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I'm having side effects from gabapentin such as swollen

I'm having side effects...

I'm having side effects from gabapentin such as swollen glands, vomiting , confusion, sweats, etc. But when I stopped suddenly they all worsened. How do l step down safely and tolerable. Dr doesn't know for sure how to do this safely. He's leaving it up to me?

Doctor's Assistant: Any recent injuries? How long have you been dealing with the swelling?

No recent injury. I didn't say swelling please re-read my first post please. Really need solid advice?

Doctor's Assistant: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?

No my Dr knows EVERYTHING.

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Answered in 6 minutes by:
3/25/2018
Shaun Dillavou
Shaun Dillavou, Pharmacist
Category: Pharmacy
Satisfied Customers: 150
Experience: Doctor of Pharmacy with 15 years experience in multiple settings.
Verified

Hello - This is Dr. Shaun and I am a pharmacist with over 15 years of experience. Thank you for the question and for using JustAnswer.

Gabapentin is a medication that should be tapered rather than stopped "cold turkey".

To do this depends on the patient and how well they tolerate the dose being decreased, but I recommend cutting 50-100mg / day every 1-2 weeks. For example if you are on 300mg total per day, take 200-250mg per day for a couple of weeks. Provided you are not experiencing withdrawal, you can then decrease to 100mg-200mg per day for another couple of weeks, etc.

You should continue to communicate with your doctor as you do this so that he/she is aware of where you are in the process and note any side effects. If you let me know how much you are taking each day (and for approximately how long) I can provide you with a more detailed schedule.

I hope this information helps you. If you need more or would like clarification, please do not hesitate to ask. Please also take a moment to rate your experience.

Shaun Dillavou
Shaun Dillavou, Pharmacist
Category: Pharmacy
Satisfied Customers: 150
Experience: Doctor of Pharmacy with 15 years experience in multiple settings.
Verified
Shaun Dillavou and 87 other Pharmacy Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 23 days ago
I'm taking 500mg a day. Dosing is 2mg in morning, 1mg in afternoon, and 2mg at bedtime. I am also tapering 4mg of Klonopin down from 6mg. Been on Klonopin 2 yrs. Gabapentin 3 months. Brutal. I'm holding on the Klonopin taper until l can safely get off this gabapentin. Hope this all makes sense to you. My Dr on board, but not sure himself what to do. So your professional opinion is needed?

I think that is a good call to only taper off one at a time. And given the medications, I would taper off of the gabapentin first and worry about the Klonopin later - I think you are spot on with this approach.

Regarding the gabapentin:

- Reduce the dose (as follows) by 100mg / day, and take the new schedule for 1 week. If you are feeling OK (no withdrawal / side effects), then move to the next schedule. If you are, prolong the schedule for another week.

- Since you are starting at 200 / 100 / 200, I would reduce the PM dose first. Decrease it to 100mg and do 200 / 100 / 100.

- Once you are ready to taper again (1-2 weeks), reduce the morning dose to 100 and do 100 / 100 / 100.

- Then eliminate the middle dose and keep the morning and evening dose about 12 hours apart (it does not have to be exact); this will be a 100 am / 100 pm schedule.

- From here, you can eliminate either the morning or evening, but if you are struggling at all with withdrawal or side effects, you can try 50mg in the morning and 50 mg in the evening (50 / 50 schedule). Then eliminate one, then the other.

This is not a short process, but it does depend on the patient. Some can tolerate the tapering better than others. Following this schedule would put you anywhere from 4 to 10 weeks to completely come off the gabapentin, but slowly is the safest way to go.

Current: 200mg / 100mg / 200mg

Taper 1: 200mg / 100mg / 100mg

Taper 2: 100mg / 100mg / 100mg

Taper 3: 100mg / 0 / 100mg

Taper 4: 50mg / 0 / 50mg

Taper 5: 50mg / 0 / 0

Discontinue.

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Customer reply replied 23 days ago
Ok. Please pray for me and stay in touch.

Certainly.

