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    Gabapentin for Benzo withdrawal 
    #1
    Would Gabapentin do anything for xanax/kpin w/d, and if so around what dose would be needed? 300mg?
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    #2
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    yes, well IMO it helps when i stop ambien, or coming off opiates

    but u need a much higher amount, 3000mg atleast IMO. i take 5-6k generally to help with WDs
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by sunset117 View Post
    yes, well IMO it helps when i stop ambien, or coming off opiates

    but u need a much higher amount, 3000mg atleast IMO. i take 5-6k generally to help with WDs
    Thanks for your response, I have no personal experience with it, I am trying to help a friend.
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by sunset117 View Post
    yes, well IMO it helps when i stop ambien, or coming off opiates

    but u need a much higher amount, 3000mg atleast IMO. i take 5-6k generally to help with WDs
    thats pretty bad advice on dosage to be giving when the OP hasn't even given his tolerance. i had a large benzo tolerance and taking 750+mg of pregabalin had me scared a few times.

    OP - what sort of tolerance do you have to each of those drugs? or are you just meaning in general?

    yes it would alleviate wd symptons. being a GABA analogue it was synthed to mimic the chemical structure of the GABA neurotransmitter.
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    #5
    It is possible that it may alleviate some of the rebound symptoms.

    Start very slow with the therapeutic dose, then slowly work your way up. Do not take more than the manufacturer dictated maximum daily dose.

    For oral dosage form (tablets):

    Adults and teenagers 12 years of age and older—At first, 300 milligrams (mg) three times a day. Your doctor may increase the dose gradually if needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 1800 mg a day.
    http://www.drugs.com/cons/gabapentin.html

    The rebound symptoms of Benzodiazepine abstinence can be dangerous and life threatening. It would be in the best interest of the person that is dependant on the Benzo's to seek professional medical help. A doctor can evaluate the situation and the persons circumstances and prescribe necessary medication, and give special instructions if needed.
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    #6
    Bluelight Crew paranoid android's Avatar
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    It might help relax you but i doubt it would do much to stop the seizure risk. It's not that strong of a anti-convulsant i don't think.

    If your in acute benzo WD go to a doctor they have to give you something. You can't just be taken off a benzo cold turkey.
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    #7
    I'd recommend Lyrica (pregabalin), it's stronger than Gabapentin and is used as an anti-convulsant and anxiolytic, so you're more likely to have success from it. It's what I used when I ran out of Xanax after a month-long binge with a friend and I didn't experience that many symptoms... only problem was when the Lyrica ran out it gave me a feeling like pins and needles in my limbs.
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    #8
    Bluelight Crew sonic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunset117 View Post
    yes, well IMO it helps when i stop ambien, or coming off opiates

    but u need a much higher amount, 3000mg atleast IMO. i take 5-6k generally to help with WDs

    Unfortunately your experience using gabapentin for ambien and opiate withdrawal isn't totally relevant. Benzo withdrawal is different. There are a lot of binding sites on your GABA receptors. GABA is complicated.. everything from alcohol, ketamine, GHB, benzos, etc. bind to this receptor and the effects can vary from mildly relaxing to ego shattering/psychedelic.

    Gabapentin is mainly a GABA-B agonist. I tried using phenibut in place of benzos before (phenibut and gabapentin are very similar). I think it helped a little, but I certainly wouldn't want to rely on it as my only withdrawal aid.

    I've been looking for people's experiences using these easy to obtain GABA agonists for benzo withdrawal and I've yet to find much of anything useful. Unfortunately I don't think that gabapentin will kill the benzo withdrawal completely. It might help some, but that's just a guess.
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    #9
    Bluelighter Geist89's Avatar
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    I've always thought that the purpose of gabapentin and pregabalin in benzodiazepine withdrawal was to prevent seizures...
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by leftwing View Post
    thats pretty bad advice on dosage to be giving when the OP hasn't even given his tolerance. i had a large benzo tolerance and taking 750+mg of pregabalin had me scared a few times.

