I need help about a medication. Safe to stop gabapentin?

Posted by pepsi97 @pepsi97, Sun, Jul 26 10:41am

Hey there! The neurologist put me on gabapentin 300mg once a day at bedtime for a few months because of my numb toes. I no longer have health insurance because the pandemic forced me to leave my job on April. I am a bit worried about being able to stop using gabapentin on Sep/Oct without side effects because I never used it before and I have no idea how my body will react. Is it safe for me to just stop using gabapentin?

Hi @pepsi97, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I moved your message to the Neuropathy group (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/neuropathy/) so you can meet other members who are taking gabapentin for numbness. The short answer is that it is always best to consult with your care provider when discontinuing a medication.

This article talks about the risks and how to stop safely with the guidance of a doctor.
– How to Safely Stop Taking Gabapentin (Neurontin) https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-stop-taking-gabapentin

Pepsi, do I understand correctly that you currently have enough medication until Sept or Oct? This gives you and your doctor time to plan a slow and safe taper to ease off the drug. Did gabapentin help the numbness?

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Hello @pepsi97, I would like to add my welcome to Connect along with @colleenyoung. I'm have no medical training or background but I do have small fiber peripheral neuropathy and I let it go for 20+ years before getting a diagnosis. When I first started asking questions again prior to the diagnosis my primary care agreed it was neuropathy and prescribed gabapentin. My only symptoms were numbness in the feet and legs. I had no pain. After taking the gabapentin for 2 weeks, it did nothing to help with the numbness. I went back to my primary care doctor and she consulted with her team at the Mayo Family Clinic where I go and after answering a few more questions the lead doctor told me gabapentin only helps with pain and does nothing for numbness.

It was easy for me to stop taking the gabapentin because I hadn't been on it very long but I also would suggest consulting with your doctor before you stop taking the drug.

As far as the numbness goes, when I finally met with the Mayo Clinic neurologist and was diagnosed with idiopathic small fiber PN, he confirmed again that there are no treatments that help with numbness. There are a few discussions you may be interested in reading through or posting questions you may have.

Living with Neuropathy – Welcome to the group: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/living-with-neuropathy-welcome-to-the-group/
Member Neuropathy Journey Stories: What's Yours?: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/member-neuoropathy-journey-stories-whats-yours/
Numbness in lower extremities: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/numbness-in-lower-extremities/

@pepsi97, did your neurologist do any tests or take a skin punch biopsy to provide a diagnosis?

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@colleenyoung

Hi @pepsi97, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I moved your message to the Neuropathy group (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/neuropathy/) so you can meet other members who are taking gabapentin for numbness. The short answer is that it is always best to consult with your care provider when discontinuing a medication.

This article talks about the risks and how to stop safely with the guidance of a doctor.
– How to Safely Stop Taking Gabapentin (Neurontin) https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-stop-taking-gabapentin

Pepsi, do I understand correctly that you currently have enough medication until Sept or Oct? This gives you and your doctor time to plan a slow and safe taper to ease off the drug. Did gabapentin help the numbness?

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Hi there! I am sorry for posting this question in the wrong category, it's my first time. 🙂
Actually no, I am forced to buy the medication to continue because the neurologist doesn't want to see me at all now that I don't have health insurance. She told me she will see me when I find a job and get my health insurance back, which I don't know when will happen.
I am forced by this problem to completely stop using gabapentin 300mg daily but I have no idea how my body will react after stopping, even if it's a small dose.

Liked by HankB

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@johnbishop

Hello @pepsi97, I would like to add my welcome to Connect along with @colleenyoung. I'm have no medical training or background but I do have small fiber peripheral neuropathy and I let it go for 20+ years before getting a diagnosis. When I first started asking questions again prior to the diagnosis my primary care agreed it was neuropathy and prescribed gabapentin. My only symptoms were numbness in the feet and legs. I had no pain. After taking the gabapentin for 2 weeks, it did nothing to help with the numbness. I went back to my primary care doctor and she consulted with her team at the Mayo Family Clinic where I go and after answering a few more questions the lead doctor told me gabapentin only helps with pain and does nothing for numbness.

It was easy for me to stop taking the gabapentin because I hadn't been on it very long but I also would suggest consulting with your doctor before you stop taking the drug.

As far as the numbness goes, when I finally met with the Mayo Clinic neurologist and was diagnosed with idiopathic small fiber PN, he confirmed again that there are no treatments that help with numbness. There are a few discussions you may be interested in reading through or posting questions you may have.

Living with Neuropathy – Welcome to the group: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/living-with-neuropathy-welcome-to-the-group/
Member Neuropathy Journey Stories: What's Yours?: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/member-neuoropathy-journey-stories-whats-yours/
Numbness in lower extremities: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/numbness-in-lower-extremities/

@pepsi97, did your neurologist do any tests or take a skin punch biopsy to provide a diagnosis?

