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Need help coming off gabapentin

Things are a little confusing, I'll put the background below, but I have been given the medical okay to come off 900mg daily (300mg/3x), but I was not given a schedule or any real advice for coming off.  Financially it's not a good time to pay a copay to go to another doctor just to say "My orthopedic surgeon said I can come off gabapentin, please give me a calendar."  What is a reasonable timeline to go from 3 pills a day to none?

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Background:  Sudden pain about 2-3 months ago, my primary care doctor suspected a cervical disc problem and since I was crying from the nerve pain she started me on the gabapentin.  I saw an orthopedic surgeon who ordered an MRI and wrote a refill for the gabapentin.  When I tried to make a followup appointment I found out he works one half-day per week and I would have to leave a message with the office staff for the scheduling department to call me back for an appointment, I couldn't contact them directly.  So on to orthopedic surgeon #2.  During roughly that same time the pain was a large reason I had entered depression so my psychiatrist increased the gabapentin to dampen the pain and hopefully get me out of depression.  Since orthopedic surgeon #2 did not prescribe the gabapentin, he does not want to tell me to come off it or how, though he did say that if the prescribing doctor is in agreement then it is a very good time to come off it.  No one (other than the psychiatrist) was happy about putting me on it in the first place, but nerve pain is absolutely horrible and I was a mental wreck.  However the pain is now gone, maybe a couple days every 2-3 weeks I'll have an ache in the arm and that's it, so it's time to see if it's gone or masked.

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Comments

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,718

    Rachel

    I am so glad you were finally able to say "the pain is gone". But we cannot give you a timeline to get off the Gabapentin. That information will have to come from your doctor. We all have different ways of weaning off meds but should always be done under your doctor's orders.

    Take care,
    Sandra

  • Rachel, as Sandra said we can't give you a schedule but I will say, go very slowly! I can't believe one of the doctors won't help you with it. Your primary care doctor should do that since he put you on it. Keep us posted.

    Joanne

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  • My primary care doctor could, but that's a medical copay and money is tight right now.  If I were sick or in pain or having some issue going on that needed a lot of intervention I could swing it, but walking in just for a calendar, no medical diagnosis or treatment needed or performed, that's not an easy amount to pay right now.

    I already had to do this same mess when the pharmacy took it upon themselves to tell me meloxicam is a strong ibuprofen and could not be taken with another medicine.  The orthopedic surgeon set me straight on why I needed an anti-inflammatory (not for pain like real ibuprofen is), the specialists were telling me to talk to each other, so I went to my primary care doctor.  She ran everything through a drug interaction checker and told me that meloxicam is the safest medicine I could take, even safer for me than the OTC NSAIDs.  I wasted that copay money and lived on peanut butter sandwiches a couple days for no reason, since what I had been given was correct for me as originally prescribed.

    Medical care ain't cheap and I'm not made of money, and a pesky couple of discs are not my only concern.

  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,275
    edited 03/01/2020 - 1:11 AM

    @Rachel120 Your post made me laugh because I’m like the male version of you. I can’t stand going to unnecessary appmts, have a shoe string budget, sometimes have to eat spaghetti O’s for days because all the money I spend trying to fix my body!

    My primary care doctor doesn’t require co-pays the day you’re seen. The office allows you to pay in installments, if needed, over many, many months. 

    My mom was on Gabapentin for a year (for shingles pain) and her doctor weaned her down from 900mg to 0mg in about 6 weeks. However, that’s my mom. We’re all different.

    I sympathize with you although I don’t really have an answer, unfortunately. Know you aren’t alone in this.

  • It would be worth a try to call your primary care doctors office and talk to the nurse, they could talk to the doctor and get back to you.

    Chip

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  • Sheesh I never thought they would actually charge to help you get off a drug THEY put you on!! Chip had a good idea. Otherwise, if it were me, I'd just go super slow! 

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