    OP - what sort of tolerance do you have to each of those drugs? or are you just meaning in general?

    yes it would alleviate wd symptons. being a GABA analogue it was synthed to mimic the chemical structure of the GABA neurotransmitter.
    His tolerance was 1mg or xanax or 1mg of klonopin a day for over a month.
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by sonic View Post
    Gabapentin is mainly a GABA-B agonist. I tried using phenibut in place of benzos before (phenibut and gabapentin are very similar). I think it helped a little, but I certainly wouldn't want to rely on it as my only withdrawal aid.
    Please make sure information given is factually correct. = NOT GABAb agonist (baclofen is pure GABAb agonist, phenibut also although likely additional MOA)

    Pregabalin Mechanism of action [MOA]...
    NSFW:
    Like gabapentin, pregabalin binds to the α2δ (alpha2delta) subunit of the voltage-dependent calcium channel in the central nervous system. This reduces calcium influx into the nerve terminals. Pregabalin also decreases the release of neurotransmitters such as glutamate, noradrenaline, and substance P (Australian Medicines Handbook). Pregabalin increases neuronal GABA levels by producing a dose-dependent increase in glutamic acid decarboxylase activity. Glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) is the enzyme that converts the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate into the inhibitory GABA in a single step. For this reason, pregabalin greatly potentiates benzodiazepines, barbiturates & other depressants.


    Additional information:
    • Baclofen was trialed as an anti-epileptic but failed. It has no anti-seizure activity
    • For the reasons listed in the MOA there is certainly LOGIC for withdrawals. IT however is no magic bullet and trading one addiction for another is not advisable. However as an ACUTE short term use for withdrawal of other gaba-ergic drugs ANECDOTAL reports seem to be surfacing that for this indication it has some utility.
    • MAX licensed daily dosing of pregabalin = 600mg daily (as in safety data from clinical trials!)
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    #12
    I've had no great help from using gabapntn other than it kinda dulls me up and takes a slight edge off. Lyrica seems to be much better.
    Some people refer to this stuff as "morontin" which sums it up well I think!
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    #13
    i would say it would help with keeping on top of reducing doses whilst helping with some of the physical symptoms.
    as said above, not a good idea to stop benzos too quickly.
    lyrica is much the same as gabapentin only more potent and refined, so less side effects, but more expensive.

    gabapentin eliminated any shakiness etc i used to get after stopping GHB after 2-3 weeks heavy use, but tried having gabapentin to help with the comedown last time and if was great! had no withdrawels.

    i think it has its place but needs to be the correct does and the med you are coming off must be weened correctly.
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    #14
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    it does nothing for me
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    #15
    Bluelighter ro0ga's Avatar
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    The best thing to kick a benzo habit, is more benzos. Switch to a longer acting benzo and taper down. Tried and true, works.
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    #16
    ro0ga:

    The intensity of withdrawal from a long-acting benzo is less than that of withdrawal from a short-acting benzo, but the duration is so much greater that I'd rather suffer a great deal, all at once. Withdrawing from lorazepam (or god forbid, alprazolam) is quite painful, but once it's over, it's over.

    Withdrawing from diazepam just takes so damn long, engendering so many sleepless or close-to-sleepless nights, and guaranteeing such a long stretch of cognitive dimness. I relapsed onto diazepam for two consecutive nights -- total of 20mg taken in -- and I remained tranquilized for a full 48 hours after my last dose. Then I went five straight nights with only four or five thrashing hours of sleep each night, giving in and sucking down alcohol and tramadol last night.

    Comparably, I relapsed onto ambien and ativan about two months ago -- 10mg of the former and 1.5mg of the latter. I ended up taking seroquel the next night to knock myself out. I didn't sleep at all the night afterward, but within 72 hours I was more or less back to normal.
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    #17
    Question
    Resurrecting this thread, because it's good. SWIM is out of xanax for a week due to a mega doctor eff-up (doc went on vacation, forgot about patients he sees only 4x/yr for refills ). SWIM's been on 3mg/day Xanax for a year, and 4mg/day lorazepam for 6 yrs before that, but she does okay on one X a day (1mg divided into morning/evening doses) when necessary, with a little help (a few benedryls, 5mg ambien). SWIM thinks she only "needs" 0.5mg/day.

