Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

Gabapentin instead of a benzo for regular anti-anxiety?


Recommended Posts

Does anyone use gabapentin on a regular basis (nightly or daily) instead of a benzo?  I've been on Ativan as a daily anti-anxiety med for a good eight years, but PHP pdoc doesn't believe it makes the most sense because of the half-life.  Initially she was talking about klonopin, which made sense, but now she is talking about Gabapentin.  I don't know enough although I know it might help with my migraine prevention.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was on gabapentin years ago and it didn't help with anxiety.  I don't think it ever really did anything even at 4,000 mg/day. 

For me I take klonopin 0.5 mg,  2x/day every day = 1.0 mg total.  I also have xanax that i use as needed, but don't need it as often.

Not sure about migraine prevention ... never had my first migraine until years later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Melissa--that's how I've always seen an underlying anxiety treated.  Klonopin for the base level issue and Ativan or something similar for an acute thing.

that said--anyone else have any good luck with gabapentin? Or more negative experiences?  Just trying to increase the sample pool, in part so I know whether to ask PHP pdoc for more info before being okay with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure about the migraine prevention. I take gabapentin at night ~500-600mg to help stabilize sleep architecture. I sleep better when I also take 0.25-0.5mg of clonazepam with it when I'm having a rough go at sleeping.

At some point a while ago I changed from several times a day lorazepam to longer acting clonazepam. I was hesitant to do it, but it was helpful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, dancesintherain said:

Or more negative experiences? 

Just want to add that for me, FWIW ... weaning off of Neurontin was incredibly hard, especially towards the end.  Personally I won't go on neurontin again, in case it doesn't work and I have to wean off of it. But that is my experience. 

Hopefully others will chime in with good experiences for you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, starting on gabapentin at 100mg tonight.  If I wake up after two hours, like I have been doing, I can take another 100mg.  Not currently talking about weaning off ativan, though that's probably a talk for the future.  It came up less because of anxiety and more because of sleep.  We went through a surprisingly short list of sleep options, most of which I tried (and all the named ones were things I actually had problems with), and discussed the fact that I'm on many medications that should be making me sleep (me raising the unhelpful fact that regardless of what they should do, they aren't).  Tossed around hydroxyzine because that was one my OP pdoc had mentioned, but the thought was if gabapentin works, it could handle the anxiety and sleep at the same time. 

I'm concerned, but I'll try it.  I don't really have a reason not to.  I just hate having the "you're taking lots of sleep-inducing meds" conversation when I'm reporting my actual sleep hours--five segments of sleep that were all less than two hours was Friday and Saturday.  Yesterday was a bit better. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started gabapentin about 6 weeks ago - initially at 900mg/day (3 x 300mg), and for the last two weeks, 1200mg/day (3 x 400mg).  My pdoc is super-keen for this to work, both as a stabiliser and eventually as a replacement to the clonazepam I'm on.  As to how it's going - the best I can really say is that I'll let you know.  I do feel that it's helping to put a lid on the gut wrenching anxiety that I especially feel in the mornings... but that's taking it along with clonazepam, and I'm really unsure if it'll do the same on its own without the benzo.

200mg strikes me as a very low dose (given that there seems to be huge room to move up, even further than where I'm at with 1200/day).  How are you feeling after a few more days on it?

eta I've not had a migraine for a month, so it's possible that it's at least working on that side of things.

Edited by MiaB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you tolerate gabapentin, I would totally give it a shot for anxiety.  I've found that a number of the anti-convulsants have a really great calming effect for me.

I am a bit biased, though.  I really don't like the idea of long-term benzo use.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I essentially had to beg my way to a 400mg dose for sleep and anxiety (with prior being that I took 300mg and then 100mg if I wake up).  I now have nothing as a PRN if I wake up.  I am not thrilled. I'm not sure why all of a sudden the whole "we don't want to increase medication every time" has become the approach.

Edited by dancesintherain
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/1/2016 at 3:32 PM, dancesintherain said:

So, starting on gabapentin at 100mg tonight.  If I wake up after two hours, like I have been doing, I can take another 100mg.  Not currently talking about weaning off ativan, though that's probably a talk for the future.  It came up less because of anxiety and more because of sleep.  We went through a surprisingly short list of sleep options, most of which I tried (and all the named ones were things I actually had problems with), and discussed the fact that I'm on many medications that should be making me sleep (me raising the unhelpful fact that regardless of what they should do, they aren't).  Tossed around hydroxyzine because that was one my OP pdoc had mentioned, but the thought was if gabapentin works, it could handle the anxiety and sleep at the same time. 

