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Detoxing from Gabapentin Safely and Effectively


The generic drug gabapentin (brand name Neurontin) is a drug prescribed to patients primarily to help with seizures. It is also prescribed to alleviate nerve pain associated with shingles and detoxing from other substances. Off-label, it has been used in Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and migraine management.

Gabapentin is a central nervous system depressant that affects the brain. Over time, the brain gets used to the presence of gabapentin, and the brain changes what it produces. When gabapentin is stopped or the dosage is decreased, the brain needs to compensate for the missing gabapentin. The brain may struggle as it regains this loss, leading to a variety of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.

These symptoms can make detoxing from gabapentin challenging, even scary, and potentially risky when attempted without the appropriate support systems in place. To ensure your own safety, or that of a loved one, professional medical support from trained addiction specialists is strongly recommended both during and after the withdrawal period.

The Symptoms of Gabapentin Withdrawal

Gabapentin withdrawal symptoms can appear as early as 12 hours after stopping Gabapentin, while some symptoms may take up to seven days to appear. Symptoms can last 10 days or more and vary greatly from person to person. Which specific symptoms you experience, and to what degree, also depends upon a number of other factors, such as longevity of use, dosage during use, and even hereditary influences.

Possible gabapentin withdrawal symptoms include:

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headache or muscle pain
  • Light sensitivity
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Anxiety or agitation
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

Often, the earlier symptoms of gabapentin withdrawal (those occurring in the first 12 to 24 hours) can be the most serious. Within the first week, most symptoms have subsided; however, some users experience lingering anxiety and depression. You or your loved one may also have sustained long-term damage to your liver, kidneys, or heart, depending on your history of gabapentin abuse.

Overcoming the Challenges of Detoxing from Gabapentin

Detoxing from gabapentin on your own, without the appropriate medical guidance and support, can be damaging to your health, even deadly in the worst-case scenario. It may not be easy to convince yourself, or a loved one, that professional help is important, even necessary, to quit using. However, the best way to prevent gabapentin withdrawal symptoms from getting too severe is to taper the dosage gradually under medical supervision.

A detox center in a specialized addiction facility can provide the greatest level of comfort and safety during the withdrawal period, offering 24/7 medical support as necessary and the gentle guidance of compassionate, experienced addiction specialists. Here, you or your loved one will also be able to begin laying the foundations for long-term addiction treatment and recovery.

The Benefits of Long-Term Gabapentin Addiction Treatment

Even if you or your loved one have only been misusing the drug for a short period of time, detoxing from gabapentin is only the first step on the road to full recovery. Once you have safely come off of the drug, the next important step in your journey is to address the underlying issues that drove you to abuse the drug in the first place.

Trained addiction specialists can help you identify your addiction triggers, increase your resilience, and develop healthy coping mechanisms to prevent future forays into gabapentin abuse. Together, you will be able to develop a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan that will allow you to heal and progress at your own pace, providing you with the best possible chance at lasting, sustainable recovery.

Studies over the past twenty years have illuminated the intricate nature of gabapentin’s effects, demonstrating that discontinuation symptoms can occur in people taking diverse daily dosages, from relatively low amounts of 400mg up to much higher levels of 8,000mg. Surprisingly, withdrawal experiences have been reported even with doses at the lower end of this range when taken for just three weeks. This underscores gabapentin’s profound impact on the body and the vital necessity of cautious dosage control and medical supervision.

Detoxing from gabapentin safely is step one on the road to recovering from addiction. Begin your journey today by contacting New Choices Treatment Centers online or calling us at (726) 888-7003.