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Re: Neurontin
Jan 21, 2005
Hello all.

Greetings from sunny South Carolina.

I am always amazed at the information and support I find on these boards. What did we do before the Internet??

I want to wean myself from Neurontin and found this thread. Thank you, THANK YOU to everyone who shared so much knowledge and experience. (And all that typing!) Just when I think I'm the only one experiencing something, I find a kindred spirit on these health boards. From reading all these posts today, I have learned the following:

1) Neurontin results, reactions and side effects can be as different as day and night between people, but there are several of you who share "my story."
2) Neurontin has helped the majority of posters - even changing lives or at least making life bearable for some.
3) Neurontin is taken by the majority of posters for something other than epilepsy - mostly pain.
4) Neurontin use is controversial, and doctors sure do like to prescribe it.
5) Nurses should be paid as much, if not more than, doctors. (Ok, I didn't learn that here)
6) The reason I have horrible, vivid nightmares sometimes is because I have mixed ibuprofen with Neurontin.

This is the abridged version of My Story:

1) I have had problems with depression, social anxiety and ADD since I was a child. (But back then it was called "sleepy" "weird" and "lazy" Hey, weren't those 3 of the Seven Dwarfs?) At the age of 40, I was finally diagnosed and have since tried every drug to come down the pike. Everything made me tired and spacey and affected my cognitive abilities. (I'm a writer, so this was not good!) Everything except Wellbutrin caused MAJOR weight gain, but the WB made me feel horrible - even after the 8 week adjustment period. One popular anti-depressant (Prozac - can I say that here?) gave me TMJ. (who knew!) and lowered my IQ by about 10 points. I'd rather be depressed!
2) A diving board accident at age 17 left me with sciatica pain that has affected my life dramatically. Delivering two 10 lb. baby boys in my 20s did not help. (But what a joy they have been to me!) Around 40 (I'm now 46) I developed very painful arthritis in my lower back and a pinched nerve. I think I have taken enough aspirin and ibuprofen to fill an aircraft carrier. Vioxx helped, but I only took it a few times - it made me very nauseated - thank goodness in light of the new findings!
3) I was prescribed Neurontin 2 yrs ago for the back pain and TMJ (from grinding my teeth at night due to taking - are you ready for this?? - PROZAC! I just learned this 5 months ago.) Neurontin was the first medication to "take the edge off" my back pain, and it did help alleviate the horrible headaches from the teeth grinding (bruxism.) My doc also prescribed Neur. for "mood stabilization". I started with 300 mg. before bed, and gradually titrated up to 1200 mg total a day - 300 in AM and afternoon, and 600 mg before bed. Since then, I have gradually reduced the dosage to a total of 600 mgs a day - and that's before bed.
4) I have recently weaned myself off Prozac after a 3 yr stint. (It took 3 months for the Prozac to leave my system, during which time I experienced major anxiety. I had no idea until reading it elsewhere on Health Boards that it stays in your system that long!) I'm still waiting for my IQ to get back to normal. I still grind my teeth, but finally got a special guard from my dentist (to the tune of $400.) Hopefully I will completely stop the teeth grinding one day, although the lady in the health food store told me the cause of teeth grinding was secretly wanted revenge on someone. :eek:
3) Even on 600 mgs a day, the Neurontin makes me sleep like a rock. A big fat rock. In the last 2 years, I have gained 44 lbs and I can hardly compose a paragraph or carry on an intelligent conversation. (My doc blames this on the recent Prozac withdrawal.) Anyway, I am a zombie all day.
:yawn: Huh? Oh sorry, I dozed off.
4) I am now Rx-free except for the Neur. I also want to quit taking ibuprofen before my stomach turns into a bloody pulp.
5) For the depression, social anxiety and ADD, I'm just going to have to "deal" - as my teenage son says. Frankly, now that I'm off of all those anti-depressants, it's preferable to just "be me." Sure, I'm blue and down sometimes, but I embrace the mood and go for a walk on the beach or play with my dog. If I feel that old social anxiety creeping in, I just accept it as part of being me also, and wear more anti-perspirant.
6) I have returned to a diet of healthy foods, herbs and vitamins, rather than self-medicating with chocolate, Doritos and wine. This has been hard to do!
7) For my back pain, I invested in an inversion table 3 months ago. It has been a God-send!! I hang upside down like a vampire (is that why they live so long?) for just a few minutes a day, and I am walking tall and steppin' large! It's nothing short of a miracle.

So here's my question for those who are in-the-know: With my Neurontin history, duration and dosage; what would be the recommended "weaning" plan? I've read that weaning is difficult, but how? Anxiety? Insomnia? As long as I'm prepared, I feel I can handle anything.

Thank you for reading this LONG post.

With healing blessings to all of you,

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