    But now SWIM has to make 2 Xanaxes stretch for a full week (instead of 21 Xanax in same amount of time), and needs a lot of chemical help. SWIM's out of her depth.

    But she looked in a drawer and found a handful of phenobarbital (60mg) and a few huge bottles of 300mg gabapentins her sister gave her last year, neither of which she's ever taken before. SWIM also has some ambiens, and could refill the expensive Lunesta (but it's expensive). SWIM also has opiates because she never takes them as they seem to keep her awake (or puking in toilet all night).

    Might some combo of phenobarbital, gabapentin, and ambien, possibly vicodins or morphine sulfates, keep SWIM out of the hospital? Poor girl's heart rate goes up way high without the benzo; it's very scary. There are two xanaxes left for the worst times. But this is new stomping ground for SWIM, and bad enough that SWIM would like to get off X altogether, because dayum.
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    #18
    Bluelighter bennyZA's Avatar
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    I think you need to read up on benzo withdrawal some more. There is nothing for it other than more benzos. Doing what you plan on doing is downright dangerous. You can't - simply can't - fuck around with benzos like that. All of those meds you listed might help you feel better but the withdrawals will not be gone. Why don't you contact the docs office or any colleagues or anyone that might be affiliated with him. A doc can't just leave people hanging like that. No doc goes out of town without figuring out what to do with their patients. Usually the patients will be directed to another doc within an HMO or they would get a covering doc for a private practice.

    You NEED to talk to a doctor, you can't go without xanax for a week. If you can't get a hold of anyone, then you need to go to the ER. The ER doc will prescribe you some xanax for the week. I used to run out of my klonopin a week early all the time. I would basically just lie down, twitching, crying, thinking about suicide, for a week. I even had a seizure (or 2). Seriously, you need to get more.
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    #19
    IKR: woke up this morning and had to take a half xanax already (though some good news is, a 1/2 Xanax popped up that had been only for emergencies, so really there were 2 pills, not 1.5 pills. That's an extra day!). SWIM made it through last night with half a phenobarbital (to prevent seizures), and tried two gabapentins. (Not bad, but different.) SWIM took the prescribed ambien then and slept well. But this morning, SWIM had something like "electric bolts" shooting through the body and brain, and said it was just hell, so she took the 1/2 Xanax. SWIM's worried, because only one day passed and she needed the 1/2 xanax already. (That 1/2 helped her immensely). How is she going to go without a Saturday/Sunday dose? SWIM is scared.

    Now I know her doc: the doc's office is a small, old-fashioned place, and he's not good knowing when his patients are going to need refills, etc. He's a bit notorious for it, and other docs don't respect him. He has a nurse practitioner but she's not well-respected either, though she's very nice. When she writes a script for controlled substances, things get put on hold, but I don't know why. That happens even with vicodin or other controlled substances (stuff you wouldn't even think was "controlled").

    SWIM learned her doc is "the Medicaid doc" (the only one who takes Medicaid in the area( and he apparently gets away with more because govt likes cheap pills, which includes benzos. ER docs said the doc was just bad, and everyone in this area would agree with that. But he's the only doc who prescribes benzos. SWIM talked to other doctors, and they gladly offered to help, but they all wanted to do drastic tapering (ie, dropping 1mg/day every week, until you get to 1 Xanax/day, then stopping entirely the following week. We all know THAT won't work; SWIM says it's the last half-milligram that you can't just cold turkey stop. And that's why SWIM's stayed with this doctor.

    So SWIM is truly on her own. Doc had convinced her she was good at 3mg/day for life, and she is — but not when the script "has problems" (printed on wrong paper?), or a refill is held 37 days (which is just damned dangerous). SWIM's sort of thinking that the doc is under investigation because the pharmacy wouldn't say much, which is completely new after 7 yrs. The pharmacist just assured SWIM that she would get her next month's supply on Sunday though.

