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Anybody ever get insomnia from neurontin


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Hi folks. Started neurontin going on a month ago for chronic headaches. I'm currently what I understand to be a fairly low dose of 700 mgs a day. 400 at night and 300 in the morning. The first couple of weeks everything went great. Sleep was OK and it is actually helping the headaches. Couple weeks ago things started worsening in the sleep department. I've gone like 3 days at a time where I swear I think I've only gotten maybe 8 hours of sleep all three days. It literally feels like I just lay there all night without ever drifting off into a very deep sleep. After three days I just crash and finally get a decent nights rest for a night or two and then it repeats itself.

So could it be the neurontin? I guess it's possible. But everything I've read says it should actually help and is often prescribed for sleep. Just my damn luck Ii find something that works and it has this horrible side effect. Why me......I'd really hate to go off the stuff because of it. I've never been a great sleeper but the 5 or 6 hours I averaged before this was more than plenty. Is a month not enough and should I stick it out for a bit longer or am I just screwed? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Hi, are you on any other psych meds?  When I take Neurontin, I get really ditsy and I have poor balance and I can't think of the right words to say (really embarrassing), but I get tired--not that I'm able to sleep, but the tiredness is there.  I'm also on Abilify to boost my Paxil and THAT gives me insomnia--it makes me really hyper sometimes, but at least it keeps me more motivated than before.

 

 

Diagnosis: GAD, MDD
Current Rx:  Clonazepam 4mg/day, Paxil 60mg/day, Seroquel 100mg/night, Ativan as needed (during panic attack)

Recent Rx:  added Abilify 2mg for
one week, will increase next week, added Gabapentin 300mg, 3 tabs/day, (then will increase to 600mg, 3 tabs/day)

Past Rx: Zoloft, Celexa, Prozac, Zyprexa (or what I lovingly call "Weight Gain 2000"), Effexor Xr (the sweat drug), Elavil, Tofranil, Cymbalta, Imovane, Nardil, Dexedrine, etc. (I'll have to look the rest up)

Edited by PoorPebbles
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So I've pretty much determined that this stuff is poison to me. Insomnia continued to the point of SEVERE exhaustion. So last week on Wednesday I said the hell with this and didnt take that morning dose or evening dose. BIG MISTAKE. Alot of folks probably wouldnt have a problem quiitng such a low dose cold turkey but I'm not one of them. I didnt sleep AT ALL wednesday night. I cannot overstate just how terrible I felt on Thursday. I was tired to the point of felling like I would pass out any moment. Nausea. Breaking out in sweats.I went to my doc and she said  I was probably going thru some withdrawals. I think so and add the fact that I hadnt slept well in days. I went to my doc and she said go back on the dose I was on for the first couple of weeks, 300mg at night. I did that thursday night thru today. Finally got some decent sleep thursday night. Slept decent Friday night. Saturday night thru today....back to the same ole shit. I feel like a can of smashed assholes. One other thing I've noticed is increased anxiety since I've been on this. I have NEVER had a problem with anxiety. And also brief short periods of intense hopelessness. I'm calling her back and I want a plan to go off this stuff. I guess I would go cold cold turkey again but I have this thing called a job(which has also suffered during this whole ordeal) and cant just take the rest of the week off. This is bullshit. I solved one problem and created another. 

 

This really pisses me off. I was doing really well in the last year with depression and sleep issues. This whole ordeal has been a huge setback.

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I can relate to the side effects you are experiencing.  When I was on neurontin and I started to go off of it, I decided to just do a fast taper (under pdoc supervision, though at the time he was letting me call the shots).  What a mistake that was, to go off of it fast.  It took me so long to finally get off of neurontin because of the withdrawals that happened even with the smallest dose changes as I tapered down.

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How much were you on Melissa? To be honest if it wasnt for my I'd probably just quit this 300mg flat out and just deal with the withdrawal until I was over it. I really want off of this stuff. I have some Ativan handy that I only take when I fly. I wonder if popping one of those once in awhile might ease it some.

Edited by quiet storm
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How much were you on Melissa? To be honest if it wasnt for my I'd probably just quit this 300mg flat out and just deal with the withdrawal until I was over it. I really want off of this stuff. I have some Ativan handy that I only take when I fly. I wonder if popping one of those once in awhile might ease it some.

 

At the absolute highest it was 4000 mg/day.  Even though it was a lot more than you were on, the withdrawal side effects of weaning down a little at a time were hell.  Even when getting down to the last few hundred mgs.  It seemed like the tapering would never end.  I can totally understand why you want off of this stuff.

