dose, I start to feel the pain about 10 hours later. Any drug has risks, but in my case, the pain far out-weighed the risk of taking the medication. I had no quality of life being in severe pain all the time. I get no euphoric feeling and have not since the beginning. I take the drug exactly as prescribed, never more or less. It gave me my life back. I am well aware of dependency issues, but at 57 years old, I would rather spend my final years enjoying life and being with my family whom I love dearly, than being practically bed ridden and in pain. Best of luck to all those who are suffering with medical issues. Hang in there and be patient will yourself.

6:59 pm December 10th, 2015

how long can i take these for suboxone withdrawal without getting physically dependant, also the same question with valium because ive beeen using both for 7 days so far so how much longer can i use them

8:05 am January 6th, 2016

I took about 5 neurontins a day for about 2 weeks and wen I didn’t have any for 1 day I didn’t sleep I was tossing and turning all night long. The next day I took 5 and I felt better. Its a bad kick. I was crawling the walls. I wanna stop taking them but don’t know wat to do. I was gunna get a few kpins and take them for a couple days. Any1 have any suggestions?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
3:22 pm January 8th, 2016

Hi, Michael. I suggest you consult a doctor or a pharmacist on this matter. Please consider that it is illegal to consume medications other than prescribed, and you put yourself at risk.

5:54 pm January 14th, 2016

Hi all, I have been taking gabapentin for spondylosis for 3 years now, during this course of time I have had to hassle with insurance cutting me off out of no where as one reason for going a couple of days without gabapentin, the lazy dr offices not responding to the pharmacy in a timely manner, on January 7 2016 this happened again, pharmacy says they sent a fax dr office says they haven’t received it yet, went on for 5 days, in the first 24 hours I went into with drawls just like a junkie would serve chills, server sweating, throwing up couldn’t sleep upper abdomen cramp so so bad it made my issues I had with the gallbladder a walk in the park, my primary dr told me I should have gone to the ER but I didn’t because I have never gone throw any thing like I didn’t know what was going on I am humiliated with my physical issues the spondylosis, now I have an addiction as bad as a street junkie, oh yeah life is just great isn’t it

6:35 pm January 19th, 2016

morning i have been taking gabapentin now for a lot of years i started at a lower dose and went to3600 mg a day i am a 10 year survivor of GBS i have cut down my dose to 1800 mg and and and 900 and now 600 mg once a day . the pain i had at 3600 mg is no different than me now taking 600 mg a day . i am 70 now and am learning to live with the pain and lees drugs . i want to cut Gabapentin out all together but am scared of the serious with drawl . should i see my doctor or just set up my own schedule to quit . thanks . Ronald

12:11 am January 30th, 2016

Gabapentin is highly addictive, and side affects and withdrawal symptoms are ridiculous! I have someone I greatly care about destroying her life over Addiction! She had an opiate addiction, went to rehab, was put on suboxone and aderal, had to go back to rehab to get off that! Then goes to a sych doctor and has been on gabapentin and aderal for a year now! She takes 6-8 aderall and 6_8 gabs 300mg pills a day! She is just floating around, eyes iced over,high as all hell! She choices this life over me and her 5 year old son our daughter is in college, thank god!! When she has her gabs she is normal to that sense, when the bottle goes empty, here it goes the shakes the sweats headaches, she will take 10-20 excederin and sleep for 12-16hours then nausea and vomiting bitching moody! It’s terrible. I have seen her on just way to many gabs and she tries to sleep, her eyes are shut, but she is having full blown conversations, her legs and arms are going like she is swimming, its woke me out of a dead sleep is swear it was a damn zombie coming at you! But if u grab her and say wake up, she pops right up and asks why did you wake me. I told her what she does, she wouldn’t believe me, so I got a camcorder and recorded 4hours straight of her zombie trip! I didn’t show her, tell you the truth I have stood by her for 20 years, addictions, cheating,lies, I have big shoulders and love my kids but I ain’t stupid, these gabapentin are just another addiction, eating them buying them enough is enough! If u havè had an addiction do not take these, it does something that triggers the brain to crave more and more to block out pain or anxiety and what not! I told her doctor what’s up and he just blew me off! So read this and be warned keep away from this garbage!! And anyone having troubles with gabs I feel for ya and wish ya luck in getting away from them!!