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Hi there! Yes, the neurologist did a complete neurological exam but she couldn't find anything wrong with me aside from my numb toes. They're numb since April after one month my job forced me to stay on my feet all day long. Not being used to staying on my feet so long, I guess I pinched the nerves of my toes. Gabapentin helps me right now, even if it's a small dose. But now not having health insurance the neurologist wouldn't want to see me without paying her, even if it's just a fast consultation. Doctors in Romania don't care about patients at all, they only want money. Living in Romania is very hard.
I just hope I can safely stop using gabapentin on Sep or Oct to see if the numbness returns.

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@pepsi97 Did she tell you how to get of gabapentin safely? If not delete one pill at a time stay on that for a week then all like this till gone In meantime this is what I do and is only a suggestion I use homeopathics They have nerve pain I've used it and works instantly for me this is what helps me

Liked by HankB

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@pepsi97

Hi there! Yes, the neurologist did a complete neurological exam but she couldn't find anything wrong with me aside from my numb toes. They're numb since April after one month my job forced me to stay on my feet all day long. Not being used to staying on my feet so long, I guess I pinched the nerves of my toes. Gabapentin helps me right now, even if it's a small dose. But now not having health insurance the neurologist wouldn't want to see me without paying her, even if it's just a fast consultation. Doctors in Romania don't care about patients at all, they only want money. Living in Romania is very hard.
I just hope I can safely stop using gabapentin on Sep or Oct to see if the numbness returns.

Jump to this post

Wow, @pepsi97 I am impressed that you found out about Mayo Connect while living in Romania. Welcome. As far as gabapentin goes, my wife took it for a couple months or so. As far as I remember, you are advised to taper off of it gradually, they really stress that. And I think the longer you have been taking it the more gradual they recommend the taper off. I am very sorry to hear that you have to go off of it even though it is helping you, due to it's cost. Are you taking the generic? So Romania has no national health insurance? That is a supreme bummer, you have my sympathy for your predicament. Hope good things will work out for you and also that you can become employed again soon. Best to you, Hank

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@lioness

@pepsi97 Did she tell you how to get of gabapentin safely? If not delete one pill at a time stay on that for a week then all like this till gone In meantime this is what I do and is only a suggestion I use homeopathics They have nerve pain I've used it and works instantly for me this is what helps me

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Linda, I'd be interested in what homeopathic you are taking? Was it prescribed for you by a naturopathic doctor, or did you get it over the counter? We live in Tennessee and among some of the other backward laws here they have one where naturopathic medicine is not recognized and therefore is not licensed. So we have tried to be our own naturopath and have ordered different homeopathics for different things, mostly with little success.

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@jesfactsmon

Linda, I'd be interested in what homeopathic you are taking? Was it prescribed for you by a naturopathic doctor, or did you get it over the counter? We live in Tennessee and among some of the other backward laws here they have one where naturopathic medicine is not recognized and therefore is not licensed. So we have tried to be our own naturopath and have ordered different homeopathics for different things, mostly with little success.

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@fesfactsmon I order from Botanic Choice it's in Indiana I have studied herbs and homeopathics for a long time I'm sensitive to prescribed medication can't take high dosages the Dr wants .At Botanic Choice they are all in the pure form .I have bad allergies and use there allergy med. A good reference book is by Phyllis Bach it's her 5th edition it's called Nutritional healing a lot of information in it

Liked by avmcbellar, HankB

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@lioness

@fesfactsmon I order from Botanic Choice it's in Indiana I have studied herbs and homeopathics for a long time I'm sensitive to prescribed medication can't take high dosages the Dr wants .At Botanic Choice they are all in the pure form .I have bad allergies and use there allergy med. A good reference book is by Phyllis Bach it's her 5th edition it's called Nutritional healing a lot of information in it

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Thanks for the info Linda. I will look up Botanic Choice. Thank-you also for the book recommendation, sounds like something to check out. Would you mind my asking what specific remedy you order for nerve pain? Thanks, Hank

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@jesfactsmon It's Relieves Nerve Pain and is Hypericum perforating most of there items are sublingual

Liked by HankB

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Hi Lioness, is that the same as St. John’s Wort which is used to treat depression and anxiety? If so, I never knew it also acted on nerve pain. Good to know. Helen

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@helennicola

Hi Lioness, is that the same as St. John’s Wort which is used to treat depression and anxiety? If so, I never knew it also acted on nerve pain. Good to know. Helen

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@helencola NonI take one for when I'm depressed No it doesn't help nerve pain Hank asked about nerve pain and I said I take a homeopathic for it In the same sentence I,m sorry if I confused the issue

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@lioness

@pepsi97 Did she tell you how to get of gabapentin safely? If not delete one pill at a time stay on that for a week then all like this till gone In meantime this is what I do and is only a suggestion I use homeopathics They have nerve pain I've used it and works instantly for me this is what helps me

Jump to this post

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