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Offline forever young

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gabapentin
« on: August 19, 2014, 01:05:05 PM »
Ian I would like to be educated on this drug. with all the bad talk about benzos it would scare any medicine phobia person to death. I went to a dr about my weak spells and asked her about klonopin and she said it is addictive and it can kill you. wow wasn't that nice. I haven't taken one for a week now. I just suffer through my spells. lovely I know. I have had a lot of blood work done still searching for a reason. 

but I talked with someone in chat that is on this drug and he says it really helps him. I did a search and the reviews from some were positive for it helping with anxiety. I was thinking it would be nice if it would help me is it worth a try or can I get myself to take it. when you say seizure medicine it is scary. can it cause seizures? are the sideffects different from or worse than klonopin? I read where it helped nerve pain. I am having trouble with the never in my hip and leg. be nice to kill 2 birds with one stone. I wanted to educate myself before I see the dr again about my meds. I read where one person said they didn't take it every day but like as needed. wouldn't you have to take it everyday? and would you have to wean off it after being on it several days if it didn't work. Any tried this and did it work for you. please no horror stories I have heard enough.
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Offline Frotob

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Re: gabapentin
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2014, 04:16:55 PM »
I was prescribed 300mg Gabapentin twice a day for anxiety, it kinda made me feel like I was drunk/high at the same time, but I imagine that effect would go away after a while. I didn't notice a big effect on anxiety. I was surprised to read on the pharmacy pamphlet that as an antiseizure med it could cause seizures. . . . However, most medications list that side effect. . . and I presume it's extremely rare. Anyways, I took it for two days, decided it wasn't for me and just stopped. While it is supposed to have a withdrawal profile similar to Benzos/alcohol/barbiturates - taking it for a test run, or a couple days to a week - isn't long enough to get a dependence and you wouldn't have to taper off.

In the prescription handout it will tell you to take your first dose before bedtime, I strongly suggest following that advice lol. I didn't feel bad per se, just wonky. The following doses didn't affect me as much. It didn't seem to affect my anxiety, maybe I didn't take it long enough. I have heard mixed reviews about it, I do know that it's supposed to work very well for nerve pain.

Don't take this post as a "horror story", it simply didn't work for me - However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a shot. If you decided after a week or so it wasn't for you, there'd be no need to taper off. Unless you were on a very high dose, then it might be wise to reduce your dose back down to zero over a week or two, just to be safe.
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Offline insights

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Re: gabapentin
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2014, 06:09:29 PM »
I went to a dr about my weak spells and asked her about klonopin and she said it is addictive and it can kill you.

Male bovine manure! Sigh! But it does illustrate why benzodiazepines are a risk as the primary, taken daily anti anxiety med, many doctors are just plain ignorant about these meds.

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when you say seizure medicine it is scary. can it cause seizures?

Gabapentin is an anti seizure med, as is Klonopin. It shouldn't trigger seizures when taken as directed, but there is a small possibility of them occurring when discontinuing the med too quickly, just as there is with Klonopin.

Is gabapentin an effective anti anxiety med? Maybe. A few seem to respond well to it, but many don't. Unfortunately, the only way of knowing whether it will help you is to try it. One thing to be aware of is that the bio availabilty of the med drops substantially as the dose increases, so doubling the dose doesn't double to response. The newer pregabalin (Lyrica) does the exact same thing as gabapentin but doesn't have this problem and so would be a better option, however, it is still in patent so will be probably be more expensive.

Ian

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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Online Never-Quit

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Re: gabapentin
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2014, 03:45:43 AM »
Hi again Forever Young  :action-smiley-065:

I really feel for you, being in a small town where the doctors are so paranoid as to actually say such a professionally inaccurate and medically false statement - "she said it is addictive and it can kill you"  ::)

Gabapentin - Is one of those medications that might work.  But, it is nowhere near as effective as BZD's such as Klonopin.

You may want to take a look at alternative medication that is showing some promise, I heard that some E.R.s - are giving them to patients with anxiety and panic attacks - with fairly good results.  And I have also heard of some people here on this forum have had fair to good results with it.  :yes:

This might be a good alternative, that your doctor will actually approve (I think???)   ::)

Here is some information and current studies on Hydroxyzine:

Hydroxyzine
BMJ Group Medical Reference
Introduction

This information is for people who have anxiety disorder. It tells you about hydroxyzine, a treatment used for anxiety disorder. It is based on the best and most up-to-date research.

