Trying to stop gabapentin, lesson learned

Trying to stop gabapentin, lesson learned

Gabapentin is an anti-epileptic used to control some types of seizures in epilepsy. It is used in multiple sclerosis to control dysesthesias (pain caused by MS lesions) and the pain caused by spasticity. (As per the National Multiple Sclerosis Society)

I’ve been taking this drug for years. I’ve had it in a wide range of dosages from 100mg to 600mg. Probably about 4 or more years ago my doctor started prescribing me 300mg to take daily. I took them every evening to help with spasticity in my back. I always have a standing prescription that I can take these 300mg up to 3 times daily if my spasticity gets bad. It has been so long since it’s been bad I kind of forgot how bad it could be until this week when I tried to stop taking the gabapentin.

Why’d I stop taking it? Because I read a book that called out a few drugs that had an effect on insulin and weight The Obesity Code. Gabapentin was of course one of those drugs. However it wasn’t the only reason. It was also because of my fitness coach who strongly hates gabapentin for MS patients because of the side effects which include muscles weakness, balance, dizziness, double vision, lack of coordination etc. These are all things MS patients already have issues with why make it worse?

Well unfortunately, my body reminded me why I take it. Within two days my spasticity in my back was bad. I was up most of the night because I couldn’t get comfortable because it hurt. As usual the spasticity was in my upper back almost like stress but it feels like someone is in their twisting my tendons like when you eat spaghetti and your keep turning the fork. It is painful and the pain always becomes a headache. I finally took a lower dose gabapentin which was such a relief until the next day. I realized this is one of those cases the pros outweigh my cons. I think I need to stay on gabapentin. I forgot how painful spasticity really is and should be grateful I get relief from a medicine not try to stop taking it. Lesson learned.

6 thoughts on “Trying to stop gabapentin, lesson learned

  1. The spasticity in my back and other muscles has been getting worse over the years as well. I’ve never taken anything for it but finally talked to my neurologist’s assistant about it yesterday at my check up. She agreed that I could try something once in a while if/when it gets bad enough and prescribed Baclofen for me. Apparently it’s the most used anti spasm med for MS and is generally very well tolerated. Have you ever tried it instead of your current med?

    1. Yes I actually take it daily too. That doesn’t help with the spasticity in my back at least for me but it does help with my lower back spasms. Go figure!!! Marijuana helps too but not as well

      1. Hmm. I wonder if it’s not entirely related to MS then? My back/neck is a mess if I don’t get regular chiropractic adjustments. With many diseases and issues like MS, it can be difficult or impossible to take care of our backs like we should and I know that for me, adjustments sometimes help with certain symptoms. It makes sense as well… inflammation causes the symptoms and subluxed vertebrae will cause inflammation in your spine and irritate countless nerves and muscles as well. Something I would definitely recommend if you aren’t already.

        1. I thank you for the recommendation but I have an issue with chiropractors which I should blog about. I never told that story about how a chiropractor first tried to diagnose me. Maybe I will on Monday.
          I use to think it was caused by stress seemed logical but when I stopped working and it got worse I realized it wasn’t.
          Yet all the doctors blame MS when they can’t find any other answer. This area of my back is part of my yearly MRI. Besides lesions there is nothing there. 🤷🏻‍♀️

          1. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had a bad experience with chiropractic. I can say though, that I’ve seen 3 chiropractors in my area over the last 15 years. After working many physical labor jobs when I was younger, my back had gotten so bad that I couldn’t even turn my head to check my blind spots when driving, my legs would frequently burn from sciatica, and taking deep breaths would hurt because of my thoracic vertebrae. I finally went to my first chiropractor, he took xrays, and revealed how crooked and messed up my spine was. Needless to say, all that has changed and then some and I’ve been seeing him for over a decade. He’s even driven all the way to my house once to check on me (long story). When he is out of town or I need a better hip adjustment I go to a specific other Chiro who is also really good at doing a different technique. I’ve been to a 3rd Chiro many years ago, but his technique was strange and I never went back. I guess my point is that we would never stop going grocery shopping because of a rude employee, stop getting car repairs done because some mechanics are scam artists, etc. In most all professions it’s not the service that fails us, it’s the servers. Chiropractic can’t fix everything, but any good Chiro will tell you that. They will also tell you that the best way to avoid coming back is to strengthen your back muscles as much as possible. You just have to find a good doctor. So I suppose just please be careful if you decide to blog about your experience. Painting an entire field in a negative light over a bad doctor can cause a lot of problems for people who could benefit from chiropractic care, but get scared from negative experiences.

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