    But if SWIM has to do another ER trip, no ER doc is going to feel sorry for SWIM, because they've warned her about her doc. SWIM's not listed as a "drug seeker", since when she's gone to the ER before, she had plenty of Ativan or Xanax on her; she just didn't know her complaint was a panic attack (those are tricky beasts, masquerading as all sorts of problems that even the ER staff believes: heart attacks, strokes, you name it).

    And pharmacist even warned her last year that benzos AND the new ambien script was a cocktail for disaster, so SWIM didn't get addicted to ambiens (takes one or two a week). SWIM knows doc is scripting too much — that's why she has some left over for an "emergency".

    One possible plan is to use teh 1/2 xanaxes through Friday, then hit the Urgent Care on Friday, and hopefully walk out with a full dose from them, which might last until Sunday morning.
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchette View Post
    Resurrecting this thread, because it's good. SWIM is out of xanax for a week due to a mega doctor eff-up (doc went on vacation, forgot about patients he sees only 4x/yr for refills ). SWIM's been on 3mg/day Xanax for a year, and 4mg/day lorazepam for 6 yrs before that, but she does okay on one X a day (1mg divided into morning/evening doses) when necessary, with a little help (a few benedryls, 5mg ambien). SWIM thinks she only "needs" 0.5mg/day.

    But now SWIM has to make 2 Xanaxes stretch for a full week (instead of 21 Xanax in same amount of time), and needs a lot of chemical help. SWIM's out of her depth.

    But she looked in a drawer and found a handful of phenobarbital (60mg) and a few huge bottles of 300mg gabapentins her sister gave her last year, neither of which she's ever taken before. SWIM also has some ambiens, and could refill the expensive Lunesta (but it's expensive). SWIM also has opiates because she never takes them as they seem to keep her awake (or puking in toilet all night).

    Might some combo of phenobarbital, gabapentin, and ambien, possibly vicodins or morphine sulfates, keep SWIM out of the hospital? Poor girl's heart rate goes up way high without the benzo; it's very scary. There are two xanaxes left for the worst times. But this is new stomping ground for SWIM, and bad enough that SWIM would like to get off X altogether, because dayum.
    Everything medication you mentioned here will help. There's no way of saying for certain, but it is likely you will suffer ZERO withdrawal here. The phenobarbital in and of itself could be enough and has the advantage of being very long acting. I wouldn't bother with an expensive Lunesta script. 2-3 Phenobarbital once or twice daily and 300mg of Gabapentin with an Ambien at night should more than take care of you.

    A great deal of anecdotal evidence supports the use of Gabapentin and Pregabalin for benzo withdrawal. Some people claim a decent dose will halt benzo or opiate withdrawal. Keep in mind Gabapentin is only 1/6th as potent as Pregabalin and has bioavailability issues. Spacing out Gabapentin dosing helps because a large dose is largely wasted.
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by DexyDevil View Post
    Everything medication you mentioned here will help. There's no way of saying for certain, but it is likely you will suffer ZERO withdrawal here. The phenobarbital in and of itself could be enough and has the advantage of being very long acting. I wouldn't bother with an expensive Lunesta script. 2-3 Phenobarbital once or twice daily and 300mg of Gabapentin with an Ambien at night should more than take care of you.

    A great deal of anecdotal evidence supports the use of Gabapentin and Pregabalin for benzo withdrawal. Some people claim a decent dose will halt benzo or opiate withdrawal. Keep in mind Gabapentin is only 1/6th as potent as Pregabalin and has bioavailability issues. Spacing out Gabapentin dosing helps because a large dose is largely wasted.
    Hey thanks! I was doing it backwards (2-3 Gabapentins through the day, a little Phenobarbital at night with the Ambien. And I don't feel well.) So up my phenobarbital during the day (2-3/day), and decrease Gabapentin to 1 at night with the Ambien. Excelent; I'll try that! *****Thanks*****

    —Sorry, all this gabapentin in my system right now along with the vicodin I just took for pain (leg pain I'd never had before), and I feel really drugged. Eyes half-open, sluggish, etc. My memory is slipping bad today, which I'd never experienced before. I'm just really tired now. But later when I get more withdrawal symptoms, I'll take a whole phenobarbital. Tonight at bedtime I'll take a Gabapentin and the ambien.