Does it work? Yes, probably. Studies suggest hydroxyzine works better than a dummy treatment used for comparison (a placebo). Hydroxyzine also seems to work about as well as buspirone and benzodiazepines, two other drug treatments for anxiety disorder. But there isn't enough good research to be certain. We didn't find any good-quality studies to say if it works or not for children and teenagers.

What is it?  Hydroxyzine belongs to a group of drugs called antihistamines. These drugs make you feel calm and may make you feel sleepy. Doctors sometimes give hydroxyzine to people who are nervous before having surgery. [84] Your doctor may offer you an antihistamine if your anxiety suddenly gets a good deal worse. Antihistamines are normally only prescribed for a few weeks.

You can take hydroxyzine as a tablet or a liquid. Brand names for hydroxyzine areAtarax and Ucerax.
If you take hydroxyzine, you should feel the calming effects within a few hours of the first dose. Higher doses make you sleepier than lower doses.

How can it help?  Studies suggest that hydroxyzine improves people's symptoms. [101] Researchers measure symptoms using symptom rating scales. They look for improvements in a long list of symptoms including worry, tension, fear, and depression. They also look for overall improvements in how you feel.

Hydroxyzine seems to work about as well as two other treatments for anxiety disorder - buspirone and a benzodiazepine called bromazepam. [101] But we need more studies to be certain.

How does it work?  Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine, which means it blocks the effects of a chemical called histamine. Blocking the effect of histamine in your brain makes you feel calm.  Hydroxyzine works in a similar way to benzodiazepines. Doctors know that benzodiazepines help people with anxiety disorder, so they think that hydroxyzine might also work as a treatment for anxiety disorder.

Can it be harmful? Hydroxyzine can cause side effects, including headaches and drowsiness. [101]
If you take a drug that makes you sleepy, you're more likely to have an accident. If you're feeling drowsy, do not drive or operate any machinery.

How good is the research on hydroxyzine? The research on hydroxyzine is reasonably good. We found a summary of the research (a systematic review) that included five good-quality studies (randomised controlled trials).

 
[101]  The summary found that people who took hydroxyzine were more likely to have their symptoms improve than people taking a dummy treatment (a placebo). The summary also found that hydroxyzine seemed to work as well as two other treatments for anxiety disorder - buspirone and a benzodiazepine called bromazepam. However, we need more research to know for certain.

www.webmd.boots.com/anxiety-panic/anxiety-hydroxyzine



Unlike benzodiazepines, hydroxyzine is non-habit forming and does not cause tolerance, withdrawal, or memory impairment. The most significant side effect of hydroxyzine is sedation, but this tends to decrease over time.  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anxiety-help/201111/anti-anxiety-medications-explained

This appears to be promising for some people - about 50/50 chance it will work for people with Anxiety  - without the need to take Benzodiazepines!! :grinning-smiley-003:


Keep up to good fight !!   :action-smiley-065:



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Offline forever young

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Re: gabapentin
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2014, 06:40:51 PM »
Ian are you saying taking more of this medicine is not effective. like less is better don't understand. how long can you take it? so if you took it a month or 2 you would have to wean off. would you not have trouble getting off it?
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Offline insights

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Re: gabapentin
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2014, 07:49:11 PM »
Ian are you saying taking more of this medicine is not effective. like less is better don't understand.

No, it may be effective, but to get double the effect you need to take much more than twice as much. At 900mg/day about 60% is bio available, at 2,400mg only 34% is. So at 900mg, 540mg is effective, the rest is excreted before it can do anything, at 2,400mg ~816mg is active, so you're taking 2.7 times as much for only about 50% more activity. At 4,800mg only ~27% is absorbed. Taking it with food slightly increases the bio availability.

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how long can you take it?

Indefinitely.

Quote
if you took it a month or 2 you would have to wean off

Yes.

Quote
would you not have trouble getting off it?

Most people find it easy, much easier than benzodiazepines.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline AncientMelody

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Re: gabapentin
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2014, 09:51:47 PM »
Hi again Forever Young  :action-smiley-065:

I really feel for you, being in a small town where the doctors are so paranoid as to actually say such a professionally inaccurate and medically false statement - "she said it is addictive and it can kill you"  ::)

Gabapentin - Is one of those medications that might work.  But, it is nowhere near as effective as BZD's such as Klonopin.

You may want to take a look at alternative medication that is showing some promise, I heard that some E.R.s - are giving them to patients with anxiety and panic attacks - with fairly good results.  And I have also heard of some people here on this forum have had fair to good results with it.  :yes:

This might be a good alternative, that your doctor will actually approve (I think???)   ::)

Here is some information and current studies on Hydroxyzine:

Hydroxyzine
BMJ Group Medical Reference
Introduction

This information is for people who have anxiety disorder. It tells you about hydroxyzine, a treatment used for anxiety disorder. It is based on the best and most up-to-date research.

