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How to safely decrease Gabapentin after using 600 mg 3 times a day?

How to safely decrease Gabapentin after using 600 mg 3 times a day?

Learn how to safely reduce your Gabapentin dosage after taking 600mg three times daily. Expert guidance on tapering to manage withdrawal and minimize side effects.

Gabapentin tablet, an anticonvulsant medicine is prescribed by the doctor for epilepsy treatment to avoid partial seizures. This medicine will not help cure epilepsy, but it can prevent the occurrence of seizures. This medicine also plays the role of pain reliever for different conditions that harm the nervous system. For example, postherpetic neuralgia. It is a condition where pain occurs as a result of shingles. The medicine can also treat restless leg syndrome symptoms.

Well, the doctors will not suggest this medicine to treat pain that occurs due to arthritis or severe pain that arises due to minor injuries. Have you been using this medicine for a while but want to stop or reduce the dosage? Well, before you stop taking this medication, here are some important points to consider stop using the medication.

Stopping this medicine all of a sudden can make the symptoms worse. It can be dangerous too. You may encounter serious problems like seizures if you stop taking them suddenly. It is always better to lower the dosage rather than to stop it abruptly. Make sure you do not reduce the dosage or stop taking this medicine without consulting your healthcare provider. 

The doctor would alter the dose to adjust the dosing if you are facing any issues. If you want to reduce the dosage, it should be done under the supervision of a medical expert. The doctor would reduce your dosage slowly.

Why do people stop using Gabapentin tablets?

There are many reasons why people stop taking this medicine. 

Sometimes, they may experience certain side effects of the drug like sedation which disturbs their daily activities.

Some find it difficult to remember to take this medication which is mostly multiple times a day

Some people find the medicine expensive.

Before you plan to stop using this medicine, check with your doctor as to why he prescribed it to you. Certainly, it is an FDA-approved medication to treat epilepsy. This condition should not be left untreated. The medicine is also used to treat nerve pain, which can increase if you stop taking it suddenly without asking the healthcare provider.

Dosage Considerations 

Lowering the dose or discontinuation of the medicine should be done slowly over one week or more.

What will happen if I stop using the Gabapentin tablet?

Make sure you talk to the medical expert about the concerns before stopping using it completely. 

You may experience some symptoms upon stopping the medication suddenly like

  • headache
  • confusion
  • Return of nerve pain
  • tiredness
  • irregular heart rate
  • weakness

The chances of withdrawal symptoms are higher if you are on higher doses of this medicine or using it for more than six weeks. You may experience withdrawal symptoms from 12 hours to -7 days after you stop the medicine.

How to reduce the dose of gabapentin tablet?

Reducing or tapering your dose is the best option rather than stopping it completely. Reducing the dose slowly can help you prevent the side effects. The duration to lower the dose of this medicine depends on the person and the existing dose of this medication. 

When you discuss with your medical expert about reducing the dose, he will create a proper plan to lower the dose slowly before you can stop taking the medicine completely.

It can take one week to many weeks to lower the dose of this medicine. Do not rush to reduce the dose, rather follow the advice of your healthcare provider. 

You may come across some side effects like insomnia, agitation, or anxiety when the dose is lowered. If you experience any symptoms, discuss them with your healthcare provider which will help him to adjust the dosing schedule. Ensure that the schedule is convenient and you can follow it with ease.

In case you encounter breathlessness, seizure, or other severe symptoms, call medical help instantly.

 Do not try to taper this medicine without the assistance of a medical expert. Individuals using this medicine with a prescription should discuss with their doctor about creating a schedule to reduce the dose. Individuals who misuse this medicine can reach out to a detox facility.

The dose-reducing schedule differs from one person to another. It is based on the dose to be reduced. Some important factors considered while reducing the dose are

  • Duration for which the person is using it
  • What is the daily dose?

Doses range from 100mg – 3600mg daily. It can be higher for individuals taking it without a doctor’s prescription.

Why should you discuss the change in dose of Gabapentin tablet with your healthcare provider?

While reducing the dose for this medicine, your medical expert  would monitor you to treat if there are any symptoms like

  • Allergic reaction, nausea, fever, double vision, or tremors.
  • seizures
  • withdrawal symptoms like dizziness, sweating, headaches, fatigue, and others.
  • Symptoms getting worse.

Drug interactions

Central nervous system depressants like opioids and alcohol when consumed together with this medicine can elevate dizziness and drowsiness.

Some negative effects can be breathing problems or changes in mental status. It can be life-threatening if you combine this medicine and opioids, especially in individuals taking a higher dose of more than 900mg per day.

Antacids with magnesium or aluminum can lower the effects of this medicine. So, make sure you take them after a gap of 2 hours.

Well, taking this medicine can improve seizure symptoms and nerve pain but, if you stop taking it can re-introduce the symptoms. So, talk to your healthcare expert before you stop the medication. Do not decide to stop using this medicine without asking the medical expert.

Aspects to consider for stopping the Gabapentin tablet

In case you wish to stop taking this medicine but are worried about the related withdrawal symptoms or side effects, discuss with your medical expert to get an organized plan that works for you.

You may face some issues like anxiety, agitation, etc., so learn from your doctor the ways to handle these symptoms.

The uneasiness you may experience through withdrawal depends on

  • Age
  • Condition being treated
  • Dosage of this medicine and how long you have been taking the medicine.
  • Other health conditions include SUD.

When they decide to stop using Gabapentin, they should first speak to their healthcare expert. The doctor will create a plan to reduce the dose of this medication. The doctor works on reducing the withdrawal symptoms.

The doctor can also educate you on managing the side effects that occur while using this drug. Also, an individual using opioid pain relievers or other medications should know that some medicines can be risky when used along with this medicine.

To avoid dangerous side effects or withdrawal symptoms, slowly reduce the dose of the medicine before you stop it completely. It is not advisable to stop this medicine without consulting your medical expert.

If you have to undergo surgery while taking this medicine, inform your medical expert in advance.

The duration takes to stop this medicine depends on you and the doctor. Stopping the use of gabapentin is a solo process and there is no fixed timeline. It may take a week to many weeks.

You can seek a doctor’s help to learn how to manage withdrawal symptoms that you may get while stopping the medicine.