    Sounds like a plan! Really, thanks! Exactly what I needed. {{hugs}} (I'm a girl so I can do that, LOL) (See how gabapentins make you loopy, like you're drunk?!)
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    #22
    Bluelighter bennyZA's Avatar
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    But if SWIM has to do another ER trip, no ER doc is going to feel sorry for SWIM, because they've warned her about her doc. SWIM's not listed as a "drug seeker", since when she's gone to the ER before, she had plenty of Ativan or Xanax on her; she just didn't know her complaint was a panic attack (those are tricky beasts, masquerading as all sorts of problems that even the ER staff believes: heart attacks, strokes, you name it).
    This should not be a concern. You need to get some meds, soon. What does it matter if the ER doc makes you feel bad? He has a legal obligation to help. If you can just deal with the ER doc for a few min than you get your xanax, so what's the problem? I'm also curious as to why you would work with a doc this bad? If it is just for the benzo's, than you have a problem. Staying with a terrible doctor just for the drugs is a pretty obvious sign of addiction. Are you sure you wouldn't want to take this opportunity to start a taper? You will probably feel better overall.

    Also, please don't use SWIM. It's confusing to read and annoying to write. Not to mention it doesn't protect you from anything.
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    #23
    BennyZA, yeah sorry about the SWIM. We use this doc because he's relatively cheap ($65/hr). Our Blue Cross plan pays for 3 visits a year then we pay full price, but when I started getting panic attacks, I needed to see a doc far more often (once a month, easy), have tests, etc. So we switched to Dr. Cheap, and I got my first benzos. To his credit, I also got my first real relief from panic attacks. And things got cheap (no more expensive tests, for one). But over the years, I got up to 4mg/day Ativan, and doc was about to move me to 5mg/day.

    So I tried to quit cold turkey, and thought I had (went over a month without benzos), but ended up in the hospital on New Year's 2012 with a seizure. Dr. Cheap feared I was suicidal for quitting suddenly but I convinced him I just wanted off the benzos that bad. He still refused to give me Valium, but referred me to a pDoc who swore he could wean anyone off benzos "naturally". That was an epic fail (pDoc switched me to Xanax, gave me $200/mo vitamins like EMPower Plus complex and others, then added Ambien when I couldn't sleep from all those vitamins). I spent months with pDoc getting worse, so I went back to Dr. Cheap, asking if we could just go back to the 3mg Ativan. Dr. Cheap didn't want to overrule a pDoc, so I stayed on the Xanax. (And Ambien, but I don't take it. Well, except this week.)

    Of course I've talked to other local doctors, even ER docs, but none of them seem familiar with a Valium taper; some didn't know about benzo withdrawals at all. So ever since the pDoc, I've accepted I'm on my own for quitting. I can't get the Valiums, but I did get my hands on phenobarbital, and my sister gave me the gabapentins. Plus I've saved up random prescriptions like vicodin instead of taking them, with the thought of having anything that might help me wean off long-term. I sorta know I'm addicted to this mess, but am not sure how to quit without the Valium. I mean let's be real: right now, I'm just trying to not die.
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    #24
    I feel like whale shit on the bottom of the ocean. (Along with the phenobarbital, I'm doing a fourth of the last half pill - I waited until it felt like my ears were bleeding, and the fourth seemed to help.) It's so weird: I miss coffee a lot, but coffee makes this "sudden withdrawal" unbearable. I called the doc's office as someone suggested; the office took a message, but there was no Rx. A BFF is overnighting me 5 Ativans, but I won't get it until tomorrow night.

    I''m definitely weaning off this shit; this w/d is so much worse than the ativan w/d. I'd far prefer to wean off Ativan than Xanax. Except, why does a fourth of Xanax seem to help so much more than even an half of an Ativan? Does the yukky xanax taste fool the body into thinking you're getting more benzo?
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    #25
    GABA is a great drug.. Waiting for someone to plug it and let me know if it works
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