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Doing some reading I see this med turns life into a living hell for a small percentage of people. But I guess you can say that about a lot of pysch meds. For most folks its probably helpful and at worst it doesnt really do anything at all and they just move on. I guess me and you are one of the unfortunate ones. Apparently, the clinical trials on this stuff were a little shady. FDA came back years later and made them slap a big old warning for the possible suicidal idealation and psychosis this stuff can cause. Withdrawals can be as bad as benzo and alcohol withdrawals for some folks. And then there's the whole getitng their ass dragged into court back in 2009. 

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So I've been on 200mg for a few days and it has been much better. 300mg and above seems to be when all hell breaks loose for me. That day after I went down to 200mg.........it was like a fever breaking. Just felt 100% better. Slept better. Didn't feel like I was going out of goddamn mind. I'm going to do 200mg for another day and then going to 100mg for a few days and stopping. And then I will work on putting this whole miserable experience out of my mind. I'll never be able to hear or see the word Neurontin again without shuddering.

Edited by quiet storm
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Melissa, did you have withdrawals even when stepping down when you were around really low dosages. I took my last 100mg dose a couple a days ago and I feel weird today. Anxious and a little depressed. Maybe its unrelated but it feels similar to those days when I abruptly stopped. It would be crazy if it could still be withdrawal even with that low of a dose. This stuff has done a number on my head.

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Melissa, did you have withdrawals even when stepping down when you were around really low dosages. I took my last 100mg dose a couple a days ago and I feel weird today. Anxious and a little depressed. Maybe its unrelated but it feels similar to those days when I abruptly stopped. It would be crazy if it could still be withdrawal even with that low of a dose. This stuff has done a number on my head.

 

Yes, I did.  It was a bitch of a med to go off of for me.  I finally took 100 mg like you for a very long time, then went off of it and I felt messed up too.  For awhile.  Edgy is what I remember, couldn't sit still.  You're right ... it is crazy with even that dose to feel withdrawal.  I wanted off of it so bad though that I just didn't want to wean down after the 100 mg, so I just stopped taking it.

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How long did that last for you Melissa after you stopped completely? Edgy, that's a pretty good description of what I feeling as well.

I have some ativan that I only use when I fly. Thinking about taking one and seeing if it takes the edge off.

Edited by quiet storm
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Hi Storm.  I took Neurontin for only, like, 3 days, so I don't know how useful my experience would be to you, but it was a memorable experience.  (It was also recent, a med trial for PTSD-related anxiety during an inpatient hospitalization).

 

I didn't notice it causing insomnia at the time, but I took it only once in the AM, 300mg to start (never got beyond that).  Within about 45 minutes, my anxiety was through the roof (major physiological symptoms).  I thought maybe it was a fluke-y thing, didn't attribute it at all to the med, because I thought "this is supposed to be helping my anxiety," attributed more just to being IP so asked for a PRN Ativan.  The second day, the same reaction happened (within about the same time frame), and the nurse took my vitals and my BP was elevated 20 points above normal for me with racing pulse.  I told the pdoc that I thought it was the neurontin, as that was the only change, and she said it was "unlikely but possible" and encouraged me to try it the next day.  (I've tried so many different meds for my PTSD; it's one of the only ones left.)  I took it the 3rd day and had a full-blown panic attack within the 35 to 50 minute time frame after dosing.  (Some of that could have been exacerbated by mental expectations, but the first two days were without any judgment or preconception.)  

 

I know that's not your exact question, but insomnia and anxiety often go hand-in-hand.  Its hard to tell how my sleep was impacted those 3 days b/c 1.) I take sleep medications, and 2.) I sleep worse inpatient anyway.  I don't think anxiety/insomnia/agitation is the typical reaction to Neurontin, but everyone's response is different. 

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Today at work here has been pure hell. I am so anxiety ridden. Cant sit still. I feel like I'm going to have a panic attack at any moment. I think i'm just going to jump back on the 100mg and slowly titrate down from that. This is beyond ridiculous.

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Melissa, how long did the withdrawals last for you after you quit the 100mg?

 

I'm sorry I didn't answer this earlier ... from what I remember it might have been 2-3 weeks, but it has been so long ago that I honestly don't remember exactly.  It wasn't fast, I remember that; it seemed to take forever.  The part I remember the most is knowing I would never in my life go back on that med.

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Today at work here has been pure hell. I am so anxiety ridden. Cant sit still. I feel like I'm going to have a panic attack at any moment. I think i'm just going to jump back on the 100mg and slowly titrate down from that. This is beyond ridiculous.

 

I'm sorry you are going through this.  Maybe it would be a good idea for you to wean down from the 100 mg. 

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I am I have a plan. A lot of folks who have went thru this did a water titration. Take a capsule and dump it in a measured amount of water and only take the amount of water represesenting the amount they want to take. I have a 50ml syringe that im going to use. I'll fill it with 50ml of water and 100mg capsule. Every 10ml represents 20mg of Neurontin. So I figure I'll just take 40ml for a week. 30 for week and so on........

 

Again, unbelievably ridiculous.

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