Matthew UK
1:17 am February 9th, 2016

Hello, I’m from UK and going through hell at the moment. I was diagnosed with a cervical neck prolapse back in December and have been taking gabapentin approx 1200mg daily for 6 weeks. I have also took tramadol but not as often just when needed for pain relief. I noticed that I was starting to feel detached from my body on Gabby and also I lost focus on life. So I went cold turkey last week, no tapering just stopped taking them. Stupid I know but I didn’t do my homework before hand and just stopped the l dose. The first day of not taking them I was on a train journey which would of took approx 3hrs. 20mins into the journey I had this sudden horrible feeling of claustrophobia and started sweating, my shirt was soaked. I could not calm myself down so I got off the train and rang my wife who made a 2hr car journey to pick me up. It gets worse :( I’ve always been ok with anxiety and not really suffered anything major from it. I’m now in the car soaked from sweat, dizzy and I see the sign for the motorway and again Im panicking, feeling omg trapped on a motorway so we checked Into a nearby hotel the next night. I didn’t sleep, very restless and lots of sweats that night. The next day I couldn’t face the motorway it made me feel claustrophobic and again anxiety was in my mind so my wife drove the non motorway back home which took us two hours extra. The first five days of the withdrawal have been hell. I’ve had sleepless nights and when ive slept had weird dreams like a woman knocking on my window as I’m late for my funeral. Anxiety is with me constant and the little things in life have been thought of intensive and feared. Had lots of cold and hot sweats and extreme headaches for one day. I’ve had flu like symptons for days and still it feels like I havr a heavy chest and a head cold. I’m now on day 8 and feeling better. I’m still get periods of anxiety and feeling weak with cold like symptons. I’ve been trying supplements of magnesium,b6,omega 3 and multi vitamins. I’ve found Epsom salt mouthwashes and baths to be effective in calming my mind and body. I’ve paid particular attention to what I eat and having lots of health smoothies and in particular bananas for potassium. Day four I had enough of being stuck in the house and went for an hr walk. It was amazing seeing nature and breathing the outside air, something that before I took for granted. I have a lake nearby and everyday now I walk to it and take time out to practice breathing techniques and try and refresh my mind. Today a song came on the radio I can see clearly now the rain has gone and omg I was in tears as I actually feel like some of the fog is going. I’m amazed how this drug has affected me as I’ve never took such strong painkillers in my 40yr old life until now. The second day of withdrawal I cried like a baby for the first time in 20yrs in my wife’s arms. I felt like nothing had a purpose and my mind was ruined. Please take from my story that you can give this horrible stuff up, it’s not easy and you will have to be strong and determined with mind battles. I’m not 100percent but I call it baby steps :)

5:34 am February 22nd, 2016

I’m understanding your position on the difference between physical dependence and addiction. I get it. Yet I am on the fence concerning this particular question. Where are you getting your facts regarding the continuous statement your making saying gabapentin doesn’t cause compulsive use and or psychological cravings in the “traditional” sense of addiction and drug abuse? The high and euphoria one experiences while taking substantially larger then normal doses is well documented and extreamly popular in “junkie” forums all across the web. This is no secrect among active drug abusers. It has been banned or restricted in many institution’s due to it’s abundance in the black market. And it’s effects are long lasting. Trust me on this, gabapentin has been addicting to people in every sense of the word. Maybe not to the extent of opioids or benzo’s, but to completly disregard its potential because your comparing the two’s sererity is both nieve and misleading. Otherwise i really enjoy your site.

Brendan can
1:52 am March 9th, 2016

Matthew UK I’m dealing with the same situation. Have been taking gabapentin to get off opiates. Oxy and immodiom in large doses. I’ve taken it for sic weeks now sometimes very high doses but average around 1800 mg a day. I stopped the other day and had the worst anxiety and no appetite with diareah and it was just starting. I have taken another 600 mg dose and have one 600 mg tablet left. Scared because I’ve just gone through so much withdrawal lately getting off opiates now this. I don’t know hhow to get through it but clearly don’t have a choice. I don’t want to taper and just prolong the inevitable. I’m seriously scared of doing it but I have to. I want my life back so bad. I need to do this. Tha kyou for sharing your stories everyone. Anyways wish ne luck

4:37 am May 11th, 2016

You know I have read every single one of these comments, and I am completely confused about the addiction of this drug. I have been on 300 milligram 3 times a day for almost 10 years and I have never thought about taking more and more to get the Euphoria feeling that you get when you first start taking them. Now, with that being said, I believe that any mind-altering drug can be addictive if you are one that normally becomes addicted to drugs. I take my gab for mental health and for my Crohn’s disease. I remembered when I first started taking this, I slept I think for two damn years lol but I was very sick as well. I take it now and I function pretty normally however I have gained about 40 pounds in the last 10 years which sucks, but without the medication I feel absolutely horrible so I suppose the benefit outweighs the risk. I absolutely hate hearing how so many people become addicted to drugs and I suppose this one as it is can be addictive if you allow it to be. And by addiction, I mean taking it to the point where you are making yourself High and not taking it as directed.

5:16 pm May 18th, 2016

My boyfriend opens up a couple of gabapentin and takes them with a few beer, followed by smoking some weed. He’s been doing this for over six months now, should I be worried? How can I help him stop?

3:35 pm May 20th, 2016

I take 300mg lyrica twice a day and 9mg hydromorphone BID. I accidentally took my am and pm meds at the same time, double dose. I’m scared!! What can happen to me, do I need to go to the hospital?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
3:48 pm May 20th, 2016

Hi Beth. Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for an assessment of overdose risk.

7:19 am May 25th, 2016

Stopped Gabapentin 3 weeks ago. After Valium it was a walk in the park. I tapered off Gaba for about 2 weeks. Went from 600mg to nothing. For me I was anxious for 2 weeks and still dealing with sleep issues. It’s not that bad, at least for me and I was scared but had very few problems. I tried to say more hoping to help, not able to. good luck

7:36 am May 25th, 2016

Brendon, Opiate w/d, at least the physical part is over in 10 days at most (usually under a week) there may be some anxiety but it’s very doable. Suck it up and get it over with, you’ll be glad you did. Get some Hylands restless legs, some immodium and some sleepy time tea and you’ll be fine in 10 days, trust me. Of course if you have pain issues that will be a bigger problem. If you can’t stop taking opiates, please don’t ever take a benzo. NEVER!

7:43 am May 25th, 2016

Tim, Don’t listen to all the hype. It’s not that bad. You need to taper, just like you had to increase your dose over a period of time. Sleep is the last thing to come back but, when you get tired enough you WILL sleep. When you take your last dose you WILL feel a lot better in a week. Reject all the negative things you hear. Like I said, it’s hype and I have a very addictive personality. Just do it, don’t over think it.

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