Does it work? Yes, probably. Studies suggest hydroxyzine works better than a dummy treatment used for comparison (a placebo). Hydroxyzine also seems to work about as well as buspirone and benzodiazepines, two other drug treatments for anxiety disorder. But there isn't enough good research to be certain. We didn't find any good-quality studies to say if it works or not for children and teenagers.

What is it?  Hydroxyzine belongs to a group of drugs called antihistamines. These drugs make you feel calm and may make you feel sleepy. Doctors sometimes give hydroxyzine to people who are nervous before having surgery. [84] Your doctor may offer you an antihistamine if your anxiety suddenly gets a good deal worse. Antihistamines are normally only prescribed for a few weeks.

You can take hydroxyzine as a tablet or a liquid. Brand names for hydroxyzine areAtarax and Ucerax.
If you take hydroxyzine, you should feel the calming effects within a few hours of the first dose. Higher doses make you sleepier than lower doses.

How can it help?  Studies suggest that hydroxyzine improves people's symptoms. [101] Researchers measure symptoms using symptom rating scales. They look for improvements in a long list of symptoms including worry, tension, fear, and depression. They also look for overall improvements in how you feel.

Hydroxyzine seems to work about as well as two other treatments for anxiety disorder - buspirone and a benzodiazepine called bromazepam. [101] But we need more studies to be certain.

How does it work?  Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine, which means it blocks the effects of a chemical called histamine. Blocking the effect of histamine in your brain makes you feel calm.  Hydroxyzine works in a similar way to benzodiazepines. Doctors know that benzodiazepines help people with anxiety disorder, so they think that hydroxyzine might also work as a treatment for anxiety disorder.

Can it be harmful? Hydroxyzine can cause side effects, including headaches and drowsiness. [101]
If you take a drug that makes you sleepy, you're more likely to have an accident. If you're feeling drowsy, do not drive or operate any machinery.

How good is the research on hydroxyzine? The research on hydroxyzine is reasonably good. We found a summary of the research (a systematic review) that included five good-quality studies (randomised controlled trials).

 
[101]  The summary found that people who took hydroxyzine were more likely to have their symptoms improve than people taking a dummy treatment (a placebo). The summary also found that hydroxyzine seemed to work as well as two other treatments for anxiety disorder - buspirone and a benzodiazepine called bromazepam. However, we need more research to know for certain.

www.webmd.boots.com/anxiety-panic/anxiety-hydroxyzine



Unlike benzodiazepines, hydroxyzine is non-habit forming and does not cause tolerance, withdrawal, or memory impairment. The most significant side effect of hydroxyzine is sedation, but this tends to decrease over time.  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anxiety-help/201111/anti-anxiety-medications-explained

This appears to be promising for some people - about 50/50 chance it will work for people with Anxiety  - without the need to take Benzodiazepines!! :grinning-smiley-003:


Keep up to good fight !!   :action-smiley-065:




Working in a small town has nothing to do with it. Please don't assume that a medical professional working in a small town has "small" training.  I've spent my career in rural Northern Michigan yet had my training in Detroit proper as well as the surrounding more affluent suburbs. And I've worked with some great doctors who stay up on medical literature.

On the other hand, I fully agree with the hydroxyzine recommendation. I've prescribed it to several patients and I've used it myself.  It can be a valid option. It fatigued me at first but that wore off after a couple of days for the most part.

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Online Never-Quit

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Re: gabapentin
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2014, 03:26:07 AM »
Hi Melody, I didn't mean to cause any confusion... :winking0008:

"Working in a small town has nothing to do with it. Please don't assume that a medical professional working in a small town has "small" training.  I've spent my career in rural Northern Michigan yet had my training in Detroit proper as well as the surrounding more affluent suburbs. And I've worked with some great doctors who stay up on medical literature."

I agree 100% - good doctors can be found in small towns, large towns. :action-smiley-065:

I was actually communicating directly with Forever_Young - in prior conversations,  lives in small town far from doctors, 50-100 miles,   And has only limited access to a few doctors at a center, in which all the doctors appear to be anti-BZD, and will not prescribe Klonopin.  Due to the limited location, and limited doctors, we are trying to help by recommending  any non-BZD meds that might help with the anxiety.   :happy0151:
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Never, never, never give up. -Winston Churchill

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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: gabapentin
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2014, 06:15:20 AM »
Thanks for the clarification  ;D
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