My direct link through JustAnswer is below if you need any more assistance or would like to follow-up.

https://www.justanswer.com/pharmacy/expert-drshaun/

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Customer reply replied 23 days ago
Ty. Going to try what you said.
Customer reply replied 21 days ago
Can lower back pain be a symptom of being on gabapentin or tapering it down?

Yes - lower back or side pain can be a side effect of gabapentin. This side effect generally goes away on its own as you get used to it, and should likewise resolve on its own as you taper off of it.

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Customer reply replied 21 days ago
Ty. Is a pulse of 114 normal through this. My bp is 128 over 89. I take linsaprol for bp. If l spelled that correctly. 20 to 25 mg a day?

Neither your pulse nor BP are too outside of normal that I would be concerned. If anything, your diastolic pressure is slightly elevated, but nothing I would be concerned about in a patient with diagnosed hypertension.

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Customer reply replied 21 days ago
Ok ty
Customer reply replied 20 days ago
God bless you Shaun!!
Customer reply replied 12 days ago
Shaun my dr offered me liquid gabapentin if l want to use it. Your thoughts on this please???

Hello. How is the taper going?

Liquid gabapentin will give you more options for tapering as it will provide more flexibility with dosing. You can stick to the schedule we discussed before with the liquid, but if you want to do a slower taper you could reduce doses by 25mg-50mg at a time with the liquid (instead of 50mg-100mg).

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Customer reply replied 12 days ago
Ok if l get the liquid filled will you coach me on how to taper it? I'm so tired and overwhelmed l will need your expertise. I will let you know Monday, ok?

I will be happy to help.

Let me know exactly what you get (strength, quantity, etc) and I will help you with making an appropriate taper schedule.

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Customer reply replied 12 days ago
Ok. Ty
Customer reply replied 9 days ago
Ok l have the liquid gabapentin. On bottle it says gabapentin 250mg/5 ml soln. How do l do this?
Customer reply replied 9 days ago
Shaun are you there? Need help on how to do this??

Hi. I just got your message. Give me a few moments and I will send you a suggested, revised schedule for the liquid.

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With the liquid, you can taper at a slower rate. Below is a new schedule with a slower taper. Remember to go 1-2 weeks in between tapers. Of course, if you are adjusting, you can always skip a taper and go to the next as I have adjusted the schedule to reduce by only 50mg instead of 100mg at a time.

Start: 200mg (4ml) / 100mg (2ml) / 200mg (4ml)

Taper 1: 200mg (4ml) / 100mg (2ml) / 150mg (3ml)

Taper 2: 150mg (3ml) / 100mg (2ml) / 150mg (3ml)

Taper 3: 150mg (3ml) / 100mg (2ml) / 100mg (2ml)

Taper 4: 100mg (2ml) / 100mg (2ml) / 100mg (2ml)

Taper 5: 100mg (2ml) / 100mg (2ml) / 50mg (1ml)

Taper 6: 100mg (2ml) / 50mg (1ml) / 50mg (1ml)

Taper 7: 50mg (1ml) / 50mg (1ml) / 50mg (1ml)

Taper 8: 50mg (1ml) / 0 / 50mg (1ml)

Taper 9: 50mg (1ml) / 0 / 0

Discontinue.

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Customer reply replied 9 days ago
Ok. Will start in morning. Ty. Please pray for me and stay in touch....

Of course. Good luck, and let me know if you need anything else.

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Customer reply replied 4 days ago
Having bad headaches. Gabapentin withdrawal or even side effect?

Hello - I hope things are going well.

Headache is a common side effect, but withdrawal usually causes symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, anxiety, sweating, and insomnia (but not so much headache, though it is possible).

Given our previous discussion, I would attribute it to something other than the gabapentin, but there is a possibility of that it is being caused by the taper (though I think unlikely). You can take any over the counter pain / headache medication to help. Something like Motrin or Aleve will not be an issue.

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Customer reply replied 3 days ago
Ok. Ty Shaun
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Shaun Dillavou
Shaun Dillavou
Shaun Dillavou, Pharmacist
Category: Pharmacy
Satisfied Customers: 150
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Experience: Doctor of Pharmacy with 15 years experience in multiple settings.

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