I'm concerned, but I'll try it.  I don't really have a reason not to.  I just hate having the "you're taking lots of sleep-inducing meds" conversation when I'm reporting my actual sleep hours--five segments of sleep that were all less than two hours was Friday and Saturday.  Yesterday was a bit better. 

I would give a thumbs up to Hydroxyzine for insomnia.  It works for my neighbor and it did help get to sleep and stay that way but I always felt groogy during the morning.  It works for some people with anxiety. 

I sure an hearing a lot about gabapentin lately!  Whats up with that?  That and people getting into problems with being prescribed benzos.  

For Insomnia Ambien works 90+% of the time for me but my SO has had conversations with me that I don't remember.  I don't know what I'm saying or whats she is asking so that is creepy.

I don't know if this OTC sleep combo is a good idea so please talk to your docs before you try it https://www.grc.com/health/sleep/healthy_sleep_formula.htm

I really respect the author Steve Gibson.   He made a study (Using a Zeos brain wave reader) of his sleep problems and tried a variety of things to get good sleep and has been asking people with access to the same device to try it and send him the scans.  So its all amateur.

btw if your worried about computer security if you go to the grc.com page he has a port scanner that can tell you if your computer is wide open to attack (Or has WORSE been made wide open)  Oh and now I sound like a salesman but he has a brilliant program called spinrite (Spelling???) that can unscrewup hard discs.  Its also a good program for seeing how well your drive is working.  As in how many soft errors it does and has had.  This lets you copy and get rid of a drive thats on its last legs.

Edited by HAL9000
Too much Babbling
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My experience, hope adds something:

I think it works on anxiety and improves sleep but I don't think it would work if a 8 years lorazepam intake was just interrupted and instead replaced by gabapentin. 

I used to take 900mg daily and for a couple of months it even held my mood together.

Unfortunately here it's only available at 300mg and above it I started a significant weight gain which is unusual and it didn't hold my mood for long.

I would consider taking it again as some add on, I can really take 300mg without any significant side effect and I truly felt less anxious and had a improvement on sleep quality, unfortunately it didn't help with headaches.

PDOC today addressed my headaches to sleep problems.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Hal!  The hydroxzyine got shelved when the gabapentin got signed off on and now it looks like the door is shut until I'm out of PHP.  Current PHP pdoc is concerned about polypharmacy.  I'm not sure I'm the best case with that concern, because every drug in the cocktail serves a purpose.  I looked at the OTC one and I've actually become depressed after taking melatonin unfortunately (three times because I forgot the second and third that there had been a first and second).  So probably not a good option for me per se. 

Thanks also uncomfortable thoughts!  I'm glad your pdoc addressed your issue at the appointment.  Mine was a little rockier.  The gabapentin is up to 400, but I'm not expecting any flexiblity past that.  Fortunately, the talk of going down on ativan is talk and not something she'd want to do "until I've been stable longer."  Seeing as I don't even call myself stable now, it could get interesting.  Or it could just be that i'm done with PHP and in the hands of my OP pdoc.  Who knows!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, dances, I don't think I'd like your PHP pdoc very much. I also need every med in my cocktail as every one serves its purpose. Some people need polypharmacy. If we were so easy to treat, we'd all be treated with an AD prescribed by a GP and wouldn't have a need for a pdoc. And 400 mg of gabapentin is not much at all. It's unbelievable that she drew a line at 400 mg. What does she suggest if you have anxiety so bad that you can't function? 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's really weird, jt.  I've really, really liked her til this point and today is very strange.  Hopefully it'll be a fluke.  She mentioned the polypharmacy thing a long time ago but was then perfectly fine with it for a while, so who knows.  Right now, the Ativan isn't being removed and between that and the current gabapentin, I haven't had a ton of breakthrough anxiety.  There was a time where I had the sign off for more Ativan for really bad breakthrough anxiety.  I'm not sure if I'm just supposed to sit on my hands? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...