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.