Gabapentin Side Effects

Gabapentin Side Effects

Gabapentin side effects affect some people more than others, according to studies NIMH has prepared and published on the subject.


Gabapentin functions as a unique type of anti-convulsive agent. Although how it works exactly has yet to be discovered, doctors have prescribed Gabapentin for various conditions, such as:

  • Epilepsy
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Hot Flashes (linked to menopause in women)
  • Neuropathy (nerve pain, i.e., nerve pain after shingles, or associated with diabetes)
  • Alcohol cessation
  • Benzo tapering

One relatively widely accepted theory states that Gabapentin may increase amounts or increase the availability of the neurotransmitter GABA. GABA dampens other excitatory neurotransmitters and is thought to slow down or calm down electric signals passing through the various pathways that carry pain signals or other messages. Hence, Gabapentin is commonly prescribed to treat Epilepsy and neurology conditions, as the undesired or disruptive messages can be slowed or calmed along nerve pathways, providing relief.

As with any drug, along with alleviating troublesome symptoms, Gabapentin can also cause certain adverse side effects, such as these more common ones:

  • Clumsiness
  • Feeling unsteady, dizziness
  • Continuous back and forth eye movement, or continuous rolling upward of the eyes
  • Children commonly experience increased aggression, hyperactivity, worsening school performance or other behavior problems
  • Anxiety
  • Crying spells
  • Suspiciousness
  • Rashes, facial edema, abrasion (wearing down or rubbing of the skin causing superficial open wounds)
  • Purpura (purple patches caused by bleeding under the skin)
  • Changes in mood and emotion
  • Convulsions
  • Delusions
  • Dementia
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
  • Trembling
  • Bloody stools
  • Hemorrhaging gums
  • Dental abnormalities
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Impotence

Persons who experience troubling Gabapentin side effects may wish to stop taking it but may feel unable or afraid to do so as the drug can produce severe withdrawal symptoms when coming off it.

WARNING: the FDA recommends not to stop taking a drug such as Gabapentin abruptly, as to do so may be hazardous. Always seek medical assistance and guidance before you stop taking a medication.

While Gabapentin has reportedly helped many with alcohol cessation, or as an aid to benzo withdrawals, restless legs, neuropathy, menopausal hot flashes and other conditions with a documented degree of success, there remain those who wish to stop taking it because of intolerable side effects Gabapentin can produce. We can help.

Contact the Alternative to Meds Center for information on our holistic, medically monitored medication tapering programs. Each program is tailored to the individual using various lab tests and other diagnostic tools to help design your plan based on your specific needs. Call today and ask how we can assist you in gently and safely conquering Gabapentin side effects.


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